asked Nov 23, 2004 at 12:05am
Canon Canon Bubblejet (BJ) 5

Canon S450 - Error codes and how to fix them

Note: All the information in this thread relates specifically to the Canon S450.

These are displayed as a certain number of flashing orange lights followed by one green flash. Then the code will repeat over and over until it is fixed. The printer will not work while there is an error code flashing:

1 x orange flash = service error (I’m not exactly sure what that means).

2 x orange flashes = out of paper (put in some paper and press the resume button once to fix)

3 x orange flashes = paper jam (clear jammed paper and push resume once to fix)

4 x orange flashes = ink empty ( open the lid and replace the empty ink tank or refill it.)

5 x orange , 6 x orange or 7 x orange flashes = cartridge not installed properly, not installed at all , or is faulty ( I have grouped these together because the fix is the same for all 3. i.e. open lid and remove then reinstall both the print heads. If the error code persists then it is likely that one of the print heads has failed and will need to be replaced. There seems to be no way to work out which one has failed. Just take a guess and replace one. If the code still persists then it means you guessed wrong so you will need to replace the other one)

8 x orange flashes = waste ink sponge tank is full ( this warning will come on automatically after a set number of printer on/off cycles. There is no actual sensor on the sponge. To prevent having an ink spill though, you should actually look at the sponge before resetting the error code to make sure that it is not soaked through. If it is soaking wet then you will need to remove it and clean it and dry it out / or replace it. This will involve quite a bit of disassembly of the printer. But as I say most of the time the sponge is ok and all you need to do is check it then reset the error code. The sequence for resetting the error code is shown at item “ d)” below.

9 x orange flashes = Black / Cyan ink problem. ( the printer requires the black and cyan ink for certain self alignment and self test functions. If this code comes up then first check that there is plenty of ink in the tanks. If not refill. If there is then turn the printer off. Then turn it on again and go into the printer maintenance menu on the computer and perform a “deep head clean” and possibly repeat if necessary)

10 x orange flashes = not too sure what this is ( to clear this I think you turn off the printer and unplug the power cord. Wait a few mins then restart it .)



For all of these functions you first need to enter the “service mode”

1) turn off the printer.
2) Open the lid
3) Press and hold the resume button
4) Press and hold the power button
5) Release resume button
6) Press resume twice
7) Release the power button - the print head will now move a bit then stop. The green light will flash steadily. (if it doesn’t then you did it wrong so start again)

From this point you can perform several functions. I will deal with them one at a time:

a) PRINT A TEST PAGE – if you want to do this then there must be a sheet of paper in the tray and all the error codes must be clear first. – Enter “Service mode” as above. Then push power button. Close lid. The test page will print and the printer will turn itself off.

b) PRINT EEPROM INFORMATION SHEET. – there must be paper in the tray and all error codes must be cleared first- these coded information sheets are not much good unless you know how to interpret them (just a bunch of coded numbers)- Anyway to do it enter “Service mode” as above. Then push resume once. The light should be steady orange. Press power. Close lid. The page will print and the printer will turn off.

c) RESET PRINTER TO DEFAULT SETTINGS – This will reset various default settings but does not reprogram or restore the model setting. Enter “Service Mode” as above. Press resume twice. Steady green light will be illuminated. Push power. Print head will move a lot and the printer will turn off. Close lid.

d) RESET WASTE INK COUNTER – Enter “Service mode” as above. Press resume 3 times. Steady orange light will be illuminated. Press power. Print head will move and printer will turn off. Close lid

e) REPROGRAM MODEL NUMBER.- if your computer thinks the printer is a model other than S450 then this will reset it. Enter “service mode” as above. Push resume four times. Steady green light will be illuminated. Push power. Push resume three times. Orange light will be on. Push power. Print head will move and printer will turn off. Close lid.

f) AUTO HEAD POSITION ADJUSTMENT- make sure there is a piece of paper in the tray and clear all error codes first. Then enter “ Service mode” as above. Push resume five times. Steady orange light will be illuminated. Push power. Close lid. Print head will move and it will print a sheet with a few lines of gibberish then turn itself off.

Hope this helps a few of you.
I think this is a great model printer. It is so easy to refill with bulk ink and really quite reliable. Mine has done more than 8000 pages and my color print head has only just now failed. I have replaced it and all is well again. I expect many thousands more copies although I expect that the black print head will probably fail too at some point and need to be replaced. But so far so good.
My canon s450 gives the following error code: 12 times orange.
The printhead doesn't move at all during power on or opening lid.
After the completion of the "service mode" procedure it bliks the 12x error code, so no steady green blinking.

