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Did I break a good print head with a faulty MG5450?

Discussion in 'Canon InkJet Printers' started by Jorik, Dec 26, 2016.

  1. Dec 26, 2016
    Jorik

    Jorik Getting Fingers Dirty

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    Hi there,

    I'm looking for some expert views on what is wrong with my printers. I'll first explain the situation and what I did. Then some scans of nozzle checks and finally my question(s).

    In July 2013 I purchased 2 MG5450 printers/MFCs. One for myself and one for my parents. One of the reasons behind that was that if they had any questions on operating the printer, it would be easier for me to help them. I purchased the printers from a print shop via internet, but they have an actual store in a village close to where my parents live. That shop also sells lots of OEM and off-brand cartridges and I purchased their off-brand cartridges for use with our MG5450's.

    Since then I've told my parents to regularly use the printer, preferably every other week, but at least once a month. If they would be away from home for a few months (they're retired..) I would visit their house every few weeks to water the plants, check the mail and print a few pages :).

    And while we've had some clogged nozzles now and then, we could clean it easily without deep cleaning and as such their printer has been working quite well.

    For my own printer I didn't print quite as regularly. And after a while the printer didn't print any ink at all anymore. The print shop mentioned it could be the cartridges instead of the printer/print head so they sent some replacement cartridges for free. And indeed my printer worked again, first with a few nozzles clogged, but all nozzles seemed fine after a few cleaning cycles.

    Fast forward a bit more and again my printer would not print anything at all. I bought a set of cleaning cartridges in the hope, that this could unclog the nozzles (if that was the problem) and the shop sent another replacement set of cartridges. Now here I probably tried cleaning the print head a bit too vigorously. I later read on this forum, that if you (deep) clean too often, you could overheat and destroy the print heads. I think this is what happened with my printer.

    At this point I became quite frustrated, this was not my first printer that seemed to die as a result of clogged nozzles. So searching online I found some video's/howto's on how to remove the print head from the MG5450 and clean it with windex, distilled water or regular tap water. I did that and cleaned my print head with tap water (the water here is low on minerals) and put it back in the printer. I think it was quite dry, but I can't say that with 100% certainty: I did not wait for multiple hours before re-inserting the print head.

    Now this cleaning didn't help, bit things didn't look worse either: the printer didn't give any errors, but it also wouldn't print any ink. So my next attempt to diagnose and eventually fix was to see if the print head from my parents MG5450 would work correctly in my printer. (After reading in this forum, I understand that a good print head in a faulty printer could kill the print head and when replacing it back into a good printer, it could then also break the good printer :(.)

    Here is a nozzle check from the good MG5450 (parents) before I removed the print head to test it in my own printer:
    Scan P1 Before.jpeg

    Now a nozzle check with that same print head in my MG5450:
    Scan P2.jpeg
    To me this looked quite promising: all colors seemed ok, only PGBK seemed a little distorted. In any case this gave me some confidence that the printer was actually not completely faulty and that a good print head might be able to restore my printer. I didn't quite understand why the good PGBK nozzle check didn't transfer to my printer.

    When I put the good print head back into the good printer (my parents'), this is the nozzle check I received:
    Scan P1 After.jpeg

    So this is the current situation: with my attempt to diagnose what's wrong with my printer, I sort of made my parents printer worse. The PGBK nozzles themselves seem ok, but there's something wrong with the PGBK printing. The text below the patterns also shows the same ghosting effect. Is this a timing issue and is this nozzle pattern a bi-directional printing or could this be the result of breaking the print head in a faulty printer and replacing the now faulty print head in a good printer? (Question 1)

    Naturally my first priority now is to fix my parents printer.
    I found that such issues could be related to the timing strip to be dirty. I don't think I touched the timing strip when removing and re-inserting the print head so I'm a little afraid I may make things worse trying to clean the timing strip. It seems not very easy to get to on the MG5450. So my second question is: next to the timing strip, are there other known causes for such a distortion? I could try to clean the timing strip with Isopropyl Alcohol, but if there are others things I can do to fix this, please let me know!

