Question about Brother MFC 420CN All-In-One InkJet Printer

1 Answer

Printer trouble I cleaned the print head.  Put the printer back together. Tried to clean the print head. Now I get this error 51 and unable to clean routine maintenance.  What do I do??  HELP! please!

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  • ivy12 Dec 10, 2007

    Unable to clean

  • ladybirdrl Jan 14, 2008

    I have replaced the cartridges I keep getting error 51. Where can I take this printer to in the Framingham MA area. contact me at rladybirdrl@aol.com

  • Anonymous Mar 23, 2008

    my printer is MFC 5440CN,I have the same problem getting error 41, I called brother and they asked me to take the machine to certified maintenance center to be fixed on my account.

    Now I understand that this problem is well known among every customer, as brother have used the worst type of printing head in their printers.

    if the problem is known to Brother, their moral obligation is to replace the printer or the head at their cost

    it is unfair that customers has to accept brother's liability, sham on you brother you let down your customers

  • bellmarcial Jul 15, 2008

    My black in was out, I put in a new one, and it printed very light, then not at all. I purchased a new ink, installed it, and it has a message "unable to clean review troubleshooting and maintanance in you user guide.

  • Anonymous Jul 30, 2008

    Brother MFC 5440CN : The Magenta ink won't print with the other colors. Cleaning head automaticly does not fix the problem.

  • Anonymous Jan 16, 2009

    unable to clean troubleshooting and routine maintenance chapter in user's guide

  • Anonymous Mar 18, 2014

    display only tells me that routine maintenance is needed. Done that and it still does nothing.

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Soulvisitor
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SOURCE: brother 420

error 51 = The purge cam switch does not come ON or OFF even after the purge cam has been driven by the specified number of pulses.
Fix is
Switching arm assembly not engaged correctly If the switching arm does not move smoothly, clean it.

Ink cartridge/purge switch harness not connected correctly
Correct the connection.

Purge cam switch broken Replace the purge cam switch.

Gear(s) on the maintenance unit broken Replace the maintenance unit.

Paper feed motor broken Replace the paper feed motor.

Main PCB defective. Replace the main PCB.

Cleaning of these print heads rarely if ever is successfull, they are electronic devices unlike other brands of printers

Posted on Dec 04, 2007

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1 Answer

SeeTroubleschooting and Routine Maintenace chapter in user's quite.see clean unable 51 to MFC-230C


Hello and Welcome to FixYa!
"Unable 51" is most likely a print head issue. The print head is what the cartridges sit in inside of the printer. To attempt to resolve it, do the following:

(1) Open the printer
(2) Remove the ink cartridges from the print head.
(3) Use cotton swabs dipped in hot water or a mix of hot water and isopropyl alcohol to thoroughly clean the print head.
(4) Repeat this until there is no ink residue coming off on the cotton swab.
(5) Once finished, allow to dry and replace the cartridges
(6) Try to print something now


Your problem will be solved.

For any further help, you can take my valuable,professional help by taking my Service

Thank You for using FixYa

Mar 02, 2012 | Brother MFC-230c Printer

1 Answer

Brother 420


error 51 = The purge cam switch does not come ON or OFF even after the purge cam has been driven by the specified number of pulses.
Fix is
Switching arm assembly not engaged correctly If the switching arm does not move smoothly, clean it.

Ink cartridge/purge switch harness not connected correctly
Correct the connection.

Purge cam switch broken Replace the purge cam switch.

Gear(s) on the maintenance unit broken Replace the maintenance unit.

Paper feed motor broken Replace the paper feed motor.

Main PCB defective. Replace the main PCB.

Cleaning of these print heads rarely if ever is successfull, they are electronic devices unlike other brands of printers

Dec 04, 2007 | Brother MFC 420CN All-In-One InkJet...

1 Answer

Error message reads "unable to


It means that the printer is unable to clean the print head number(s) 46. The print head is located under the ink cartridges. Remove the cartridges, and you should see a plastic piece with a hole in it to put your finger under and snap open. This allows you to see the print heads. The print heads look like a sponge type dabber on top of a plastic case. Grab a hold of the print head and pull it out. Look for ink that has spilled behind it or on any of the brass colored computer connections. use warm water and a lint free cloth to scrub it off. Press the print head sponge with your finger and make sure that ink primes and fills the head then put the printer back together and try a test page. If you stll get the error then you need to contact brother for a print head replacement.

Jun 29, 2011 | Brother MFC-465CN InkJet Printer

1 Answer

Printer won't work.On the display it says:unable to clean. see trouble shooting and maintenance guide. I don't have a manual.


Unplug the printer from power cord.Press and hold the "menu" button, then plug the device.You'll see on the LCD screen a "machine error" code.If this code is 40,41,49 or 4F the print head is defective.If the error is 48 - defective print head cable or circuit board.If the error is 50 or 51 there is error in Purge unit and printer require service.If the error is 46 the waste ink tank is full.Follow this:
Enter 80, then scroll down with the arrow down (round) key. You'll find an entry listed as purge count. If number is over 6000, enter 2 7 8 3.This will reset the purge count value. Then restart the printer, hopefully without the annoying cannot clean message.

Nov 26, 2009 | Brother MFC 420CN All-In-One InkJet...

1 Answer

Unable to clean print heads


Unplug the printer from power cord.Press and hold the "menu" button, then plug the device.You'll see on the LCD screen a "machine error" code.If this code is 40,41,49 or 4F the print head is defective.If the error is 48 - defective print head cable or circuit board.If the error is 50 or 51 there is error in Purge unit and printer require service.If the error is 46 the waste ink tank is full.Follow this:
Enter 80, then scroll down with the arrow down (round) key. You'll find an entry listed as purge count. If number is over 6000, enter 2 7 8 3.This will reset the purge count value. Then restart the printer, hopefully without the annoying cannot clean message.

Nov 24, 2009 | Brother MFC-640CW All-In-One InkJet...

1 Answer

Machine Error 51


More than likely you have a bad printhead, if its under warranty brother will pay to have it fixed, otherwise just play baseball with it and buy another one

Aug 22, 2009 | Brother Multi-Function Center MFC-240C...

2 Answers

Unable to clean 51


Normal 0 Driver could be corrupt.
Disconnect the printer or at least be sure it is turned off. I'd do both and reinstall the CD software program that came with the printer. When the software program asks you to connect the printer to the USB port, do so and it should again work properly.
Hope this helps. Bud

Sep 25, 2008 | Brother Multi-Function Center MFC-665CW...

2 Answers

Clean unable 51


Ok Please follow this link and it has your answer.

Please rate me when it was a FIXYA

May 03, 2008 | Brother Multi-Function Center MFC-240C...

1 Answer

Error code


and even if you did get rid of error 51 that you have created, you will find that you still cant print in black, original problem is the print head is stuffed probally from dodgy non gen ink running threw it and the fix is to replace head. I don't know who is telling all you brother mfc owners to clean your print head but your paddling up the wrong creek, these heads are electronic deivices that dont take kindly to cleaning, they are not the same as other brands. Re error 51 goto different machine same engine post
http://www.fixya.com/support/t277162-brother_420

Dec 04, 2007 | Brother MFC-5440CN All-In-One InkJet...

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