How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Bernie Your Own Question
Bernie, Printer Technician
Category: Printers
Satisfied Customers: 7140
Experience:  6+ years experience, Microsoft MCDST/CompTia A+ Certified
Type Your Printers Question Here...
Bernie is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I have a Canon MX860 printer and Im getting a 5C20 error report

This answer was rated:

I have a Canon MX860 printer and I'm getting a 5C20 error report and it won't print
Hello, and thanks for asking your question. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will be your expert today.

This may be an issue with paper being stuck inside the printer, especially around the carriage that moves back and forth during printing. Please open the printer, remove the cartridges, and unplug it from power. Check to make sure there is no remaining paper inside the printer with a flashlight, check these directions as well, click HERE

If you can see and reach them, make sure that the ink absorber sponges that the printhead rests on aren't stuck due to dried ink. Try very gently to separate them and break the seal if this is the issue.

Then power it back on. If you still have the same issue, unplug the printer sharply from the power outlet while it is still on > Unplug all cables from the back of the printer > While the printer is off, press and hold the power button for 1 minute, then release > Leave the printer off for 10 minutes

Finally, while holding down the stop/cancel button (or just the power button if you don't have those), plug the printer back in, and power on the printer if it doesn't do so automatically.

If you get the same error after that, this means that there is a serious issue with the purge unit or logic board inside the Canon printer. If you're in warranty, just send it into Canon as this repair is fully covered, please call 1-800-652-2666


If not in warranty, you can still call for a quote on this repair. You can however try a few steps if you are comfortable doing so:

Open the printer from the top, and inside wait for the carriage to move over to the center > Now go ahead and remove the power

Look in the space to the right where the carriage was and you should see the purge unit > There will be two ink pads there, and plastic wiper blades

Wearing rubber gloves, try to move the wiper blades very gently forward to make sure they have not become stuck, then let them go back...

(It's all spring action, they wipe the bottom of the cartridges when the carriage is parked)


Do not force anything, if you notice any sticky ink residue that is preventing the smooth movement of this part...

Get a paper towel dampened with hot water and blot these parts to loosen/clean > Clean all around the top of the purge unit as well.

Next, very gently (and slightly) press down on the ink pads and see if you can pop it back into place, about 1/4 of an inch

Finally, make sure that there is no paper jam crumpled around the purge unit, very gently remove anything that you might see if you do

Pulling too hard on anything could damage the printer gears > After you're done, plug in the printer and close the top, and see if the error is gone now.

If not, it will need to be repaired as the purge unit or logic board has failed, but to be honest it may be cheaper just to buy a new printer at that point.

Best regards,
Bernie and 2 other Printers Specialists are ready to help you