How to Decrease Photocopier Maintenance Expenses

04th October 2021

Common Copier Problems that Can be Solved In-House

You can save money that would otherwise be spent on unnecessary copier maintenance and repair costs by fixing these common problems in-house.

Paper Jams

Paper jams are one of the most common problems faced by printers and copiers. Typically, paper jams are caused by one of the two following reasons:

1. Overloaded paper tray

Up-to-date copiers as well as the reams of paper that go into them come in standard size and amount of pages. For this reason, paper jams can occur if a user tries to place more than one single pack of paper into the device to try and the time it would take to refill the paper tray. Instead of saving time, this makes the printing process less efficient as it will cause a paper jam which will then need to be cleared. Avoid this issue by making sure not to overfill the copier’s paper tray.

2. The wrong size of paper or paper weight has been used

Paper jams can also be caused by using the wrong type of paper in the paper tray or if the user has attempted to print onto paper that the device isn’t designed to handle. Repeatedly using the incorrect type of paper in a device’s paper tray may alter the rollers in such a way that will prevent them from being able to properly send paper through the machine, which in turn results in paper jams. Jams are most likely to take place after a user has used a heavy stock paper in a copier that hasn’t been designed to handle that type of paper. You should always check the manufacturer’s manual for your model to see exactly what type of paper the copier is designed to handle.

Black Lines on Paper

After scanning documents with simple text or images, if you find that the finished copies contain black streaks, lines or other misprints, this is an indication that there is an issue with the copier.

The most common cause of this issue is that the scanner glass on the copier is dirty, whether that’s with smudges, dust, or pen marks. To see if this is the source of the problem, you should try cleaning the scanner glass with a lint-free towel and an appropriate cleaner solution. You can buy a branded cleaner solution from an office supply store, but alcohol would also make a sufficient cleaner if it’s all you have to hand. Avoid using an ammonia-based cleaning solution, as this type may cause damage to the film on the scanner glass over time.

If cleaning the scanner glass doesn’t solve the problem, other possible causes include a drum or developer unit malfunction (this is only applicable to multi-component copier systems), a drum-blade malfunction (which causes large lines to appear vertically on the page), or an issue with the printer’s fusers. These causes cannot be remedied in-house and will require the whole unit to be replaced.

Spots on Paper

Noticing unwanted spots appearing on your copied documents is another cause for concern with your copier equipment. If the dots seem to appear in the same place on the copies each time, it’s highly likely that they are being caused by smudges, dust, or other debris on the scanner glass. Again, this can be remedied by cleaning the scanner glass with a lint-free towel and cleaning solution. Dots that seem to appear more randomly throughout the document indicate that the issue lies with the copier’s drum. This issue should be fixed after replacing the faulty drum.

Toner Cartridge Issues

Toner cartridges that are low, empty, or malfunctioning can cause problems within your copier device. If the issue is that the level of toner in the toner cartridge is too low, the problem should be solved once it has been replaced. However, if the cartridge is malfunctioning, it could be due to one of two reasons:

1. Manufacturer error

If the cartridge/s have been manufactured incorrectly, they will malfunction. Bring some of the misprinted copies along with the malfunctioning cartridge/s to the place from which they were originally purchased and request that they are replaced.

2. Incompatibility issues

Most copier devices require a specific type of toner. If you use the wrong type of toner cartridge that’s incompatible with your model, the quality of your prints will be negatively affected.

Wrinkled Pages

Even though wrinkled pages sound like a minor issue, they look highly unprofessional and aren’t desirable for business or professional documents. Wrinkled pages are most often caused when the feed and exit rollers in a copier become worn-out, causing the paper to stick or jam. Other common causes of wrinkled pages include worn-out paper trays, moisture collecting as a result of humidity, and fuser assemblies. Avoid using any stock paper that’s visibly damaged in any way. If the paper tray is the issue, you can buy a replacement part and replace it yourself. However, if you suspect that the issue is something to do with the fuser assembly or the feed roller, you will need to have the device repaired by a professional technician.

Copies Coming Out Too Light or Too Dark

Any issues regarding the lightness or darkness of copies are usually down to an imbalance in the density controls on the copier. This could be down to a previous user inadvertently altering the settings on the device, resulting in the subsequent scans showing up too light or too dark. This problem is easily resolved by resetting the density levels on the device. An alternative cause of this problem could be that the drum in the copier is worn-out, or that the toner in the device has gone bad. Also, some brands of toners aren’t up to the same quality as those supplied by the manufacturer, which can result in issues with light density. You can fix this issue in-house by purchasing appropriate replacement toners and installing them yourself.

Error Messages for No Reason

If you have already tried to troubleshoot your copier and it still shows error messages for seemingly no reason, you can try to resolve the issue by rebooting the copier device. In the same sense as computers, copiers contain technology and will occasionally require a reboot to reset the device. This will very often get rid of an error message on the copier that won’t go away after the initial error has been solved. To reboot the copier, switch the device off using the power button then unplug it completely from the socket. Wait a few moments before plugging the device back in and booting it back up.

Reducing Copier Servicing Costs with a Maintenance Agreement

As part of a copier leasing agreement, you’ll have the option to take out a copier maintenance agreement, also known as a Service Level Agreement or SLA. This service agreement involves a flat monthly rate factored into your copier lease agreement, which covers any service calls that you may need for your leased equipment. As opposed to calling in an external technician to fix a one-off job for a high fee, you can pay a flat monthly rate arranged in your contract to cover all service calls.

No Concern Over Wear and Tear

As copier devices age and become worn-out with repeated usage, they require increasing levels of maintenance. Without a maintenance agreement, the charges accrued over time for these services will end up costing your company more money than if you had paid for an arranged agreement. Maintenance agreements are particularly recommended for companies that print over 2000 pages a month, as the higher level of printing output will cause the copier devices to deteriorate more quickly, thus requiring them to be serviced more frequently.

Reduced Downtime from Faulty Equipment

Copier maintenance agreements also help to minimise the amount of disruption to business operations that come as a result of devices breaking down. As part of your agreement, your provider will schedule regular services to ensure that the device/s are always functioning at their best and to catch any major issues before they happen. This prevents any potential periods of downtime caused by malfunctioning or broken down equipment.

Simplified Budgeting for Business

Lastly, copier maintenance agreements enable your company to simplify its budgeting. Instead of having to pay random, unforeseen, one-off payments of hundreds or thousands of pounds every time your copier device breaks down, you can pay a fixed monthly rate and receive the exact same services.