Printer mechanical problems/lexmark s515


QUESTION: my family has purchased the lexmark s515. and i was wondering about its ink management? and if you know anything about it? i personally would not have bought this printer, but i am the one that needs to manage it. i am not familiar with "built in" print heads.i was wondering if i could print only using a black ink cartridge? or will that destroy the printhead?

ANSWER: Thank you for your question.

This particular printer requires a full set of cartridges in order to print. if your printer detects that a cartridge is missing or has ran out of ink it will refuse to print.

This is however done for your protection. If you somehow managed to trick the printer into thinking there was ink available you run the risk of damaging the printhead as it pulls in air with force past its delicate components and heats it up as it would ink.

With regards to ink management, this printer estimates the ink level of the cartridges by calculating page coverage and monitoring how many pages have been printed in the life of the cartridge. It does this by communicating with a small electronic chip just under the label of the cartridge.

I hope this helps but if you have any other queries please don't hesitate to get in touch.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: turns out we can still return it, we are gonna go that route.besides for hp could you tell me which companies build in the print head into the catridge? and which companies don't make you replace cartridges when the have been refiled at home? because my hp sometimes will reject a catrdige if it decides it has been used for too long.

You can normally identify a printer with printheads in the cartridges by looking at how many cartridges the printer takes in total. With the exception of Kodak/Advent and some very old Epson printers a printer that takes a single black and a tri-colour cartridge will almost certainly have printheads as part of the cartridge. This includes printer by Canon, Dell, Lexmark and HP (as you have rightly stated).

With the exception of Lexmark "Returns Program" cartridges all of these cartridges will allow you to refill them. You may however need to indicter to the printer in some way that you wish to carry on using the cartridge despite the printer thinking the cartridge is empty. These cartridges are notoriously sensitive electronically so it is relatively common for a printer to not be able to recognise a cartridge after refilling if you do it yourself at home.

I hope this helps but if you have any further queries please do get in touch.

Printer mechanical problems

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Matt Stevenson


Questions regarding inkjet/laser printers, whether they relate to specific problems or printers in general. I can also offer in-depth troubleshooting for a variety of issues relating to printer consumables and hardware.


I have been involved in the printer industry since I was 18 and have worked for a major UK retailer of printer consumables (Refresh Cartridges) since 2009. I also maintain the company blog and have written on a variety of technical issues. I have also spent time answerring printer related questions on FixYa and Yahoo answers recently. Examples of my answers can be found here or here

Other than my work with Refresh I do not belong to any other printer related organisations.

Our company blog here at Refresh Cartridges:

A Levels in English Literature and Media Studies

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