Basic Copier Trouble Shooting

Sorry to See You Here... But as with any piece of
equipment copiers will require maintenance and repair.
Copiers especially because their inherent design and
the desire for good copy quality.

Copiers also have many consumable parts and supplies. Toner is a consumable supply. Well, there is also often developer, and such parts as the Drum, Fuser Rollers, Cleaning Blades, various lamps, and other components. All of which have a limited service life and will drastically affect machine performance and copy quality as they degrade.

This page is designed to help you determine if your machine just needs maintenance or if service repairs are necessary. The information contained here within is Only a Reference and may or may not be applicable to your specific machine.

  Paper Jams : * Paper Jams * Unable To Clear Jam  
Service Needed : * Error Code Displayed * Service Man Displayed * Wrench Displayed  
Copy marks & spots: *Marks on copy

Paper Jams... Lets speak frankly.

Well that Paper Jamming ___,___,___ !!... I Can't tell you how many times I heard that one ! Well here is the low down on Paper Jams and the frustration it causes for you and yes possible damage to the machine. Fact 80% of ALL Paper Jams are either inferior paper quality, poor paper condition, or a operator related problem and have nothing to do with the performance of the machine.

Regarding Paper Quality : Paper Quality is crucial to the copier for preventing paper jams and achieving good copy quality. Often uneducated operators think that "paper is paper" and why spend $10-$15 more per case. These users go out and purchase the cheapest paper that they can find. This is a Major Mistake.

With those few dollars saved on paper your surely are going to have plenty of frustration and poor image quality. Also those few dollars saved will be spent again ten fold over when you have to call Chesapeake OEM out because of your machine paper jamming. Save yourself money overall and headaches. Buy Only Name Brand High Quality Paper !!

Physical Characteristics of Cheap Paper : Cheap paper has less of a structured grain pattern and therefore will feel slick to the touch. It also is generally of substandard weight / thickness, and also will not be as white/bright in color. A Simple Clue : Inferior quality paper is generally priced between $15-$30 per case (10 reams) for Letter Size paper.

Basic Factors That Determine Paper Quality :

  1. Paper Finish, Texture, and Grain. Seek only paper that does not exhibit a glossy or slick feel and has a well defined grain structure. Cheap paper is in likeness to driving a car on a slick icy surface the car goes nowhere as does the paper (instant mis-feed / jam). Also for copy quality, copiers like to have a properly finished paper for the machine to lay down and fuse the toner effectively.

  2. Substance Weight/Thickness. Most all copiers require a minimum of 20lb. Substance Weight/Thickness. Generally cheap paper manufactures will fudge a bit on this specification making the paper lighter/thinner than quality paper with the same specs

  3. Structure and Strength. Paper structure and strength are a very important factors. For the copier draws paper from the paper cassette into the machine and then generally pushes the trailing edge of the paper to the next set of rollers. If the paper lacks sufficient strength it will buckle under this pressure creating an instant paper jam.

  4. Color/Whiteness often referred to as "Brightness." The cheaper paper will not exhibit the whiteness/brightness of a quality paper. This however is only aesthetics and does not affect the performance of the machine. You will be however amazed at the difference if you dare to compare.

Other Influences Regarding Paper Jamming :

Condition of Paper : One of most common causes of paper jamming other than poor quality paper is humidity. Humidity disrupts the integrity of the paper, reduces its strength, and strongly inhibits copy quality.

Its easy to determine if humidity is the cause of your problem. Look at the paper loaded in your cassette if it appears to be uneven or lumpy and bumpy discard it for this is an immediate paper jam. Also old paper that has absorbed humidity and dried out again is also useless.

Paper can be ruined in as little as two hours time if the copier is not located in a climate controlled office or if you live in such a place as the Pacific Northwest were rain and humidity are commonplace. I recommend only loading enough paper in your cassettes for one day. In humid climates keep your opened packages of paper sealed in a plastic bag. Keep your cases of paper always with the lid on for the cardboard acts as a moisture barrier.

