Canon i450 / i455 : Anyone else having replacement print head problems?

Discussion in 'Computer Support' started by triffid, Feb 12, 2006.

  1. triffid

    triffid Guest

    I have a Canon i455 (AKA i450, Pixma 455i, Pixma 450i.....) with a
    faulty print head. It worked fine for a while, then (through my own
    negligence, as far as I can tell), the black output dried up and ceased
    altogether. However, the colour-nozzle output was (and remains) fine.

    The problem is this; I purchased a brand-new print-head (QY6-0054-000).
    It did not output *at all* (that is, the head and paper moved as
    expected, but the paper remained blank). I tried different ink tanks
    (*), including my old ones, and brand new Canon ones. Still no output.

    When the old print head was put back in the printer, the colour output
    worked again.

    I exchanged the new print head for a second. This also did not work at

    One person I'd spoken to at the supplier mentioned (IIRC) that they'd
    had a faulty batch. Another suggested that Canon's quality control was
    rubbish, and that other people had encountered similar problems. They
    were actually very helpful about it, but I didn't want to risk another
    faulty print head from the same batch. So I got print head #3 from a
    different supplier.

    This one has the exact same problem as the first two, regardless of
    which ink tanks are used. And yet, whenever the old print head is
    replaced, I'm able to print colour (i.e. yellow, cyan and magenta) with
    no problems.

    This is weird (and annoying). If my printer was mechanically or
    electronically damaged, why would it continue to provide partial
    operation with the old print head, and yet not work at all with the
    three new ones?

    Have I really been unlucky enough to get three faulty print heads? Has
    anyone else out there had the same experience?

    (*) Bear in mind that Canons generally have separately-replaced ink
    tanks and print heads.

    triffid, Feb 12, 2006
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  2. triffid

    measekite Guest

    measekite, Feb 12, 2006
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  3. triffid

    SgtMinor Guest

    Have you tried Canon's website and have you gone through all the
    suggested steps?

    I have used a number of Canon printers over the years and have
    never had a problem with print heads or printed output. And I
    only use dirt cheap replacement cartridges that I buy on eBay.

    If you have access to an ultrasonic cleaner, you might try using
    that on the old print head.
    SgtMinor, Feb 12, 2006
  4. triffid

    triffid Guest

    I've already spoken to Canon technical support twice, and they gave the
    (entirely expected) pat answers and suggested steps, but nothing I
    hadn't considered already. I'm afraid the site you suggested didn't
    present anything new either.

    I suspect the black component of the old print head is damaged beyond
    repair; it probably died because (having used it briefly before, then
    put it away), I forgot to remove a piece of sticky tape covering the
    hole at the *top* of the tank. This eventually stopped the ink flowing,
    the heads (I guess) got damaged, and it no longer worked. Perhaps using
    methylated spirits instead of isopropyl alcohol to clean the heads a
    second time was a bad idea too (worked first time round).

    This doesn't explain why the new heads don't work, or why the old one
    works where expected, and the new ones don't work at all.

    Anyhow, thanks for your suggestion. To be honest, I wouldn't resent
    having to replace the print head if I could get one that worked(!) What
    I really dislike is the prospect of having to bin an otherwise working
    printer that (up until now) I was very happy with- that, and the fact
    that the "disposable" attitude underlying the consumer printer market
    disgusts me.

    triffid, Feb 12, 2006
  5. triffid

    Budweiser Guest

    Run the cleaning programme
    Budweiser, Feb 12, 2006
  6. triffid

    measekite Guest

    measekite, Feb 12, 2006
  7. triffid

    SgtMinor Guest

    Since you seem to have tried nearly everything, I assume you also
    looked closely at the new print heads and compared and contrasted
    them to the one that partially works, and that you are convinced
    they are the same. And you've tried aligning them - some Canons
    allow manual alignment.

    I have not dissembled a printer to see what lies below the print
    head, but given that you are not able to make the unit work, have
    you given thought to taking it apart? Even if you can't fix it
    you may learn something.

