11 September 2013 ~ 0 Comments

Keep Your Printer Out of Hot Water

hot-water-heaterMy wife’s aunt posted on Facebook this morning, at 5:07AM,  that she had no water because the water from our local water utility, which has a bad reputation for taking out water heaters before their time, had seen fit to end the life of her water heater.  I imagine, and I am only guessing here based on the excessive use of capital letters in her post, that she was very frustrated.  It reminds me of the time earlier this summer, while on a mini-vacation, I received a call from my son stating he had the same sort of issue with our water heater. I got to spend the first day after returning from a relaxing vacation running around trying to get what I needed to get my water back up and running.  So, I was thinking, “wouldn’t it be nice if there was a warning on my water heater that told me when I was close to having a problem.”  That way I could solve the problem on my schedule instead of doing it on an emergency basis.

Well, when it comes to laser printers, there is such a warning. Many of the higher end Hewlett Packard and Lexmark printers actually let you know when you need to have some maintenance done on the printer.  On Lexmark printers the messages it gives you is “PRINTER MAINTENANCE NEEDED” and on HP printers the message is usually something like “ORDER PRINTER MAINTENANCE KIT” and it’s written in all caps. There’s a reason for this. If you don’t want to be using all caps when you write about your printer or worse yet, if you don’t want your boss to send you an email written in all caps, this would be a good time to order a maintenance kit.

So, you ask, “what does a printer maintenance kit consist of?” I’m glad you asked. There are basically three parts to the kit, a fuser, transfer rollers, and pickup rollers.  Think of these parts like you do brakes on your car, not something you have to replace all the time but definitely something that needs to be replaced at certain intervals.  Pickup rollers bring the paper into the printer, transfer rollers transfer the image from the drum to the paper and the fuser adheres the image to the paper. These three parts are critical to the printing process and are the parts most likely to be the source of the problem when your printer is not printing properly.

One final thought, when you do get this message, there is no need to panic.  You can continue to operate your printer and, most likely,  will not run into a problem unless you decide to ignore the message for an extended period of time.  If you call soon after getting the message, your technician will have plenty of time to get you fixed up before you see any downtime with your printer.  Thus, there is no need for a Facebook post written in all caps. Now, instead, you can write a post about the new promotion you got at work or at least a cute video of your cat.

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