Printer rant

Mr Ian Primus ian_primus at
Thu Jun 18 09:57:56 CDT 2009

--- On Thu, 6/18/09, Brian Lanning <brianlanning at> wrote:

> Thanks for the help.  I was hoping there was a printer
> repair guru on
> the group.  I haven't done laser printer repair since
> the laserjet 2
> and 3.  I was pleased to see how serviceable the fuser
> assembly was.

Yeah, it's definitely much nicer to swap than the older machines. The fuser, transfer roller and all the rubber rollers are all contained in a "maintainance kit", which is recommended at varying intervals depending on model. The test page should tell you the pages since last mainainence, as well as give you an overall page count, so you can get a feeling for how much use the machine has had.
> Initially I thought they had run a transparency through and
> melted it
> to the fuser.  But it's just as you're
> describing.  Pieces are coming
> off of the fuser film.

Yup. They switched from solid rollers to a flexible plastic film roller that goes over a ceramic heating element. It'll start to fail along one edge first, and sometimes a narrow strip gets torn off one edge, then you'll get weird printouts that look fine, save for an unfused band along one edge. Soon, the film just tears apart and starts jamming. The paper also gets caught on the fuser film, and jams.
> The main problem I'm having is that every page jams right
> before it
> enters the fuser.  Does this sound like the fuser or
> some of the
> rollers?

Have you replaced the fuser yet, or is it still the flaking one? Is the paper actually jamming, or is it just stopping, and the printer reports a jam? There are various sensors in the paper path, and if the paper takes too long to get from one point to another (or if there's toner in the sensor optos), the printer simply assumes that it's jammed and stops trying. Another thing that really confuses the heck out if the printer is if the paper size is set wrong, or if one of the flags on the tray has broken off. The paper tray contains little levers that change flags on the side or back of the tray (depending on model). When you set the guides in the tray, it changes the flags on the side - this tells the printer what size paper is loaded. If one or more of the flags is broken, or the switches are faulty, the the printer thinks the tray contains another size of paper than it really does. This can also lead to "paper isn't where I think it should be, giving
 up" problems. The test page should tell you what size paper the machine _thinks_ it has.

I'll look up the 4100 service manual and see how it's set up, it's been a while since I've worked on one (most of my customers are on different models), so my memory is a little rusty. 

In the status log, the paper jams will come with an error code number that can help determine the cause of the problem as well.


More information about the cctalk mailing list