    My lower priority (the original attempt) was to fix my own printer. From the above steps and the result of the "good print head" in my printer, would you consider my printer logic board dead? Or does the middle nozzle check seem like something that could still be fixed with a good print head?

    On my own printer I performed the purge system test. After a few minutes, the water was still there so no leak and after a cleaning cycle, no traces could be seen of the test, so that seems to be ok.

    In any case it seems all is not lost, with a good print head I could still have some good print outs with my printer, e.g. when not using PGBK.

    Thanks for reading this far, any insight or advice you may have is highly appreciated!
    Jorik

    P.S. After writing this short story I found http://www.printerknowledge.com/thr...dlines-letters-and-barcodes-misaligned.10991/

    This looks very similar to my problems, unfortunately...
     
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  2. Dec 26, 2016
    stratman

    stratman Printer VIP Platinum Printer Member

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    Yes, unfortunately so.

    A magnificent write up of your issue. None better have I ever seen. You have also self diagnosed your printer's problem.

    Cleaning the timing strip is the one thing you can try, but, as you probably realize, the chance that your parent's printer developed a dirty timing strip at the precise moment you reinserted their print head is unlikely. However, cleaning it should not make things worse.

    If the printers are still under warranty then contact Canon technical support. It appears a new logic assay board and print head will be required.

    If the printers are out of warranty, you can still use the printers. When you want to print text you will need to bypass using the Pigment Black ink cartridge and use the Dye-based ink cartridges to make black by selecting Matte photo setting instead of Plain Paper. Any of the Photo settings use only dye-based inks for all printing, including text in this case. The downside of this is the text may not be a black, as sharp or as waterproof with dye-based inks versus pigment ink.

    You may consider a different pigment black ink if you obtain new or repaired Canon printers in case this was a contributing factor to the demise of your print heads and logic assay boards.
     
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  3. Dec 26, 2016
    martin0reg

    martin0reg Printer Master

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    First and most important, stripes or faint colors in prints and in the nozzle check means bad inkflow anywhere in the ink channel.
    And the reasons could be many, clogging in the printhead - as well as bad ink flow from the cartridges itself or bad sealing of cartridge outlet to printhead inlet...
    Second, canon bubble jets are consumable parts, because the nozzles will wear out sooner or later... with issues like above possibly very soon, especially if you keep on printing..
    Regarding your first head, it could have been bad cleaning carts.. too much cleaning cycles..?..Once I have done 3-5 standard and 1-2 deep cleanings with only 5minutes breaks - but with working carts and OEM ink..
    The color bars seem to be a little weak all over and with slightly visible "blocks" which may be no good sign. But the PGI pattern is really the worst, seems to be damaged or having "bended" nozzles.
    As long as there are no error blinking or messages, chances are high that the printer is not damaged YET, but as the printhead would become worse, the risk of an error blinking printer will increase..
     
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  4. Dec 26, 2016
    stratman

    stratman Printer VIP Platinum Printer Member

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    Excellent point. Too many cleanings in a row, especially deep cleanings, cleaning cartridges or not, increase print head temperatures and could cause a malfunction. IIRC, Canon recommends no more than 2 deep cleanings in a day for my MP830.
     
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  5. Dec 26, 2016
    The Hat

    The Hat Printer VIP Moderator

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    Nice write up @Jorik, There could be many reasons why this could happen to your printer but after swapping the print head, its reasonable to assume your logic board is damaged and it has transferred the same issue to your parents’ printer also, surmising it maybe but both look shot to me.

    There would be no point in getting your printers repaired unless they are under warrantee, and even then, it will take ages before both of you have a working printer again, @stratman idea is good sound advise.
    As most of the new Canon printers are all the same as MG5450, I would recommend you look at the Canon Maxify range, there’re certainly different but they are rugged and well built, and are priced reasonable and might be a good replacement...

    P.S. cleaning carts are not a good option for a Canon print head, manual cleaning outside the printer is recommended to be far safer...
     
