How to Stop Fountain Pens from Leaking in 7 Simple Steps

How to Stop Fountain Pens from Leaking in 7 Simple Steps

One of the major concerns when buying a fountain pen is the numerous stories talking about leaking fountain pens. In this article, you will learn 7 ways to stop fountain pens from leaking.

The media sometimes portrays fountain pens that way. The big question arising from all these concerns is, how do you exactly stop your fountain pen from leaking?

A properly working fountain pen does not leak. Leaking fountain pens directly result from there being a damaged part on the fountain pen or its improper maintenance. Unless a fountain pen part needs repair, regular cleaning and checking prevent the fountain pen’s leaking.

There are a lot of myths and misconceptions surrounding the use of fountain pens, including:

  • You cannot carry your fountain pen with you when on an airplane.
  • Fountain pens will shoot and drench their ink on you.
  • When another person uses your pen, they spoil the nib.

Read on below to get tips on how to keep your fountain pen from leaking at high altitudes, nib leaking, and preventing the ink from leaking into the cap.

Tips on How to Stop Fountain Pens from Leaking

Keep your Fountain Pen Capped

Always ensure that you cap your fountain pen when you are not using it. These pens use capillary and gravity as a mechanism for the ink to reach the nib. If you do not cap the pen, or the cap is loose, the ink may leak on your clothes and ruin them.

Keep your Fountain Pen Upright

An inverted fountain pen will leak ink as ink flows down, filling the fountain’s pen cap, making the ink explode once you open the lid, most probably spilling on your working space or your clothes. To prevent this, always ensure that you keep your fountain pen upright whenever you put it in your pocket.

Always Carry your Fountain Pen Carefully

There is always the chance of something unfortunate happening when you carry your fountain pen around, whether you, the pen parts or something in general. To prevent any leaks caused by these unfortunate events, never put the fountain pen in your back or hip pocket. There is also the possibility of you misplacing your pen when you place it in your hip pocket.

As a precaution measure, always ensure that you carry a pocket protector to prepare yourself better if your fountain pen leaks. Do not mind other peoples’ stares that might come your way because you are wearing a pocket protector. Ideally, this is the best way to carry your fountain pen around.

Always ensure that you place the fountain pen in your shirt pocket, with the pen’s nib pointing up, and with a pocket protector.

Always Keep the Fountain Pen Cool

Completely relatable to carrying your fountain carefully, putting your fountain pen in your back or hip pocket keeps it close to the body. Body heat may cause your pen’s ink to expand and make it leak.

Ideally, it is the air in the converter that expands but not the ink. Once this air expands, it makes the ink to flow out of your fountain pen. The perfect solution to this problem is to place your fountain pen so that the nib faces up and either keeps the pen’s converter empty or fill it with ink.

Keep the Nib Facing Upwards.

The reason to keep your fountain’s pen nib facing upwards is that fountain pens utilize capillary and gravity to get ink from the chamber to the cartilage or the piston.

A fountain pen uses a tiny steel pin fitted through a small hole in the tank to ensure the lever is in place. It leaves no path in the pen’s cartilage, which results in ink pouring out when stored facing downwards.

Install your Ink Cartilage Securely in Place

The best way to make sure there are no leakages for those who opt to use ink cartilages is to ensure that the ink cartilage is screwed incorrectly into the barrel and securely install it in place. Besides, ensure that you tightly seal all the fountain pen parts.

Check your Fountain Pen Regularly

To ensure that the correct working of your fountain pen, regular maintenance is needed. However, this should not be a reason to stop you from getting yourself a fountain pen.

This pen checking activity is therapeutic as it enables you to clear your mind and disconnect from everything focusing all your attention on the pen. You should always ensure that you keep your pen clean at all times and make sure that all the pen parts are in place and proper condition.

Even when kept clean and maintained regularly, some fountain pens will still leak. It may be due to a broken part on the pen. If this happens:

  • Always make an effort to isolate where the leakage is coming from.
  • Leakage from the pen’s tip or the cap most likely originates from the nib.
  • Leakage arising from the pen’s body might indicate an air leak in the pen’s body itself or the pen’s reservoir.

If this does happen, you should always check if there is a way you can repair the pen. If the nib is damaged, try to fix it or have it replaced. If the body is damaged, chances are you will need to send it back to the pen’s manufacturer.

Preventing Fountain Pen Leakage During Flights or in High Altitudes

Fountain pen ink leakage may happen, but it is uncommon and does not occur with every fountain pen on every flight or high altitudes. The reservoir’s air mainly causes ink leakage.

Changes in air pressure after the plane’s takeoff can cause air expansion in the reservoir. It will result in the pen’s ink being forced out through the nib.

To evade this, always fill your fountain’s pen reservoir with ink, ensuring that you leave no air space inside it. You can also keep the pen’s nib or cap pointed upwards for air to escape without forcing out ink through the nib. To completely ensure no leakage will happen during the flight, empty the pen’s ink reservoir on high altitudes or during a flight.

If you are looking for more information there are some other resources available online that may help.

If you have any tips of your own then please leave a comment below so that we can share your wisdom with our readers.

Russell Egan

Russ is a fountain pen enthusiast, ex-fountain pen store owner, and is passionate about sharing the love of calligraphy with the world.

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