How to handle printer maintenance

For optimal and proper functioning of any gadget, proper maintenance must come into effect so as to ensure that the normal running of the device is not altered or affected. In addition, it is through constant maintenance that possible malfunctions are detected in addition to making minor repairs. Unlike some other aspects of maintenance where especially skilled personnel are required, printer maintenance is quite an easy job and does not require the intervention of individuals with special skills to do it. As a matter of fact, this is an activity that is at times left out for the office clerk to handle. Printer maintenance is one area that many people tend to neglect due to their perception that a printer is just a simple machine. For one to achieve the best desired results and outcomes maintenance must not only be done effectively but also done on routine basis. Printer maintenance entails various aspects such as cleaning, calibration, application of maintenance kit and toner replacement.


Although laser printer is expensive, but it can provide some really good resolution and it is quiet as well. So, one should use this printer for their offices and home to get some best performance. Here are the ways how to maintain this printer;

Replacing toner, applying maintenance kit, calibration, cleaning: One should know that Changing the toner cartridge is a maintenance activity that any individual who possesses a printer must come across. This is due to the fact that in the due course of printing, the toner runs out of ink and hence the requirement for a fresh replacement is quite important. The low level of the cartridge is normally indicated by an alert message warning of the toner level. However, an indication of this message does not call for immediate and urgent replacement of the toner. This is because even with the little level, printing can still be done only that the quality of printouts will depreciate. This is in that the writings will appear faint until a point where their visibility is null.

A toner cartridge does not only harbor a toner but also contains an Organic Photo Conductor drum that has an extremely high sensitivity to light. It contains a cover on it and cannot be seen when looking at the toner cartridge. This is to shield it from any light from penetrating into it. During replacement, one should be extremely cautious so as not to allow a great extent of light to reach the organic photo conductor.

When carrying out the toner replacement, utmost safety is an aspect that one must take into consideration. With a printer being an electronic gadget, all its power sources should be switched off. Alternatively, it can be plugged out of the sockets. This is normally in a move to try and protect you from some of the excess heat and high level voltage generated when the printer is powered on. In addition, the inside of a printer may at times be a high voltage environment resulting into some very hot components. In such a case, disconnection from power cables might not be the only safety since a bit of cooling may be required. One should also take much precaution so as to avoid getting electrocutions or burns.

Effective and precise toner replacement is only realized with careful following of instructions and guidelines. These are normally stipulated guidelines that must be adhered to when replacing each kind of cartridge. Such instructions if not carefully followed can result into a mess. Once the old cartridge has been removed, an individual can opt to recycle it or safely dispose it off which means it should not be thrown into a flame. Proper disposal reduces the risks of any ink left from spilling on the printer. Since this replacement activity may at times involve reassembling the laser printer, one should ensure that some test prints are carried out after the maintenance so as to ascertain that they printer is properly functional.

Laser printer cleaning is an activity that is less frequent. In most cases, cleaning is done at the time of toner replacement. However, constant dusting is also done to prevent dust particles from lodging onto some of the printer parts. Cleaning can also be done so as to remove any pieces of paper lodged in the printer. Water is highly recommended for this since it does not pose much risk to damaging the printer unlike other chemicals. To make work easier, one can opt for laser vacuum cleaners in spite being quite costly.

Application of the maintenance kit is one other aspect of laser printer maintenance. One can know that the Maintenance kits are normally provided by manufacturers. This kit is special composition equipment that is used to replace other parts that tend to wear out very quickly. Laser printer maintenance kits normally come with a great deal of diverse components. Depending on the printer model, the number of items in the kit may vary. Some instructions are also included in the kit so as to act as a guide in the maintenance process.

In most cases, application of this maintenance kit is usually based on the number of printouts the printer has produced. This reduces haphazard replacement of parts which could lead to extravagance. Once the laser printer has produced a certain number of pages, maintenance can be carried out.

Laser printer calibration is another aspect of maintenance. This is a maintenance activity normally done so as to regulate the amount of toner ink being used on the printouts. This means that with proper printer calibration, the density of each particle becomes equal and hence all printouts are uniform.

Thermal Printers

The thermal printers are mainly used for printing recepits and they use heat for this purpose. Also, they have some special paper that theyc an use. Following is the way how one can maintain that printer;

Replace paper, clean heating element, remove debris: Paper replacement in a thermal printer is quite similar to that of an ink jet or laser printer. This is quite an easy activity based on the fact that paper replacement is only done with papers that are specifically standardized and meant for a thermal printer. In this case, you must be familiar with the appropriate paper size for your printer, which should be part of your office stock.

