Few things are more frustrating than having your work interrupted by a technical issue. As advanced as current printers can be, technical issues still crop up from time to time. We’re going to look at a few common technical issues that might crop up, and we’re going to help you work through them! First up: paper jams. Who doesn’t hate paper jams?

The two biggest causes of paper jams are blockages in the paper path, and worn rollers. A third, often neglected reason, is the paper itself: if stored poorly, the edges of the paper can curl up, causing problems. Also, incorrectly loaded paper (in the tray itself) can also be the root cause of issues.

If the paper jam is at the paper tray, take a look at the pick-up roller. A worn pick-up roller will not grab the paper correctly and will result in the paper being only partially removed from the tray. When you open the tray, the leading edge of the paper will be slightly out of the tray. If the printer is pulling in multiple sheets of paper, then look at the separation pad at the front of the tray. If the paper makes it inside the printer and stops, look for scraps of paper or other material that might be blocking the paper’s path. Also, examine any associated rollers for wear. Internal jams are usually caused by a blockage. A small vacuum, or compressed air, can be used to remove debris from inside the printer.

If the paper jams at the fuser, then look for a blockage in one of the fuser rollers. Remove the fuser (you remembered to unplug the printer, right?) to examine it for paper debris, worn gears, or other mechanical problems. If the fuser appears to be working properly, examine the entrance and exit paths to the fuser. Also inspect the exit rollers for missing or damaged components. Every component in the paper path must be clean and smooth for the paper to travel through without problems.

Next time out, we’ll take a look at image defects and what can cause them. Oh, and how you can fix them, of course!