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Maintenance Tasks for HP Printers

Updated on January 9, 2018
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Tamara Wilhite is a technical writer, industrial engineer, mother of 2, and a published sci-fi and horror author.

Introduction

HP printers require occasional maintenance that can be done at home such as periodic cleanings and part replacement. Consumables are supplies used by printers like paper and ink that must be replenished as they are used up.

What occasional maintenance tasks for HP printers are necessary to keep them up and running?

How do you maintain your HP printer?
How do you maintain your HP printer? | Source

Inkjet Printers

Ink jet printers place small dots of ink on paper to create an image. During printing, trace amounts of ink evaporate and are left as residue on the print head nozzles, clogging them and reducing print quality.

To clean the print heads, go to the HP printer's Toolbox utility and select the “Clean the Printer Cartridges” option. Don’t clean the printer cartridges more than necessary since this process actually uses ink. The HP printer panel display will indicate when print heads should be replaced instead of cleaned.

Laser Printers

Laser printers use a laser beam to print. Dry ink from the toner cartridge adheres to the laser’s path and is fused with the paper. Toner cartridges must be replaced when they run low. You can tell when the toner is running low because the printed text becomes lighter and lighter until it is unreadable.

When a laser printer leaves streaks on print jobs, clean the printer to remove all toner residue. The residue looks like fine black powder inside of the printer.

Printer Consumables

Check the paper level regularly. Add paper if necessary. You should use paper that is the right size and weight for your printer. Paper that is heavier than the types specified for your printer may not be picked up by the paper intake. Do not use coated ink jet printer paper in a laser printer. After adding paper to the printer, print a test page.

Ink jet cartridge designs are unique to each type of printer. Use HP ink jet cartridges with Hewlett Packard printers. Toner cartridges should also be replaced when printed images become faint. HP printers automatically report low ink and toner levels if properly set up. If the HP printer fails to report its ink levels, the HP software for managing the printer may be missing or need to be reinstalled.

Physical Maintenance of Printers

When the printer has trouble picking up paper from the paper tray, the pickup roller has worn out and should be replaced. Transfer rollers and fusers need to be replaced for every 100,000 to 150,000 pages printed. Let the printer cool off before replacing the pickup rollers or fuser. This will take a few minutes. After a fusing assembly has been replaced, clean the LED erase lamps.

Before opening a printer to begin maintenance, you should ensure that it won’t start printing while you are working on it. The Lpshut command stops all print jobs on a network. The command Reject Printer stops printing on a specific printer, such as when it needs to be maintained. The Disable command stops printing during printer maintenance but allows print jobs to be spooled by the printer daemon so that printing can resume as soon as the printer is available again.

Software Maintenance

Hewlett-Packard printers use print management software and printer drivers separate from your computer’s operating system. Printer drivers receive data files and convert them into formats the printer can print. Printer driver updates are necessary when the computer or print server’s operating system changes.

You can find updated HP printer drivers on the Hewlett Packard website or from the CD that came with the printer.

Don't forget to update the drivers when you get a new operating system.

References

1. "A+ Guide to Managing and Maintaining Your PC" by Jean Andrews
2. "Upgrading and Repairing Networks" by Terry William Ogletree

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