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Office Copier Maintenance: 7 Tips, Tricks & Fixes

Kelly Moran
07/29/2021
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A good copier is something most of us probably take for granted. Inevitably, though, something will go wrong.

Sometimes the copy machine simply gets old or is too small for the demands being placed on it. Other times it's the user's fault, like when an office worker spills coffee on the machine or a Christmas party gets out of hand. Trust me, we’ve seen it all.

Here are a few copy machine maintenance tips from our Managed Print expert technicians to keep your copiers from breaking, jamming or delivering inferior copies and prints.

  1. Conduct Routine Copier Maintenance and Care
  2. How to Fix Copier Streaks
  3. My Printer Trays Are Full, But It Says I’m Out of Paper!
  4. How to Clear a Paper Jam
  5. Be Gentle
  6. What Is Error Code L206?!?
  7. Use the Good Stuff

1. Conduct Routine Copier Maintenance and Care

First things first; here are some of our favorite tips for keeping your copiers happy:

  • Shutting off your copier at night and on weekends not only helps you save on your electric bill, it also helps prolong the life of your machine.

  • If the copier hasn't been used for several days, it's important to run a few test prints before using the copier intensively.

  • To keep the copier working properly, clean it on a regular basis. Always wipe away from the entry areas of the machine so dirt and debris do not fall into the paper path.

  • Whenever clearing jams, be sure you retrieve all parts of the page that have jammed. Even the tiniest scrap of paper left inside the paper path can cause significant damage during your next copy run.

  • Be patient. If a machine is malfunctioning, there is a reason. Pressing the copy button angrily won’t change the situation.

2. How to Fix Copier Streaks

Sometimes, annoying streaks and lines can appear on copies and prints. Fixing streaks can be as simple as cleaning the glass. Simply use glass cleaner sprayed on a cleaning cloth to clean it off (don’t spray directly on the glass).

However, if you find lines on your page that don’t go away, it may be time to place a service call. Lines on your copies or prints can be a sign of a dirty roller inside the machine that requires a trained professional to access, remove and clean.

Meanwhile, you can try running a few blank copies on clean, fresh paper, which can help lessen these marks by picking the loose toner up as they pass through the machine. As a preventative measure, try cleaning the “slit glass.” Look in your copier manual for the location of this piece on your device.

3. My Printer Trays Are Full, But It Says I’m Out of Paper!

Another issue that can be frustrating is when the machine is telling you to load paper, even though there is clearly paper in the trays. On most machines, you can go into the copy screen and select a paper source.

If all paper trays are loaded, then the problem is likely something with the job you’re trying to send, like an image that is too large for the paper selected, or the size of the document doesn’t match the size of the available paper.

4. How to Clear a Paper Jam

Most paper jams are easy to clear. Look for a blinking light on the control panel, open the correct access door, and remove the paper. Of course, other times it's not quite that easy.

When you get a paper jam, follow all prompts on the screen including opening and closing the paper drawer. If nothing clears up the issue, you may need to clear your pending jobs and resend them.

5. Be Gentle

While your first instinct might be to rip open the drawers and dig around blindly for a paper jam, always follow the recommended screen prompts on the display panel. If you open the components too quickly, parts of your paper may tear and be impossible to retrieve without the tools and expertise of a service technician.

6. What Is Error Code L206?!?

Many new copiers have an interface that is as simple to use as any other touch screen device. However, there are times when an error code is unclear or confusing.

To find an error code on a Canon machine, users need to press the copy key on the control panel of most models. Some Lexmark machines display a vague “900 Firmware” error when the printer first starts printing after being idle or off. The issue is usually caused by a corrupt print job or printing something from a web page. To solve this issue, clear the print queue and try resending the job.

One thing is certain, don’t ignore error codes, such as “waste toner reservoir is full.” Waiting too long to empty it could result in big (and messy) problems.

7. Use the Good Stuff

If you don't use the right toner for your copier machine, you might cause serious damage that will require a costly repair and may even void your warranty. Every copier's owner’s manual lists the types of toner the machine is compatible with. Check with your service provider and ensure that everyone in your office is using the right product for the right job.

We also don’t recommend buying toner or supplies from cut-rate suppliers, or you could be the victim of a Toner Pirate. Likewise, don’t skimp on copier paper. Cheap paper can lead to excess dust buildup inside the machine, resulting in poor quality images.

With proper use and maintenance, you will not only prolong your copier’s lifespan, you’ll also keep things running smoothly for everyone in the office. If you struggle with frequent copier repair issues, you can request assistance from your office equipment repair and maintenance service company.

Have more questions about your equipment and how a Managed Print program can save time, headaches, money and more? Start realizing its benefits by reaching out to Gordon Flesch for a free, no obligation assessment today, and be sure to check out our guide below.

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