Can someone tell me whats wrong with it?
by unknown on Jun 27, 2005 at 2:36pm Add comment
One more thing:
For about a month before my color print head failed, the printer was performing poorly. A lot of the printing had weird colors- lots of magenta and cyan.
I just kept printing as it was all draft copies i was making and tyhe quality didnt matter. Then the print head failed completely.
So if you are having weird color problems it may mean that your color print head is on the way out.
by robert on Nov 23, 2004 at 8:07am Add comment
What is wrong with my printer?
I keep getting lots of orange in my photos?
It's new color and new black cartridges.
NEVER had this problem before!
I have an EPSON Stylus PHOTO 820. - Anonymous
Thanks for the help on my friends S450.
He has the 7 x orange flashes. I am assumming that what you are calling the cartridge is either the BLACK one or the one enclosing the three colors. Each has a blue release lever?
One more thing; my friend says that the color cartridge(s) have been empty for quite a while and the printer has worked well using only the BLACK one, which he refilled using a kit. Given these facts, I would guess that his problem is with the BLACK. What do you think? And where would you suggest buying a replacement?
Thanks again,
by Frank on Dec 10, 2004 at 6:16pm Add comment
Frank: I just finished rejuvenating an S450. The BC-31e printhead (which holds the three color tanks) was evidently completely clogged from standing without use for a long time. After repeated flushing with hot (~110-115 degrees) water, the head finally responded by printing perfectly. The BC-30e printhead was a different story. I first refilled the blank ink tank with a generic "water-resistant" pigmented ink. The black print was "streaky" and intermittent. After repeated attempts at flushing the printhead, in frustration, I replaced the black ink tank with a new one - and guess what - the black print immediately began printing perfectly. So, my limited experience has been, in the one case, flushing the head fixed the problem, and in the second case, replacing a tank was the solution.
Hope this helps a little. JimW
by unknown on Dec 10, 2004 at 9:27pm Add comment
I have just discovered your web site, it's fantastic.

I have a Conon S450 printer. I am unable to print in black. However I am able to use the other three colours. The problem began after I refilled the cartridges. When the problem first occured I flushed the black print head with WD40, as recommended by a friend. This made no difference so I changed the black cartridge.

Has anyone got any suggestions which might solve the problem.
by Cam on Dec 16, 2004 at 9:51am Add comment
change your print head - Anonymous
I have just discovered your web site, it's fantastic.

I have a Conon S450 printer. I am unable to print in black. However I am able to use the other three colours. The problem began after I refilled the cartridges. When the problem first occured I flushed the black print head with WD40, as recommended by a friend. This made no difference so I changed the black cartridge.

Has anyone got any suggestions which might solve the problem.
by Cam on Dec 16, 2004 at 9:53am Add comment
Cam - what was the amazing web site you have found on this subject, please share it? Thanks David
by unknown on Dec 16, 2004 at 10:24am Add comment
My Canon S450 has worked perfectly for three years but suddenly won't print full colour. Full colour printing looks greenish/yellow/blue, the black being 'scratchy' and there's no red. The nozzles are fine and will print red, yellow, and blue seperately in a document. Apart doing a nozzle check, I've done repeated cleaning and a few deap cleans and also a manual clean. From reading other postings it might be that I need a new print head. Anyone know? Thanks, Rob
by unknown on Dec 17, 2004 at 2:55am Add comment
Canon support will refuse to help you even if you PAY the $40 for a new print head - EPSON will, so there you go. BUT the color problems many of you are having are caused when the head goes out and the other colors backwash into the tanks. Remove the yellow and see if there is a discolor flaring up from the delivery sponge or (worse)if the yellow is starting to look orange.(Other colors will bleed into adajacent tanks as well). Bad heads will also cause scratches to appear. The heads seem to go bad on Canon printers regardless of the amount of use and often unexpectedly. This is why, on other brands, the ink tanks and heads are one unit. It cost me $96 to replace both heads and 4 tanks so you'll have to do the math. Also, new heads are occasionally bad (again, no help from Canon). The S450 bungs up real fast, too. A little hand cleaning along the bottom of the carriage edges and along the self-cleaning unit helps alot. Indeed, this seemed like a good printer and was rated well in Consumer Reports but the manufacturer is not supporting it and will soon stop making parts for it. In a society that's becoming more disposable and landfill oriented, we need to urge the manufacturers to give us products that are easier to maintain and repair since it's obviously cheaper to BUY a new printer in most cases.
by unknown on Dec 17, 2004 at 2:57pm Add comment
Many thanks Robert from Spain, about your help the error codes and how trying to fix them
by Anonymous on Dec 18, 2004 at 3:22am Add comment
Thank you very much for your help.
My S450 error was "RESET WASTE INK COUNTER". I cleaned the waste as I could, but the printer did not work. After triying it many times, I was discouraged. Then I went to Google to find any information and arrived to your page. With your help I fixed the problem and now I can print.
Thank you again.
by cmdeleyva on Jun 28, 2005 at 2:28am Add comment
I'm writting from France. I got yoursite on a newsgroup.
It's genial.
Since several days my S450 printer has its waste ink tank full up.
Thanks to you, I'll be able to repair.
by unknown on Jul 6, 2005 at 4:03pm Add comment
My Canon S450 printer wont print red ink, the other colors and the black work fine. What should I do?
by Anonymous on Jul 23, 2005 at 8:16pm Add comment
I can't get any printing to work. It sounds like its printing
but out comes the blank paper again.
All new ink cartridges - what has gone wrong
by Anonymous on Mar 7, 2006 at 12:41pm Add comment
From what I'm reading in this forum, I am certain that my color print head is out and given how cheap the printer was to begin with ($84), I will not be replacing it. However, I've got two full sets of color ink cartridges and was wondering if Canon still makes this model or has replaced it with a model or two in a similar price range that uses the same ink cartridges? These are the BCI-3e (Y, C & M) color cartridges. Any info anyone has on this would be much appreciated!
by micro77s on Mar 22, 2006 at 10:20pm Add comment
Hi There
Ihave a S450 and I cant get it working, I have 6 flashing orange lights, so after checking out the advice given on the forum I ghanged the ink tanks for new ones, flushed the printheads put everything back, but I still get the flashing orange, tried resetting on service mode but still wont work, tried inter ghanging printheads with my photo cartridge printhead, but still wont work irrespective of which printhead I ghange the photo cartridge with. I am loath to spend more money on new printheads if this problem is going to persist, at £25 a go is it worth it.
by unknown on Apr 30, 2006 at 5:52am Add comment
It was half price day at Goodwill and I needed a new printer real bad. So there's this Canon S450, all cables and a bag with 4 replacement cartridges and all the paperwork. Needless to say I risked it for $7.50! It fired up real fast but wouldn't print colors, they came out like autumnal tones no primary colors. Anyway, I ran the color print head under my very hot faucet for a couple of mins. Dried it off, popped it back in and I am as pleased as a butcher's Dog! This is one fine printer, the quality is awesome. So if you are having that problem, try it out. Hope someone can use this info.
by unknown on May 19, 2006 at 3:15pm Add comment
My S450 stopped printing color.

