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Basic Projector Maintenance

Updated on October 27, 2012

Properly maintained projectors can last months beyond their warranties. Keeping it clean and free of debris can also help extend lamp life, and we all know how expensive those can be.

Below are some basic projector maintenance tips that will not breach your projector's warranty.

General Cleaning

It is completely fine to keep your projector clean, however it maybe a difficult task as projectors are generally installed near the ceiling. However, basic cleaning only really needs to be done once a week or so depending on the environment.

  1. Apply a small amount of cleaner to a soft cloth and wipe over the outside of the projector, taking care with the lens.

What Does This Do?

You wouldn't leave your TV or DVD player to sit for three years without cleaning it would you? Same principle applies to your projector. There is nothing worse than receiving a faulty projector only to find a dead spider sitting on it. Ew.

Filters and Vents

Your projector may or may not have a removable filter that needs periodic cleaning. Most, if not all, projectors have vents that allow for ventilation. These need to be cleaned too.

  1. Sanyo and Hitachi projectors in particular have removable filters. Other brands do too so check the User Manual to find their position on the projector.
  2. Switch the projector off. Gently remove the filter.
  3. Tap it gently on the side of the trash can to remove dust.
  4. Using a can of compressed air or the hose from a vacuum blow out the dust.
  5. Replace the filter on the projector.
  6. Some projectors have filter timers that indicate when a filter needs cleaner. Follow the User Manual to reset this.
  7. Some projectors also come with spare filters for when the foam inside deteriorates. There is no set time frame for a filter to last, so use your discretion for replacing a filter completely.
  8. Vents can be cleaned in much the same way. Using a can of compressed air or the hose from a vacuum, blow out all the dust.

What Does This Do?

Projectors produce a good amount of heat, keeping their ventalation systems clear keeps it from overheating and switching off. Overheating can cause the lamp to prematurely break.

Lamp Replacement

No matter how well you keep your projector, at some point the lamp will have to replaced.

  1. Some projectors have lamp timers. These give an indication of when the lamp should be replaced. However it should be taken with a grain of salt as many lamps can last far beyond these warnings. Also, warranty lamps are generally not issued until the lamp has gone completely, so take this into consideration before calling your service provider.
  2. Once you have your lamp to hand, switch off the projector and wait for it cool down.
  3. Unplug the cables, taking note to where they are plugged in at. Remove the projector from its ceiling bracket.
  4. You may need to refer to the Projector User Manual, or in some cases lamps come with fitting instructions. Remove the panel that houses the lamp, you may need a small screwdriver.
  5. Lamps are generally screwed into place inside the projector, you will need to remove the screws to release the lamp.
  6. Remove the old lamp. You may have to use a bit of force. Be careful when removing the lamp as it could still be hot. Also take care as the glass may have shattered. Have a container nearby to avoid the glass shards going every where.
  7. If the lamp has shattered tip the projector upside down over a trash can and gently shake to remove any stray glass shards.
  8. Insert the new lamp and screw it into place.
  9. Replace the lamp cover and screw it into place.
  10. Replace the projector onto the ceiling bracket and plug the cables back in.
  11. If your projector has one, reset the lamp timer according to the User Manual.
  12. Dispose of the faulty lamp. Many lamps contain mercury and cannot be disposed of in normal garbage bins.

Notes & Tips

  • If in doubt contact your warranty provider for guidance on maintenance procedures specific to your equipment.
  • One lamp replacement is standard for a warranty contract. This warranty does not always include fitting by the warranty provider.
  • Basic maintenance procedures, such as cleaning filters or dusting the projector, are generally not covered by a warranty.You may have to do this yourself.
  • Lamp life is grey area. They generally come with an estimate of how long they can last in terms of hours, but can last far longer than the given estimate. If a lamp lasts far shorter than the estimate given you may be eligible for a replacement as it could be a faulty lamp.
  • If you go through multiple lamps in a very short amount of time it may be an issue with the projector and not the lamp. Contact your warranty provider.

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