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What Ghosting Is And How It Can Waste Printer Ink

2010-06-27

No one can afford to waste valuable printer ink. Whether running a large business or printing off papers for school projects, printer ink is a necessary part of our daily computing operations and at the first sign of running out of printer ink, we cringe at the cost of replacement. One obvious indication that our printer ink is being wasted is when Character Ghosting occurs.

As the name implies, character ghosting is when unwanted duplicate images are printed several times vertically down the page; the "ghosted" characters often appear as a duplicate shadow and repeat at even intervals. When a character, even one letter, is repeated one to four inches from the primary image, this is an instance of ghosting. A problem common to laser printers, the image that is ghosted often appears as light grey if other images around it appear black, or as black, if surrounding images are light. Aside from making documents look unprofessional and not presentable, ghosting wastes valuable printer ink.

Ghosting happens when residual electrical charges are left on the surface of the electro-photographic (EP) drum or because of lack of toner. You can measure the distance from the real image and ghost image to find out if the problem is caused by either the toner cartridge or the fuser. If the image occurs precisely 2.94 inches from the start of the original, it is likely a toner cartridge issue. If the ghost image and the original are 2.47 inches apart, this indicates a fuser problem. Most of the time, character ghosting indicates that the cartridge soon needs replacement and the sooner the better, in order to preserve printer ink.

No machine can last forever. Each machine and its individual parts have an expected life-cycle of operation. The more parts a machine has, the more potential for money-wasting malfunction, because when a machine is not working at its peak, efficiency suffers. If the toner cartridge or fuser is not the culprits, check the ICL stopper arm. If it is damaged, order a new ICL kit and replace it.

If a printer part is not the problem, consider the room environment. Having your printer set up in a humid environment can cause ghosting, especially when combined with low temperatures. Like any piece of equipment, there are optimal environments in which they work. Consider ways to lower the room humidity.

There are other causes of character ghosting, but one thing is certain: it will lead to premature use of valuable printer ink. Simply put, character ghosting is the printing of duplicate, unwanted images on the same page and therefore is a money-wasting error.

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