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Diagnosing and Solving Common Printer Problems

Aug 17, 2007
Any business owner or manager knows how important printers are to success. When the printers are down productivity suffers, and even the most robust business can grind to a halt. While many large companies can afford to hire professionals to troubleshoot and maintain the printers in the office, many smaller business owners find themselves wearing the hat of the printer repairman. Knowing how to diagnose and solve common printer problems can save those business owners lots of time and money, while at the same time keeping the business productive and profitable.

While there are many different kinds of printers, made by a host of printer manufacturers and wearing a number of name and model badges, most printer problems break down into a short list of categories. Understanding what these breakdowns mean, and learning to diagnose the parts most likely to cause those problems, is a big part of successful printer troubleshooting.

Problem 1 Paper Jams
Paper jams are perhaps the most common of all printer complaints, and they can also be one of the most difficult to diagnose. When a printer begins suffering from persistent paper jams, one of the most important steps is to look for a trouble code on the printer. If such a code is present, refer to the manual that shipped with the printer, or the manufacturers website, for information on how to clear the jam and prevent it from recurring.

Paper jams in laser printers are often the result of worn out rollers in the paper trays, so it is important to check those rollers when those jams occur on a regular basis. Most modern printers make it fairly easy for users to change the rollers, and it is a good idea for printer owners to keep a number of extra rollers on hand. When changing worn rollers, be sure to refer to the printers user manual, or instructions on the manufacturers website.

Problem 2 Ink Rubbing Off
Sometimes printer users will discover to their dismay that the ink rubs off the page easily, and this problem can easily result in a stack of unusable paper and hours of wasted time. When the ink rubs off the pages easily the most likely culprit is a defective or worn out fuser. Again, most modern laser printers make it fairly easy for printer owners to swap out a fuser cartridge, but it is still important to carefully follow the directions that came with the replacement cartridge. As with rollers, keeping an extra fuser cartridge on hand for each printer model can save a great deal of time and hassle.

Problem 3 Ink Spots and Inferior Printouts
Spots or other imperfections on the printouts can also be the result of a worn out fuser cartridge, so it is important to check the fuser when this problem occurs. If changing the fuser does not solve the problem it may be that the printer simply needs a good cleaning. Ink from the toner cartridge can often leak into the interior of the printer, causing spotting on the pages. Cleaning the printer with a specially designed cleaning cloth can often put the problem to rest.

If the problem continues it may be time to change the toner cartridge. As toner cartridges age they can begin to leak and cause other problems. If spotting is seen on the pages it is important to look carefully underneath the toner cartridge for loose ink and to remove any ink that is found. If ink is continually found inside the printer the toner cartridge is probably leaking and should be replaced at once.

Problem 4 Light Printouts
This is perhaps the easiest to solve of all printer problems, and one of the most common. If the printouts begin to appear light, the most likely cause is a worn out toner cartridge and replacing the toner cartridge should resolve the issue. If the toners seem to wear out too quickly, it may be a good idea to look into changing brands or suppliers. Each toner cartridge should come with an estimated life, and it is important to monitor actual usage to ensure quality service when buying printer consumables.
About the Author
This article was written by an inkjet printer specialist. Who inkjet supplies from http://www.easyinkz.co.uk who are great resellers of quality discounted Printer cartridges
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