    As to your concluding comment, I can't agree. I have moved from
    8086 based computers to 286, 486, Pentium III and now Pentium IV,
    and from dot matrix through a variety of ink jets to my current
    ip6000d, and an old HP Laserjet. None of the systems I upgraded
    from were broken, but the newer ones offered features that I
    didn't want to do without.

    And you're getting more value. I recently bought a 20" LCD for
    less than $400US. I can now buy 2 Pentium IV machines with 19"
    LCDs for less than I paid for my 286 with an amber 9" monitor some
    years back. Everything in the PC market is disposable, and I've
    gotten used to it. The sad thing, to me, is that little or
    nothing is recyclable.
    SgtMinor, Feb 12, 2006
  8. triffid

    Gary Tait Guest

    The printhean on my i320 went out, I just packed it up and bought a new
    Pixma iP5000.
    Gary Tait, Feb 13, 2006
  9. triffid

    triffid Guest

    Oddly, there appear to be minor cosmetic differences in the lettering
    on very close inspection; however, IIRC Canon have changed the part
    number, and numbers 1 and 2 (from company A) look the same as number 3
    (from company B). Given this, I don't believe them to be counterfeit.
    If there *is* a fault with the printer, it's likely to be electronic.
    I'm not going to attempt to diagnose/fix that.
    I took my previous printer (BJC-4300) apart, and learned that.... once
    put together, these printers are not designed to be taken apart again
    I did fix it, and got another 2 1/2 years life out of it, but that was
    clearly a mechanical fault.

    Regarding your upgrade comment; yes, I decided to get a new printer
    rather than spend less money replacing the print head on my BJC-4300,
    because the specification of the new model was so much better (it was
    even better than I'd expected in practice).

    However, my comment was regarding the

    And a newer printer might not have the Linux support I need. A newer
    printer might not have cheap ink so easily available (takes time for
    manufacturers to do this, apparently) or at all (I've heard that Canon
    have started chipping carts on their newer printers; if so, **** 'em,
    they've just removed the one benefit they had over their competition).

    And in this case, I'm really struggling to figure out what benefits a
    newer model might give me in light of the above; because the i455 does
    what I need more than well enough. It's even virtually photo-quality
    with the right paper, and I'm not paying more for any better quality,
    because it ends up being cheaper to get someone else to do digital
    prints then.

    I'm sure some marketing guy in Canon could contrive a selling point for
    upgrading from an i455, but for my purposes he'd have a *very* hard

    triffid, Feb 13, 2006
  10. triffid

    triffid Guest

    You mean like "clean" and "deep clean"? Sorry, done it.

    It shouldn't be necessary with a brand new print-head; and if *nothing*
    is being output, it's likely more than a couple of blocked nozzles.

    triffid, Feb 13, 2006
  11. triffid

    HMV Guest

    My Canon i455 has just done exactly the same thing. It will print colour
    fine, but black is patchy and not of sufficient quality to be useable.

    I have done the cleaning cycle (to the point of using a whole black cart in
    the proccess) many times.
    I have blasted the printhead sponge with compressed air - which restored the
    black for one days printing - but next day was just as bad as before
    I have tried everything I can to get this good printer to work.

    I'm thinking it's past it's useful life now. A new printhead will cost me
    around £55. Considering that I only spent £70 buying the printer in the
    first place, I'm considering a new printer soon. As others have said, I
    bought Canon because they only have ink tanks, and not expensive
    electronics/printhead with each cart. It's been very economical to run over
    the last 3 years - but I guess nothing lasts forever.

    I will be looking for another Canon printer - but if they are chipped, or
    have printheads as part of cartridge - then I will be considering a cheap
    B&W laser instead. Do Canon not realise that the ink tank system gave them
    the edge on other printer makers, like Lexmark and HP? Running costs are THE
    most important consideration for me when buying a printer. But sadly many
    people are tricked into buying a £30 printer that costs £60 each time it
    needs new ink. Those sort of running costs are completly unacceptable to me.

