Why is My Fountain Pen Leaking?

Believe it or not, fountain pens sometimes get a bad reputation, especially among people who haven’t had the chance to properly write with one yet. Quite often, these pens are regarded as impractical and too fancy for everyday writing. Even more common is the notion that these pens are only made for elaborate calligraphy. 


Perhaps one of the biggest misconceptions is that fountain pens are unreliable because they leak all over the place. The media sometimes portrays fountain pens this way, shooting out ink and drenching everything in sight. While leaky fountain pens are very much a real thing, most properly-designed fountain pens do not leak.


If one of your pens is leaking, then don’t fret; it is possible to get to the bottom of the problem and find a way to fix it. 


So, why is your fountain pen leaking in the first place?



Temperature can significantly affect how ink flows in your pen. As much as possible, it is recommended that you keep your pen in a cool, dry place. Warmth can cause the air in your pen to expand. As it takes up space inside the pen, it displaces the ink, which flows through the feed and out of the nib. 


A tip for solving common fountain pen problems such as this is to keep your pen stored in cool, dry places. Avoid keeping it in your back pocket as your body heat may affect the pen. It is also best not to leave them in places like glove compartments in cars, which tend to get very hot.


Storage method

Storing your pen correctly will prevent leakages. We recommend that you always store your fountain pen with the nib facing up. Storing it on its side is also acceptable. However, some ink outside the cartridge or piston may manage to escape with a little bit of help from gravity. This is why it is best to store pens with the nib pointing upwards, especially for long periods. 


Carrying your pens this way is also important. Whether it’s in your shirt pocket, in a pen case, or simply in your bag, secure your fountain pen so that it is sitting upright. 


Overfilling your pen

A mistake that fountain pen users might make (though uncommon) is overfilling their piston pens. This can cause leaks since the pen is holding more ink than it is designed to handle. Overfilling your pen increases the pressure inside it, which can cause the ink to be pushed out through the nib, especially when the pen is not in use. 


To avoid this, make sure to check how much ink your specific fountain pen model is designed to hold. Most fountain pen models will have an indicator in the manual or on the barrel itself.


Type of cap used

One of the reasons why your pen might be leaking is that it uses a pull cap rather than a twist one. While there is nothing inherently wrong with the pull cap design, pulling it off the pen may create some suction on the nib. This causes ink to come out of the nib before it touches the paper. 


Most entry-level fountain pens use this type of cap design, such as the Preppy model from Platinum. If you notice that the nib of your pen is always wet right after you pull the cap off, then it might be causing leaking issues. There’s no other solution here than to get another pen with a twist cap to avoid the same problem.


Cartridge or converter installation

Sometimes leaks happen when your cartridge-converter pen is not installed properly. Every time you place a cartridge or converter into your pen’s section, make sure that it fits snugly. This will ensure that ink will not leak out and give you a better writing experience.


As we’ve covered here, fountain pens leak for a variety of reasons. However, that doesn’t mean that they are unreliable, leaky pens by default. Knowing how to store, handle, and maintain your fountain pen is just as important as writing with it. By mastering these basics, you’ll be able to avoid leaky pens with no problem. 



Written by EndlessPens Blogger Ramona Kabigting

Author: RamonaTutorial

1 comment

William F Northcott

I have an inexpensive Hero 616 that only leaks when the ink supply is low. Any ideas?

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