Proper Paper Handling : Proper paper handling is essential. Settle your paper against a flat surface being careful not do damage the leading edge of the paper. Fan the stack of paper also, this provides a layer of air between each of paper and therefore limits the possibility of mis-feeding or double feeding. Fill the cassette a maximum 3/4 Full.

If your still having jamming problems now you can blame the machine,
and call Chesapeake OEM at 410-535-5440 for service.

Machine Induced Factors Causing Paper Jamming :

  • Feed Tires / Rollers are dirty, glazed, hardened, or worn .

  • Pick-Off / Separator Fingers dirty or damaged.

  • Fuser Rollers worn. Causes paper wrinkling / jamming.

  • Mylar(s) or separator belts damaged..

  • Sensors / Timing Switches are not functioning properly.

  • Clutches are not functioning properly.

For all of the above call Chesapeake OEM for service at 410-535-5440.

Unable to Clear Paper Jam or Non-Existing Jam Causes :

If you are unable to clear a paper jam that is badly jammed by all means please call us. I have seen more machines damaged from clients trying to remove paper jams with screw drivers, hair pins, coat hangers, etc. The net result of this is generally damaging the most expensive parts of the machine the Drum or the Fuser Rollers.

If you are fairly sure that you removed all of the paper from the paper jam area(s) and the machines still reads a jam ("Non-Existing Jam") do the following 1) make sure you reset the machine most machines generally have a reset button, 2) Unplug the machine for 30 seconds then plug in, turn power on, and 3) reset as usual. If this does not work call Chesapeake OEM, you probably have a faulty or hung-up paper sensor switch.

Very Important !... When Removing a Paper Jam Always Avoid Tearing and Never Leave Any Paper Residue In Machine. Any Remaining Residue May Result In continual jamming or a Non-Existing Jam /Service Call.

Error Code Displayed

Diagnostic codes such as Error Codes, Service Man Displayed, Wrench Displayed, and Any Other Unusual Symbols Displayed are indications of a preset maintenance call due, machine service needed, developer change needed, blown lamp, or a serious machine malfunction. The severity or immediacy of these codes and symbols range from nil to unplug the machine immediately. With some machines and or with some diagnostic codes displayed, the machine may or may not "Lock You Out" of operating the control panel and prevent continued operation.

To know what is actually going on you need to call us at Chesapeake OEM. Often times you may be able to temporarily reprogram the copier to allow continued operation until you or us can remedy the situation or problem.

Diagnosis of Spots or Marks on Copy

Regarding Spots, Marks, etc. on copy can easily be diagnosed as follows. Run 3-5 copies of an original. If the imperfection on the copy stays stationary on each copy during multiple copy runs, the problem can be pin pointed to dirty copyboard glass or dirty optics. Look at your copyboard real close, for any small residue on the glass will leave a subsequent black mark on your copy.

If the imperfection moves from left to right horizontally (parallel to the paper path) but stays the same vertical height from top to bottom, it will then be a defective Drum, Upper Fuser Roller, and or contamination on the DV Developer/Toner Magnetic Roller.

To narrow it down to the precise cause/damaged roller : Each roller is unique in its diameter (i.e. Drum = 4"dia., Upper Fuser Roller = 2" dia, and Developer/Toner Roller = 1" dia.) and has a significant difference in circumference. With a imperfection on the problem roller that imperfection will be reproduced on the copy equal to the circumference of the damaged drum or roller.

A Simple Trick, generally the imperfection on the copy will appear at least twice, take the copy with the imperfection and roll it up aligning the two closest alike imperfections, that will give you the diameter of the Drum or Roller causing the imperfection.

For Service Related Questions Please Call... 410-535-5440

WARNING !! ... Disclaimer, Chesapeake OEM advises that you have us or a competent service tech demonstrate to you appropriate procedures before trying any repair procedures yourself.