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DrKlahn
DrKlahn, Engineer
Category: Printers
Satisfied Customers: 1932
Experience:  BSci: Electrical Engr., Industrial Engr, and Computer Sci.
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getting error message that there is a problem with printhead,

Resolved Question:

getting error message that there is a problem with printhead, consult user's guide. I removed the ink cartridges and printhead and cleaned but still no luck
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Printers
Expert:  DrKlahn replied 10 months ago.

DrKlahn :

Notice / disclosure: JustAnswer is an independent Q&A service not supported by or affiliated with any equipment or software manufacturer. The "9 second" ad does not mean questions are answered in 9 seconds - it means about 400 questions are answered per hour.

DrKlahn :

Please send me a short message when you're online and ready to begin.

DrKlahn :

Thanks for using JustAnswer, the internet's independent site for Q&A consulting. I'm "DrKlahn," and I'd like to help you with this question.

Customer:

I am ready

DrKlahn :

Good evening, and welcome to JustAnswer. I'm Bruce, nicknamed "DrKlahn."

DrKlahn :

Please bear with me a moment for some new-user information.

DrKlahn :

The system indicates that you're a first time user of our site, so do not hesitate to ask any questions you may have about how things work.

DrKlahn :

Before starting, I would like to confirm that you know that JustAnswer is a for-pay Q&A service which is not the official company support site for either Dell or Lexmark (the printer manufacturer)?

Customer:

ok

DrKlahn :

Your troubleshooting so far is outstanding and it saves us about half an hour of time.

DrKlahn :

It is worth noting at the outset that the V715w and the V313 are notorious for this problem, so it is not anything that you did that caused it.

DrKlahn :

The problem is almost surely in the printhead, but Dell does not sell replacement printheads for the V715W. It might be possible to find one on ebay, and we can investigate that later if you like, but the problem will probably recur.

DrKlahn :

How old is the printer?

Customer:

A little over a year old

DrKlahn :

OK. It is out of Dell warranty then, but there may be an unexpected warranty extension. Many credit cards double the warranty on products purchased with their card up to one additional year. Might that apply in this case?

Customer:

Maybe I should just get a new printer? Sounds like this will be more than a printer will cost.

Customer:

no

DrKlahn :

I'm sorry to hear that. Yes, you are correct, it is impractical to have the printer repaired. I can give you a detailed analysis of this situation if you like, but it boils down to "Anywhere from $125 to $200 to fix it."

DrKlahn :

The economically practical solutions are:

DrKlahn :

1. Search ebay for a replacement printhead.

DrKlahn :

2. Search ebay for a good working used V715W.

DrKlahn :

3. Buy a replacement printer from a better manufacturer.

DrKlahn :

Do you have a preference on which approach to take? I can help with all three.

Customer:

I will just buy a new printer. My husband has a Canon printer that he hasn't had a problem with.

DrKlahn :

Canon is always an excellent choice, with Epson a close second. I have some saved information on what to buy and what to avoid in inkjet printers; would you like to see that?

Customer:

sure

DrKlahn :

I also have the links to the online Canon and Epson discount stores, and I will bring those in too.

DrKlahn :

First let me give you links to two commentaries about this problem with the V715W so that you can confirm what I have told you.

DrKlahn :

The following are opinions I've formed over the past twenty years while dealing with inkjet printers from various manufacturers. These comments apply to consumer-grade and office-grade printers.

When shopping for an inkjet, keep in mind that the manufacturer's designed, expected and intended lifetime is 3 to 5 years. That is when the hidden internal waste ink tanks will fill up, and it is generally not economic to empty or replace them. Therefore, do not overspend.

Avoid the following manufacturers:

Brother: Generally the low end of the business.

Kodak: Bankrupt as of 2012. Unreliable printheads. Expensive supplies. Support in the future is not clear.

Lexmark: Leaving the business. Support in the future is not clear.

In the middle: HP. HP puts much effort into making cartridges un-refillable, un-reusable, and has now added built-in expiration dates. The result is that sometimes HP's cartridges do not work in their printers. HP supplies new printers with "starter" cartridges having little ink, requiring two new $40 cartridges soon after purchase.

Better printer manufacturers:

Canon: Excellent diagnostics, with errors reported two ways. Printheads generally replaceable. Ink tanks less expensive than cartridges. Avoid the MP200 series.

