Canon Support code 1700, Absorption pads full

I have used Canon G3200 printers for years. I like the huge ink delivery. I like that they almost never dry out. What I don't like is that Canon tries to hide how to change the ink absorption pads, trying to force you to take it in for repair. What is a $9 CDN repair plus about 30 minutes, I was quoted $250 and a week to 10 days by the closest service center. Now - there isn't even a service center near me to take it to and you can't ship it because the ink will spill.

Legal warnings

I offer these instructions as how I do it, if you are not willing to risk breaking your printer - take it to a service center, don't blame me if these don't work for you. But these are the exact instructions I personally follow and after all - the printer was going in the garbage if I didn't try, so I figured the risk was the cost of the pads I bought from Amazon and a bit of time. So if you can't get it serviced in your area - your risk is minimal, like mine. If they don't work for you, I suspect the worst is your printer will go in the garbage where it was already headed.

Canon User's Manual

Here are the instructions that work for me on my current G3200, as of 2023 purchased in 2018 I think. These instructions should work for many if not all of the Pixma G3000 and related printers such as the G3260, G3270, G4200, G4210, G4270, G2200, G2260, G2270. But it might not work for all of them and they might not work on yours. I've had 3 of the G3200's and these instructions didn't seem to work for the 1st one I had. Maybe Canon changed the instructions (they REALLY don't like the 'right to repair' concept) or maybe I just had a defective one. Update: My gut feel, reading other people's comments, is that in the early days of the G3000, G4000 and G5000 family printers, Canon got upset when someone posted how to reset the counter without going and paying for an expensive servicing, so they changed the instructions (the code on their computer chips in the printer) to have new instructions.

They may have done it it 2 or 3 times, resulting in wildly different instructions which might cause problems if you use the wrong ones on your printer. But it seems the last 5 or so years (2018+) that they stopped making random changes just to stop you from servicing them. If you have an older one, as I suggested above, what's the harm in trying? Worst case- you throw the printer in the electronic recycling bin like you were planning to anyway. Best case - your printer is good to go for years to come (and several pad replacements) until something really breaks down that isn't worth fixing. See the "advanced tips" before ordering replacement pads.

Warning: When you are in maintenance mode, you can accidentally enter a wrong instruction and totally bork your printer I'm told. I've never made a mistake, I am extremely careful. So if you do them, do them slowly and carefully, and count very carefully. Who knows what instructions you'll be sending if you don't count carefully; I suspect Canon WANTS you to destroy your printer if you don't take it to their authorized service centers, but in any event, Canon doesn't, as far as I can see, publish the service codes, so you could blindly make a mistake.

I suppose, since Canon doesn't want you to do your own cheap repairs, they might change the instructions depending on the software version. Service centers will have those details - I don't. I'm telling what works with MY printer.

So now that I have all these legal liability statements noted, here is what I do:

Get and replace the ink absorption pads

  • First, get the new ink absorption pads from Amazon (below $9 up depending who you get them from) the quality doesn't really matter - these are just sopping up ink! I've bought expensive, I've bought cheap - they feel and work the same.
  • Follow the instructions to remove the pads and put them back in. I line the pads up as I take them out to help me figure out the order to put them back in. If you make a mistake - my experience is it really doesn't matter - they are just a bunch of sponges. colored

Reset the printer counter: Then you reset the printer: If you make a mistake. Turn the printer off and start from scratch.

First put the printer in service mode:

  • Turn printer off by pressing and holding the power button for 1 or 2 seconds. Wait for the noises to stop and the lights to all go out.
  • Hold STOP (don't let go until I tell you)
  • one second later HOLD Power (don't let go until I tell you)
  • one second later RELEASE the STOP button (not the power - keep holding it!)
  • Press the stop 5x's. You'll see it alternate between the yellow and green lights as you do this. Don't rush.
  • Release the Power Button
  • Wait until the noises stop, up to about 10 seconds it feels like.
  • You are now in service Mode.

Perform the following two instructions:

1st instruction:

  • Press the Stop button 5 times at the rate you did above, noting the switch between the green and yellow lights.
  • Press the Power button 1 time
  • Wait until 1 sheet is pulled through with a little bit of printing on it, and wait until all the noises stop.

2nd instruction:

  • Press the Stop button 3 times at the rate you did above, noting the switch between the green and yellow lights.
  • Press the Power button 1 time
  • Wait until 1 sheet is pulled through with a lot of printing on it, and wait until all the noises stop.

Turn printer off

  • Press the power button for 1 or 2 seconds.
  • Wait until all the lights stop flashing and noises stop and all lights off. About 5-10 seconds typically.
  • Wait an additional 4 seconds
  • Press the power button briefly to turn it on like normal.
  • The error code should be cleared and you should be good to go.

Advanced tips:

If you are good at remembering to follow through. The printer 'problem' will happen right in the middle of when you want ot get some important printing done. Yike, what to do!

First immediately go and order the pads so you don't forget. Actually, if this is the first time you've tried it on this specific printer, try the reset instructions first to make sure they work with your printer THEN go and order pads now that you know it is worth spending the money buying the pads. See my comments above about 'worst case'. Now, go and cheat - follow the instructions "Reset the Printer Counter" to reset it.

Remember that this is a timed/usage calculation, not an actual sensor saying the pads are full, so there is a significant safety buffer, I have never seen them more than what appears to me to be 60% full, so I assume I'm wrong and assume they are 90% full to be on the safe side - I don't want blobs of ink spilling out! When the pads arrive, change them before you forget, then do the reset again if you want, or just wait until the counter tells you it's time to order new pads.