Most companies put the print heads deep inside the printer. This means if the head gets clogged, it could be an expensive repair. (Our head cleaner solves it most of the time.) HP puts the print head inside the cartridge or as a separate, replaceable item. This means you may be buying a print head with every cartridge, which is what makes their cartridges so expensive. On the other hand, you don't run into the problem of a clogged print head because you keep getting a new one. Or you can remove the print head and clean or replace it.

It is because of this that it is safe to use remanufactured (not refilled) HP cartridges. A refilled cartridge has had new ink injected into a cartridge already clogged with old ink. This is a disaster waiting to happen. A remanufactured cartridge has been disassembled, cleaned, refilled and tested. It should work like brand new. However, there are some things you should know before using them.

Because these cartridges are filled to capacity, air pressure during shipping, heat or cold can affect the pressure inside the cartridge. You should peel off the tape over a sink and wrap your hand in tissue or wear a disposable glove. On the rare occasion, particularly during the summer in hot places, some ink can spew out of the air hole when the tape is removed.

Because the cartridge is using the same chip for the second time, you might get a warning that the cartridge is empty or low. This is fine. You can safely ignore the warning and print until the cartridge is actually empty. You can ignore the ink level shown as long as it is printing.

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