asked Feb 14, 2011 at 10:53pm
Canon Canon Bubblejet (BJ) 5

replacing ink absorber on canon i9900 printer

After using the i9900 Canon printer for the past 5 years, I recently had a message stating the "Ink Absorber Is Nearly Full".

I found a way in which to re-set the clock as it were. However, there is an unknown as to when the Ink Absorber may overflow on to the desk. This, I don't need unless I was looking for a divorce.

Canon has informed me that the i9900 needs servicing and stated the Ink Absorbers are not available. I told them the logic of their statement make no sense. Obviously they are available for the service techs.

Here is the bottom line:

I need to know the following:

1. Are the Ink Absorbers available for the i9900 for purchase?

2. What is the cost?

3. Where are they available?

4. Are there any instructions available on taking apart the i9900
and for installing the Ink Absorber?

Your help on the above would be appreciated.


Las Cruces, NM
All the printers I've ever been into that had the message had at most 25$ of the ink absorber saturated. The ink solidifies over time, so your fears of it leaking onto the desk are mostly unfounded. You can remove them and wash them in hot water. Just as effective as replacement. As for disassembly, I just eyeball what's holding them together, be it screws or plastic snaps and tear into them. Can't have manuals for every printer and they actually slow you down.
by moe on Feb 15, 2011 at 7:39am Add comment
In the event someone else stumbles on this post:

Parts are here: http://beckscrs.com/

If you don't know what you're looking for exactly, call them up on the telephone.

There's little triangles, like arrowheads, that point to each release for the cover.

On the top rear of each of the 2 silver side-decoration pieces you'll find these. Place a flat screwdriver tip in the accompanying notch, and pry very gently until each comes loose. Pull them off and set them aside.

On top of the front control switches is another arrow. Do the same thing, but tip the screwdriver handle upwards to gently move the piece outwards. There are two connectors on the back of the switches. Use a mini flat screwdriver to gently pry them off, from the sides.

Set the switch assembly aside. In front of the hole where the switch assembly was is an arrow on the bottom. There's a latch inside.

Pull up on the cover while you gently pry the latch back about 1/8". This latch will break if you go ape on it.

Once that's unlatched, and the case moves up slightly, keep upward pressure on the cover. Move around to the side, and same thing--arrow, screwdriver in the slot, push to unlatch.

Work around the back (3 slots), moving your hand, and the accompanying upward pressure, as you unlatch. Move around from the back to the side, and there's one more in the front on that side.

If you keep a small amount of upward pressure on the cover, it won't latch again as you go, and you can gently lift the cover off. Don't worry about the paper guide cover and the front output tray. Those can stay in place. Just don't let them flop around hard.

The paper guide mechanism is attached on the bottom, rear of the chassis, with three screws--one left, two right, if the back is facing you. Two screws must be removed: the left, and the rearmost right. The other right screw can be left in place.

The screws that are removed should--according to every one of these printers I've seen--be about 3/4" long with a coarse thread. The paper sensor is on the left of the paper guide. It's a black thing that rests inside the paper guide.

Be careful, because it isn't attached mechanically. It just slides on, so that means it will just slide off too. Then the spring falls off, and it's a mess.

From underneath the printer, you can remove the power supply (PSU). In the right crevice is a latch. You push it outwards, and the PSU drops out. On the right of the PSU there's a connector you must unplug. Set the PSU aside.

The metal chassis now lifts up, from the back, just a hair, so you can pull it back and lift it. But wait! There's wires attached on the left: the front switch wires.

These are in a harness hole. You just have to lift them out through the small slit. Look underneath the metal chassis. If you can see any white, the absorber isn't full. If it's all black, that's ink.

The whole absorber pulls out without special procedure. You might want to wear disposable plastic gloves. You can attempt to clean the bottom of the metal chassis, but it's mostly futile.

The other pads are in the bottom tray. The stack is a little difficult to get the first two loose. You might take the the empty bottom tray and rinse it under some warm water, instead of cleaning it with rags or paper towels.

You may rinse out the pads, but it takes a long time, they aren't as good after rinsing; and they shrink after drying, so it's a pain to fit them back. Plus, you have to leave the printer apart for a day or two.

Inserting a new set of pads is fairly simple. They fit properly only one certain way.

Here's a gotcha I never forgot: from the back of the printer, the stack of absorbers have four posts they fit around. It looks like there's not enough holes, but there are. You just can't see the one on the far right unless you you pull on the absorber.

