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The secrets of getting the most
from your copier and/or printer
including some things that are not explained in your owner's manual!

Clearing Paper Jams
Incorrect clearing of paper jams can cause toner dust to accumulate in your machine. Before your paper reaches the printer's fuser roller, the hot roller near the exit of the paper path, toner dust is lying on the page in the shape of the image to be printed, but is not yet fused to the paper. If you rub your finger over the print it will smudge and easily wipe off the page. The heat roller (fuser roller) has not yet melted the toner to the page. It is important to understand this when clearing paper jams.

In the event of a paper jam, where the paper begins to pick up print:

1. Fold paper so the print is inside the fold. Without folding the paper,
some of the toner will fall from the paper into your machine.
If the toner falls on your charge wire or charge roller, streaking will occur.

2. If paper has not yet begun to exit the printer, pull toward the inside of the machine.
If paper has begun to feed, and has picked up print, and you pull it back
through the feed rollers, the loose toner on the paper will get on the rollers.
This could make additional copies come out dirty.

All toner cartridges, whether new or recycled will drop minimal amounts of toner into the machine. If left to accumulate, it could cause printing problems. You should give your equipment a general cleaning every few months, depending on how much you print: clean everything in the paper path with a vacuum and dry rag. Rollers should be cleaned with a damp cloth. Have a professional cleaning at least once a year. There are parts that are impossible to get at without disassembling the machine, and this should be best handled by a professional.

Toner Cartridge
Most of the newer machines have toner cartridges that do not require any maintenance. However, most of the older ones have two items that require your attention: The cleaning wand, and the corona wire.

Cleaning wand
The cleaning wand is a long plastic wand with a strip of felt running the length of one side. Many people do not know what to do with this when they get it. However, it is important in keeping your machine clean. Both copiers and laser printers have a heat roller, called a "Fuser Roller", at the end of the paper path, just before the exit. A clean fuser wand should be placed on the fuser roller each time you change cartridges. If you are using heavy graphics, it is a good idea to get an extra clean wand and change it about half way through your cartridge's print cycle (2 wand changes per cartridge). Most remanufacturers have additional wands you can purchase for about $2.00 each. Most will re-felt them for you at no extra charge when you are getting your cartridge recharged. This is not available with most "New" cartridges, unless the dealer has some extra wands in stock.

Corona Wire
Some of the older copiers and laser printers have a corona wire, just below the floor on the inside of the machine. You will find the corona wire in a metal trough that runs the width of the paper, along the bottom. It may be covered with angled wire to protect the corona wire that runs the length of the trough. The corona wire charges the paper so the toner will cling to it in the image to be printed. If there is a small dust particle anywhere on this wire, it could result in a white vertical streak in copiers, and a dark vertical streak in laser printers.

The corona wire is very thin, like a hair, and care should be taken not to break it when cleaning. First the trough should be vacuumed out as much as possible, then cleaned with a cotton swab dampened with water or peroxide. After all of the toner is removed from the floor and walls of the trough, gently brush the length of the corona wire with a dry cotton swab to remove any dust or debris.

Just as there is a charge wire inside your machine to charge the paper, many toner cartridges have a charge wire inside them to charge the drum. Often times, during cartridge installation, when you pull the toner release and rotate the cartridge to distribute the toner, some dust will occur inside the cartridge, and may get on the corona wire. This is why you should clean the corona wire as the last thing you do before installing it into your machine. If your copier or laser printer uses a corona wire, it will most likely come with a corona cleaning tool, which is located either on the floor of the machine, next to the machine's corona wire, or under the copy board cover on your copier. This tool should be inserted into the slot on the cartridge, and moved the length of the slot about 10 times. Removing dust from the cartridge's charge wire will prevent most vertical streaking. If you don't have a corona cleaning tool, but your cartridge and machine have a corona wire, ask your remanufacturer to get one for you. Most vertical streaking caused by a dirty corona wire will be hazy or uneven, and intermittent.

All gears should be vacuumed where you see loose toner. If too much toner is allowed to accumulate on the gears, they could become sticky and not function properly.

The glass copy board on your copier should be cleaned with window cleaner to prevent marks on your paper.

Density Setting
To optimize your toner page count, remember, "The darker the print, the more toner you are using, and the faster your cartridge will run out". The page count rating by the manufacturer of your toner cartridge is rated at 5% page coverage. This means optimized print density, double spaced text only, and letter sized paper. If you single space your text, you double the page coverage and cut your rating in half. Using graphics uses tremendous amounts of toner, and you may get as little as 1/4 of the actual rating if you print pictures and lots of bold print. On copiers, if you are copying from a colored paper, and the color from the paper creates a hazy background on your copy, that haze is toner being used and will minimize your page count.

Some copiers have an automatic exposure, which automatically optimizes toner usage. However, it can have some drawbacks. Depending upon the setting of your auto exposure, if you are mixing bold print and/or pictures, with normal print text, it may lighten the dark print to optimize toner usage, but at the same time will cause faded spots in your normal print areas. If this happens, reverse the autoexposure control switch inside your machine (see your manual if you don't know where this is located). This will cause the lightest print to darken to optimize toner usage, and correct the fading problem. This problem seems to be more pronounced with remanufactured cartridges using long life drums.

Because the long life drums are a bit less sensitive than the OEM drum, having the wrong auto exposure setting will fade more often than with an OEM cartridge. In laser printers, and copiers that don't have autoexposure, the best way to optimize is to make a copy of your most often copied type of material, and lighten the density just until it becomes too light, then turn it back one increment until it is just dark enough to your satisfaction. Mark that spot, and you will be able to come back to it if you have to change it. This will use the least amount of toner possible with each copy, and will make your cartridge last longer.

Toner Low Indicator
Most laser printers have an indicator showing when the toner is low in your machine. When you see this indicator, you should at least have another cartridge available to replace the existing one. However, you can run the printer until the print begins to fade. This may occur after 100 or so copies after the "Toner Low" indicator comes on. If you really want to milk it, once your print begins to fade, you can remove the cartridge, and holding it on both sides, rotate it 90 degrees toward you, then away from you. This will bring up the remaining toner that is lying in the bottom of the hopper and stick it to the magnetic roller that transports it to the drum. Doing this could get you another 50 or so copies. When you take this step, and it doesn't correct the fading, your cartridge is empty.

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