If you have a large format printer your going to be familiar with a maintenance tank. A maintenance tank is simply a tank for the leftover ink, this tank fills up over time and needs to be replace. Its extremely expensive for large format printers, around $20 just to store waste ink.
All printers have a waste or maintenance tank. Most of the time its just a small section of the printer which has a small non removable tank. Most manufacturers assumed that when this tank is filled up your printer is already old and you no longer want to use your printer. Its a logical decision for printer manufacturers since it takes years to fill it up with normal use, but with a printer converted to CISS its a very big problem.
Most CISS converted printers will complain about have a full maintenance tank and will display an error. Most of the time you will need to bring your printer to a CISS provider to have it cleaned and have the maintenance tank emptied. There are some models which are easy to clean but for most printers the maintenance tank is located in an areas where you have to remove some major parts and require some experience. I do advice anyone to just bring your CISS printer to a shop if you don’t want to risk any ink spills inside the printer. There are some ways to solve this problem and avoid having to bring your CISS to a shop.
There is one way to solve this problem from the beginning of a CISS conversion and that is to install a maintenance tank outside the printer. This way you can empty the waste ink anytime without the help of a technician.
The picture above is from a Canon AP1980 one of the cheapest printers from Canon. A hole was drilled inside the printer to siphon the waste ink to an external waste or maintenance tank. This conversion was done for free when it was converted to use CISS. This form of modification keeps your waste ink safely stored outside the printer keeping everything cleaned inside.
I would advice anyone wanting to convert their printer to check with their installer if an external waste ink can also be installed. The printer above has been on operation for almost 2 years and as not been to a shop or opened in any way. We did empty the maintenance ink several times which would have been a problem if not for the external waste tank.