We have three Canon printers, i850, i860, i9900.
We primarily use bulk ink, but also cartridges from an online shop that sells them for about $5. We've tried cheaper carts but they kept clogging the heads.

I recommend three ways to keep the head working.
1. Always leave the printer plugged in. According to what I've read the printer has an auto cleaning cycle and once a week it cleans the head.
2. I used denatured alcohol to unclog the head. I place it in a small plastic container, put in just enough liquid to is touches the bottom. I also put a few drops in each print head color.
3. Compressed air is a great way to really clear out a bad clog. I've tried the small compressed air cylinders, but they cost about $14 for four. I also have a shop vac, I put it on REVERSE and that also seems to work well.

With all three printers we purchased extended warranties. Most of the problems have been printhead related for us. We were unaware of the compressed air technique and I think if we knew that back in 2003 we would have had very few trips to the repair shop. We just replaced the printhead on our i9900. The printhead lasted about a year and a half and during that time it never had any down time.

Quick but important note. Only buy the Canon extended warranty. We bought the i9900 from Amazon and bought their extended warranty N. E. W. Corp. It is awful.

We use the i9900 to print my real estate newsletter, which we print on 11 x 17 paper, double sided, about 550 copies, monthly...that's a lot of printing!


Keith Sorem