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Printer Combo Care

written by: KateG•edited by: Ronda Bowen•updated: 6/28/2011

One of the best ways to save money in your home office is to take care of what you already have in your office. Taking care of your printer combo device is a great way to extend its life, and save your budget.

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    When you make the investment on a piece of equipment for your home office you want it to last. The problem is that too many people expect that the machines in their office will simply take care of themselves. One of the most often overlooked pieces of equipment in your office is your printer/scanner/fax combo. The truth is that most people don’t give this device much thought unless it needs a change of ink. That is a shame since taking care of one of these devices can significantly extend it’s life span. Let us take a look at how you can make that life as long as possible.

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    Calibrating the Printer Heads

    Misprints usually occur when the heads are out of alignment. Getting heads back into alignment is a tricky task, which is why you want to allow the machine to check, and adapt each time you install a new cartridge. Many smaller machines, designed for home use, will do this automatically. Larger models may leave it up to the user. Consult your manual for specific instructions. If you don’t have a manual scroll through the device menu.

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    Unjamming The Head

    If your printer head is jammed 1 (or more) colors may print light (or not at all) even when you have sufficient ink. To unjam a head follow these steps:

    Turn off and unplug the printer.

    Open the casing in the same way that you would to put in a new ink or toner cartridge.

    Take out the cartridge. If it is not empty then you will want to put it on paper towels or in a plastic bag.

    Find the printer head nozzles. They will be small tubes or openings.

    Look for a jam. This will seem like crusting or a clog.

    If you see a clog get a pin or a needle.

    Insert it gently into the heart of the clog and pull slowly. The clog should either pul our or crumble.

    If there is still residue then you should wipe down with an baby or windex wipe.

    Replace the ink, and try the print again.

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    Power Issues

    If a device is powering down too frequently or not at all you should check the power management settings first. Next check the condition of the cord. Look for wear or fray on the outside. Then examine both the prongs and any female sides on the cord for flaking or wear of the metal. If so, contact the manufacturer. Replacing a cord only is possible and much less expensive. Also, you should try resetting your outlets. Many older homes are not set up to manage the high volume power flow of modern home offices.

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    Faxes confirmations

    If you are not getting fax confirmations, and you are sure that the fax was sent this is usually the sign of a reset in the software. If you think that things are off then you can do the reset manually using either the installed software or the menu, depending on your model. Consult your manual whenever your machine is acting wonky, like misdialing or failing to print confirmations this is your best option.

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    See, with just a few simple steps you can both maintain and too a certain degree of trouble shooting. Enjoy a long technology life.

    A note on your ink.

    Ink can become a major home office cost. You can save significantly if you refill your cartridges. This can be done at home if you are brave enough to drill into the cartridge, or at your local drug store for a fee.