Most Canon genuine individual ink tanks (including PGI-5, 220,
225, 520, 525, 650
and CLI-8, 221, 226, 521, 526, 651 etc) as well as most compatible ink tanks are
fairly easy to
refill - if you know what to do. It is also important to have the right
refill tools and correct plugs.
Note: If your Canon printer uses
two ink cartridges, (1 black & 1 tricolour), the info on this page doesn't
apply. You can find information on refilling Canon
PG-640/640XL/510/512/37/40/50 and CL-641/641XL/511/513/38/41/51 etc
All Canon ink tanks refill the same and the
process described below can be used with any (Canon) ink tank model (including
5/8/220/221/225/320/321/520/521/525/526/650/651 etc). The only variable is the fill hole
location. On some ink tanks, the hole is slightly forward of the position
indicated below. On 650/651 tanks the fill hole is underneath the CR code.
1) Remove Canon ink tank from printer and
seal the ink outlet (bottom of tank). Using a click-in refill clip is
If you don't have a suitable refill clip, you
can reuse the "break off" clip that comes fitted to Canon ink tanks
- when new.
It will not click back on, so use a couple of rubber bands to hold it in
place. If you haven't kept the Canon clips, wrapping several layers of Glad-wrap
around the cartridge (tight) works well too. Whatever you use must be
tight - to stop the ink leaking out while you're injecting it.
2) Locate the fill hole - hidden
under the cartridge label (on top). If not sure where it is...run a finger over the
label and you should be able to feel an indentation underneath. Once you
find the indentation, use something sharp (eg Stanley knife) to scrape some
of the label off, until you expose the original fill plug (small plastic ball).
3) Remove the fill plug - using a plug
tool. Screw the tip into the plug 2-3 turns, or until it feels tight, then
pull on the tool and the plug should come out with it. If the tool seems
stuck and won't pull out, backing off a turn might help. Don't rush this
step and take care, when screwing the tool in, as to not damage sides of the
hole. If you damage the hole, the plug may not seal properly and the
cartridge can later leak. If you don't have a plug tool, you can drill the
plug out, (using correct size drill). If you don't have a drill either, the
only other option is to knock the plug into the cartridge - using a blunt
nail or suitable punch and a hammer. This is not ideal, but if you have
nothing else to remove the plug with...it will have to do.
4) Fill the ink tank - using a syringe &
needle. Don't rush this step, or you'll make a mess. With some Canon ink
tanks (eg CLI-226/526/651 and PGI-225/525/650 etc) you can't see the ink level, so the first
clue you'll get that the cartridge is full, is when the ink overflows.
Holding a corner of folded tissue paper up against the needle is the best way to prevent the
ink spilling over and making a mess. When the tank is full, wait 20-30
seconds for the ink level to drop, then inject some more - until the
reservoir is full. Don't leave the fill hole open any longer than that, or
try to top up again - or the sponge will get too full. This can make the
cartridge leak later on, when installed in the printer.
5) Plug the hole. If you don't have a
proper plug, you should be able to reuse the original ball plug. You can
also use hot glue, silicone sealant etc. If you have
nothing else, knead a 5mm ball of Bluetack and push it in - tight. It
doesn't matter what you use - as long as the seal is air tight and whatever
you use, doesn't protrude any more than 1mm above top of the ink
tank. Late model Canon printers are very tight and there is hardly any clearance above
the ink tanks.
6) Check the ink tank for leaks. Unclick
it from refill clip, (or remove Gladwrap) and place it (in upright position)
over something it can drip into. Leave it for couple of minutes to confirm
it's not leaking (from the outlet). Few drops is ok, but if the leak
continues, there is a problem - more than likely with the fill hole seal. Rectify, before
fitting the cartridge in printer. Also...if you had any spills along the
way...make sure the chip has no ink on it. If it does, rinse the ink tank
under tap or at least wipe the chip clean with a damp cloth. Make sure
the chip is 100% dry - before fitting it in printer!
Tip: Rectangular Devondale butter containers are
a good shape/size for Canon ink tanks. The tanks sit just inside the top edge
of the container and away from any ink that drips out.
You can find quality refill kits for Canon ink
here. Refill kits include all
the tools/plugs etc you need. You can also
find more ink cartridge/ink tank refill tips here.
If you need more info,