When you reassemble, you have to put the front switch wires back in the harness hole, and tuck them in the harness groove before you put the cover back.

On the left front there is a plastic gauge wheel (with tiny black demarcations on the outer part. The read assembly is a small, black piece that straddles the wheel.

That's a booby trap. If you're not careful with the cover, you'll knock that loose. So, just gently rock it with one finger. If it feels secure, you're good to gently and carefully set the cover in place.

While you do this, you must put the front switch wires back through the cover. Line up the cover the detail on either side of the paper tray, and get it set properly so you can gently push down and lock the latches.

Don't forget the switch connections. The books for the i9900 are available online. There are at least 20 post here that tell you how to reset the waste-ink counter.
by SwanSword on Sep 18, 2011 at 3:02pm Add comment
WOW! I too just stumbled on this post looking for other small repairs. I HAVE the pads for replacement and wondered if I would ever have the nerve to try this. I actually did get my printer open...gently and was amazed at how this thing works. I was even able to find why I couldn't clear a paper jam flashing light. After this I was pondering the ink absorber issue and was hoping it would never come to this. NOW I feel as if I could be successful after having this detailed description. Thanks! - piratebrat
Thanks Swansword!
Yes - I stumbled upon this post.
I got the dreaded ink absorber full error message and used your instructions to open up and deal with the issue.
Even without images your instructions very clear and easy to follow.

While I was at it, I also managed to install an external waste ink tank for my i9900. Just unhook the two tubes from the bottom of the pump unit and attach some extensions. Then make slots in the top and bottom case and run out to a small bottle. I put the tubes into the bottle cap sealed with a bit of silicone sealer.
Seems to work fine.

by troika on Feb 20, 2014 at 6:02pm Add comment
It seems that Swansword is not too keen on getting his hands all stained and thinks cleaning out the bottom of the printer is futile. We are all different - I did not hesitate to strip out all the absorber pads and get everything in the kitchen sink. There was no sign of any dried ink in this i9900 that had been in storage for 4 years. I sprayed the pads at first to wash off most of the surface ink and then left them to soak in lukewarm water. After which I found the most effective and safest way of washing out the ink was with a roller and then allowing them to suck up clean water. A few cycles only a slight-tinted liquid being squashed out. These pads are a little delicate when handled roughly. DO NOT SQUISH THEM IN YOUR HANDS - the wrinkles will not come out. An effective way of drying them off is to roller them on a thick absorbent cloth. This way the exuded liquid goes in to the cloth and will not be sucked back in. BTW I used a wine bottle as a roller. I do not think the resulting washed out pads will be very much inferior to new ones - and I am sure they WILL NOT shrink. COTTON SHRINKS not plastic foam and nylon fibre. The reason for my hesitation to buy new is not only cost but also, of late, I have experienced unreliable shipping from North American suppliers. A note on so-called "NEW" printheads from Hong Kong. I paid $90 to an AliExpress supplier for a new OEM p-head which turned out to be refurbished unit. New ones come in a sealed silver plastic bag with multiple multi language on it and in a sturdy white cardboard box - but most telling was the lack of the orange plastic shield which covers the contacts area.
by speedhump on Feb 24, 2015 at 11:47am Add comment
Thanks so much SwanSword! I just used your instructions to take off the cover to get at a difficult paper jam. I didn't take both electrical connectors off--one was very tough to get loose. But I was still able to clear the jam.
by unknown on Mar 6, 2015 at 7:10am Add comment
I too ordered a "New" print head on AliExpress.

There are numerous suppliers based HK and on the mainland. The print heads are listed as new, refurbished and "black". Most sport a shiny sealed bag with the printing in multiple languages, even the refurbished types.

The "New" offerings show a picture of a paper box saying "Genuine" or "Genuine Canon" or "Genuine rican.cn". Rican is an authorized Canon dealer in China.

After a month, the printhead arrived in the shiny pouch but not in the box as was advertised. There was no plastic protector, but the head was very clean, had some sort of gel covering the inkjets, tiny tiny traces of color.

The photo cyan path never worked and the print head failed after a few short imperfect weeks. It was just a waste of money, apparently it was a refurbished counterfeit.

As a rule of thumb, I think the real print head should come in a box that says "Genuine Canon", and be in a pouch with brown printing (not blue).

The "rican.cn" variety may be Ok, perhaps they are quality refurbished, don't know. There are two printheads for the i9900
QY6-0055 and QY6-0076.
by unknown on Apr 8, 2015 at 2:26pm Add comment