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Best way not to waste ink when changing cartridges


I have not yet changed ink cartridges on my Pro-1000, but  the low ink warnings < ! > have been on for all the cartridges for a while.  I expect that one or more will run out soon.  

Now I have heard that the printer does quite a big cleaning flush every time a new cartridge is installed, whether or not it is one cartridge or more.

Which raises the question: Is it more economical to change the cartridges as they empty or, since all of the cartridges look low, to replace them all at once?

I just changed out the MC-20 maintenance cartridge and was shocked how heavy it was with flushed ink.





I am not sure if the Po-1000 works like the Pro-100, but the -100 purges every cartridge when one or more are replaced.

Depending on how low the various cartridges are, there is the possibility of what some call the "domino effect". The purge process moves the cartridge from looking good to the "!" status.


What I do is wait until a cartridge gives me the red "X" warning. Then I replace all cartridges that have either a red "X" or a "!" showing. I also eyeball the level in any cartridge that isn't showing an alarm. If the indicated level looks close to one with an "!" I will replace that as well.

My printer doesn't have a waste ink tank; it uses some sort of non-replaceable pad instead. I have had my printer since 2014 and the driver is reporting about 2551-2600 pages; about 90% of the were 13x19 prints.

As an aside, when I started up the printer to get page count (via a nozzle check) one cartridge showed "!@". The cleaning cycle the printer went through before printing the nozzle check changed that cartridge  to red "X" and a second cartridge to "!".

John Hoffman
Conway, NH

1D X Mark III, Many lenses, Pixma PRO-100, MX472, LR Classic

John,  Thanks for the quick reply. I experienced the domino effect on my previous printer, the pro-10. It was so frustrating, which is why I asked the question.  I now need to figure out if there is an better measurement of the ink left in the cartridges than the image in the printer's little screen.  I have printed a bunch with the ink at their current levels, so I really don't know what to think.  This printer uses big, $50 cartridges, so I would hate to throw out a lot of good ink.


You might want to try the jtoolman Facebook page and website.

John Hoffman
Conway, NH

1D X Mark III, Many lenses, Pixma PRO-100, MX472, LR Classic

John - I have to ask: what did you do with more than 2000 13x19 prints? I ran out of wall space for my favorite 13x19s long ago, gave some away as gifts, and have placed many in an Itoya Art Profolio for that size prints but the total is in the dozens and not thousands.

Hi Rob.

My wife and I belong to the local camera club and up until COVID we had monthly in-person digital and print competitions. We typically had 4 prints a month - most of which are now in boxes, but some in the same portfolio you use.

My five grandchildren were involved in various high school and college sports. We made a point of attending many of their games and I would photograph them and the teammates. Gave away many prints to families. That was the largest use of the printer (and camera). Kids and parents were really pleased to get a large size print of their star in action :-). Since COVID the printer doesn't see much use, since I only use it for photo printing.

John Hoffman
Conway, NH

1D X Mark III, Many lenses, Pixma PRO-100, MX472, LR Classic

Thanks, John. A very productive and generous use of your printer, cameras and time.


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