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Canon Pixma ip1500 Print Head Problems, this will have you speechless!!

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by JeriWinter, Dec 26, 2007.

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  1. JeriWinter

    JeriWinter Thread Starter

    Aug 29, 2007
    Ok, so I've had my printer for a longggg time now. I got my cartridges refilled recently and haven't used the printer since then apart from a couple of pages the same day. Yesterday I tried to print but it only prints in yellow.
    So I figure print head must be clogged. I have ran warm water through it, didn't fix the problem. I sat it in a saucer of isopropyl alcohol until the ink ran. Yay! So I put it back in the computer and did a test print. It only printed in black! Then I ran cleaning and the next test print came out black!!
    When I removed the print head unit it had ink smudges of all colours on it, which means the ink must be flowing and that the problem is not the print head but something between it and the paper. I am absolutely clueless on what it could be! Also, where the print head unit comes to rest is always covered in fresh ink, when I check.
    Any help would be greatly appreciated.
  2. VirtualOptics


    Jan 1, 2008
    I was also very frustrated with my wife's printer. Since she does not use it very often, the print heads get clogged from ink in the printer head. I have successfully cleaning this one by pouring hot water into the print head container and waiting for it to cool down, then following it up with isopropyl alcohol. Using toilet tissue, wipe the bottom of the ink jets until the color and black is about run out. Hold the head level so that the alcohol does not dump out while wiping the jets.

    Fill up your cartridges with ink. I buy bulk ink so I don't have to pay so much for ink replacement. I have bottles for each color (C, M, Y) and black that have needle tips. If you do not have this you could use medical dropper bottles. Ask the pharmacist for these and explain what you're doing and he will probably give them to you. They also have syringes with blunt metal tips, but he may be more reluctant to hand those out for fear of drug misuse.

    The ink is entered into the top of the Canon branded cartridges by prying off the rectangular covers. Make sure you put the right color ink into the three openings for the color cartridge. To determine this, use a toothpick to poke in and get a sample on the toothpick. Once you know the correct opening, Mark it by either a sticker or sharp steel marker on the cartridge next to each opening. The best way seems to drip the ink into the openings until you have added the amount specified for each color. These cartridges hold 5 1/2 ml of each color and 12 ml of black. If your guessing, ink will start dripping out the bottom of the cartridge. Too much ink can also be a problem, so if this occurs, use a paper towel to absorb a spot about 3 inches in diameter, before installing the cartridge in the printer head.

    I also clean the contacts on the side of the printer head with a dry Scotch scrubber used for cleaning pots and pans. Sometimes, the contact between the copper points within the printer carriage and the printer head becomes oxidized and do not reliably transfer the printing signals. Cleaning the contacts this way wil help.

    Install the newly filled cartridges and the printer head into the printer and use the Maintenance option under printer settings in the Control Panel. It will guide you through the cleaning process. When you do this having removed the printer head from the printer, a message will come up asking if you had installed new cartridges. This will set a counter in the computer to zero and each time you print a document or use the cleaning procedure this counter is incremented upward. At some point, the levels of ink displayed will graphically drop down. You should see three bars for the color cartridge. For some reason, my wife's computer does not seem to show the cyan bar every time, but it has not prevented the printer from working. These bars are not actually sensing the level of ink, but just assuming it drops as prints are made. You should check this ink level every day that you actually use your printeer. If it drops to 1/4 full, then refill the cartridges as before.

    Use the deep cleaning process several times and then try a nozzle test print. You can continue normal cleaning from the screen that shows the desired nozzle printing pattern. It may take 10 or 12 cleaning cycles to get it working properly. To save on paper, I use the same sheet of paper turned either way and end first to get 4 test prints out of each sheet. If you cannot get a particular color to print, then your print head is damaged and it will have to be replaced. This will be expensive (about $50) so be patient with your testing.

    Be sure to turn off your printer when not using it, so that the heads will be parked in the closed vacuum chamber to the right end of the printer. This will slow down ink from drying within the ink jets. You should at least run the nozzle check once a week if you do not use your printer frequently. This printer is a bit of bother to keep clean, but it is one that is relatively easy to refill from bulk ink, so has a tradeoff in this regard.
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