Is it difficult to install a CISS?
For most Brother printers the installation of the CISS is very simple. In the vast majority of cases it is as simple as installing the original cartridges.
A copy of the installation instructions can be seen via the videos/manual tab so you can get a good understanding of the process
Should I keep my original cartridges that came with the printer?
We recommend keeping the cartridges which came with your printer.
Before installing the CISS they are needed to ensure your print head is printing correctly. Also, should you ever have a genuine warranty issue with your printer most manufacturers require you to have genuine cartridges installed when having the printer repaired.
Why should I use a CISS instead of normal cartridges?
The simple answer is that you are wasting money not using one, and significant amounts of money at that. Using a CISS reduces the cost of printing significantly, in fact by up to 95%. Even with the initial cost it is roughly the price of one set of cartridges but you get at least 10 times the amount of ink.
If and when you need to refill the CISS you can legitimately save an average of $1,000.00. Whilst all brands and cartridges contain different amounts of ink and are all priced differently an average cartridge these days contains less than 10mils of ink and cost around the $25 mark. So you pay around $2.5 for every mil of ink. A bottle of the highest quality premium refill ink from inkghost costs around $14 for 100mils, so 14c per mill. This would make your $25 cartridge cost you $1.40 from Inkghost.
Does installing a CISS void my printer's warranty?
This is a very grey area. Strictly speaking any printer modification will void any warranty.
A CISS is not a modification and is the same as using any other third party cartridge. Further the use of third party cartridges (such as a CISS) MAY void a warranty. In most cases a manufacturer requires their particular brand of cartridges to be installed before undertaking any repairs. So simply removing the CISS and reinserting a set of cartridges when returning the printer for repair would satisfy this requirement.
Over the years we have sold tens of thousands of CISS units and are only aware of one case where a repair agent refused to repair a printer (with the CISS removed) and in that case the consumer had informed the manufacturer they had been using third party cartridges. In this case the customer chose to challenge the matter by taking it to the local small claims tribunal which resulted in the repairer having to repair the printer as the damages were unrelated to the use of the CISS.
Our advice is to consider that your warranty would be voided by using a CISS however the fact that you will save much more money in the long run far outweighs the warranty issue. These days it is often cheaper to buy a new printer than one set of genuine cartridges.
Where do I place the CISS once installed?
The CISS ink reservoir sits outside your printer on the same bench or table as your printer.
Are there any situations when using a CISS is not recommended?
If you very rarely print and take more than a year to go through cartridges then it may not be for you. Ink does have a shelf life. The quality of the ink dictates the shelf life.
Basic quality inks have a 3 month shelf life, standard around 6 months and Premium up to 18months. All the inks can be used well past these periods but will fade quicker the older they are.
I've heard that third party inks can damage my print head and printer?
This is true and it is often difficult to wade through the 'creative' advertising of ink sellers to determine fact from fiction. A quick look on Ebay and you will see hundreds of inks for sale with the majority having been manufactured in Asia. Most of these inks have been manufactured for the Asian market which has a low income average, thus their priority is price over quality. This means using cheaper core products and carrier fluids and skimping on things like filtration. Generally the cheaper inks have a significantly less shelf life (as low as 3 months), where the highest quality inks can be used for years without the fade life decreasing or the particle size swelling.
It is a complex subject but suffice to say we make sure we offer three qualities of ink and make sure none of them contain anything that will damage the print heads. Generally speaking the chemical makeup of the inks is almost identical to the OEM manufactures inks.
What is the quality of the print out like?
Generic inks from our Basic and Standard CISS systems are very basic, and quality may be fairly average, good for basic home use and printing text documents. The colours are reasonably accurate but not as photographically accurate as the premium inks from RIHAC.
Basic and Standard inks will also have a limited life when exposed to sunlight and UV light. The results vary depending on exposure but prints can start to fade within weeks of printing and it is accepted that basic dye inks can be up to 80% less durable than OEM inks, standard dye inks around 60% less durable and premium dye inks around 25% .
If you would like to print photos and higher quality documents and/or you require longer print life you may want to consider the Premium Rihac Inklink CISS System combined with a good quality inkjet photo paper. The paper you print on has a significant effect on your print life. It is often the photo paper which dictates the life of the print with the higher end papers (resin encapsulated) significantly prolonging print life.
Are there any precautions to using a CISS?
There are very few rules for using a CISS because they are essentially just a big cartridge. However there is one major golden rule:
NEVER raise the system above the printer. It is common sense because liquid (ink included) always tries to go to the lowest point. If you raise the system above your printer that lowest point will be inside your printer. You cannot fool gravity and you we are good but we cannot trick the laws of physics. All CISS systems are designed to sit on the same table as your printer, that way the lowest point is the ink reservoir. All CISS systems are designed this way deliberately to ensure the ink cannot leak into your printer.
HEAT – Common sense here but it's not a good idea to have your ink reservoir in a place where it is exposed to radiant heat, for example having exposed to the radiant sun shine through the window on a 35 degree day. Air expands when heated and a CISS system balances using barometric pressure. So if the air inside the ink reservoir expands enough it can push some ink up the air balance tubes and this can overflow small amounts of ink from the top of the reservoir. This can easily be avoided by keeping the unit out of extreme heat conditions and by ensuring when you first install the CISS you follow the instructions and empty the air balance tubes.
I've heard they stuff up after a while?
CISS units are extremely simplistic in design. The greatest problem we see is people not reading the instruction manual and installing the units by guessing. You have a perfectly good instruction manual so please read it.
Really the only inconvenience is air in the system and this is generally because it was not removed prior to installation. Then when it does become an issue it can effect print quality which prompts some customers to again not read the manual but to 'self diagnose' and do things like raising the ink system above the printer which pushes ink into the printer and actually makes the air issue worse.
Again these are very simple issues to avoid by simply reading the installation manual or watching our videos.
Do I get any support with this product?
The basic and standard systems are import product manufactured by Chinese manufacturers. The instructions are basic and support is very limited.
If you are looking for a system with great support consider the Premium option, in this case the Rihac Inklink. It is a higher quality product and support is 100% provided by the manufacturer, rihac based in Melbourne. No one knows CISS better than them after all they invented it.
Are there any instructions with this unit?
The basic and standard systems come with basic setup instructions. The premium quality units come with a far more in-depth manual which covers all troubleshooting and support issues.
Are these inks dye, pigment or sublimation ink?
Brother printers use dye based ink.
Dye ink is a water based ink and is a great all round ink. It produces fantastic vivid prints when used on inkjet photo paper but is not waterproof.
Dye inks are also susceptible to fading caused by the molecular breakdown caused by UV light.
There are other types of inks such as pigment which have a far greater UV life however these are not suitable for use in brother inkjet printers as they have thicker particle sizes and can cause blockages of the print head.
Sublimation ink is a patented ink which turns into a gas when heated. It is used to print onto t-shirts and items which have special coatings to hold the inks.
Sublimation ink and printing is a specialised item and not suitable in brother printers as the inks tend to block the internal print ink feed lines of the print head.