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  6. Dec 26, 2016
    PeterBJ

    PeterBJ Printer VIP Platinum Printer Member

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    I think the print heads most likely were ruined by a bad pigment black ink. I think it looks suspect that the ink seller mentions their cartridges could be at fault and sends replacement cartridges for free. This looks to me like they have had more complaints about the ink, and you should look for another ink/cartridge supplier.

    In the thread linked to in the first post notice the link to the druckerchannel.de Canon forum, see answer #2 by Powdi:
    which I would translate to:
    To me this looks like the most likely cause of the problem.

    You can get new print heads for instance here, and I think chances are good that the logic boards are not damaged, so that new print heads will make the printers OK again. But replacing the printhead in a Canon printer is a gamble and you might be unlucky that a damaged logic board damages the new print head.

    If you repair or replace the printers I suggest to find another supplier of ink cartridges.
     
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  7. Dec 27, 2016
    Jorik

    Jorik Getting Fingers Dirty

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    Thanks for the helpful replies and info. For instance the fact that cleaning the print head externally is to be preferred over cleaning carts is new to me.

    Printers are unfortunately no longer under warranty, 2 years is the typical warranty time over here. Next time I'm at my parents, I will clean the timing strip and report back if that helped. I did have some difficulty removing and re-inserting the print head, maybe I did manage to make the strip a bit dirty.

    If I get one or both printers to work again, I will definitely find a different ink supplier. I hadn't thought of it, but of course the quality of the PGBK cartridge and ink itself are likely to have had an effect. I'll browse the forums a bit more then to find a good type that I can easily buy/order from over here or I'll use Canon's ink instead :).

    For me printing without PGBK is a perfectly fine alternative. For my parents not so much, most of the times they print directly from iPad through AirPrint, I don't think I can somehow configure that to print with dye inks only. If I could somehow change the settings on the printer itself, that would be helpful, but I don't think I'll be able to do that from a service menu and I definitely don't think changing the firmware is going to be feasible.

    I'll keep an eye open for the Maxify range. I do like the fact that the carts are bigger :).
     
  8. Dec 27, 2016
    The Hat

    The Hat Printer VIP Moderator

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    @Jorik, If you are unsuccessful at getting your patents PGBK nozzle check back working again, you still can get their printer to work with just the dye ink.

    It’s very easy to do, but you must do it in Windows Devices & Printers, Click printer Properties – Preferences - Main, now set Media Type to Matte Photo Paper and click on the Apply button below and its set.

    When your parents want to print they just hit the print button and leave the Media settings as is and they can print away using the dye inks instead of the PGBK black

    here is an excellent place to buy both OEM and compatible carts for your printers.
    http://www.123inkt.nl/Inkt-cartridges/Canon/Printer-type/Canon-Pixma-serie/Pixma-MG5450-p33361.html
     
  9. Dec 27, 2016
    Jorik

    Jorik Getting Fingers Dirty

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    @The Hat
    I can indeed configure it for dye inks on Windows with the Media Type configuration for the printer. But my parents rarely ever use the computer anymore. 99% of the cases they print directly from Apps on their iPad, if I'm not mistaken I cannot change the Media Kind for such type of printing. I don't think the setting on the computer would apply to this, since AirPrint prints directly to the printer (this works even if the computer is turned off).

    Thanks for suggesting 123inkt! I know the company a bit (they're one of the biggest ink suppliers in NL) and I've bought some laser toner cartridges from them in the past. If there are good experiences with their compatible carts, I will give them a try!

    P.S. they also sell the cleaning carts :\
     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2016
  10. Dec 27, 2016
    The Hat

    The Hat Printer VIP Moderator

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    @Jorik, By applying these setting in Devices & Printer on their computer, they then become the default setting for that printer, and as far as I know it shouldn’t matter where they print from, the printer will use these default setting.

    I am a little bit ignorant about anything Wi-Fi, so this should be check out first, because I am strictly a wire man and never use anything else.

    123ink.nl are very good, I use them myself as 123.ie

    upload_2016-12-27_17-19-11.jpg
    Krystian Wierachowski
    klantenservice
     

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