Canon i850 ink tank cross contamination

Discussion in 'Printers' started by Michael Brown, Nov 8, 2004.

  1. I have a Canon i850 color printer - my yellow tank is being contaminated
    from the cyan (I suspect - since anything yellow now prints green). The
    tanks are installed in the correct slots (never mixed up), and snapped
    into place. There are no error lights blinking on the printer or in the
    user interface.

    History:

    After the original canon brand tanks ran out, I replaced them with G&G
    brand from abcink.com - those worked just fine. When those ran out I
    replaced with another set of G&G brand. I don't remember how long
    after, but one day things didn't print correctly. That time it appeared
    everything printed in various shades of purple. I first blamed my kids
    for messing with it, but nobody did. I removed all four tanks, and then
    print head - washed it warm water until it ran clean. I even removed
    two small screws and seperated what looks a ceramic square (contains the
    print nozzles). There was small multi-hole rubber gasket that sealed
    that piece to the plastic that held the ink tanks - that appears in good
    shape. Everything was allowed to dry. I re-assembled the head, put in
    four new G&G tanks and after a few deep clean runs and an allignment it
    worked good as new. Couple weeks later - my yellow tank was
    contaminated with a dark color - anything yellow printed green. I
    cleaned everything up again, four new tanks - worked great - a couple
    weeks later again - the yellow tank was contaminated again - prints
    green.

    Is the generic ink to blame? The first four tanks for G&G worked just
    fine - no problems

    Bad print head? I can order one for 47.07 + $5 shipping from Canon

    What about where the print head sits when its off? Could something be
    leeching up from the waste area? (or whatever the place is called that
    the printer shoots the ink during a cleaning).
     
    Michael Brown, Nov 8, 2004
    #1
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  2. Michael Brown

    MCheu Guest

    On Mon, 08 Nov 2004 11:40:57 -0600, Michael Brown <> wrote:


    >What about where the print head sits when its off? Could something be
    >leeching up from the waste area? (or whatever the place is called that
    >the printer shoots the ink during a cleaning).


    You know, I've often wondered about that. With other printers, when
    it does a cleaning cycle, it just hoses down a piece of paper with
    ink. The canons, however, run through this long winded meditation
    cycle with every power up that's supposed to be some sort of cleaning
    cycle. What the heck does it do with the ink?
    ---------------------------------------------

    MCheu
     
    MCheu, Nov 8, 2004
    #2
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  3. Michael Brown

    PC Medic Guest

    "Michael Brown" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    >I have a Canon i850 color printer - my yellow tank is being contaminated
    > from the cyan (I suspect - since anything yellow now prints green). The
    > tanks are installed in the correct slots (never mixed up), and snapped
    > into place. There are no error lights blinking on the printer or in the
    > user interface.
    >
    > History:
    >
    > After the original canon brand tanks ran out, I replaced them with G&G
    > brand from abcink.com - those worked just fine. When those ran out I
    > replaced with another set of G&G brand. I don't remember how long
    > after, but one day things didn't print correctly. That time it appeared
    > everything printed in various shades of purple. I first blamed my kids
    > for messing with it, but nobody did. I removed all four tanks, and then
    > print head - washed it warm water until it ran clean. I even removed
    > two small screws and seperated what looks a ceramic square (contains the
    > print nozzles). There was small multi-hole rubber gasket that sealed
    > that piece to the plastic that held the ink tanks - that appears in good
    > shape. Everything was allowed to dry. I re-assembled the head, put in
    > four new G&G tanks and after a few deep clean runs and an allignment it
    > worked good as new. Couple weeks later - my yellow tank was
    > contaminated with a dark color - anything yellow printed green. I
    > cleaned everything up again, four new tanks - worked great - a couple
    > weeks later again - the yellow tank was contaminated again - prints
    > green.
    >
    > Is the generic ink to blame? The first four tanks for G&G worked just
    > fine - no problems
    >
    > Bad print head? I can order one for 47.07 + $5 shipping from Canon
    >
    > What about where the print head sits when its off? Could something be
    > leeching up from the waste area? (or whatever the place is called that
    > the printer shoots the ink during a cleaning).


    While I am not one to jump right out and say it is the ink, it is certainly
    possible in your case. Could be causing the seals to prematurely dry and
    shrink allowing the cross-contamination. Why not try OEM's to at least
    confirm the ink theory?

    While it is 'possible' that the head is not parking over the purge unit
    properly, this would be a long as you should get an error indicator from the
    home position sensor were this the case.
     
