Basic Printer Troubleshooting

There are many causes that can make our printers to malfunction and it doesn’t take a tech whiz to figure out the problem. In fact, many of us don’t need any kind of extensive training to fix our printers. Often, we just need to follow some common sense and do thing properly. The most obvious thing we need to do is disconnect the power, even before we pick up the printer. It is not enough to only turn off the printer, we also need to remove the plug and any cable that’s connected to the computer or network. First of all, we should find out where the ink cartridge is located and find ways to remove it. Next, we need to clean the cartridge, especially its head. In fact, this simple task could already allow us solve some of the printer problems. To clean the cartridge, we could use cloths that are slightly damp. However, we should avoid touching the light sensitive part and in many cartridges, we should only wipe the exterior. Some cartridges have attached microchips and we should find out whether it is possible to remove this sensitive component.

While cleaning thee cartridge, we should make sure that it is not exposed to direct sunlight. When cleaning the cartridge, we should check whether there are ink and dust build-ups. These accumulations could ruin the printer and we should check whether there are moving parts that we shouldn’t touch. Moving parts in printers can be contaminated by dirt and dust. Small bits of paper, dried ink and dust could become powerful combination to clog any printer. If we have a lightweight compressor, it would be easy to remove much of the accumulation. In any case, it is a bad idea to use wet cloths to clean the interior of the printer. A 240 Volt compressor should be good enough to blow out the accumulated grime. One of the most common types of malfunction is paper jam and it could be caused by different issues. It could be caused by paper that isn’t loaded properly or the paper is simply inadequate. We should also make sure that the cartridge is properly installed. There could also be blockages inside the printer that prevent paper to move around the roller system.

In some cases, our printers may already be overused or worn out and it is a good idea to immediately upgrade it. For example, worn paper roller may not work as efficiently and it may jam too many times, no matter how often we clean it. It is also important that we use the proper type of paper and our lightweight printer may not be able to handle thicker paper. In this case, the rolled could be underpowered to handle heavier paper. In this case, we shouldn’t use paper heavier than 80gsm and most office related usages could be well accommodated by 60gsm paper. It is also necessary to feel the texture and we should avoid using the one that feels a bit like sand paper. Heavily textured paper will tend to jam up our printer. Some coarser paper could flake off when inserted into the printer and this will also jam up the printer.

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