In your copious amounts of free time, and because I know dusting is high on everyone’s priority list, if you ever feel the need to move your printer around, here are a little tips that may save you costly repairs!
For some reason, printer manufacturers tend to hide the power switch on their units, especially laser printers. However, you can damage your unit if you simply ‘pull the plug’ out to power it down. Search around and if the power switch for your printer isn’t on the front cover, chances are it is either on the back near the plugin or on the site.
Check the back of your printer after shutting it down and remove all the cables attached to it. I can not tell you how many times a printer is brought to American Printer Service, Inc. where the customer forgot or didn’t think to remove the Ethernet cable and then tripped over it, ripped the cable from the connection, and then couldn’t get it to work later. Even if you think you won’t trip over a loose cable, it just isn’t worth the risk… and if you’re really unlucky, tripping over the cable may pull your entire printer off your desk and completely destroy it!
If you’re taking a printer out of service for some time, it is a good idea to remove the cartridges, especially when you’re dealing with inkjet cartridges, which can dry with non-use and then clog. Toner cartridges should be kept out of direct sunlight in a cool, dry place. If dust is going to be a problem you may want to place it into a plastic bag… any garbage-type should do. If you’re storing inkjet cartridges for an extended amount of time, clean the contacts with a light alcohol / water mix so there are no ‘globs’ of ink on them. Then carefully place it in a plastic bag, squeeze out as much air as you can, and try to store it upright (the way it sits in the printer).
Never turn any printer on its side or upside down. With inkjet printers, the carriage bar may become loose, causing damage to the printer. With laser printers, it is just not a good idea. Printers are made to sit upright and never to be turned on end.
If you did pull out the plug instead of using the power switch to power the unit down, make sure it is turned off (complete circle) before plugging the unit back in. Plugging in the unit when it is switched on may result in a power surge that could permanently damage your printer.
I hope these little tips help you when you decide it is time to see what is hiding underneath your printer!