Professional Printer Maintenance

Keeping your printers in good working order is critical for any business that depends upon crisp, clean documents for correspondence, manuals, instructional material or other documentation, particularly when it will be put into the hands of customers.

Identifying and replacing failed components is a technical task that’s beyond the capabilities of the average printer owner. It requires knowledge of proper troubleshooting techniques, a working knowledge of electrical and electronic functions, an understanding of the mechanical functions of the equipment and familiarity with the particular design of the printer. In fact, even the routine cleaning of a printer is considerably more complex than many would expect.

Aside from the fact that some warranties can be voided if any work is performed by unauthorized personnel, there’s the probability of rendering your printer useless if you try to work on it yourself.

The Best Option

Many new printers can be purchased for under $100, while some can cost over $4,000. In either case, it makes more sense to prolong the life of the unit as long as possible and economically worthwhile. Obviously, it makes no sense to spend $100 to repair an item that can be replaced with a new one for $90. The more expensive the printer, the more likely it will be worthwhile to repair, rather than replace.

Some electrical or electronic repair shops will claim to be able to repair printers, but they’re unlikely to be able to appropriately address all the aspects of proper maintenance and repair of printers. There are many critical mechanical clearances and adjustments that they won’t be equipped to handle, even with the right documentation.

Finding a printer repair specialist is your best bet, and often, they’ll handle repair and laser printer maintenance and often copiers, as well. Both have electrical, electronic and mechanical characteristics, and both have similar troubleshooting techniques for many functions.

It’s important to note that different brands and models of printers will often have different methods of accomplishing the same function. Taking a Brother or Epson unit to a shop that specializes in Canon or HP would be like taking your Ford to a Chevrolet dealer for repairs… they may be able to find and repair the problem, but they’re working at a disadvantage. Locating a shop that knows your brand well is always the best option.

Most well-established repair facilities will have parts in stock for many different makes and models, which means your printer can be back in service in a matter of an hour or two, rather than losing days, waiting for a part to arrive from the manufacturer.

The largest shops will often even re-manufacture costly major parts, such as fuser assemblies, which can afford you substantial savings. Be sure when buying re-manufactured parts that they’re guaranteed, so you know you’re getting a quality product.In addition, many large printer repair facilities will receive used units and remanufacture them, allowing you to purchase a reconditioned printer at a substantially lower cost than a new one.

Preventive Maintenance

Many repair facilities will offer preventive maintenance service for your equipment. Some service agreements are purely periodic maintenance, while others may include any necessary repairs. The latter normally will reasonably require a thorough inspection, so they can ascertain the condition of the equipment and assess the likelihood of failures. Cost of parts in such full maintenance agreements may or may not be included.

At the very least, a periodic maintenance program is always money well spent. Proper cleaning alone can avoid many failures and keep your printer in a condition to provide high quality output. During maintenance, the technician may also spot issues that point to a possible impending failure, which can mean a relatively minor cost now, rather than a very costly repair later.

Additionally, should you ever decide to “trade up” to a newer or more sophisticated model, your repair facility may be willing to offer you trade-in value for your old printer. If they’ve been maintaining it regularly for you, you’ll probably be offered a higher value for it.

Use the Right Supplies

Most printer warranties clearly state that a failure to use approved toner or parts will void the warranty. This isn’t simply in order to force you to buy your supplies from them. Similar parts may run on slightly different voltages, causing them to run hotter and a cheaper toner may have a tendency to cause problems in a machine that operates slightly differently.

Buying the cheapest paper you can find is a bad idea, too, as cheaper paper will often create more paper dust inside your printer. This will cause the machine to get dirty faster, feed improperly, run hotter and deliver lower print quality. Lower quality paper may also vary a great deal in thickness, causing feed issues.

Cheap services that offer to refill your toner cartridges will often use a low quality toner, r worse, import them from places such as China where the quality control is not guaranteed. This has been proven to adversely affect your print quality, or worse, sometimes create maintenance issues with your machine, too. It is wise to buy your remanufactured toners from local companies that adhere to North American industry standards and have decades of experience remanufacturing these toners.

Buying quality supplies and parts and having your repairs and maintenance performed by skilled technicians that are familiar with your equipment will help you get reliable service from your printer for a much longer period. In the long run, you’ll save money.

Commercial Laser Technologies Inc. is a one-stop shop for reliable and affordable printer service, quality refurbished parts with warranty and remanufactured toner cartridges that are assembled locally and tested in our facilities. Call us for your printer needs.