Here are a variety of things that can gum up the gears of a printer and cause recurring jams. Though you might be tempted to solve the problem by tossing your printer out the window, here are some more effective approaches to diagnosing and solving the problem.
1. Inspect the paper trays to make sure they are not overloaded. To determine if this is the problem, do a test print with only one piece of paper loaded in the paper tray. (If this turns out to be the problem, keep the paper tray half-full in the future.)
2. Check that the type of paper being used falls within the printer manufacturer's recommendations. For example, paper designed for ink-jet printers doesn't necessarily work well in laser printers. High-quality, bonded paper will cause paper jams in some printers; look for bonded paper that is "laser and ink-jet compatible."
3. If someone has recently printed labels on this printer, check to see if a label has come unglued from a sheet and become stuck inside the printer.
4. Check the gears and rollers for stuck shreds of torn paper from previous jams. Turn off the printer before you attempt to remove the bits of paper.
5. If you have a laser printer, inspect the printer's paper rollers. They should be smooth but not shiny. Rollers that are cracked or glazed are a frequent cause of paper jams and should be replaced by a technician.
6. If you have a laser printer, try cleaning the printer's paper rollers with a lint-free cloth and isopropyl alcohol (available at electronics shops or drugstores).
7. Try changing the toner or ink cartridge.
8. If you hear a clinking sound during printing, your printer probably has a broken gear and needs to be serviced by a technician.
Occasionally cleaning your laser printer rollers with a lint-free cloth and isopropyl alcohol will extend their life and make them less likely to cause jams.
If you reuse paper to print on the back side, make sure that the paper is not torn, wrinkled or dog-eared. Tears, wrinkles or bends in paper can cause paper jams.
There are many things that can cause paper jams in Laser printers, and diagnoses vary from one model to the next. In this article I will discuss some of the most common causes of printer jams and possible solutions.
Where is the paper jamming?
When you answer this question you are close to solving the problem.
1. If the printer will not pick up paper from tray two or three there are several causes.
Try using a lower weight paper. HP does not recommend printing a higher weight than 20lbs from and tray but tray one.
If this does not work the paper rollers probably need to be changed. These come with every maintenance kit, but most end users do not change them, they just change the fuser. If you do not have rollers available try cleaning them with a lint free cloth and wipe away any paper dust or other debris.
2. The paper is picked up from the tray but does not make it to the toner cartridge.
Typically this is the paper feed assembly or the registration assembly. These are not easily replaced and I suggest consulting a professional.
3. The paper gets to the toner cartridge and then jams.
Try replacing the toner cartridge.
If you have a newer model printer (most HP models) check to make sure that the toner transfer bar is not stuck in an upright position.
Check for debris. If there is debris in the paper path this can cause jamming. Debris can be a torn piece of paper, a stable or just a build up of paper dust. DO NOT touch the rollers or drums! It will hold the oil form your skin and cause print defects.
4. The paper enters the fuser, but gets jammed inside.
Unfortunately, the fuser will probably have to be replaced, but check for any debris on the rollers before replacing. Also clean the paper path with a lint free cloth. DO NOT touch the rollers. They will hold the oil form your skin.
This does not cover all possible causes, only the most common.
All the best and success!
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