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Troubleshooting Common Copier/Printer Issues

It’s probably safe to say that the office copier/printer is one of those business tools that gets taken for granted. So many businesses print so many documents on a regular basis, and the process is so simple that you kind of expect the pages to come out how you want rather than hope they will.

Of course, anyone who uses a copier/printer on a regular basis knows that issues come up, and the same issues tend to come up. It’s wise to have a close relationship with your service provider, but there are a handful of common problems that you can troubleshoot on your own most of the time.

Paper Jams

Everyone who has used a copier/printer with any regularity has experienced a paper jam. They are probably the most common problems encountered. Basically, the paper jams up and isn’t dispensed properly and your printing job is ruined.

Cleaning the copier/printer a few times a year will keep the dirt and dust that can cause paper jams away, thus preventing the issue. You also might have worn rollers or you might be using the wrong type of paper for your particular printer. Scheduling regular maintenance on your machine will keep the problem at bay.

Smearing Toner

Printing documents is useless if you can’t read what’s on the paper. If your toner is smearing, try replacing the toner cartridge, because you may have a defective one. Toner may have spilled into the machine, which would require a good cleaning, or the fuser assembly may be in need of a change. If the issue seems a little beyond the obvious, call a technician for help.

Envelope Printing

It’s not uncommon for copiers to have problems when it comes time to print on envelopes. Naturally, most businesses require regular envelope printing, some in high quantities. Take the time to ensure the envelopes are correctly centered in the printer, and use envelopes that are the correct paper weight and thickness; 20 lb is usually good. If they are coming out of the printer already sealed, pick a different type of envelope that will handle the heat.

Faded Printing

Faded printing isn’t much better than smeared printing, but luckily it is usually a relatively easy fix. If your ink is faded, check to see if the printer is low on toner, and if it’s not, look to see if the print density is set low or if it is set on some sort of economy mode. Sometimes, shaking up the toner cartridge will fix the problem temporarily, but you will have to replace it in the near future. Remember to call for professional service anytime you aren’t sure how to proceed.


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