    PC Medic, Nov 8, 2004
    #3
  4. Michael Brown

    PC Medic Guest

    "MCheu" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > On Mon, 08 Nov 2004 11:40:57 -0600, Michael Brown <> wrote:
    >
    >
    >>What about where the print head sits when its off? Could something be
    >>leeching up from the waste area? (or whatever the place is called that
    >>the printer shoots the ink during a cleaning).

    >
    > You know, I've often wondered about that. With other printers, when
    > it does a cleaning cycle, it just hoses down a piece of paper with
    > ink. The canons, however, run through this long winded meditation
    > cycle with every power up that's supposed to be some sort of cleaning
    > cycle. What the heck does it do with the ink?
    > ---------------------------------------------


    It does not always fire ink during these cycles, but when it does like any
    other it sends it to a waste ink area.
     
    PC Medic, Nov 8, 2004
    #4
  5. Michael Brown

    Bill Guest

    Michael Brown wrote:

    >Is the generic ink to blame? The first four tanks for G&G worked just
    >fine - no problems


    I doubt it.

    >Bad print head? I can order one for 47.07 + $5 shipping from Canon


    I would guess the printhead is to blame.

    >What about where the print head sits when its off? Could something be
    >leeching up from the waste area? (or whatever the place is called that
    >the printer shoots the ink during a cleaning).


    I doubt that as well. The head cleaning station uses a vacuum system to
    draw ink through the printhead and then wipe the nozzles clear. The
    printhead never touches a pad or anything that would cause colours to
    mix.
     
    Bill, Nov 8, 2004
    #5
  6. Michael Brown

    Bill Guest

    MCheu wrote:

    >You know, I've often wondered about that. With other printers, when
    >it does a cleaning cycle, it just hoses down a piece of paper with
    >ink. The canons, however, run through this long winded meditation
    >cycle with every power up that's supposed to be some sort of cleaning
    >cycle. What the heck does it do with the ink?


    It sucks ink through the printhead and into a waste ink storage area.
    The area has a pad around it to soak up the liquid.

    When the printer goes through a cleaning cycle, the printhead is cleaned
    with a plastic wiper blade to remove old residual ink from the surface
    of the printhead. Then a small vacuum system draws a bit of ink through
    the printhead to make sure it's flowing, and dumps it in the waste area.
    The head is then wiped clear of any excess ink again, and the printer is
    ready to go.
     
    Bill, Nov 8, 2004
    #6
  7. Michael Brown

    PC Medic Guest

    "Bill" <> wrote in message news:...
    > Michael Brown wrote:
    >
    >>Is the generic ink to blame? The first four tanks for G&G worked just
    >>fine - no problems

    >
    > I doubt it.
    >
    >>Bad print head? I can order one for 47.07 + $5 shipping from Canon

    >
    > I would guess the printhead is to blame.
    >
    >>What about where the print head sits when its off? Could something be
    >>leeching up from the waste area? (or whatever the place is called that
    >>the printer shoots the ink during a cleaning).

    >
    > I doubt that as well. The head cleaning station uses a vacuum system to
    > draw ink through the printhead and then wipe the nozzles clear. The
    > printhead never touches a pad or anything that would cause colours to
    > mix.


    While I do agree this is probably not the issue, be aware that wicking
    (leaching) can and has been the cause of this type of issue.
    Stop and think about the purge station and how that vacuum is created. There
    is in fact contact made with the printhead.
     
    PC Medic, Nov 8, 2004
    #7
  8. Michael Brown

    Mike Brown Guest

    Well I took the printer apart and go to the ink waste area - two hard but
    pourous pieces sit in two rubber trays, lifting hard piece out of the tray
    shows two holes in the bottom of the rubber trays. I washed those out.

    Starting on the left and 3/4 the way across the bottom of the printer
    housing is a large pad. The right most 1/4 of the printer also contains a
    pad but its a bit lower. There two hoses off the bottom of the pump unit
    that dump the waste ink into the pad. Mine was very saturated. I removed
    the pad and washed it out - now I know where all my ink goes!

    I found the two screws that hold the vaccum/waste area into the main printer
    assembly. I removed the pump motor and rinsed the most of the pump area.
    There was a small circuit board on the back that I didn't want to get wet.
    Lots and lots of ink.

    I also disabled the print head and rinsed that out clean.

    I dried everything the best I could, re-assembled, installed new tanks, a
    couple deep cleanings, prints really well again.

    Could be a bad pump as was mentioned...

    Could be the ink I suppose - maybe it doesn't dry the same and the Canon
    brand...

    Print head is working fine.
     
    Mike Brown, Nov 9, 2004
    #8
  9. Michael Brown

    David Chien Guest

    The most obvious reason for this in the older Canon printers is that the
    suction hoses connecting the pumps to the nozzle docking area has
    degraded over time (made of rubber) and has cracked/split and has now
    lost suction.

