Preventive and curative maintenance of printers

This section will explain the preventive and curative maintenance of your printers.

The preventive and curative maintenance of printers must be performed on a regular basis. Because printers are the most commonly used and very important output device to get a hard copy of any documents, images, and graphics. There are different types of printers like inkjet, dot-matrix, laserjet printers used in home, offices. The printer generally consists of mechanical parts and electronic parts. The mechanical parts are very delicate and prone to frequent wear and tear. They need the utmost care and regular maintenance.

The following preventive and curative measures are beneficial  to keep your printers in working condition for life long:

Read the printer Manual carefully

When you purchase the printer, it is supplied with the operating manual. This manual contains all the information regarding the printer parts, installation guide, warranty, do’s, and dont’s instruction for the longevity of the printer’s life. Read carefully the warranty instruction. In case of any problems, follow the troubleshooting guide to get it repaired, before calling the technician. For example, if there is a paper jam inside the printer, the instruction manual will guide you to extract the paper step by step.

Keep your printer neat and clean

The printers mostly comprise of mechanical moving parts that are allergic to dust and contamination. The printer parts like gears, micro switches, sensors are delicate and covered with dust. The dust makes them inoperative and even damaged. It is better to keep them in a dust-free environment and perform regular cleaning. You can use the printer cover made of dust-proof clothes to keep it safe from external dust when not in use.

Use good quality of  lubricants to the moving parts

Most of the mechanical parts of the printer consist of bearing balls, linear rails,  gears, and rollers. For better performance, these moving parts require proper lubrication to prevent rust and smooth movement. The constant use of the device leads to the gradual depletion of lubrication. You can use oils and grease for the lubrication of those parts. But, you must know where to apply grease and oil.

The oil is used for the moving parts of the printers that move at a high speed and have less friction such as motor gears. The grease is suitable for ball bearing,  linear rails, printer shaft that moves from left to right. The silicon-based grease is good for printer headrail that makes their movement smooth and noise-free. But, don’t over-apply; a thin coating is sufficient to make their movement smooth.

Install proper device driver

Every printer comes with its device driver. Install the proper driver that is compatible with the operating system. The driver must be periodically updated for its proper functioning. Most of the time outdated, improper or incompatible installation of printer drivers leads to malfunctioning of the printer. A regular update is required to keep the printer in working condition. The downloading and installation of the latest OS update will also update the printer drivers that help the printer to work properly.

Choose the right toner and cartridge for your printer

This is the area we always ignore. Every printer comes with different manufacturing technology. Similarly, different types of ink and cartridges are supplied for different types of printers. The laser printer uses powdered ink, whereas the inkjet printer uses liquid ink. Choose the right toner or ink cartridges for your respective printer.  Always try to replace the old one with the original cartridge.

Most of the time, we use compatible refilled ink and cartridges for our printer to save money,  but it will affect the performance and longevity of the printer. It is better to use the original and genuine cartridges for better performance.

Clean the printer head periodically

The cleaning of the printer head can be done in two ways: using the printer software or manually. An inkjet printer uses nozzle head for liquid ink. Constant use of the printer leads to the blockage of the tiny nozzles of the printer head. Most of the printer manufacturers supply the printer with the auto cleaning option with the printer software.  You can run the auto-cleaning wizard to clean the head.

For the dot matrix printer, the constant strike of the printer head to the paper may lead to contamination. Clean the printer head periodically. You can use Isopropyl alcohol with a soft cloth to clean the head manually.

Use good quality of printer cables

The printer cable is used to connect the device with the computer. The old parallel cable is used to connect dot matrix printer with computer LPT port, whereas USB cables are used to connect laserjet, inkjet printers, and so on.

Use good quality of printer cable. Sometimes, the average quality of cable may lead to a printer malfunction. The printer cable is mostly supplied by the manufacturer when you purchase the new printer. But, when it gets damaged you have to purchase the new cable separately for your printer.

Before replacing printer cable, you must assure that whether it is compatible with your printer. You should always purchase the branded cable.

Use the printer regularly

The best way to keep your in working condition is to use them in regular intervals.  The regular use of the printer keeps the moving parts smooth and less friction.

Also, an inkjet printer uses liquid ink cartridges and nozzle head for printing. If you don’t use it for a long time, the ink gets dried up and the dried ink blocks the nozzle of the head. Hence, use the inkjet printer regularly so that the ink won’t get dried up. Otherwise, the tiny pores of the nozzle get blocked and the cartridge gets damaged.

Read any error messages

Some printer has a small visual display LCD screen to show the printer configuration and other parameters. It also displays some error codes when the printer gets malfunctioned. When your printer gets stuck up, carefully read the error messages, and follow proper steps for the troubleshooting of printers. Some printers are provided with a user manual for proper installation and maintenance guide.

I hope, this article will surely help you to carry out the preventive and curative maintenance of your printers so that your printer gives better performance for a longer time.

Leave a Reply