Paper Jams


Paper Jams 1-  Choosing and loading paper correctly

Paper feed problems are a good indication of your printer being in need of servicing.  For example the printer may not be picking up from one or more trays, or the printer may pickup multiple sheets of paper – both of which can be solved by cleaning or replacing the pick-up rollers and feed/separation rollers. 

Clean all other paper feed rollers in the paper path. Remove all grey/white crusted deposits on the rubber surfaces by scrubbing them with a cotton cloth dipped in methylated spirits, isopropyl alcohol or similar solvent. A gentle wipe is not sufficient. All the feed rollers should be a uniform colour (usually grey or black) and have a grippy surface texture.

If paper jams occur just before, during or just after the paper has passed through the fuser, you may find that one or more small pieces of paper are jammed in the fuser. You may need to remove the fuser from the printer to gain sufficient access to remove the paper.


Paper Jams 2 - Identifying printer problems

Another possible cause of paper jamming in the fuser is that a user may have attempted to print on a transparency that is not rated for use in laser printers: the transparency melts onto the fuser rollers and obstructs the path of the paper. Again, a user may have attempted to print on labels that are not rated for use in laser printers: the glue melts in the fuser and one or more labels may be stuck onto the fuser rollers and thereby obstruct the path of the paper. You should never use a sheet of labels from which some labels have been removed. You should always change the paper type setting on the printer from plain paper to labels or transparencies (as appropriate) before attempting to print on media such as this. The printer will then adjust its fuser temperature and roller pressures accordingly to minimise the chances of damage to the printer.

If you cannot find any evidence of paper jammed in the fuser, you should check the condition of the fuser gears: you may find that one or more fuser gears are worn or some of the teeth on the gears are broken. You may find that one or more detack claws are missing or dislodged in the detack assembly.  You should also check the condition of the fuser rollers themselves: you may find ripples or cuts in the surface of the pressure roller that can catch the edge of the paper as it feeds through the printer; or you may find the remains of a plastic transparency stuck to the hot roller. You may need to overhaul or replace the fuser.

Paper Jams 3 - Looking after your printer

Prevention is the Best Medicine: Choose appropriate paper and load it correctly

Lexmark printers are very reliable, but printers always jam sooner or later. You can minimise the chances of paper jams by using quality paper that is within the specifications laid down by Lexmark. The weight of the paper in gms/square metre, the texture of the paper and the moisture content are all important in achieving trouble free operation of your printer.

Load paper trays carefully and ensure that the paper clamps are set firmly against the edges of the paper: If they aren’t paper can skew and jam on its path through the printer. Don’t use paper that has wrinkled edges or damaged corners they are likely to jam in the printer. We do not recommend using paper that has already been through the printer once before. Paper that doesn’t meet manufacturer's specifications will raise the probability of paper jams and may cause excessive wear on expensive components such as the fuser. Read the printer's User Manual carefully and follow the directions given there.

Paper Jams 4 - Lexmark's tips for clearing jammed paper

Remove any print jobs from any output bins before opening the upper front door to remove jams. The printer sounds an alert when it jams, and displays an error message on the front panel display. The error code on the display enables you to locate the position of the jammed paper - so note the number eg 201 Paper Jam, 241 Paper Jam, etc.


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