Internal Leakage - Epson 9890



Hello and a happy new year,

I was starting a small run of prints this past week when a slew of imperfect nozzle checks led to an investigation of the cartridges in the bay giving me problems. It was then I came across the unsettling sight of Cyan staring back at me from within the walls of the MK cartridge. I came across the following post from a fellow customer. Because of the predicaments’ similarities, I thought it best to repost.

[I]Leak in 9900 cartridge

This morning when I was doing basic maintenance on our 9900 I removed the VLM cartridge (to do the every 2 week level check and shake). There was ink dripping out of the VLM cartridge, and I saw that there was a pool of ink on the interior of the cart, but outside of the refillable bag.

All the other 4 cartridges in the right-side printer bay (VM, LK, G, and LLK) have a pool of light magenta in their interior outside the refillable bag as well. There is VLM on the air inlet port of each of these cartridges.

In reading a similar situation on the Forum a few minutes ago it seems like “one cartridge has a leaking internal ink bag, and that caused ink to leak out of the air inlet point, which traveled thru the pressure lines and into the air inlet points of the other cartridges, getting ink in the cartridge body of the other carts.”

My questions are:

  1. Can we get a VLM replacement cartridge? How quickly?

  2. I see instructions on clearing out the pooled light magenta ink from the other right bay cartridges “you can tilt the carts forward to force ink forward, which will drip out of the air inlet point- drain as much of the ink out of the air inlet point as possible.” Is this adequate or do we need to replace all of these carts as well?

  3. How does the ink traveling through the pressure lines impact the overall health of my 9900? Are there special instructions for getting the magenta ink out of the pressure lines?

  4. Do I need to send pictures. If so what specifically would be the most helpful to see?[/I]

Unfortunately, both my left [I]and[/I] right ink bays appear to each be harboring a culprit; cyan having found its way throughout the left, while LK has infiltrated two cartridges on the right. Ink hasn’t travelled anywhere else other than in and around the air nozzles and, after pouring through other related threads, I’m relieved that the extent of ink cross-breeding is surely less than I had originally feared.

I understand that I should be using the ol Epson cartridge as a temporary replacement. Is there anything I should be doing otherwise? (or not doing for that matter?)

Thank you for your help in advance. Please let me know if there’s any more information I’d be able to provide along with how you’d prefer I document the issue.

In touch,


Hi Kyle~

I’m sorry to hear you experienced failure with the internal bag of two carts after over two years of use with good results.
After reviewing your order history, I see you bought a set of 350ml internal bag style carts for your 9890 in early 2012. I have some questions to help me get a better understanding of your situation, in hopes to determine what caused the cartridge failure you experienced, as I’ve only heard of one other bag cartridge going bad over years of good results, so this is a new issue that I’d like to look into more.

About how often have you been using the printer vs. how long does it sit unused?
Is the printer turned off, or left on when not in use?
After filling/refilling carts, how have you been removing air from the ink bag and priming exit channels with ink- with a straightened paperclip, a plain syringe, a syringe with priming tip attached, or??
Do you recall about how long ago you last refilled these two carts?

If a bag ruptures and leaks out of the air inlet point, it’s forced with air pressure thru the air tube, which is how it enters other carts down the line. Ink that enters the air inlet point of a cartridge doesn’t damage the cart, or contaminate the ink (as long as the internal bag of that cart is in tact), but looks messy. The majority of ink can be poured out the air inlet point by tilting the cart down. You will want to carefully wipe up any excess ink in the cartridge bays using paper towels, and immediately stop use of the two leaking carts. I know you have already ordered replacement carts, and should receive them shortly. Tilt the carts that got ink injected into the body to drain as much ink as possible, before reinstalling carts into the printer.

You and many other customers have had great results with these carts for years, but after your recent experience with these two carts, we’d like to offer you a discount to get a set of the new style carts, if you’d like.

Please let me know.
Best~ Dana