Canon BCI-6Y and BCI-3eY ink tanks are exactly the same!
My Canon S820 inkjet photo printer ran out of the yellow ink lately. This is a really nice printer with Canon Think Tank System that has six separate ink tanks: black, photo cyan, photo magenta, cyan, magenta, and yellow. The yellow ink tank model number is BCI-6Y. However, I just can't find this ink tank at any of the local stores.
While setting up the Canon PIXMA iP3000 Photo Printer for my wife, I noticed that the yellow BCI-3eY ink tank is very similar to the BCI-6Y ink tank for the S820. Upon comparison, they turned out to be exactly the same. From the top, the only difference is the label. One says BCI-6Y while the other says BCI-3eY (see picture below).
From the side, the two cartridges look identical physically (see picture below). The color of the ink looks a bit different, but it could be that the newer, full cartridge just has a higher concentration of the yellow ink. It's common for brand new cartridge to appear to contain different color ink than specified on the label. The BCI-3eY ink cartridge on the right is a perfect example. It's obviously a yellow ink cartridge, but the ink looks orangish-red in color.
Desperate for the yellow ink tank, I plugged the BCI-3eY into my Canon S820 photo printer and it click right into place. The printer accepts it as well after I closed the printer cover. I was able to print a few test sheets and the printer seems to be working just fine. I just hope the color is exactly the same as the BCI-6Y ink tank; I don't want colors in my pictures to be slightly off.
Has anyone else tried this same trick?
The BCI-3eY package listed the following as compatible printers; Canon S820 is not on the list:
I did manage to find Canon BCI-6 series and BCI-3e series ink cartridges yesterday at the local Best Buy store. It turned out that the BCI-6 ink cartridges are actually fifty cents cheaper than the BCI-3e ink cartridges. The label on the BCI-6 ink cartridges shows the following compatibility list:
Because the iP3000 and the S820 both showed up on this list, I believe the BCI-6 series and BCI-3e series of ink color and cartridge are exactly the same and interchangeable. This applies to the magenta, cyan, and yellow ink cartridges.
The incompatible ink cartridges between the two series include the black, photo magenta, and photo cyan. The reason is because that the BCI-3eBK black ink cartridge is thicker than the BCI-6BK black ink cartridge. And the BCI-6PM photo magenta and BCI-6PC photo cyan ink cartridges are not used on ink jet printers that uses the BCI-3e series of ink cartridges.
Thanks for the info! This situation was facing me too but we had bought a 3e package of cartridge (Office Max brand) that had the BCI-3eBK we needed but the salesperson couldn't tell us whether the 3ey, and the other two that came with the package were compatible with the 6y. Your note made me much more comfortable in opening the package and finding that these seem to be compatible cartridges (we only needed the BCI3eBK now but it looks like the others 3e 15ml size are the same as the 6 series). Thanks again for the post!
I'm trying to track down accurate information myself, but the only explanation I can think of so far is that the 3e series is Pigment based and 6 series is dye based. My speculation is that although you may be able to use dye-based inks in pigment-based printers, using pigment-based inks in a dye-based printer may clog the print head. I have also read that high-end models of some printers are designed to take both (dye- and pigment- based inks have different color and longevity characteristics, and high-end users may want to be able to use either depending on purpose.)
I know that I was having all kinds of print quality issues with a canon i900D that I received second-hand, and noted that the previous owner had been using 3e-series inks. The streaks and banding cleared up right away as soon as I replaced the 3e Magenta and Cyan with their 6 counterparts. (I even replaced the original 3e Magenta with a brand-new 3e Magenta that the previous owner provided with the printer to no effect.) Make of that what you will.
Canon tend to use the same type of ink across their cartridges, (i know this from recharging cartridges we use the same type of OEM ink for all their cartridges,) so i don't believe pigment based ink is going to be a problem for you the diffrence however will be the flow of ink, this is controlled by a small labarinth hidden under the label of the cartridge. so a higher flowing cartridge will probably have little to know effect as the ink will be held back at the nozzle, however a lower flowing ink will not be able to keep up the flow to the print head hence the streeks and banding in the i900D.
123inkjets sent me a 3e this time instead of the 6. It didn't work on my pixma ip5000 but they said it was just a defective cartridge and are resending the same thing. There's no moving parts so I wonder what was defective.
I am interested in understanding how does it not work. Is there no ink on the page when you print? Or does the printer actually says bad cartridge? Or does the printer do something else altogether?
when I print a test page with 4 color bars the yellow comes out white - no color. When I run the maintanance align print heads get failed message and 11 amber blinks code - alignment failed. When looking at old and new cartridge side by side I can't see any difference.
Hmmm. Very interesting. I could see no mechanical difference between the two cartridges either. I hope it's not your print head that has failed.
For those who speculate on Ink types - I would like to add one comment - My Pixma iP3000 works perfect with both cartriges the 6 and the 3e.
Got my free replacement 3eY from 123inkjets. Working well.
So does anyone know what Canon has to say about this? I have a pixma 4000 and am afraid to use the bci6's and 3e's interchangeably until I know for sure it won't mess up my printer.
I have an i860 in my office which calls for the 6 cartridge. I recently discovered that our office supply person mistakenly bought the 3e Y, M an C. Can't find the receipt to return them and it has been too long anyway. I have considered trying them in the i860, as they look identical to the 6. Can I mess up anything by trying?
