Jun 272012

printer repair pickrollers Of Printer Repair And Pick Rollers

Ever wonder what in the world Pick Rollers, Separation Rollers, Paper Feed Rollers, and all those other rollers that you’re constantly replacing are? Well, let’s take a little look and see…

Different printer manufacturers and different printer repair companies call the rollers that help move the paper through your printer by different names. Additionally, the same roller is often called by a different name dependent on where it is located within the printer… confusing right? At American Printer Service, Inc. we just refer to all these rollers generically as, “Pick Rollers”.

Pick Rollers are like the shoes on your feet…except far less fashionable, especially if you’re into your Jimmy Choos. Besides making outrageous fashion statements, shoes serve the more mundane purpose of providing traction and comfort while doing things like running a marathon, rock climbing, or playing sports. It is this traction that the Pick Rollers provide, allowing your printer to ‘grab’ the paper and move it through your printer. Pick Rollers are manufactured with different types of rubber, dependent on the model of printer and the expected amount of usage, but most have a sort of tacky feel to them.

Over time, the Pick Rollers can accumulate small bits of debris that causes them to ‘smooth’ out and lose their grabbing ability. This leads to ‘mispicking’ or paper jams. Also, if you have a toner spill, or the Fuser Assembly is not properly adhering toner onto the page, the loose toner can accumulate on the Pick Rollers and cause them to stop working correctly. Sometimes all the Pick Rollers need to correct mispicking and jams are a good cleaning; however, even with a cleaning, once Pick Rollers have become compromised, it is best to replace them so the problem does not reoccur immediately. This is the reason why we advise customers to keep their printers as clean and free of debris as possible. Pick Rollers are not the most expensive parts in printers, but most printers require several sets to operate smoothly, and worn Pick Rollers can add up!

Jun 252012

It happens. There is absolutely no such thing as a ‘jam-less’ printer, whether you’re talking inkjet printer, laser printer, or impact printer. Sooner or later, you’re going to run into a paper jam with your printer, and how you handle it can easily determine whether you’ll be out searching the next day for a printer repair company like American Printer Service, Inc. to service the unit, or if you’ll be happily humming along after a quick and painless removal of the paper debris.

Unfortunately, paper jams seems to happen at the most inopportune times, like right before you’re on your way out the door to an important meeting and just need to print off one last report. Often, this adds to the frustration of the user, which usually results in the yanking, pulling, and cranking we often see as a result of incorrectly removing a paper jam. As in most emergency situations, the main thing to keep in mind is that you’ve got to remain calm and figure things out…

Some printers and copiers have a handy little diagram in the inside covers that will tell you how to remove a paper jam. For those that don’t, take your time figuring out where the jammed paper is located and how bad the actual jam is. Once you’ve established that, gently tug on the leading edge and see if the paper feeds through the rollers. Paper is made to feed through most printers in a one-directional path… advancing. If you pull the paper backwards through the rollers, you risk causing permanent damage to your printer. If you cannot get the paper jam to advance, it is best to call a professional and have them remove the paper jam.

Another important thing to remember when removing paper jams is that at NO time should you be inserting foreign objects into the printer to help you remove a paper jam. I think we’ve probably heard just about everything, from forks to screwdrivers being used as tools to remove stubborn bits of paper. Using any metal object inside of printer can easily damage internal parts, which may lead to a much more expensive problem… like replacement of the unit. Additionally, with laser printers, you can actually end up with an electrical shock if you use a metal object and end up hitting the wrong part of the printer.

Paper jams are frustrating. The important thing to remember is to take your time and realize that, most likely, it isn’t the end of the world. If you are cautious and figure out the problem, you’re far less likely to be replacing the unit due to damaged parts or gears. And remember, if you can’t remove a paper jam or the printer continues to say you’ve got one even though you pulled out the paper debris you could see, call a professional. There is no shame in admitting defeat when it comes to stubborn or ‘ghost’ paper jams, and a professional printer repair Technician will probably be able to get you up and running without the need to replace parts.

Jun 202012

refurbished printers printer repair blog And Speaking Of Refurbished Printers...

Speaking of refurbishing printers… Have you ever wondered just what that means?

