Why Does My Copier Jam? Common Problems and Solutions

Why Does My Copier Jam? Common Problems and Solutions
6 MINUTE READ

It’s a story we’ve all experienced, you go to the copier to pick up a print job… and that blinking red light is flashing at you *paper jam*. On larger machines, it can be difficult to locate where the jam occurred, let alone what the root cause is. But, don’t worry. We are here to help.

Don’t waste another minute trying to fix the issue before reading on. We are here to help you save time and possibly some money. Below you’ll find a few common reasons for paper jams, the best way to address them, and when to call in an expert.

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SKIP THE LINE:
Incorrect Paper Weight
Paper Quality
Copier/Printer Age
Machine Cleanliness
When to Call in Reinforcements
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Incorrect Paper Weight

Most printers can manage standard 20lb paperweight with no problem. The issue comes into play with heavier weighted paper. If your printer is not compatible with 24lb+ paperweight or the settings are incorrect when processing the print job, there will likely be a paper jam.

Do you regularly print on glossy photo paper or on cardstock? If so, ensure that your printer is capable and excels at printing on the correct weight and finish.

Printer settings also play a large part in the quality of your print. To create the best outcome, double check your settings on the printer itself and/or on your computer when processing the print job. This can typically be found under “custom paper” in printer settings.

Paper Quality

Something our technicians see often when addressing a recurring paper jam is the poor paper quality. What do we mean by “poor quality”? It may not be what you think. Fresh paper reams can often get stuck together, frayed, folded or otherwise damaged when loading the tray.

To prevent this from happening, it is important to fan out your ream to prevent sticking prior to placing it in the tray. It is also important to note that overloading the paper tray can also cause sticking and other damages to occur. Always check that your paper tray is not filled above the max fill line, found on the side of the tray.

Shop Canon, Lanier, and Konica Minolta Products

Copier/Printer Age

Sure, a 10-year-old printer can technically perform all of the functions you need. Unfortunately, the reality is that as printers age, so do their parts and capabilities. For example, an old roller with built-up residue can cause issues with not only paper jamming, but also the quality of the final print.

Sometimes you can simply replace parts to reduce these issues and extend the life of your printer. In other cases, it may be best to talk with an expert about new machines that could save money in the long run with fewer repairs, higher-quality prints, and less downtime.

Machine Cleanliness

How often do you clean your paper trays, rollers, and output trays? Regular machine maintenance is an important part of extending the life of the machine and preventing issues, such as paper jams.

If it has been a while since the last clean, take a soft microfiber towel that is lightly dampened and clean debris from all areas of the machine. Do not forget to clean the rollers. If the rollers do not turn easily, contact your printer technician to assess the need for a replacement.

Related Article: Buyer’s Guide to Copiers, Printers, and MFPs 

When to Call in Reinforcements

Have you tried everything you can, but paper jams are still occurring? Sometimes it’s better to call in reinforcements than to continue to try DIY fixes and risk severe damage to your machine. So, when do you throw in the towel and call in the professionals? Here are some standard red flags to be aware of:

  • Recurring paper jams
  • Standard fixes are not working
  • Damaged hardware

Moral of the story? A printer or copier’s life can be extended by maintaining it properly. It is also important to have it professionally cleaned and examined at least every 6 months.

 

Want a customized solution based on your needs? Looking for an assessment on your current machine? Let the experts at Ford Office Technologies give you a hand at 1-800-633-3673 or by emailing info@fordtech.com

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