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Troubleshooting Tips: How To Prevent Printing Problems

When trying to prevent printing problems, there are a few simple actions that can help minimize frustration and the amount of time spent clearing print jams and changing print cartridges.

Static Electricity and Heat

In the printing process, static electricity and heat build up as the printer runs. It’s one of the issues that, so far, still plague most printers. The longer the print run, the hotter it gets. The hotter the printer gets, the more likely the static electricity build-up will cause paper to stick together. There are several things that can help alleviate this problem:

1. Use the paper manufactured for the type of printer you are using. Multipurpose paper and copier paper is usually less expensive than premium paper, but they aren’t designed to perform as well in an inkjet or laser printer.

2. Keep your paper enclosed in a box or wrapped in paper. It also helps to keep the paper out of light to prevent ultraviolet damage to the paper. The drier paper is, the more likely it will increase the static electricity build-up, which, in turn, causes paper jams. Also remember to fan the paper before loading it into the printer. If paper has been sitting around in a paper tray or sheet feeder for a while, remove it and fan it again before starting the printing process.

Ink Cartridges

Understanding how the printer ink cartridges function can also help prevent printing problems. Most inkjet printers use various methods of spraying ink onto the paper. Laser and copier papers don’t absorb the ink sufficiently enough to prevent smearing.

Another thing to remember is if any ink cartridge goes for a long period without being used, the jets dry out and clog. Read the User’s Guide for your printer and follow the maintenance recommended by the manufacturer. For inkjet printers that are used occasionally, it’s a good idea to run a test print at least once a week to keep the jets moist.

Although it’s tempting to refill printer ink cartridges to save money on printing costs, not all printers can have the ink cartridges refilled. Be sure to check with a reputable refill supplier before sending or bringing in ink cartridges for refill. Some printers use a wax-based ink and some use a dye ink. These types of ink cartridges cannot be refilled at a refill station. If the ink cartridges are refillable, remember not to refill ink cartridges too many times. The membranes and jets aren’t designed to last through multiple refills.

Like any other type of equipment, printers can be virtually hassle-free when used according to the manufacturer’s specifications. Performing recommended maintenance and using well-cared for paper that has been fanned several times before being loaded can prevent some of the most common printing problems.


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