What should be done when your Canon alarm lamp flashes?

All modern models of printers and MFPs manufactured by Canon are equipped with an automatic self-diagnosis system that helps the user to identify certain problems. There are special lamps on the front panel of printers and MFPs which can help you to determine trouble. Lightning lamp is an emergency one. It shows what exactly went wrong during the printer work. Let us determine the main types of malfunctions of Canon printing machines and provide recommendations to address them.

The lightning lamp is constantly on

There are three main reasons for this type of behaviour:

  1. Fusing unit failure.
  2. Maintenance errors.
  3. Scanning module error (MFP only).

The information window on your computer screen can help to determine the exact type of malfunction. The error code will be shown in the information window. Error codes are used to determine the type of malfunction.

Индикация принтера Canon

Fusing unit failure

To troubleshoot the fusing unit without the help of service center, you can use the automatic cleaning function of the corresponding printer unit:

  • Clean the print queue, and then load a few blank sheets of paper into the printer.
  • Press the "Home" button on the LCD, and then select the "Menu" icon.
  • In the main menu, select "Settings/Maintenance".
  • In the next section, select “Clean the fusing unit,” and then press “OK.”
  • In the last section, click on the "Start" icon.
  • Cleaning will take place within the space of a few minutes, once it is done the message “Finished” will appear on the LCD.
  • Press the Home button again, then turn off the printer for a few minutes.
  • Turn on the printer and try to print a document.
  • If the fusing unit cleaning procedure does not help, you should take your printer to a service center.

Maintenance errors

Maintenance errors usually occur after cartridges replacement. If this happened for this reason, you can try to remove the ink tanks, and then, according to the printer instructions, put them back. If the error occurs for another reason, then this will be reported in the information window on your computer screen.

Ошибка принтера Canon

Error code shown in the information window will help you to determine the exact type of malfunction. There are many types of malfunctions, but they can all be divided into the following groups:

  • Cartridge errors. The printer does not recognise the installed cartridges, or they have run out of ink, or the ink nozzles are clogged, etc.
  • Software malfunctions For example, RAM overflow errors due to too many documents in the print queue.
  • Minor hardware and technical malfunctions. One of the electronic or mechanical components of the printer has failed. For example, the moving parts of the printer cannot move due to paper or foreign object jams.
  • Serious hardware malfunctions. Complete failure of one of the electronic and/or mechanical components of the printer.
  • And other.

If both cartridges replacements and printer reload do not help, most likely, the printer will have to be repaired.

Scan Module Error

As in the previous case, errors of this kind can happen due to software or hardware failures. All you can do is try to turn off the MFP for a few minutes. If after that the scanner works, but after several scanning procedures the error reappears, it means that it is overheating, which indicates the inoperability of the ventilation system. In this case you'd better take the MFP to a service center.

The lightning lamp flashes

The flashing of the emergency lamp can mean both minor and serious hardware-software malfunctions, it is best to let experts handle these types of malfunctions.  To determine the exact cause of the malfunction, just count the number of flashes of the lamp. This can also be done with the help of the error code provided in the information window on the computer screen.

Мигает молния на принтере

2 flashes (error code - 1000)

There is no paper in the rear tray of the printer. The solution is obvious.

3 flashes (1203 or 1300)

There are two reasons for this type of behaviour: either the printer cover is open, or there is a paper jam in the output and/or in the rear tray. The solution is to inspect the inside of the printing machine and remove the jammed paper, load blank sheets, close the cover, and try printing.

4 or 5 flashes (codes 168A, 1401, 1403 or 1485)

The error is typical for Canon printers using "FINE" cartridges. 4 and 5-flashes of the lightning lamp will mean that the ink tanks are not installed, are installed incorrectly, or they are not supported by the existing printer/MFP model. The solution is to remove and install the cartridges the right way. You can determine whether the installed ink tanks are compatible with the existing printer or MFP model in the technical documentation for the printing machine.

Картриджи на принтер Canon

8 flashes (1700 or 1701)

8 flashes indicates the ink absorber (diaper) is 90% full. Printing can be continued until the absorbent material is 100% full, after which the alarm lamp can be on continuously or blink endlessly. In the latter case, it will be necessary to replace the absorber, which is difficult to do at home.

9 flashes (error code 1890)

Also applies to printers that work with FINE cartridges. You should check the cartridge holder in case you see 9 flashes of the alarm lamp.  If the protective material remains attached, remove it.

11 flashes (4102 or 4103)

This situation occurs if the print settings are incorrect and/or the media type and paper size are incorrectly specified. These settings are specified in the printer driver. To enter the driver settings, open the "Print" menu, and then go to the "Properties" of the printer.

12 flashes (4100)

An error may occur when you try to print using not genuine Canon cartridges.

13 and 16 flashes (codes 1686 and 1688)

The ink may have run out.

14 and 15 flashes (codes 1684 and 1682)

The ink cartridge cannot be recognized. Check that the ink tanks are installed correctly. Remove the cartridge protective material if it has not been removed before installation. Check if the ink tank is compatible with your printer model.

Картридж Canon

ON Lamp and Alarm Lamp Flash Alternately

Some types of Canon printer and MFP malfunctions occur as alternating flashes of the Alarm lamp and the Power lamp (ON). For example, two flashes means that both lighting and ON lamp light one time, then the flashes are repeated in the same order, and after a short pause, the cycle resumes.

2 flashes (5100)

May indicate a paper jam or the presence of a foreign object that interferes with the print head. Also, it may may signal about an incorrect ink tank installation. First of all, make sure that there are no foreign objects inside the printer, then check that the cartridges are installed correctly. If the error is not resolved, service is required.

7 flashes (5B00 and 5B01)

7 flashes may indicate serious hardware or software problems with the printer/MFP. The situation is similar to that described in the first chapter about continuous flashing of the alarm lamp.

Принтер Canon

10 flashes (error code B20x, where "x" is any integer from 1 to 9)

In this case Canon recommends to contact the service center as a serious malfunction has occurred in the operation of the printing machine, and its subsequent operation can lead to fatal malfunctions.

The same applies to all cases other than those described in this chapter of the article, i.e. The lightning and ON lamps do not flash 2, 7, or 10 times. At the same time, the error code 5xxx or 6xxx can be displayed on the computer screen, where "xxx" is any number from 001 to 999.