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Question about ink cartridges

What's the function of the small, yellow, plastic tab that needs to be removed before an ink cartridge is installed into a printer?  (I have an Epson 880, by the way.)  Removing the tab doesn't seem to uncover anything in particular -- not that I can see, anyway.  It's not like there are any obvious electrical contacts under there.

This question has long puzzled me.  Googling didn't turn up any promising leads.

Thoughts?

Alex Chernavsky
Wednesday, December 17, 2003

To prevents either leaks or to check that it wasn't used by anyone before being sold to you, or both?

Frederic Faure
Wednesday, December 17, 2003

The plastic strip doesn't cover the part where the ink comes out, so it can't prevent leaks.  I suppose your other hypothesis might be valid, though.

Alex Chernavsky
Wednesday, December 17, 2003

Usually, the tape or tab that needs to be removed from a new inkjet cartridge before it's installed in the printer covers a tiny air passage into the inside of the cartridge. When the air passage is uncovered, it allows the ink to flow from the cartridge through the printheads.

Philip Dickerson
Wednesday, December 17, 2003

Maybe it's to prevent shorts. What kind of wrapping is it in anyway? Is that conductive of electricity or specifically not?

www.MarkTAW.com
Wednesday, December 17, 2003

LOL!

Incoherent Abbreviator
Wednesday, December 17, 2003

IA: LOL

IA FAN
Wednesday, December 17, 2003

Doesn't it usually cover the electrical contacts? That's a bit important, aint it?

Mike Swieton
Wednesday, December 17, 2003

Philip is right, with the tab there is a vacuum - or at least low pressure - in the tank with prevents ink to flow out. It basically is a 'transportation lock'.

I once forgot to remove it (yes, it is bright yellow, all over the top and it says "remove this tab"... users can be that stupid!) and the cartridge stopped to give ink after a page or two. Once removed I could hear air going in and it worked again.

Gertjan
Thursday, December 18, 2003

Yes, the air-hole theory sounds right.

Thank you.

Alex Chernavsky
Thursday, December 18, 2003

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