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3 Reasons That A Printer Might Print Too Lightly

2010-07-06

Printer problems can be quite costly, whether they occur in an office or at home. One of the most common printer problems is excessively light printing. Each printed page is barely readable, sometimes with visible lines that ruin the quality of pictures and text. This problem can seem to happen intermittently, and it can be very frustrating, especially when a person is in a hurry to print something. Most printer owners tend to immediately blame the printer ink for light printing, but there could be a number of potential causes depending on the type of printer used (and the printing habits of the computer user).

It's always a good idea to check your printer settings if you're having any kind of printer problems, even if you're fairly confident that nothing has been changed. More often than not, printer issues such as light printing are due to the printer's "draft" settings being selected by accident. This causes some prints, especially high resolution color prints, to come out looking bad. Draft settings can be very useful for limiting the amount of printer ink that your printer uses, but if you're trying to print out anything at a decent quality, be sure to use a higher setting. If even simple black ink seems to print lightly, however, there's probably another issue.

Occasionally, the print heads of a printer will become clogged, resulting in printer problems like light-ink prints. This can happen after a printer hasn't been used for a long period of time. Ink gathers in the print heads and dries. Many printers use printer ink cartridges with built in print heads, and replacing the cartridge will solve the problem. However, you can get more use out of the same ink cartridge by setting it down on a warm, wet napkin upside down for several minutes to draw out the clogged ink. Do not hit the ink cartridge to try to un-jam it. This won't work, and it may cause an ink spill, ruining the cartridge and anything around it. To prevent ink head jams, be sure to print at least once a week in both color and black and white, even if you don't have anything that you need to print.

Many printer users assume that the printer ink cartridge is simply out of ink if the device is printing lightly. This can sometimes be the culprit, although you'll want to check the other causes listed above before replacing your ink; remember, printer ink can be very expensive, and you certainly don't want to replace a cartridge unless it's absolutely necessary.

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