Top Printing Fails
We’ve all been there – a big deadline is looming, you’ve been up all night working on that all-important document, you’ve just finished it in time and then disaster strikes; your printer lets you down, you’re unable to print out your masterpiece and you decide to quote that classic Mario Balotelli line: “Why always me?”.
While today’s printers are generally very reliable – it’s definitely worth doing some homework before buying on which manufacturers have a reputation for bulletproof build quality – a machine that’s working flat out to print thousands of pages a year can still be problematic from time to time. So what are the most common printer ‘issues’ and how can you fix them?
Communication error: At a fairly sizeable, well-known company that I worked for, one of the IT technicians always told us to “wiggle the wires” when a print fault was reported. While this became something of a standing joke, you know what, she was usually right; often the fault was caused by a loose connection or a cable that had inadvertently been pulled out of its socket. Otherwise check network connections and that documents are being sent to the correct print device.
Paper jams: The common one, which could be caused by dirt, worn rollers or the even the wrong or poor quality paper can cause them, so cleaning and regular maintenance (included in service packages) along with better paper will help reduce jams. It’s worth noting that when removing a paper jam, always pull the paper in the direction of the paper path, because pulling it backwards can severely damage the printer.
Dirty marks on prints: Marks such as dots, ghosting and lines can be caused by toner leaking onto the print drum or dust getting where it shouldn’t. A culprit is often non-genuine toner so try to stick to the original and the best! Also, check for fuser issues and worn drums and, if in doubt, call a KYOCERA engineer.
Faded print: This is normally down to two factors, namely low toner or the wrong print setting being used. A quick squint at the setting being used should remedy the problem and, when it comes to low toner, you really don’t need me to tell you how to fix it!
Ghosting: Where the image prints properly, but a much lighter copy of the image also prints elsewhere is called ghosting and, surprisingly, can be due to a problem with the power supply. Check the power outlet by plugging in a different printer to see if the same results occur. Ghosting can also be caused when consumable printer parts such as the drum or imaging kit are near the end of their life. Prevention is better than cure so a cycle of preventative maintenance from a supplier is always a good idea – and can save downtime at those important moments.
Printing on paper from the wrong tray: Either the print settings on the device or app sending the document to print is set incorrectly or the printer itself has a setting that has gone awry. Look ‘Printer Properties’ on the sending device and ensure the correct tray is selected while on the printer ensure the paper sizes in the control panel match what is actually in the paper trays.
Time for maintenance error code: Like us all, a printer needs a little TLC when it has been working hard. When a certain number of pages have been printed a maintenance kit needs to be installed.
7990 error (KYOCERA machine) : This message means the waste toner is full. It’s usually spotted on smaller machines, where the waste toner is attached to the drum unit, and means a new drum unit is required. Again, this is a standard consumable and all part of ongoing maintenance.
Toner smudges and doesn’t stay on the page: This can happen when the fuser assembly is damaged or at the end of its life and needs replacing. Alternatively, the toner cartridge may be defective and letting too much toner out at one time. Finally, some toner may have spilled in the printer – if so, a good clean is the order of the day.
Through a combination of routine maintenance, correct usage and ongoing replacement of consumables – ideally genuine manufacturer products – printers will provide plenty of loyal service. What’s more, provide the correct TLC and those awkward printer fails are less likely to hold you back.