Question about Canon Pixma iP4500 InkJet Printer

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Dissapearing yellow I have an interesting problem. I am loosing yellow ink for no reason. 6 days ago I refilled the yellow and blue cartridges as they needed refilling. We did some colour printing, not a lot, a few cards for rellies etc with only small images, and the yellow and black cartridges ran out (the black was quite low already), so I went and refilled them, and now, only 2 days later the yellow is totally empty again!! No printing at all done between those days. Sorry, 2 pages printed, mostly black with a little colour. I have checked the other cartridges, and the black is totally full, the blue is over half full and the red is half full. I have checked the print head and nothing seems to be wrong, so what is going on, and where can a cartridge and a half go? There is no ink under the printer and I can't see any sign of it in the printer, though I haven't pulled it apart yet (am considering this as it isn't under waranty anymore). Wondering what your input might be. David. HI THIS IS MY SECOND PRINTER WITH THE SAME PROBLEM. AFTER USING GENERIC CARTRIDGES THE YELLOW STOPS PRINTING.- THERE IS PLENTY OF INK AND THE JETS ARE CLEAR, BUT IT SEEMS THE SOFTWARE JUST REFUSES TO PRINT YELLOW! PLEASE HELP!

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  • derrick2511 Feb 03, 2009


    The yellow is still a bit light, but it seems to be improving.

    I tried to look for that battery you mentioned but i was unsuccessful. It turns out it is quite a mission to open up the covers and i was afraid of breaking some thing.

    I managed to remove a few cables and waited and then reconnected them. The printer window still shows the tanks as being empty though.

    I am praying it improves without further interferance.

    Once gain thanks for your help and concern



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Canon printers are the trickiest on this. They have a waste pad or waste reservoir in the printer body. A cartridge can drain out due to the plug not being firmly in place. I use straight dishwashing soap around the plug to gain a good seal and this dishwashing fluid then dries up and more firmly completes the seal.

The other thing that can cause a cartridge to leak out is refilling them above sea level. When done above sea level the pressures don't equalize as engineered and the ink does drain out. Its sort of like dipping a straw in liquid and holding your finger over the top. For the most part as you lift the straw up and out the liquid remains in the straw, still some will drip out. This is called titration by the way and best done with glass tubes as your finger is more capable of creating a firm seal. That's why you want to use a liquid like dishwashing soap to seal the seal.

My guess on why you lost your yellow and can see no leakage is that the plug wasn't sealed fully and it leaked out into the waste pad or waste reservoir. Should you take the covers off the printer you may see a waste reservoir or pad (more like a diaper actually).

Then, there is the chip in the cartridge. Canon and most printer companies today have chips inside the cartridges that communicate ink levels. They also have an ID number so when you refill one and replace it the printer may still think it is empty. The work around is to have two sets of cartridges, replacing an old for a current so the chip changes on replacement.

So, as to why the yellow cartridge is not printing is because the printer, having the same cartridge in place, although refilled, still thinks it empty and will not eject ink. Usually there is a reset method to reset the ink usage and level memory. The best way is to remove the left side cover and you will normally find a 3volt button battery just smaller than a quarter but larger than a nickle. Some printers have two of these batteries. These batteries retain information, such as the print cartridge ID last used and the ink levels in some cases. If you do this, that is remove the battery for several minutes and then replace the battery you may need to reenter some data such as time and date if you have a Multifunction printer that can scan, copy and fax.

When you remove the covers of the printer, expect large sounding cracks as if some thing is breaking. This is from the pressure latches releasing under distress. The best way to proceed is to carefully observe any plastic pressure latches holding pieces of the covers in place and moving these latches out of the way by hand or with the aid of a small or medium screw driver. As soon as you see the battery, stop. Remove the battery, take a break and then come back and put the battery back in place. That should reset the ink ID memory. The software communicating with the printer may once again measure ink levels correctly. They usually do.