With a thermal printer having a limited number of parts in motion, replacement of papers is quite easy. This only calls for replacement of the old roll or bundle of papers with a new bundle and the thermal printer resumes work as usual. This means that all sorts of printouts be it receipts, pamphlets and brochures will be produces as usual.

Cleaning of the heating element in thermal printers is an important aspect of thermal printer maintenance. This is an activity that is commonly carried out with the utilization of thermal printer cleaning pin. It usually contains a special type of liquid known as isopropyl alcohol which does all the cleaning in any section of the heating element. Not much is needed so as to do this cleaning since a few wipes usually do the cleaning. Thermal printer manufacturers also recommend the use of a cleaning card. This card normally moves through the printer and in this process, it aids in cleaning the heating element.

Based on the fact that thermal printers do not have toners, they are less prone to dirt making its cleaning quite an easy process. With the most common dirt being paper pieces and dust, cleaning is easy since one can pick the papers by hand or chose to blow them out of the printer's system.

Vacuum cleaners are not highly recommended for this since they create much static electricity. If one is to settle for this option, one should ascertain that the cleaner is designated to clean computer parts hence minimizing the risks of damaging fragile electronics in the printer.


These printers are so noisy and are the cheapest. Now, people mostly don't use such printers due to the low resolution and the big noise. Following are the ways how one can do some taks to get the printer maintained properly;

Replace ribbon, replace print head, and replace paper: Impact printers often contain a ribbon inside them through which they are able to wet the paper with ink for printing. Being self-contained in the printer, the ribbon is a single cartridge whose removal and replacement with a new one is quite easy.

Light ink on the printing papers normally serves as an indication that the cartridge should be replaced. With this indicator, the decision to replace the ribbon lies in the hands of the printer owner. Replacing the ribbon cartridge has been made quite easy by manufacturers. It now becomes your task to acquire the exact ribbon cartridge for your specific printer model. Replacing it is quite easy since once the printer's cover is opened, the cartridge pops out through which snapping down a new ribbon in the printer becomes easy.

If the thermal printer is used extensively for quite a long time, one may discover that the print head inside the printer are wearing out. This normally happens due to the fact that most of the pins are normally used in addition to hitting the paper. If using the printer at that particular instance, you will note that it wears out as well.

A lot of heat is generated making the printer very hot. With respect to this, caution should be taken when replacing the print head inside an impact printer. Supposedly, one should allow the printer's temperatures to cool down so as to carry out the printer head replacement. With the printer head being a modular part, manufacturers have made its replacement very easy in a move to try and be sure of it being field swappable and upgradeable. The print head pops out with the press of a button or movement of a lever after which you can get the replacement head and put it into place. Once this is done, you are now in a position to use a new print head to print.

When replacing the print head, it is also considered the most ideal situation to make a replacement of the ribbon. With this, each printout coming from the printer appears just as perfect as it should.

The Dot Matrix printer is an example of a thermal printer that is quite distinct in that there is no standard paper size to be used in it. This could probably be due to the availability of some special requirements or specific reasons. In this case, there are no standardized papers to be used in this printer since it appears like a paper with small holes on its inner side that is pulled through the printer during printing. If simple, plain white paper is what the printer is using, replacement is very easy. You only need to add the paper and ensure that all the holes are lined up well in a continuous feeder after which you close it and printing continues.

On the contrary, if you are printing to from, caution must be taken with regard to the exact place where you are to put your paper. This is due to the fact that the application which prints on the form commences printing immediately. Through this, you have to be completely sure that the different areas of the form will be properly filled in by the application. In this case therefore, the paper replacement is often accompanied by a testing that can be carried out to ensure that there is perfect alignment. This is because this is a single lengthy piece of continuous feed paper. You have to ensure that the region pulling in the paper can receive it without any sort of constraints. If the paper is misaligned or pushed far much back or far much forward, you may find out that the printer is unable to pull it with much ease. This may cause a jam or even result into a breakage of the paper prior to it getting inside the printer. With everything at your disposal clear and paper movement being proper, you are assured of getting very good printouts.

As a matter of fact, printer maintenance is an undertaking that should not be taken for granted or ignored by any individual or firm that runs or owns a printer. This is because lack of maintenance can end up resulting into far much bigger problems that are more expensive. This should be made a routine activity since optimal productivity of the printer is highly contributed by its smooth and proper working. People without knowledge on printer maintenance can go an extra mile and seek the services of a professional printer maintainer.


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