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lmacmil

join:2001-01-26
South Bend, IN

Canon printer question

I bought a Canon Pixma MG5200 printer several years ago. I think I only paid about $80. Imagine my surprise when my first set of Canon-brand replacement cartridges cost almost $40! I have since switched to Sophia Global brand which seem to work fine (I think).

I rarely print in color but when I do, quite often the colors are off, even when the color cartridges all have plenty of ink in them. I recently printed a 34 page document that had color screen print images on almost every page. About half way thru, the colors were no longer accurate, like ink was being released by one of the cartridges.

So my question is: do you suppose this issue is caused by the off-brand cartridges or is it just because I don't use the color very much. FWIW, when I do the print head cleaning/realignment, everything is ok for a while but eventually deteriorates.


andyross
Premium,MVM
join:2003-05-04
Schaumburg, IL

My first response would be: You get what you pay for

Does the printer have a self-test that doesn't do a cleaning, hopefully showing nozzle lines or similar? If so, when you notice the color issue, try that test and see if you have clogged nozzles.

Also, how often do you change cartridges? Ink can go bad after awhile, usually getting gummy or thick, especially 3rd party where you have no idea on the quality. I once tried a 3-year expired black HP 96 cartridge that someone gave me that they had found after getting rid of a printer long ago. It sort-of worked, and all nozzles were firing, but it was a bit sputtery and was more gray than black.


lmacmil

join:2001-01-26
South Bend, IN

said by andyross:

Also, how often do you change cartridges? Ink can go bad after awhile, usually getting gummy or thick, especially 3rd party where you have no idea on the quality.

The color cartridges usually are dry after 4 months or so, despite their limited use.

I just printed a test pattern and even after the head cleaning, there are white lines in the magenta test strips. That one is now showing almost out of ink, and of course that's the one I don't currently have a replacement for.

I agree about you get what you pay for. I may just bite the $42 bullet and buy one set of Canon ink to see if that solves the problem. Or maybe I'll just look for a new printer with cheaper name brand ink!


mk_416

@108.168.55.x
reply to lmacmil

Welcome to 3rd party ink fun time. I have a ip4500, bought for $79, new set of ink is $79, to get the same/equivelant printer today though is $200+

Those 3rd party inks are hit and miss. I pay $5 for 5 cartridges on ebay. I will use them for general printing. If i need color accuracy/quality the Canon original cartridges are the only option.

Pop the print head out of the carrier, remove all of the cartridges and put about 1/8" of windex in a plate. Place print head down into windex, move it side to side every minute or two, repeat until the print head pads are leached of all ink/color/dye etc.

Let it dry for atleast 24 hours, try printing with Canon ink and you should get perfect results. Put the 3rd party ink back into play and you will have "fun" again in a few days.


asdfdfdfdfdf
Premium
join:2012-05-09
kudos:3
Reviews:
·Verizon Wireless..
reply to lmacmil

If the colors aren't accurate and a cleaning fixes it then it looks like the print head is getting clogged. This could very well be because of the 3rd party ink, especially if you have been using name brand ink for years and the problem just started with the new ink cartridges.

Certainly if you don't use color very much this will also contribute to the problem, but if your usage pattern was similar when you had the original cartridges then I would suspect the 3rd party inks are playing a bigger part.

As mk_416 says you may very well need to clean the print head manually now, even if you replace the cartridges with canon branded versions, as the print head may be partially clogged and the problem may keep returning. You can probably find something on youtube that shows how to remove and clean your specific model's print head or, if you know how to remove the print head you can use a technique such as mk_416 described.

Inkjet Printers are sold cheap and then they stick it to you on consumables. This is pretty standard throughout the industry although some brands are a bit worse than others about it. With most brands you are going to pay a big part of the total cost of the new printer for cartridge replacement.

If you can live without color, and primarily need to print text, you might consider buying a monochrome laser printer. The up front cost can be a bit higher but you don't have to deal with the ink clogging issues and they are typically cheaper to run in the long term.


lmacmil

join:2001-01-26
South Bend, IN

said by asdfdfdfdfdf:

If the colors aren't accurate and a cleaning fixes it then it looks like the print head is getting clogged. This could very well be because of the 3rd party ink, especially if you have been using name brand ink for years and the problem just started with the new ink cartridges.

If you can live without color, and primarily need to print text, you might consider buying a monochrome laser printer.

I've been using aftermarket ink longer than I used Canon ink. I will try the manual print head cleaning. Nothing to lose at this point.

I could live without the color but need the scan/copy features. I see that some of the newer ones have those. It's worth looking into for sure. Thanks.


mk_416

@108.168.55.x

Print head should be removable by simply pivoting and lifting it up once the handle bar has been raised. Cartridges should be removed prior to this.

If you are printing forced grayscale, on standard paper, with borderless (any special setup actually) printing turned off , Canon's drivers will print black from the black cartridge only. But if you have any special settings set, if there is word art or if you apply any of a variety of settings from within the application or the driver settings it will force black as a combination of CMYB.

The issues will color come from two varients. Either too much color or not enough.

With 3rd party inks, the chemicals are different and so is the drying/evaporation process. If they mix with canon ink inside the print head you can get an epoxy like reaction where neither of the two inks will be able to dissolve the gunk and get a clean flow.Also 3rd party Cyan ink is a lot more saturated and less viscous than Canon ink and there fore you have limit the Cyan out put greatly from the driver dialogue.

Also if it sits for a while the head gets full absorption and the first 3-4 full page prints I do with it will be over saturated with Cyan or the Yellow will be gunked up and wont get propper flow until a 5th or 6th print.


asdfdfdfdfdf
Premium
join:2012-05-09
kudos:3
Reviews:
·Verizon Wireless..
reply to lmacmil

"I could live without the color but need the scan/copy features. I see that some of the newer ones have those. It's worth looking into for sure. Thanks."

Or you could just continue to use your canon for scanning and something else for printing.


lmacmil

join:2001-01-26
South Bend, IN

said by asdfdfdfdfdf:

Or you could just continue to use your canon for scanning and something else for printing.

Not enough real estate on the desk for that.

lmacmil

join:2001-01-26
South Bend, IN
reply to lmacmil

Update: I cleaned my print head per a YouTube video, essentially removing it and running it under warm water until it ran clean. Replaced the wide black and 2 of the 3 color cartridges (with the same 3rd party ink I've been using). Test page indicated the magenta print head needed cleaning (that was one of the cartridges replaced)! So I ran the cleaning cycle and then got a good color print of a couple screen shots. We'll see how long it lasts.

Thanks for the help everyone.



Nick
Purveyor of common sense
Premium,VIP,MVM
join:2000-10-29
Smithtown, NY
reply to lmacmil

I also second the laser printer idea. Although the upfront costs are higher, in my mind the benefits outweigh loss of color:
-(Usually) Faster print time
-Toner doesn't dry out
-Cheaper cost per page

I just picked up a Brother MFC for 125$ from the local staples as the floor model. Very happy with it and don't miss color at all.
--
-Stupidity, like hydrogen, is one of the basic building blocks of the Universe.
-Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

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