I replaced the 3 color tanks with new Canon ones and also replaced the BC-31e.

Now the only color that prints is Yellow.

Help if you can!!!
by bobz on May 19, 2006 at 9:17pm Add comment
I just set up my Canon Mutipass MP730 and the printer will not work plus a code flashes stating that the cartridge is jammed. I know that all of the ink is installed properly. It makes a strange grinding noise when the print head moves when the machine is turned on and off. This is a brand new machine that I just set up. I cannot get this to work and have tried everything. Please can anyone help me with this major problem!

Thanks, needshelpbadly
by needshelpbadly on Sep 8, 2006 at 5:04am Add comment
I've had an S450 for several years. When I got it, it would only print black for a couple lines then quit.

I took it apart, washed the bottom out, ink waste pad, capping station etc. I discovered the black ink priming hose was clogged. Washing that out didn't cure it. What did was using a refill syringe, without the needle, to apply HOT water under pressure into the priming pump until the solidified ink blew out.

I then flushed both pumps with hot water until it flowed clear.

Haven't had a problem since! I just dug it out of storage where it sat for over a year and it fired right up and prints fine.

I've found Canon printheads with removable tanks to be nearly indestructable, as long as you use nothing stronger than water to flush them. (WD-40? No way!)
by bizzybody on Jan 27, 2007 at 11:35pm Add comment
We've replaced the ink cartrages twice . Theblue ink will not print . Help...... Every thing is pink.
by Anonymous on Mar 22, 2007 at 5:26pm Add comment
I'd call that a very dead printhead. Try running hot tap water through the head from the cartridge side, with the carts removed
of course. ;)

If after that, it still only prints pink, dead printhead.

My S450's color head finally died, so it went into the freebie box for a yard sale.
by Anonymous on Jun 23, 2007 at 8:11pm Add comment
my printer will not print on paper. i ran the thing that holds the ink cartridges under hot water until it ran clear and it is still not working.

by unknown on Aug 25, 2007 at 1:04pm Add comment
Thanks for the site and the repair codes. I have used them twice already. Once for 8 flashes-sponge tank full; and once for 7 flashes-print head not detected. I could not locate the sponge tank so just reset it. Just wanted to thank you for saving me from tossing a good printer for no reason.
by laverned on Nov 1, 2007 at 6:56am Add comment
Robert, I have tried following your procedure but after releasing the power button to try to get into service mode, my printer goes back to flashing the same error code (8 orange flashes). I don't get the green flashing. I have tried this an uncountable number of times with the same result. Any ideas?
by cafemom on Nov 1, 2007 at 8:20am Add comment