How much does your copy machine mean to your office? As an office manager, you know that nothing can sabotage a workday quicker than a copy machine breakdown. The good news is, you can perform some simple preventative copier maintenance tasks to prevent disruptive shutdowns. Even better, you’ll put a stop to the associated complaints that follow a copier breakdown.
Let’s explore some copier maintenance tips that can help reduce that dreaded copier downtime.
7 copier maintenance tips to prevent copier problems
1. Shut it off
Shutting off your copier is the easiest copier maintenance tip to perform. Sometimes we overlook the simplest maintenance tasks. You can prolong the life of your copy machine by shutting it off at night and on weekends. By flipping the off button, you will also save money on electric bills.
2. Warm it up
Your copier needs warm-up time before it is ready for its daily workout. If you turn off your copy machine for the weekend, when you turn it back on give it time to warm up. If it has been shut down, it probably will undergo a calibration exercise. Remember, repeatedly hitting the “copy” button will not speed the process. Allow the calibration mode to finish its important work.
3. Clean the glass
Making your copier a clean machine is another simple copier maintenance chore. Do you have those annoying streaks on your copies? How about those vexing pinhead sized dots or gray blobs?
According to copier maintenance service technicians, Wite-Out correction fluid, which dates back to the 1960’s, still reigns as one of the top copier glass smudge-producers.
These unsightly marks can be avoided just by cleaning the glass on your copier. And don’t forget about the document feeder, which needs cleaning also. Today’s copiers often have one or two thin strips of glass on the feeder. You’ll need to wipe them clean occasionally to prevent marks on your copies.
You can clean your copier glass with a standard glass cleaner. However, NEVER spray the glass with the cleaning fluid because it could make its way into the machines operational electronics. Instead, spray a cloth with cleanser.
4. Use better paper
When you think of paper problems, you probably think of paper jams. First, let’s focus on a seldom thought-about paper problem: paper dust.
If you’re not a copier technician, you’re probably not aware that paper dust can build up inside your machine and cause image quality problems. Recycled paper and lower quality paper gives off more dust. Although a lower paper price might be attractive, buying better quality paper could save you money in the long run.
5. Load paper correctly
There is not a copy machine on this planet which has not experienced a paper jam. Or a copier user who has not faced the frustrating task of trying to clear the jam. With a little patience, many paper jams are a preventable copier maintenance problem.
If you want to avoid jams, it is critical to load paper properly. Most people are in a rush and just shove paper into the tray without a lot of forethought.
Copier maintenance experts suggest that you initially take a half of a ream (package) of paper and place it into the tray. Although the top sheets may seem properly arranged, the bottom sheets may have shifted to the side, which will cause a jam when the machine lifts the paper. So make sure the paper is in a tight stack and evenly aligned.
Another helpful copier maintenance hint is to fan the paper to make sure no sheets are stuck together. Sometimes glue from the packaging process causes the top sheets to stick together, which will cause a jam.
Two other issues discussed above – cleanliness and paper quality – also are relevant when it comes to paper jamming. Paper dust and dirty paper trays can cause jams. Do not overload the paper trays or a jam could occur.
Many copier paper trays are built to accommodate a package of paper (500 sheets). Newer Canon models were designed to handle 550 sheets. This may not seem important, but it actually helps you avoid paper jams caused by overloaded trays. Canon’s trays easily accommodate a full ream with room to spare.
6. Empty waste toner
Have you ever gotten that error code warning you that your waste toner reservoir is full (or near full)? Ignore that warning and your copier will eventually stop running. Did you know that toner replacement is a copier maintenance task you can do yourself?
If you want to take a more hands-on approach to copier maintenance, Canon and other manufacturers are making toner reservoir replacement very easy, with no tools required.
7. Know when to check with IT
If your printer slows down or stops completely and you receive an error code, you might need to call in a technician for copier maintenance or repair. However, you may be able to fix the problem faster by checking with your IT staff. The problem could be a network connection problem and not a mechanical malfunction.
Copier maintenance hint: if you can still make a copy, but you can’t complete a print job from your computer, it’s likely a network problem.
What you need to know about a copier maintenance contract
Though you can perform some copier maintenance tasks yourself, you’ll need skilled technicians to complete the mechanical copier machine maintenance tasks. Your copier maintenance contract should include regular maintenance of your machine.
Here at Superior Office Systems, we like to be proactive about copier maintenance. We can do that because manufacturers of top copy machines, like Canon, outfit their machines with sophisticated software.
The software sends alerts when it’s time to change a part. The software can recommend part replacements based on usage (volume) patterns. That allows us to keep your equipment in top shape and prevent breakdowns.
A copier maintenance contract can give you peace of mind and prevent breakdowns that are disruptive to work and annoying to you and your staff.
Do you know how to tell if the copier maintenance service companies you’re considering will do a good job? Find out from this free guide: How to Evaluate Office Copier Service & Support BEFORE You Buy.