2 Cents Worth
My 2 cents will save you plenty of $$$ and it is yours for free. Often times when I go into someone’s office I see potential disasters waiting to happen. Needless dollars in service calls for laser printers, copiers and some plain paper fax machines can be avoided by observing some simple practices. Though these seemingly insignificant details don’t always affect your machines, you have to ask yourself, “How lucky do I feel?”

Some general guidelines for all imaging equipment:
• Paper clips and staples are wonderful things but they manage to sneak into copiers on a regular basis. Make sure you have an appropriate place for them other than on top of your equipment or their paper trays.
• Keep the top cover closed on your copier. The photo drum (also called: OPC’s, Master Unit, Image Unit, Drum, PCU, etc.) can become damaged by strong and or consistent exposure to room light. Direct sunlight is worse yet.
• Avoid installing your equipment near windows. Typically the airborne dust that comes in an open window will settle on the optical components in the machine and hasten the appearance of print or copy quality problems. High traffic areas in an office will have a similar effect.
• Another reason to avoid installation near a window or heater for that matter is that the heat build up from sun loading or the heater can cause warping of the equipment case, resulting in odd problems that are difficult to isolate.
• Allow adequate space around equipment for it to ventilate properly. This will help prevent heat build-up that causes some plastics to break down and other spurious problems to occur.
• Get your equipment as close as possible to being level. This keeps the components from fighting uphill battles, downhill accelerations and allows fluids (toner, developer, lubricating oils, etc.)to evenly disperse.

Guard Against Humidity
This is true especially in warm humid working environments. Moisture absorbed by the paper can induce random light areas on a page to virtually white copies or prints as well as paper misfeeds. Keep your paper in the original wrapper and in the paper carton with the cover closed until you are ready to use it. A plastic storage container large enough to hold a ream of paper is a great way to protect your open packages from moisture. If you can store your paper tray this way too, you will be ahead of the game. Also, one more point, avoid storing cartons in direct contact with a cement floor. Moisture can be absorbed throughout the box when it sits on concrete.

If your paper falls on the floor—use it for something else.
The cost of wasted paper is small compared to a repair bill. Why take a chance on a piece of grit transferring from the paper to the photo drum where it can lodge itself on the wiper blade and cause scoring of the drum. This reveals itself as a fine dark line running through the print or copy. Again, it is best to keep your paper in its original wrapper and box until you use it.
Regarding toner cartridges that are so popular in many office machines:
(These guidelines are rather broad and do not apply to all cartridges but they might help.)
Toner cartridges are like people—they are all a little bit different. Some are stronger and able to fly where others run—run where some walk and get sick even though they have just had a physical.

Print Quality Problems
Try the steps below. If these steps fail then replace the photo cartridge with your spare or call for technical assistance.
1. Check for the obvious:
a. Is there anything foreign to the cartridge stuck to, hanging from, resting on, rattling inside?
b. Are any of the doors or flaps out of alignment?
c. Is the shipping seal removed?
2. Print 20 or so copies to see if the problem clears.

Black Vertical Streaks
(laser printer and micrographic, “N” cartridges) Clean the corona wire in the cartridge. Refer to the operator’s manual for your machine or the packing slip with your recharged cartridge. Cleaning may involve a tool to insert, a pull knob on a shaft to pull out and push in, or on some cartridges, a small blue tab that will move back and forth. In any case, exercise it several times to clean the charge wire.
White Vertical Streaking
Clean the corona wire in the machine or cartridge as described above and rock the cartridge (if present) along its axis. For PC’s and micrographic, “P” cartridges, clean both the corona wire in the machine and the one in the cartridge.

For Inkjet or bubble jet technology printers, if there are white lines in the characters then it may be time to run the print head cleaning utility often found as a program item for you printer or as part of the printer driver. Sometimes several cleaning cycles are necessary to recover a clogged print head. Otherwise you could be low on ink or in need of service.

Spots, Dots, and Smudges
Copiers and flat top fax machines: If the spots, dots and smudges are in the same place on the page from one page to the next, the problem is dirt on the copier glass. Printers and copiers: if the blemishes are equidistant to each other and change location from sheet to sheet then the photodrum or the fuser is damaged. If it is a cartridge type machine, try a different cartridge to see if the symptoms change. If they don’t, then you might need a service call.

Keep Cartridges Out of Direct Light and Away From Dust
They can damage the drum. If you need to inspect a drum for scratches or possible damage, the brief exposure to light will not harm the unit. However, use caution if you rotate the drum. Rotation in the wrong direction can cause toner to leak from the cartridge and dump into your machine.

Cleanliness is next to Godliness!
This may not always be possible but a little can go a long way to maintaining cleaner copies and prints. High dust environments can cause rapid deterioration in print/copy quality as well as the life expectancy of your equipment. The grit just grinds and grinds and grinds—gears, drums, rollers, bearings, fuser rollers, etc.

If you should cover your equipment make sure the equipment is turned off when covered so that heat does not build up inside the machine.

Remove Dust From Inside the Machine
Use a moist cloth as outlined in most operator’s manuals to remove excess toner and dust. Do not blow debris around in the printer or copier.
Other Machines
All modern copiers, laser printers and many fax machines operate on the same basic principle of static attraction of toner to create the paper output. The big difference is the type of light source to the drum – reflected, laser, or LED. With this in mind, many of the principles outlined for cartridges will apply in some form.

Black Streaks II

With the newer copiers that have an automatic document feeder moving the paper over a small glass area a black streak can be seen in the copy when you have an ink dot or other debris on the glass. Clean the glass with alcohol on a cloth.