I was nervous when I bought the 3e colour catridges even though my PIXMA ip3000 is not listed in their 'compatibility list'. When I was about to change my cartridges lo and behold my old ones were 3e cartridges. So far they worked fine for me, only that whenever I refill they drive me nuts because I had to do the whole maintenance thing until I get the right colour. A tip though, right after refill do a bit of maintenance like 'Nozzle Check' and whatever cleaning. Then turn off your printer for a few minutes or hours if you like and then turn it back on. It will print fine. Well it works for me and so far I do not face much problems.
I accidentally purchased the 3e instead of the 6...the blacks come out the same, but the other colors are "off" when it comes to printing photos. Way too much magenta and cyan. D'oh!!
Can anyone assist with this... I have two printers Canon i560 and ip4000 which use interchangeable ink cartidges that I refill nicely; i560 uses (pigmented) black 3e for text and dye based cyan 6, magenta 6 and yellow 6 for photos. It makes black for photos by printing cynan magenta and yellow all on the same dot; ip4000 has Black 3e for text and cyan 6, magenta 6, yellow 6 and black 6 for photo printing.
Today I was given an old Canon i850 which appears to be the same technology as i560.
I have read that dye based nbr 6 cartridges for cyan magenta and yellow will work ok in printers where 3e (pigmented ?) is specified for those three colours.
Thanks, --- Hal
I have a Canon S600 printer and I've been buying Canon replacement cartridges from Costco for years -- it uses the BCI-3eC, M, Y, and K tanks. They were packed with one tank each of CMY, and two tanks of K. Some months back Costco stopped selling that package and started selling ONE package containing the BCI-6 tanks in C, M, and Y, and 2 tanks of BCI-3e in black. I've been trying to research the difference and found this website -- I've always thought the tanks themselves look identical. But it does sound like some people are having different "color" results -- I would tend to think that the inks are actually identical though, as well as the tanks themselves, at least for this series. Why would Canon MIX the inks if they were different from each other and sell them in ONE package??? If the inks didn't work, Canon would be hearing about it from hundreds of users!! I'm still reluctant to buy the BCI-6 tanks for the BCI-3e printer, but I need replacements very soon and think I might take a chance on going with the BCI-6 tanks.
Thanks everyone, very helpful info and helpful photos!! I also have a Canon S600 printer, and also always purchased Canon replacement cartridges BCI-3e. Stan, if you do try the BCI-6 series, can you post results of how BCI-6 worked in your S-600 printer?
I am reluctant to buy the BCI-6 tanks for the BCI-3e printer, too, although I am considering buying compatible ink brands for $4.95 each ink cartridge. But now I wonder if I should get ink compatible with the BCI-6 series instead of 3e for the three colors.
In case others are considering compatible brands, here are two URLs of ink brands compatible with Canon BCI-3e.
Thanks again everyone for great information on this site!
-- Apex Ink & Toner/ Apex Ink and Toner, BCI-3e compatible ink for canon s-600 for $4.95 each as of today, normally $11-$12 each, no multi-packs.
They have compatible ink and compatible toner for printers and fax machines, Brother Canon Pitney Bowes Xerox Other Dell Epson HP Lexmark Okidata Panasonic Samsung Sharp ink cartridges, toner cartridges, fax toner, etc.
(Posted cartridge numbers so online searches will locate this great advice, Thanks!!
I happened to notice only today that I have inadvertently been using a yellow 3e cartridge in my Canon i9900 printer, which is supposed to use Canon 6 cartridges. I must have carelessly purchased it without noticing. It seems to be working perfectly well.... the cartridges certainly look identical and obviously fit.... I don't believe 3e is pigment-based ink. Does anyone really know?
I ran in to the same puzzle today and emailed Canon support about this. I have a S600 and found the cartridge pack at Costco with 2 BCI-3eBK, and BCI-6Y etc. Apparently you should not use the 6 ones. Thought I'd share what they sent me below.
Please know that the BCI-6 ink cartridges are not compatible or designed
I have been using the 3e-c,m,y cartridges in my s800 for several years. It is cost effective for me because I have cases of canon ink but no 6's. (Which is what the s800 is supposed to use) If anyone would like to purchase some ink, just email me. I would sell it for a greatly reduced price.
I don't think there is a huge difference in sharpness between Canon BCI-3eBK black ink cartridge and Canon BCI-6BK black ink cartridge. BCI-6PM, BCI-6PC does work with BCI-3eBK series. I've been using compatibles for my Canon S400 Series printer and haven't seen any major difference. Not only do the compatible black ink cartridges print clear text but it gives you more page yield. I use to buy genuine OEM canon inkjet cartridges before but compatible ink cartridges are a great alternative. Not only does it save you money but it is good for the environment.
Incase you guys are thinking about switching to a compatible brand, I found a company that sells compatible Canon ink cartridges. Printerinknmore.com carries Canon ink cartridges for all Canon printer models. You can easily search the part numbers that go with your Canon printers. Here is the URL: http://www.printerinknmore.com/canon-compatible-cartridges.h . . .
Thanks for all the great information
I've been using 3e's & 6's in all of my canon printers for the past 15 years, BJC3000, BJC6000, S520, F30, iP3000,- I only buy new tanks to add to my supply
Try do you own refilling it's cheaper on ink, it helps to have 5 tanks each color,
If you need Help on this Just ASK ME! I've become very good @ doing Canon Print Heads & INK Tanks, And some times I can make old printheads alive again, but they
Canon don't won't you to buy ink cheap, and they always tell you that it won't work
"Does iP3000 Canon Owners Know that They Can Print on disc CD's, NOT Labels but the
I have canon pixma ip4000, the compatible ink suppose to be bc-6 C,M, Y, can anyone confirm if 3e-c,m, y will work on ip4000? Can I also use 3e-pm(photo magenta), pc, py or 6-pm, pc, py?
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