My Printer Is Not Feeding Evenly
Printing correspondence and other business documents is a daily occurrence in almost every business. When the hardware on which you rely for dependable performance begins to feed paper unevenly, resulting in crooked printouts and even paper jams, you end up spending more time reprinting and second-guessing your device than preparing the work you’re attempting to print. Begin your troubleshooting with the supplies you use and progress to hardware diagnostics.
When you buy a new printer and read the documentation, you’ll notice that a section of the specifications is dedicated to paper, detailing the range of thicknesses and types of sheets that the hardware can support. If you feed the device a thin, skimpy stack of bargain sheets or a cover-weight stock that exceeds its feeding tolerances, you’ll notice paper skating crookedly into the mechanism and misfeeds that aim for but don’t make it to the input slot. You may be able to force an out-of-spec sheet to print by feeding it through a manual bypass that results in a straight-through output path, but stick to the manufacturer’s recommendations for evenly fed results.
Even if the paper you choose is within the printer’s recommended thickness range, putting too much or too little in the input tray can result in unevenly fed sheets. When you keep at least a mid-level stack but don’t exceed or undershoot the loading line, the rollers that move paper out of the tray work best. Similarly, combining different types of paper – or paper with transparency stock – can result in poor feeding results. Aim for a medium load and replenish it after printing.
Unclean Tray Rollers
Even the cleanest office and equipment can accumulate paper dust and other forms of contamination. Using low-quality paper can increase the amount of paper dust that your output process emits, giving you yet another reason to use high-quality supplies. Check your manufacturer’s documentation for the correct cleaning procedure and supplies to use on paper feeding rollers. On rubberized rollers, avoid using alcohol or cleaning solutions because these substances can change the surface properties of the input mechanism, reducing its performance.
If you’re using the right paper, loading your input tray correctly, and maintaining your machine according to the manufacturer’s instructions, the source of your paper-feeding issues could be the age and condition of your machine. To assess the wear on your hardware, print a test page and check the output tally to see how many sheets you’ve processed since installing the device. You may be ready for a service call or a new printer depending on the extent to which your device includes replaceable parts and the cost of repairs compared to the cost of new hardware.
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