Question for the group - Topping off ink cartridges?

I am using an Epson 7880 and recently refilled all of the ink carts at once and went thru the initial fill routine. That feels like a big waste of ink since the lines are already charged. What do others do? Do you fill and reset carts sooner? Is that a better workflow? Thanks for the help.

From the instructions on this page:

Refilling Cartridges:

Monitor ink levels in the cartridges and refill before the ink reaches about 1” from the bottom to avoid introducing air into the ink lines of your printer. Use the necessary steps from the procedure above for refilling cartridges. Always shake the bottles before filling or refilling cartridges. Fill each cartridge to the “Max” line (or 1/2” from the top) with the correct ink, securely replace the silicone plug in the ink fill hole, reset the chip (see instructions on next page), gently shake the cartridge to get all ink in suspension, tilt the cartridge forward to ensure the exit channel is filled with ink, then reinsert cartridge into the printer and lower the cartridge locking lever.

Why would you run an initial fill after refilling? I don’t see that advised or suggested anywhere. Certainly not for my 3880s and not for my 7600 long ago. Just refill cart, reset chip (if necessary), and go, or am I missing something? Even re-priming should only be needed if you ran dry.


I am not sure why the printer went into initial fill. I had to do the 3 part stand on your head procedure to get out of it!! Is that not norma? I replaced all the carts at once and set them to full and assumed that was why it went into initial fill.

In your initial post it sounded like you intentionally did the initial fill. So that was not the case.

Could this be a peculiarity of this particular printer model? A one-time fluke? Someone with direct experience with the 7880 and/or 9880 may be needed here; or maybe someone who has experienced this behavior with any other model.

All I can say is that it has not occurred with either of my Piezo 3880s or with my 1430 even though my standard practice is to top-off all carts whenever one needs a refill.

Sorry I don’t have anything more insightful.


Desktop printers with cartridges on the head, like the 1430, will do a head clean every time they see a new cartridge, which is how they see a refill. Some of the more recent ones, e.g. R2000 & P400, will do a head clean even if you just pull a cartridge out and put it back in, i.e. no change. At least that’s my experience.

I also have a 3880, and it doesn’t do anything much when I stick in a new cartridge, because there’s no real need to run a clean with all that ink in the lines between the cartridge and the print head. I thought that all printers with ink lines and dampers were like this. Are you sure it was an initial fill and not just a head clean that coincidentally happened to be timed with the refill?