Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Fix a Clogged Canon Print Head

My MP520 is a wonderful machine for general purpose printing. It scans and copies and the ink is a reasonable cost. Especially when purchased on eBay from places like 123ink.ca …

But sometimes the print heads will block permanently. In my case, the black ink suddenly stopped coming out. Colors printed perfectly but black was blank. I tried everything, including buying a new ink cartridge.

Well, it turns out that the head was just clogged and that cleaning it is as easy a task as you could imagine.

What I did (thanks to the many articles on the Internet):

  1. Raise the whole scanning bed up until the arm drops to hold it up. The ink tanks will move to the center.
  2. Remove the four ink cartridges and place in a lunch-sized baggy, I recommend you put them in their in the same configuration you see here as that makes reassembly a trivial and error-free operation.
  3. Prop the inks up somewhere exactly as they sit in the tank. This will keep the ink flowing properly once reinstalled.
  4. Lift the arm on the left of the ink tanks, as shown in the imagei n step 2.
  5. Once lifted, the holder at the back that contains the print heads will be loose. Grab the top and tilt it gently forward until it lifts out.
  6. In a container (I used my bathroom sink) fill with very hot water and some Ammonia based window cleaner. Drop the print head holder into the water and let soak for several hours.
  7. Take the heads out of the water (you will see the water filled with ink) and place right side up onto some folded paper towel or tissue paper. Make that thick as a surprising amount of ink will run from the color heads.
  8. Reinstall the heads and add the ink tanks back.
  9. Recharge the heads – I used one cleaning cycle to do that.
  10. Print a nozzle check pattern. Mine came out perfect.

So I saved myself the price of a new printer. Try it, it’s a simple job and the printer prints like new again.

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