Replacing the flash spring on a Canon EOS T1i

On Christmas morning, I put my Canon EOS T1i DSLR camera on the tripod to take a family picture. But it didn’t work: “Err05”. The built-in flash didn’t open, so the camera refused to…camera. It had done that at Thanksgiving, too, so I’d used manual settings and some additional lighting to make it work. This time, changing the ISO from automatic was enough to convince the camera to take a picture, but I didn’t want to keep fighting it. Search results suggested that it could be dirt in the flash housing. Makes sense: I took the camera to the beach this summer and we all know that sand is coarse and rough and irritating, and it gets everywhere.

I found a great YouTube video that went through the process of removing the housing and cleaning the flash. Just from loosening the screw a bit, the flash popped up when it was supposed to. But I figured “since I’m here, I might as well keep going and make sure I have everything cleaned out.” That was my mistake.

When it came time to reassemble everything, I couldn’t figure out how the spring fit. The guy in the video just said to put it back and his fingers blocked my view. I couldn’t find anything else, except for a few forum posts that were impossible for me to decipher. I spent what felt like an hour trying different things and growing increasingly frustrated. But at one point I turned the camera just right and I figured it out.

Replacing the spring

Close up of the flash housing on a camera with a circle drawn around the slit at the base of it.
The circle shows the slit where the short end of the spring goes.

It turns out there’s a slit on the interior part of the housing where you can slide the short end of the spring. It will hold there firmly after you bend the long part back to install the screw.

Close up of a hand pulling on the long end of the camera flash spring.
Pulling back the long end of the spring to get the screw in place.
Close up of the reassembled spring with the flash closed
The screw and spring replaced

One the screw is back in (note that the head is smaller than the coil of the spring), you can hook the long end under the tab on the forward part of the housing.

I hope this helps anyone who stumbles across this post in a fit of desperation. The YouTube video is very helpful otherwise, so I won’t repeat the rest. I’ve only tried these instructions on one model of camera, because that’s the only one I have, but it should be the same for similar models.