With so many moving parts and opportunities for paper jams, it’s a wonder that many printers last as long as they do. Especially since, on average, support pros devote precious little time to working on printers. It’s too bad, because costly repair bills can add up quickly, and replacing printers before their time is an expensive endeavor. While supporting printers is hardly glamorous, a little effort will lengthen any printer’s lifespan. Use these tips for any type of printer you support. Just keep in mind that consulting the printer’s owner’s manual is always a good idea before embarking on any major printer maintenance procedure.
#1: Clean the inside of your printer
As simple as it may sound, one of the best preventive maintenance tasks you can perform is to keep your printer’s insides as clean as possible. It’s easy to do if you look for excess paper dust or other debris whenever you open up your printer. At least once a month – or more often if your users print a lot – use a can of compressed air to blow the dust and debris out of the printer.
#2: Refrain from using bent, torn, or used paper
Damaged paper can cause paper jams. Any time a paper jam occurs, there’s a possibility that something else on the printer can break. To prevent jams and other problems, always use new paper that isn’t bent, torn, or damaged in any way.
#3: Use high-quality paper
As a cost-saving measure, many organizations purchase medium- to low-grade paper to use in their printers. However, this type of paper can also cause paper jams. Although a decent brand of 20lb paper should suffice for most printing jobs, to make your printing shine, you should use at least 24lb paper. To help you determine exactly what type of paper you should use in your printer, most printer manufacturers publish minimum paper standards. If your paper doesn’t meet these specifications, the vendor won’t provide warranty support until you use the proper type of paper. Review the documentation that came with the printer or visit the manufacturer’s Web site to learn the paper specifications.
#4: Don’t fan paper before loading industrial inkjet printer
There is a popular misconception that fanning a ream of paper before loading it in the print tray will reduce the number of paper jams. This is not at all true, and you should avoid this practice because it can cause static electricity to build up between the sheets of paper, which actually causes even more paper jams. Unless your printer is located in an area that has high humidity, you should be able to load paper into the paper tray without worrying about the pages sticking together. (See the following tip.) Today’s printers do a good job of separating pages in the paper tray.