As to how this affects warranty? If you do not break anything you're okay. Some people suggest shorting out a board in the printer and then having it replaced under warranty. Normally, all printer makers just replace it they don't even look at it upon arrival. That is until you create a real history of returning printers. Then they may look at the printer. Otherwise, they get recycled.

Under some circumstances, especially with Canon, if you use a generic cartridge the printer will refuse to print using that cartridge as Canon is really stringent on using their ink and no other. If the printer suspects it has a generic non Canon cartridge it will behave as you described. You can try to remove and reinsert the batteries but that is no guarantee.

As a last resort you can log in and create a profile at:
FixYourOwnPrinter dot com and first search their database of posts of the same model printer as yours for some button sequences that can often bypass the generic cartridge isssue. This is a good web site to use and I highly recommend it if you are a regular self refiller of cartridges (who isn't these days).

Best of luck and let me know if I missed something or you need more advise.


Posted on Jan 14, 2009

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  • Glenn Rogers
    Glenn Rogers Jan 26, 2009


    Still having trouble. Saw a solution while assisting with another customer who is loosing black in the weirdest way. The problem is mostly located in your print head.

    Just as you have a lever or button to press and eject or release the ink tank, there is a release for the body that holds the ink tanks and under this body is where your print heads reside. There is probably something in your manual to indicate where this release is but normally its of a different color and easy to spot. When the body holding the ink tanks is lifted you will see cartridges called print heads with different symbols for the color blind and color dots for the rest of use, normally there is a lever you lift to pull up the print head from its seat. Do this with the yellow print head.

    Now, using a glass bowl, such as a custard disk, fill it with household ammonia and allow the printhead to soak for a few hours and then rinse thoroughly with warm water jets like a spray wand or soak in water for a few hours and then shake it out. Now soak the same print head in rubbing alcohol, this displaces any water and it's not reactive with ammonia. Then use canned air to blow through the fill hole and eject any remaining fluid. Once that is done or nearly done wipe off the ink receptacle and blow through the print head using your mouth. Be sure to wipe this down well. Now reinsert the print head and try again. Let this air dry or use canned air but let it air dry for quite a while. Then, reinsert the print head and see if the yellow works as advertised again.

    My guess is that the equalizer that keeps ink from runnning out, like your finger on a straw, was stuck paritally open from dried ink. The ammonia is the best way to dissolve ink, especially Canon ink.

    If this succeeds for you, you may want to take the time to clean your other print heads as well as they'll need it eventually.


  • Glenn Rogers
    Glenn Rogers Feb 03, 2009


    How is the printer and the yellow ink doing?


  • Glenn Rogers
    Glenn Rogers Feb 03, 2009

    I think once you cycle out the yellow diluted by the ammonia it will improve as much as its going to. Sometimes these recharged tanks and the ink for them is not quite what a new Canon tank will give you for color density. That is or isn't the case in your situation.

    This link here will take you to a good online retailer of good quality ink that may give you better results the next time you need to order some.

    What you do want to have is two sets of tanks, that can be refilled and switched out when ones in use run dry. By replacing them with a second set of tanks and do label these with permanent markers so you know which set is which, the chip inside will fool the printer into thinking they are new, because the internal chips are different different. Then they will begin to give you ink level reports again.

    So, do that, have two sets, fill one and save one, before filling or after removal soak in ammonia and water 1 to 1 solution. After a few hours soak in plain water and then blow them dry and blow them out. When you need them, then refill them, not before you need another one.

    Canon does sell a tank that can be recharged labeled as "High Capacity and will have the letter "A" after the number as in 14A. Those chips won't affect your refilling them. This was to comply with a court order to allow people in remote areas of the world to refill tanks that couldn't be replaced easily at the store.

    Now that this seems to be resolved I was hoping you would take the time to reRate this remaining solution as a FixYa and no longer a Helpful.

    As always, don't hesitate to ask for help if you have a question. That's what we are here for.




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