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How does the CISS (continuous ink supply system) work?
Last Updated: 01/01/2013

How does the CISS (continuous ink supply system) work?

 The CISS (also known as the  continuous ink supply system) is compatible with many models of inkjet printers. The system delivers a continuous flow of ink to a special type of ink cartridge, through a capillary system connected to external reservoirs. Cartridges never get dry and you don’t have to replace them. Instead, you need to add ink in the  external tanks when they are almost empty (reaching about 10-20% of capacity).

 The external ink tanks, which are part of the CISS are usually located near the printer. There can be 4, 5, 6 or 8 separate tanks, depending on your printer. Each ink tank is filled with a certain color of ink. Each tube carries the ink from the external tank to the ink cartridges inside the printer. Continuous ink supply systems (CISS) save money that would otherwise have to be spent on expensive ink cartridges which, very often would then be discarded while still containing some ink. When purchased, the CISS is delivered full with ink (about 100ml for each color) and later on, when the ink runs out, you only have to buy and refill the ink for the respective color. The ink used in CISS systems is more economical and you can be sure that you will use all of it.

Another advantage of the system is that the ink cartridge inside the printer is always full and the colors produced are the same no matter how many pages you print in a single job. If you print large numbers of photos, for example, you can rest assured that you will not run out of ink. External tanks are see-through and you can easily see when one color is close to running out and needs to be refilled. But you don’t have to do  this very often, because the CISS tanks contain the equivalent of about 10 to 28 sets of original ink cartridges.

Some printers use ink cartridges with a chip attached, recording the level of ink used. When the cartridge is empty in a certain proportion, the chip will make it impossible to reuse the cartridge, even if it will be refilled. CISS systems used for such printers are equipped with resettable chips, meaning that they can be reset when the printer shows the “ink cartridge empty” error message. The ink cartridges of the CISS system are especially designed to work well for long periods of time.

External tanks should always be placed at the same height (on the same desk/table) with the printer. If they are placed higher than the printer, there is a risk that the ink from the external tanks will flood the printer and possibly damage it. Overall the installation of a CISS can take between 5 and 20 minutes, depending on the model. The package comes with installation and operating instructions in English / French / German. Additionally, our website contains video tutorials in English / French / German explaining step by step the installation process. Note, your printer will not be permanently changed after installing the CISS and you can return anytime to use ordinary cartridges, although we believe you won’t need to do that. offers high quality CISS systems, especially designed, produced and tested for long term reliability under the European market standards. We do have CISS systems available for the best-selling printer models, but not for every model. Before ordering a CISS, please ensure it is compatible with your printer. Our professional staff will be happy to guide you to a correct choice, just send us an email to [email protected]

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