    I'm quite annoyed by this, as the i455 is the best printer I've ever owned.
    3 years of faultless operation - then this. Can't even by another i455 as I
    bought mine just as it was replaced with a new model (hence the cheap
    purchase price).


    HMV, Feb 13, 2006
  12. triffid

    old jon Guest

    old jon, Feb 13, 2006
  13. triffid

    measekite Guest

    measekite, Feb 13, 2006
  14. triffid

    Tony Guest

    Have you tried soaking the print heads in cleaner overnight? Its never
    failed for me with both Epson and Canon print heads. I soak them in a tray
    with the cleaning fluid about a quarter inch deep overnight. If you have a
    syringe like the ones you get with refill kits, you can carefully drip some
    cleaning fluid into the nozzle inlets at the top. Although it is not
    recommend to force the fluid through, I have got away with squirting it with
    a bit of force at the inlets. Be careful not to touch the inlets with the
    metal "needle" of the syringe because it can damage the plastic and block
    the inlets which are very small.

    Also make sure there is nothing obstructing the cleaning pad. Some
    printers have a little tab about three quarters of an inch long that
    sometimes gets dislodged and sits on top of the cleaning pad, stopping the
    cleaning cycle from working properly. The tab should be tucked underneath
    the cleaning pad.
    Tony, Feb 13, 2006
  15. triffid

    Spuds Guest

    What do you use for cleaner?
    Spuds, Feb 13, 2006
  16. triffid

    triffid Guest

    Yes; I've tried soaking the head. Worked the first time, didn't work
    the second time (though if the problem that time round is what I think
    it was, then it wouldn't have worked anyway).

    Perhaps I should have used isopropyl alcohol instead of methylated
    spirit, though.

    Regarding the syringe issue, ironically I don't have one because the
    compatible ink tanks for this printer were cheap enough to make it not
    worthy my time faffing about with refill kits. That's why I liked
    Canon; use of the past tense intentional, considering my current
    experiences and what I've heard about more recent models.

    triffid, Feb 13, 2006
  17. triffid

    measekite Guest

    measekite, Feb 13, 2006
  18. triffid

    SleeperMan Guest

    just bear in mind that today's printers life expectancy is about 18 months,
    so you were granted those 18 extra...head do wear out, but also mechanics,
    flat cable,'s not worthed to do anything when it dies,
    just trash it...sorry, but it's just tha fact of life. Look laser
    ones...whole printer is about the cost of replacement toner cart...
    even if chip is used on new canon models, old carts can still be refilled an
    chip easily bypassed ( if i understand correctly, from printer properties
    when you install used cart).
    SleeperMan, Feb 20, 2006
  19. triffid

    triffid Guest

    Complete bullshit. It's not a "fact of life", it's a fact of the
    screwed up economic model of the inkjet (and to some extent laser)
    printer industry.
    So let's waste all that energy and materials producing a new printer.
    Then let's put the old one in a landfill which someone will almost
    certainly be paying to sort out at some stage. Simply because the
    printer was (IMHO deliberately) designed to fail after a short length
    of time to keep people buying new ones.

    I bought a new printer because after the third faulty head, it was
    clear that there was a good chance of my getting a fourth, and it was a
    disproportionate pain in the backside every time I had to return the
    damn thing. This doesn't mean that I'm happy about it or "accept" it.

    - triffid
    triffid, Feb 22, 2006
  20. triffid

    SleeperMan Guest

    whatever. It really doesn't matter who's to blame. The point is what i said.

    yep. and you paid the price at which you could get veeeery decent photo
    printer. sure, it is your (or anyone else's) choice. If anyone wishes to
    spend, say, 100 bucks for heads while new printer costs only 50, i won't
    come there and put him/her into jail. It's just not worhted. i mean...i
    wouldn't buy even one new head...look this way...for the price of that one
    head ( i won't even talk about 3) you could get a new printer, newer model
    with better characteristics, faster, if you have money to waste,
    be my guest. It's your choice. I don't say i love it, it's just "fact of
    SleeperMan, Feb 22, 2006
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