Introduction

Laser printers usually require no maintenance between cartridge replacement cycles. However, from time-to-time some additional maintenance many be required. If you experience toner marks caused by excess toner on the printed paper, it is advisable to clean the printer and check the waste toner container, should your printer have one. If excess toner continues to be a problem then the toner cartridge should be replaced as this is not normal and the cartridge may be damaged or faulty. Care should be taken not to touch the drum in the cartridge. Leaving a greasy finger-mark or scratching the surface will leave tell-tale signs when printing. Sometimes new cartridges give uneven printing at first unless they have been given a gentle shake. This is because the toner may settle in transit.

Safety

Toner can be dangerous when ingested or breathed in large quantities so it’s wise to take precautions. The toner particles are very small and if put into the air can remain airborne for extended periods contaminating your office. Toner particles can cause cancer over extended periods of inhalation. With some care, the process of cleaning and handling is considered safe. It is wise to consult your manufacturer’s manual.

Before starting any job, make sure you have a dust-mask, gloves and anti-static/iso-propyl alcohol wipes near to hand. In addition, a vacuum cleaner that is HEPTA rated may be used. Care should be taken that the vacuum cleaner is properly maintained so it does not cause fine toner particles to be blown in to the air. Any toner contaminated cleaning materials must be disposed of by placing in a sealed plastic bag. Please consult your local council to locate your waste collection point.

The fuser unit in laser printers runs at a high temperature. Before starting work, make sure the printer is powered-down, unplugged and left for ten minutes to cool.

Cleaning

Access the printer where the toner cartridge is located. This is usually a large door panel that drops down to reveal the inside of the printer. Please consult you manufacturer’s manual if you are unsure.

With the toner cartridge visible, it may be removed using its handle. Some printers have one or more locking levers that must be moved before the cartridge is free to be moved.

Extract the cartridge and place it on a clean piece of paper, taking care not to damage the drum.

Using the vacuum cleaner or moist wipes proceed to clean the inside of the printer, taking care not to knock or break any part. Use wipes against the rollers and surfaces to remove toner. Use many wipes and dispose of in a plastic bag. Also check any electrical connections for cleanliness. The toner cartridge will make contacts with the printer and these connections may become black from toner or electrical arcing. Take care as some connections are fragile. Do not use abrasives but only cleaning wipes. If you are unsure please consult a printer specialist.

Before replacing the toner cartridge, clean with moist wipes to remove toner. Do not touch the drum as this may cause damage. There is always a small amount of waste toner on the cartridge but if it is excessive it is wiser to replace the unit rather than risk contamination of your office from toner. Place the toner cartridge back in the printer, taking care to install it correctly without forcing. Close the printer door and re-connect the mains power and switch on.





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