I think the term ‘refurbished’ means different things to different companies, at least in our field of work. We’ve ordered printers from companies before where refurbished obviously meant just wiping the outside down with a wet rag, wrapping it up, and shipping it out. Then again, we’ve received printers from companies who have completely torn the unit apart, replaced all worn parts, cleaned the unit up, and shipped it out.

Here at American Printer Service, Inc., we believe that a ‘refurbished’ printer should be more the latter than the former. A well refurbished printer should be completely disassembled by a professional Technician, who should note worn / faulty parts. These parts should be replaced with new parts. Then the printer should be thoroughly cleaned, inside and out, before being wrapped up for shipping.

When you are purchasing a refurbished printer, it is very important that you know what the company considers ‘refurbished’. Ask. If you get the ‘run-around’ or the sales person changes the subject, chances are, you’re purchasing a printer that may look pretty on the outside but have major components on the inside that may need to be replaced.

It is important to note that there are no ‘refurbishing police’ making the rounds and inspecting the way companies sell their printers. For that reason, prices on refurbished printers can vary widely, sometimes hundreds of dollars. Personally, I go with the adage, ‘You get what you pay for…’, but it is up to you as the consumer to make sure you’re informed and understand exactly what you are purchasing. Every once in a while, you may come across a stellar deal, but on the whole, I’d say that if you’re buying a $1,000.00 printer for $200.00, something has got to be wrong with it!

Build a relationship with a printer repair company, like American Printer Service, Inc. that you can trust. That way, when it comes to purchasing new equipment for your printing needs, you can rest assured that you’ll be getting a sturdy printer at at great price.

Jun 182012

Here at American Printer Service, Inc. we are often asked by customers looking to replace a unit about whether they should purchase a new printer or go after that ‘really great deal!’ they found online. In these economic times, the compulsion to snap up a great deal, and save some dollars, is easy to give into, especially when they seller makes it seem like a ‘once in a lifetime’ opportunity. We have mixed feelings about purchasing refurbished printers from online sources such as Ebay, Craigslist, and etc. Here’s why…

There is no denying that online retailers can offer some really great prices when it comes to purchasing refurbished printers. Sometimes you can end up with a unit that costs you hundreds of dollars less than a comparable, brand new printer would have cost. We would just caution you to ‘read the fine print’ when it comes to purchasing printers from online sources.

Typically speaking, refurbished printers that are sold online are an ‘as is’ item, meaning that when you receive the printer, it may work perfectly for a week and then have a complete meltdown. As the buyer, you can contact the seller and ask for a refund, and some reputable sellers will try to help you out. However, I would say the majority of sellers will point to the one line in their advertisement that lets them off the hook. We’ve seen this happen time and time again to our customers, who have purchased a printer online, only to call us to fix it down the road. Typically speaking, the costs involved in fixing a broken unit wipes out any savings in the original purchase price.

You know, I can see already that this is a much bigger discussion than one blog post should be so for now, let me just sum things up by saying… There are some really great companies out there that do a great job refurbishing and selling printers online. You’ve just got to realize that there are some shady ones out there as well. When it comes to purchasing refurbished printers from online retailers, be sure that you know the seller and have read AND understood the ‘fine print’. Of course, we recommend that you buy from local small businesses whenever possible but since that is not always possible or economical, just be aware that purchasing printers online carries specific risk / reward possibilities.

We’ll pick this discussion up at a later date!

Jun 142012

Happy Flag Day Portland, Oregon and Seattle, Washington from Printer Repair Blog!

When I was growing up, I remember always seeing the American Flag flying from the bannister of our house. I never really understood why until later on in life when I learned that I had family Members who served in the military but until we sold that house, The Stars And Stripes were always on display.

Today, as I was driving to work, it seems that some of the patriotism of yesteryear has, sadly, disappeared. There were one or two houses with the Flag flying from the front porch, but on the whole, I’d say that 90% of the houses were blank. When I stopped into the local coffee shop and politely inquired about if they were going to fly the flag today, the immediate response was kind of a quizzical look and then the question, ‘Why?’

Anyway, I hope all of our readers have a great Flag Day, and if you can, please do ‘show your colors’. Living in this great country is a remarkable privilege and one way to show that you recognize that is to honor the American Flag on special days (and always) like today. I suppose it is rather easy for us here at American Printer Service, Inc., since our company logo is built around a red, white, and blue theme, but I do hope that I’ll see a whole lot more flags flying from porches on my way home tonight!