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Wednesday, July 09, 2014

Inkjet Printers Troubleshooting - Helpful Tips

Inside Inkjet Printers
Frustrated by error messages, chips, or ink running out? Follow these handy tips and give your printer a longer life.

The business model adopted by most manufacturers of inkjet printers is to virtually give away the printer and make their money on replacement ink cartridges. Unfortunately this means that it is very unlikely that a professional repair will be cost-effective, except under warranty. It also creates a strong temptation to throw away your printer and buy a new one as soon as it starts playing up, adding to the problem of e-waste. Nevertheless, there are plenty of things you can do to preserve the life of your printer, and give you years of trouble-free service.

Use it frequently
Inkjet printers love to be used. Left idle, the print head can dry out and become clogged, resulting in streaky printouts or one color completely missing. It is a good idea to print at least a few lines of text containing black and all three colors every couple of weeks. You can use the same sheet of paper at least four times by feeding it into the printer all possible ways round.

You can also help prevent the print head from drying out by keeping your printer away from sources of heat, such as above your computer, near a radiator, or in direct sunlight.

Some printer manufacturers use cartridges with built-in print heads, distinguishable by several dozen gold contacts on the cartridge. Despite being disposable, they might be better in case of light use of a printer.

Keep your printer clean
Once you start getting streaky prints, it is time to act. The situation may improve after a page or two, but if not, you need to run a cleaning cycle. Run the utility program installed with the printer, or select "printer properties' from the printer icon and locate the "cleaning cycle". Follow it with a test print. In the same location you may also find a utility to align the print heads, which you can use if the three colors do not quite line up. Sometimes, several cleaning cycles may be needed to get a satisfactory test print. Try leaving it for a while between cleaning cycles, this may give dried-out ink time to soften.

Unfortunately cleaning cycles use a lot of ink, and the cost of the cartridges might start to approach the cost of a new printer. Radical measures can be employed by the manufacturer such as removing the print head for deep cleaning or the use of flushing ink, but these are a last resort for the customer.

Compatible and remanufactured ink cartridges can save you money and be more environmentally friendly. OEM ink is carefully formulated for its physical and chemical properties, but compatible ink quality varies. It is worth researching the best options for your specific printer model. When using remanufactured or compatible cartridges, you may receive premature "low-ink" warnings. Ignore them if print quality is still good; some manufacturers chip their cartridges to discourage refilling or third-party alternatives. Last but not least, do not forget that you can save significant amounts of ink by printing in draft mode and paper by printing double-sided whenever possible.

Paper jam issues
Paper jams can be caused by poor quality paper, and all paper should be stored so as to keep it absolutely bone dry. Take care not to force anything when clearing a paper jam, but at the same time ensure there are no torn scraps left behind. An air duster may help. Also check that the rollers are clean.

Printers are sometimes jammed by "foreign objects" (like paper clips) that have somehow dropped into them. If you are really stumped by what is causing the jam, get a torch and really explore inside to see if you can find anything unexpected.

Software and other errors
Software problems can best be tackled by checking the manufacturer's site for driver updates, or by reinstalling the driver. Reboot between uninstalling and reinstalling. If you upgrade your computer and find there is no driver for your printer, search online for drivers that might be compatible for newer printers of the same brand.

Finally, if a printer you have nurtured for years suddenly stops working and just flashes lights, it could be the dreaded "kill chip", a chip that can simply disable your printer. Online research may find you ways to bring it back to life for a while. However, take care when downloading from third parties – make sure others have had a good experience.

If you are interested in buying high quality compatible and remanufactured inkjet printer supplies visit our web store

Source: The Guardian


Jennifer Davies said...

These tips are extremely helpful, thanks. There are few things more frustrating than a malfunctioning printer, especially when you need it right then. Ours always acts like it has a paper jam when there's no paper inside. I'll try cleaning it to see if that helps.

Jenn |

Gary Puntman said...

Thanks for posting this. I have been having some problems with my printer. It hasn't been working as well as usual. It takes a long time for me to print something. I would like to figure out what is wrong so that I can fix it and get it working again.
Gary Puntman |

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Since 1999 we have been a major supplier of original brand (OEM), compatible replacement and remanufactured Premium Quality inkjet cartridges, laser toner cartridges and other printer supplies. Our customers range in size and include the United States Government, small and large businesses, schools and individuals. Each of our customers is equally important to us and is treated with the same friendly professionalism. Visit us at Price Less Inkjet Cartridge Co.