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Bernie, Printer Technician
Category: Printers
Satisfied Customers: 7140
Experience:  6+ years experience, Microsoft MCDST/CompTia A+ Certified
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My Pixma MG5220 is not printing black text. The ink cartridges

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My Pixma MG5220 is not printing black text. The ink cartridges are full / new and I have performed both head cleanings.
Hello and welcome, my name isXXXXX'm sorry to hear about your problem.

When you run the deep printhead cleaning, are you getting any black on the nozzle test page that prints out? Or is black missing/very weak?

Thank you and I'll have some recommendations based on this information.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
It prints black and colors on the nozzle test page
Thanks Les, do you see any lines missing

Or banding in the black colors on the nozzle test page?

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I do not have the top line. The one labeled (A)
I see, there won't be one labeled A on the nozzle sheet itself, but there should be a PGBK line. Do you have that line (I have highlighted it in red):


That line will have what looks like a grid, and it should be intact. The A and B are just illustrations. Does the grid look more like A (intact) or B (has parts missing):

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Sorry Bernie, I gave you wrong info.

The one you have highlighted does not show up at all.
No problem, thanks for confirming. I just wanted to make sure this was not a driver issue on the computer (if the nozzle page looks fine, then it may be). However, in this case, since the nozzle page is missing some parts, it looks like it is a hardware issue, meaning there is a clog on the printhead nozzle that is preventing black ink from spraying onto the paper correctly.

Please go ahead and open the printer, and take out the ink cartridges, and make sure all pre-packaged tape has been taken off them. Then reinsert the cartridges firmly, you should see the ink lamps lit red and steady. If you don't, please stop here and let me know.

Then, try 2 more regular cleanings, then 1 deep printhead cleaning, please click HERE and use the directions there. If that doesn't help, and you still don't see the PGBK line at all, leave the printer overnight and try another cleaning in the morning. Leaving it overnight allows the clog to soften.

If there is still no change, you can soak the printhead (the part that holds the ink cartridges) to dissolve any clogs on the nozzle where the ink sprays out. You will need a container large enough for the printhead, q-tips/cotton swabs, paper towels, a lint free cloth, and some distilled water.

Open the printer and remove all ink cartridges, then seal them in a ziplock plastic bag that has a damp paper towel inside it. This will keep the ink cartridges moist so they don't dry out. Set these aside, propped upright so no ink leaks out. Now turn off the printer and disconnect all cables from the back of it. Place a folded paper towel in the bottom of a container large enough to fit the printhead. Fill it with 1 inch of very hot, but not boiling water (Heating for one minute in the microwave is fine). Now unlatch the printhead and take it out:

Set the printhead gently in the container, nozzle side down. There should be enough water to soak the nozzles but not to touch the electrical contacts on the back of the printhead. Pour some heated water inside the printhead just to wet it. Let it soak for 1 hour, then drain the container and refill it with another inch of heated water. This time move the printhead to a different spot on the paper towel and let it soak again. Repeat this for three more hours.

Now take out the printhead and rinse it thoroughly under your faucet water in the sink. During the rinse use your finger to lightly tap the round nubs where the ink cartridges connect to the printhead. This will create pressure to force clogged ink through the nozzle. If there are rubber gaskets around each nub take extra care not to dislodge or lose these. It's ok to get the electrical contacts on the back of the printhead wet we just didn't want to soak them earlier.

If your Canon printhead has a ceramic plate beneath the nozzles, similar to what is shown below:

Please click HERE and follow the extended instructions there to clean this part thoroughly (Credit to Mike Boesen).

Now turn the printhead upside down and rinse the nozzle on the bottom. Keep rinsing it until no further ink comes out, it may take a while depending on the severity of the clogs. Take out the printhead and lightly blot it on a damp, folded paper towel a few times. Now rinse the printhead some more, specifically until you see no more ink coming out of the nozzles on the bottom of the printhead. If you see gummed up ink that won't rinse off you can take a dampened q-tip and very gently rub it off the nozzle. Do not put any pressure on the nozzle.

