Printers may not be a particularly new idea (the first electronic printer was developed by Epson way back in 1968!), but they’re still a vital part of most office environments today. From printing out candidate questionnaires and client-facing documents, to internal handbooks and even postage stamps, we rely on this critical office equipment every day. So when there’s a problem, it can have a pretty big impact. 

Every business that opts to lease or buy printer devices should know how to identify the 3 most common problems that these machines can experience – and understand the quickest ways to fix them, too.

1. There’s STILL a paper jam!

At V Technical, we see this one all the time. The printer says there’s a jam, and you’ve removed the crumpled up bit of paper that was clogging things up. Great. But the printer is still telling you there’s a problem. Why? Because some of the time, the obvious obstruction isn’t the primary obstruction. 

We recommend emptying the paper tray completely and taking a peek inside using a torch. You might find there’s a sneaky bit of paper that’s been pulled through with another and got caught in the mechanism, or a tiny bit of paper that’s ripped off. We’ve even found paperclips and hair bobbles! 

If paper is continually getting stuck in the printer, it may be time to give the internal mechanism a good clean-out. Or it might be that you’re using a paper that’s a little too heavy for the machine that you have. For jams that keep recurring, it’s usually best to get the printer repair experts to take a look at things. 

2. The quality is worse than usual

If you’re using an inkjet printer, it’s natural that your printouts won’t always be consistent in quality. Usually, print quality can start to diminish as ink levels get lower. This is often a good sign that you need to order replacements. But what if you’ve only just replaced the cartridges?

The most common reason for this is that the printer heads have become blocked. It happens. And it’s really common when you haven’t used the printer for a while – for example, if the office is closed over the festive season. You might see some streaks in your printout, faded colours, or the wrong colours completely.

What you need to do here is clean the print heads, which in itself is a simple job. The difficult part comes in finding out exactly how to do that! The process varies between different makes and different models, so you’ll need to dig out your printer manual, or find someone that knows the machine back to front.

3. It just won’t print!

We hear you. Sometimes, your printer might not say that there’s an error, but still won’t print. This can happen for so many reasons. It could be something as silly as forgetting there’s no paper in the tray. Other times, it can be something a little trickier, like trouble connecting the printer to the network. 

One of the first things you should try here is to check that the USB cable is plugged in properly. Or, if you have a WiFi printer, that it’s connected to the correct office network. You might also want to try plugging a WiFi printer into a USB cable, too, to check if it’s the WiFi connectivity that’s causing the problem. 

There are so many possible options that figuring this one out can sometimes be a big task. While printers are very good at what they do, they have their own quirks just like every technology out there. There are times when diagnosing printing problems can be a bit of a brain teaser! 

The easiest solution to printer problems

Although we’ve looked at some possible fixes for common printer problems, these fixes can take time. Especially if you’re not 100% sure what the problem is, or 100% sure what you’re doing. That’s where we can help. At V Technical, alongside photocopier leasing and office equipment purchasing, we also offer expert services for printer repair Kent businesses can use to take the stress out of printer maintenance. 

Learn more about our printer repair options by checking out our maintenance and service page.