3 Common Printer Problems and How to Fix Them

It’s very common and frustrating to run into issues with your printer. Just when you thought you were back up and running, your printer malfunctions and stops working again.

We’ve rounded up 3 of the most common printing issues and solutions to get you back to printing in no time.

 

Leaking Ink Cartridges

Ink cartridges contain pressurised liquid and naturally this means they can be at risk of leaking from time to time. However, there are some precautions that can be taken to minimise the risk of ink leaking when opening and installing your new ink cartridges.

The main reason that an ink cartridge might leak, is when the nozzle cover is removed before the pull strip is taken off. You must ensure that where the cartridge features one, the pull strip is removed prior to the nozzle cover as this will allow the cartridge to release any pressure inside the ink chamber. If the nozzle cover is removed first, pressure is instantly released through the nozzles and this is when ink is likely to find an escape route!

Although cartridges might suffer agitation during their shipment to you, it is rare that any damage or leakage will occur. Please do not attempt to install any cartridge that looks like it has leaked in transit. Do get in touch with our friendly support team straight away and we’ll be happy to send out a replacement.

We also recommend opening ink cartridges in a careful and controlled manner, away from any expensive rugs or clothing and not above your open printer as even when opened correctly, there is still a small risk! See our previous blog post for more help on cleaning up any ink spillages.

 

Blocked Print Head (Poor Print Quality)

If your documents are printing streaky, faded or have missing text, the chances are your printhead is either blocked by a minute amount of dried or congealed ink or there could be a small air bubble in the system. This can occur for several reasons and can happen regardless of the type of ink cartridges you are using.

To unclog your print head, we recommend you run the ‘nozzle check’ or ‘print quality’ tool first as this provides the best indication of the problem. If the test pattern features missing print in a certain colour, this also indicates the cartridge or nozzle that has the blockage.

The ‘clean printhead’ or ‘head clean’ function can then be performed from your laptop, computer or direct from the printer tools or maintenance menu. After completion, we recommend printing the nozzle test sheet again in order to compare the results. Some printers will prompt you to do this before asking if you’d like to run another head clean. Alternatively if the results are improved, you can end the process at this point.

If your print quality is not improved by 3 consecutive head cleans then a deep routed blockage may be causing the problem. Some printers feature a ‘deep clean’ tool which we only recommend using once if the regular clean fails to show any improvement (due to the high volume of ink used and heat generated during the process).

See our blog post on How to Fix Blocked Print Heads for further details on the possible causes, preventions and fixes to this particular problem.

 

Low Ink Error Message

If you’re using remanufactured ink cartridges, you might find that an error such as ‘low ink’ or ‘replace ink’ occurs, even straight after installation. This is because the chip on your ink cartridge is reporting low ink from the previous use before being remanufactured.

Because the chip can’t be reset on these cartridges, it will register as empty even after it has been remanufactured, refilled and installed in your printer.

This issue can generally be resolved by holding down the resume button (commonly the button featuring a circle within a triangle) on your printer for anywhere up to 20 seconds until you can hear internal movement. Overriding the ink monitor can vary depending on the printer that you have so this may not work for you. Again, please contact us if you believe this is affecting your cartridge and the fix above doesn’t work.

This is perfectly normal and unfortunately is one of the downsides to using a Remanufactured Ink Cartridge. If this is a reoccurring issue that is getting in the way of your printing and day to day tasks, we suggest using genuine OEM ink cartridges where ink monitoring is available. These cartridges can also be easily recycled so jump over to our recycling page for more information.

 

Conclusion

Printing issues can prevent your productivity and cause troubles with day to day tasks, with the problems outlined above being the 3 most common issues we receive queries about. If you have a specific printing problem you’d like us to cover in a future blog post, please don’t hesitate to let us know!

If you find yourself having printer problems, get in touch with us and one of our experts will assist you in getting back to printing.


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