Epson: Good quality. Printheads often replaceable. Very inexpensive third-party ink tanks -- Epson lost a lawsuit over this issue.

Anything other than the above manufacturers has thin market penetration and the quality and longevity would be only a guess. However, ink would be expensive due to a limited market.

When buying a new inkjet, expect a five year lifetime. Buy based on the lifetime costs and not the initial cost. Here's an example:

HP printer: $60 printer, uses three $40 cartridges a year = $120/year. Five year cost, $660.

Canon/Epson printer: $120 printer, uses 12 ink tanks a year. Three sets of (4) generic cartridges at $12/set = $36/year. Five year cost, $300.

Side note: Before purchasing a printer, check the benefits flyers for your credit cards. Some card issuers will double the warranty up to one additional year for items bought with their card.

DrKlahn :

While you're reading the above, I'll check the Canon and Epson online stores.

DrKlahn :

The Epson store is currently offline.

DrKlahn :

At the Canon store: Pixma MG3220 at $50, Pixma MX459 at $60. Both are reasonable printers for homes. I would recommend something tougher for an office.

DrKlahn :

(prices nclude shipping)

DrKlahn :

At the Canon retail online store:

DrKlahn :

Pixma MG2220 at $70, Pixma MG3520 at $60. Same class of printers as the previous two.

DrKlahn :

These represent the lowest end of the spectrum for new printer prices. The same printers will be available in retail stores, but the prices will be somewhat higher in a brck-and-mortar store.

DrKlahn :

Do you have questions at this point? Ask anything you like; my time is yours.

Customer:

That's good to know. Thanks for the links and the info.

DrKlahn :

It is my pleasure to help and you're very welcome.

DrKlahn :

Side note: If you should decide to go with a used inkjet printer at any time, beware. Inkjet printers have "waste ink" tanks in the bottom where they store ink wiped off the printheads at the end of a print run. These do fill up and when they become full, it is generally cheaper to replace the printer than to disassemble it and empty the tanks. There is usually no way to tell how full the waste ink tanks are in a used printer!

DrKlahn :

Is there anything I've overlooked, or anything that you would like discussed in more detail, or possibly some other question I might be able to help with? Please feel free to ask - my time is yours for as long as you need it.

DrKlahn :

I also have instructions for how to save this session to a text file for later reference offline. If that would be useful, please let me know.

Customer:

No further questions. You've been a big help and I for sure won't be getting another Dell printer.

DrKlahn :

Well ... the majority of Dell products are very good and Dell stands behind their products like no other computer manufacturer. But the V715 was made for them by Lexmark, and I will just leave that issue at "Break it first and save the time."

DrKlahn :

Would you like to close this question at this time?

Customer:

Yes, please close. Thank you.

DrKlahn :

OK. One moment whle I supply the information so that you can close this question.

DrKlahn :

If anything in this answer is unclear, or if you would like something explained in more detail, do not hesitate to ask.

DrKlahn :

If this answer is unsatisfactory for any reason, do not rate or accept it. A bad rating does not refund your deposit. If you want a refund, ask me - I'll help you get one immediately.

DrKlahn :

Closing a question does not mean support has ended. You can return to this session later and post comments or ask related questions, until the session eventually expires and is archived.

DrKlahn :

If this answer is satisfactory, please close this question using the Rating panel / Accept button. This will credit me for an answer. Thank you for using JustAnswer; it's been my pleasure to serve you today. We'll hope to see you again in the future; between now and then, I wish you a pleasant day and a quick solution to this problem.

DrKlahn :

I'll hold online in case there is a last-minute issue or a problem closing the question. If you encounter a problem during closing, let me know so I can help.

DrKlahn, Engineer
Category: Printers
Satisfied Customers: 1932
Experience: BSci: Electrical Engr., Industrial Engr, and Computer Sci.
DrKlahn and 7 other Printers Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  DrKlahn replied 10 months ago.
I'm sorry that it was not possible to resolve the problem with your V715W online, but I hope that the situation was resolved to your satisfaction.

If you find a printer that you like and would like a second opinion on whether to buy that one, by all means return to this session and ask. There is no charge for follow-ups related to the original question as long as they are posted in the original session.

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