    As a result, the pads under the nozzles can't suction the ink properly
    away from the heads, and cross contamination of ink colors can occur,
    even to the point where one ink cartridge starts to become discolored
    due to the cross-mixing of inks.

    This has been seen and documented in the Canon S450 printers, and can
    occur in any Canon printer which has hoses connecting the pumps to the
    nozzle pads.

    ---

    The fix, which works in almost all cases, is to replace these tubes with
    new ones. You can either ask Canon for them, or find any hobby store
    and replace them with any flexible, liquid tubing (eg. from a lab,
    there's lots of clear, flexible tubes that one can cut to length and
    use). DO make sure that they're just a touch smaller than the ends
    you'll fit them over to ensure a very tight fit that is vaccum tight -
    here, you may need to use fine needle nose pliers to push the new tubing
    over both connecting ends on the printer. take you're time and patience
    and you'll be fine.

    Here, we've simply replaced the tubing with standard, clear, lab-grade
    flexible tubing found in most labs, and the printers work perfectly fine
    after that.

    Do note that you will have to replace all contaminated cartridges, and
    that some cross contamination may still exist until you've run a few
    hundred pages through to clear everything out.

    ---

    A very, very bad design flaw in these Canons -- can't believe they'd use
    such cheap, rubber tubing that would naturally degrade in a few
    months/years rather than higher quality tubing.
     
    David Chien, Nov 9, 2004
    #9
  10. Michael Brown

    MCheu Guest

    On Mon, 8 Nov 2004 17:24:25 -0500, "PC Medic" <> wrote:

    >
    >"MCheu" <> wrote in message
    >news:...
    >> On Mon, 08 Nov 2004 11:40:57 -0600, Michael Brown <> wrote:
    >>
    >>
    >>>What about where the print head sits when its off? Could something be
    >>>leeching up from the waste area? (or whatever the place is called that
    >>>the printer shoots the ink during a cleaning).

    >>
    >> You know, I've often wondered about that. With other printers, when
    >> it does a cleaning cycle, it just hoses down a piece of paper with
    >> ink. The canons, however, run through this long winded meditation
    >> cycle with every power up that's supposed to be some sort of cleaning
    >> cycle. What the heck does it do with the ink?
    >> ---------------------------------------------

    >
    >It does not always fire ink during these cycles, but when it does like any
    >other it sends it to a waste ink area.
    >
    >


    So does this mean I need to eventually empty this waste tank?
    ---------------------------------------------

    MCheu
     
    MCheu, Nov 9, 2004
    #10
  11. Michael Brown

    Mike Brown Guest

    Just printed the google page - pretty much came out all blue.

    I see another posting about cracked tubin on the vaccum hoses - worth a try!
     
    Mike Brown, Nov 9, 2004
    #11
  12. Michael Brown

    PC Medic Guest

    "MCheu" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > On Mon, 8 Nov 2004 17:24:25 -0500, "PC Medic" <> wrote:
    >
    >>
    >>"MCheu" <> wrote in message
    >>news:...
    >>> On Mon, 08 Nov 2004 11:40:57 -0600, Michael Brown <> wrote:
    >>>
    >>>
    >>>>What about where the print head sits when its off? Could something be
    >>>>leeching up from the waste area? (or whatever the place is called that
    >>>>the printer shoots the ink during a cleaning).
    >>>
    >>> You know, I've often wondered about that. With other printers, when
    >>> it does a cleaning cycle, it just hoses down a piece of paper with
    >>> ink. The canons, however, run through this long winded meditation
    >>> cycle with every power up that's supposed to be some sort of cleaning
    >>> cycle. What the heck does it do with the ink?
    >>> ---------------------------------------------

    >>
    >>It does not always fire ink during these cycles, but when it does like any
    >>other it sends it to a waste ink area.
    >>
    >>

    >
    > So does this mean I need to eventually empty this waste tank?
    > ---------------------------------------------


    Depends how long you have the printer and how much you print.
    The average owner will never need to have the waste ink service performed
    even after several years of printing.
    I myself have used Canon's for years and average about 3+ and 15,000 pages
    through a printer before I move on to a new model and I have never had an
    issue with a Waste Ink Tank warning.
     
    PC Medic, Nov 9, 2004
    #12
  13. Michael Brown

    Bill Guest

    MCheu wrote:

    >>It does not always fire ink during these cycles, but when it does like any
    >>other it sends it to a waste ink area.

    >
    >So does this mean I need to eventually empty this waste tank?


    Generally no...the ink dries up. It's not a storage tank, it's just a
    pad in the bottom of the printer.
     