Then lightly dampen a lint-free cloth (not paper towels), and use it to wipe the copper contacts on the ink cartridges (if any), and inside the printhead where the contacts meet the cartridges (if any). Do this until no ink comes off the cloth. Also clean the electrical contacts on the back of the printhead, but wipe from bottom to top, in one direction.

Finally you will need to rinse the printhead off with distilled water, this will remove any minerals/solids from the tap water you used to rinse out the printhead, which can cause further clogs later if not removed. Then using a dry paper towel and q-tips, dry the printhead as best you can. Very gently blot dry the sensitive electrical contacts on the back and the nozzles on the bottom of the printhead. Set it on some folded paper towel to completely air dry, then reinsert the printhead along with the ink cartridges:

Plug in all cables again and turn the printer back on, then try a few more printhead cleanings as we did earlier.


Please submit a good rating for my service below, it's the only way I am paid for my assistance. Or if you still need help, please reply back instead, there is no extra charge and we'll continue or try another solution if available.

Thank you,
Bernie K.
Bernie and 2 other Printers Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
The odd thing is, if I print a photo copy, it prints the black text.
I soaked the head in hot water, but it does not sppear to have worked.
I see, that is strange, can you describe this a bit further, what exactly are you trying to print from the computer, is it a webpage for example?

Also, are you using Windows XP, Vista, 7, or Mac?

If not sure, click HERE. On that page, under Operating system, it will say what you have.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I am running Windows 7
I have tried printing a PDF file, Word Document and Excel Document.
I have loaded a new driver as well.
I assume the photo copy works as it uses the large black ink reservoir. It is a different ink for images according to cannon's website.
Thanks Les, I just had a few more questions on my side:

Did you remove the old driver before installing the new one?

What happens when you print something from the internet, or notepad, same results?

You're correct that the photo copy uses a different ink reservoir, if you open your printer and look inside, do you see all the ink lamps lit red and steady for each cartridge?

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Does not print text from Internet or Not pad.
Uninstalled drivers. Installed new ones.
All lights steady red
Replaced black cartridge with another new one.
Same problem
Thank you for the update, just to make sure on my side, can you double check the instructions below to make sure this is how you removed/reinstalled the printer:

Turn off and disconnect the printer from the pc > Click the Windows Start button > Devices and Printers > Right click and remove your Canon printer listed there and any copies of it. If it doesn't disappear from the list close the Devices and Printers window, then reopen it and try removing it again.

Next click the Windows Start button > Control Panel > Uninstall a program > Remove any Canon printer programs/drivers if listed there too.

Restart your pc, then return to this page > Click HERE to download the printer driver > On that page, click the green download button > Save the file, and run it when it's finished downloading.

Turn on and reconnect the printer only when asked by setup > When finished reinstalling the printer, try to print again.


If that is how you did it, can you also try installing this printer to another computer to double check and see if it is doing the same thing there (please let me know if it doesn't). I don't believe it is a driver issue, but I'd like to check.

Anytime your nozzle test page does not print out correctly it means there is a hardware issue with the printer itself. Very likely the black nozzle for the text black (not photo black) has become damaged. Either the electrical contact on the bottom of the printhead nozzle has bent/burnt out, or is severely clogged. you will need to replace the printhead to fix this. Please call 1-800-652-2666 to order a printhead replacement. If you are still in warranty this will be covered. If you are out of warranty this part is normally $40-$100 depending on the model.

9 out of 10 times replacing the printhead will fix the issue. It's only very rarely that it will not, and in these times indicates a deeper issue with the ink system or logic board of the printer. I only recommend replacing the printhead if you feel the cost outweighs going with a new printer entirely at this point.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Hi Bernie

Thanks for all your help with this problem. This printer is currently on sale for 69.00. With the cost of the ink I have used and payments to you, I have almost used that amount already.....
I am just going to buy a new printer and be done with it.

Thanks for your help.
I agree Les, I'm sorry it turned out this way, we threw everything in the book at it, and much more...the printheads nowadays cost almost as much as the printer itself, it can become a real money pit unfortunately.

I thank you for working with me and please let me know if there is anything I can help you with in the future.

Best regards,