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Shefin
Shefin, Printer and Office Equip. Specialist
Category: Printers
Satisfied Customers: 4917
Experience:  Working as tech support specialist with a worldwide computer manufacturer.
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Have a Canon Pixma MP520, which is some years old and which

Customer Question

Have a Canon Pixma MP520, which is some years old and which has been tremendously reliable. Then, today, out of the blue, it stopped working. It communicates well with the desktop (iMac) and readily accepts the command to print. Upon the command to print, it self feeds the paper, the print carriage sounds like it's working, the print 'humming' sounds normal, but the page that comes out is completely blank.
Have tried resetting the printer to factory defaults and rebooting both the desktop and printer, but to no avail.
Do you have any thoughts or recommendations on how to restore this historically very reliable printer? Thanks.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Printers
Expert:  Shefin replied 1 year ago.

Hello!

Thank you for your question. I am Shefin and I look forward to helping you with your issue today.

Are you sure that you have enough ink on all the cartridges?

Are you using genuine Canon cartridges?

Are you able to copy like Xerox without using the computer?

Thank you.

S H E F I N

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Cartridges are all full (no blinking lights indicating low ink).
All are genuine Canon cartridges. have never used any non-Canon cartridges.
Printer acts the same when making copies -- processing noises sound normal, but only a blank page is produced.
Expert:  Shefin replied 1 year ago.

Hi,

Please try the following and let me know the response.

Remove all the ink cartridges from the machine.
Then clean the contacts on the cartridges as well as inside the machine itself. Inside means the printhead where the cartrdige seats.
Do this with a small amount of warm water on a cotton swab until no ink comes off on the swab.
If any of the other cartridges are low, empty, leaking or bulging replace them.
Then turn off the machine and unplug it for 5 minutes.
Plug it back it and wait for the insert cartridges message.
Insert the cartridges and check to see if the problem is still there.

If the issue persists, or you have any questions, please be back and let me know.

If you appreciate my service, please rate it EXCELLENT by clicking the EXCELLENT (5 Stars) and Submit. My goal is to provide you with excellent service – if you feel you have gotten anything less, please reply back, I am happy to address follow-up questions. Thank you for your business!

Thank you!
S H E F I N

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
When you say cartridge 'contacts', do you mean the golf electrical surface or the place where the ink comes through the cartridge?
Expert:  Shefin replied 1 year ago.

Hi,

Clean both and let it dry.

Thank you.

S H E F I N

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Shefin, same result -- the printer paper feeds, I hear the normal printing hum/beat sounds, and then a blank sheet of paper emergs. No marks (e.g., smudges, streaks, etc.) at all.Thoughts?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The Word document I am trying to print is a simple type font, black. I just changed the Word font color to red and tried to print. Same result -- blank page.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The only thing I see as different with my current problem is that the printer seems to take longer to try to print what would historically have been a quick page -- it takes ~15 seconds to try to print what would have historically taken only 5 seconds. FYI.
Expert:  Shefin replied 1 year ago.

Hi,

Please try the instructions I have given and let me know the result.

Thank you.

S H E F I N

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Shefin, I just saw your note. If the issue is simply one of cleaning, I would think the problem I would be having would be a printed page that has smudges, smears, pale print, etc. Why is that not the case?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I had already tried the procedures referenced in the first link of your message. Again, nothing.
Expert:  Shefin replied 1 year ago.

Hi,

Here, the issue is with the printhead, and it cannot recognize the cartridges. Only thing we can try is cleaning the printhead and interior of the printer. If the cleaning does not work, you have to replace the printhead and it is too costly (not worthy if the computer is old). That is why I suggested cleaning.

Please try the automated cleaning procedures from the links I have given

Thank you.

S H E F I N

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Deep cleaning is in process.Am puzzled that the printhead would not recognize the cartridges, as they are Canon cartridges appropriate for this printer (MP520) and I have NEVER used any non-Canon cartridges in this printer.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Just finished the deep cleaning process. The nozzle test page is completely blank.
Expert:  Shefin replied 1 year ago.

Hi,

It is a common error with old printers. After some years of use, the printhead will get corrupted and need to replace with a new one. The issue is not with the cartrdiges, however with the printhead.

Could you please try removing the printhead and clean the place where it seats?

Thank you.

S H E F I N

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Tried the procedures in all 3 links you sent me. No luck. Need to go to a meeting. If I return in 2-3 hours and send you a message, will you still be there for a response?
Expert:  Shefin replied 1 year ago.

Hi,

Please be back when you get time.

However, please be informed that the issue is with the printhead and you have to replace it with a new one in order to get it resolved.

Replacing the printhead might cost you nearby a new printer itself. If the printer is old, it is not worthy replacing the printhead. Better get a new printer instead.

I understand that this answer may not be entirely to your liking, and I regret being the bearer of information that you really don’t want to hear. But it would be unfair to you and unprofessional of me were I to provide you with anything less than truthful and honest information.

If none of the above produce results, then the printer should be repaired or replaced. Unfortunately, except for business-grade workgroup printers, few modern printers are repairable, and fewer are worth repairing. Most printers are now manufactured to a "replace not repair" standard. To understand why this is the case, consider the cold, hard, real-world cost of repairing a printer.

I apologize for the bad news. However, this is the honest answer I can give.

Thank you.
S H E F I N