    Bill, Nov 9, 2004
    #13
  14. Michael Brown

    Harry Kiri Guest

    "David Chien" <> wrote in message
    news:cmp60i$euo$...

    > A very, very bad design flaw in these Canons -- can't believe they'd

    use
    > such cheap, rubber tubing that would naturally degrade in a few
    > months/years rather than higher quality tubing.


    Why can't you believe it? It's a nice little earner for Canon, which
    is, after all, the very reason for their existence.

    They count on most people buying another printer, rather than trying to
    repair ...

    Regards,
    Hughy
     
    Harry Kiri, Nov 11, 2004
    #14
  15. Michael Brown

    Al Rudderham Guest

    On Thu, 11 Nov 2004 22:49:31 +1100, "Harry Kiri"
    <> wrote:

    >Why can't you believe it? It's a nice little earner for Canon, which
    >is, after all, the very reason for their existence.
    >
    >They count on most people buying another printer, rather than trying to
    >repair ...


    I'd doubt that selling you another printer is a "nice little earner".
    Printers are sold using the old Gilette business model - "give the
    razors away, make all the money on the sales of blades".

    What Canon (and HP and Epson) want is for you to buy supplies, which
    are very profitable. I'd bet they don't come close to breaking even
    on the initial sale of the printer itself.

    --
    Remove preceding and trailing X from username for replies
    (Sorry, but I'm SICK of spam...)
     
    Al Rudderham, Nov 11, 2004
    #15
  16. Michael Brown

    Bill Guest

    Harry Kiri wrote:

    >> A very, very bad design flaw in these Canons -- can't believe they'd

    >use
    >> such cheap, rubber tubing that would naturally degrade in a few
    >> months/years rather than higher quality tubing.

    >
    >Why can't you believe it? It's a nice little earner for Canon, which
    >is, after all, the very reason for their existence.


    Printer sales don't make much money, it's the consumables like ink and
    paper where they rake in the huge profits.

    >They count on most people buying another printer, rather than trying to
    >repair ...


    Hehehe...which is what I did...I bought an HP! :)
     
    Bill, Nov 11, 2004
    #16
  17. Michael Brown

    PC Medic Guest

    "Harry Kiri" <> wrote in message
    news:41935175$0$6564$...
    >
    > "David Chien" <> wrote in message
    > news:cmp60i$euo$...
    >
    >> A very, very bad design flaw in these Canons -- can't believe they'd

    > use
    >> such cheap, rubber tubing that would naturally degrade in a few
    >> months/years rather than higher quality tubing.

    >
    > Why can't you believe it? It's a nice little earner for Canon, which
    > is, after all, the very reason for their existence.
    >
    > They count on most people buying another printer, rather than trying to
    > repair ...
    >


    It is also hogwash that this is any kind of issue. I work on these printers
    regularly and have not seen a purge issue with the tube since there C2500
    MultiPass about 6 years back. During maintenance/repair the purge tubes I
    encounter are all soft and pliable as they should be.
     
    PC Medic, Nov 11, 2004
    #17
  18. Michael Brown

    Harry Kiri Guest

    "Al Rudderham" <> wrote in message
    news:...

    > I'd doubt that selling you another printer is a "nice little earner".
    > Printers are sold using the old Gilette business model - "give the
    > razors away, make all the money on the sales of blades".
    >
    > What Canon (and HP and Epson) want is for you to buy supplies, which
    > are very profitable. I'd bet they don't come close to breaking even
    > on the initial sale of the printer itself.


    No doubt you are right on the supplies. Regarding their profit margin
    on sales, I based my comment on my estimate of their cost of
    manufacture, which is just that - a **rough estimate**.

    Their printers are made from plastic, with a relatively very small metal
    component. Mass produced (particularly in Asian countries), the
    chassis/case costs are unlikely to exceed US$20. Costs of the PC boards
    and SM components would be even less, with most of the components in any
    model being shared across a wide range of their printers (not print
    heads, of course). Heads? Likely to be in the order of $5 - $10 in
    quantity. Asian assembly costs would probably be less than US$5 with
    distribution a similar figure.

    R & D (and marketing) would still be the biggest costs, but no one
    outside Canon itself would be able to put a figure on it. My rough
    guess would be about the same cost as the hardware.

    So in the absence of any definitive statement from Canon, I *suspect*
    they manage to sell their printers at a profit.

    This in no way diminishes the mind-boggling (and unconscionable) profits
    they make on inks.

    Roll on the development of low cost hi res colour lasers.

    Regards,
    Hughy
     
    Harry Kiri, Nov 12, 2004
    #18
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