How To Deal With Paper Jams

Published: 29th December 2008
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It seems to happen every time that you are rushing to print out a document. Out of the blue, the paper suddenly jams into the printer. Here are a few ways to overcome your paper jam blues.

What causes paper to jam?

The following are the primary causes of paper jams:

Thickness of the paper. Printer manufacturers often specify the kind of paper material and paper thickness that can be used on a specific printer model. Using a paper material that is too thick or too thin can cause the paper to eventually get caught and jam in the printer.

Paper sticking together. Sometimes, paper that is bought in reams tends to slightly stick to each other because of static. As a result, instead of the printer feeding only one printer at a time, multiple sheets of paper are eventually fend into the laser or inkjet printer, making this thicker and increasing the likelihood of the paper to jam into the printer.

Accumulation of dust and other materials. Over time, dirt and dried ink or toners would accumulate within the printer, including the printer rollers that feed paper into the printer.

Getting Out of a Jam

If your paper gets jammed inside the printer, try turning the printer off for a few minutes and then turn this on again. When the printer warms up, it sometimes is able to free the paper jammed inside the printer. If this still fails, follow these simple steps carefully:

Turn off your printer and remove any loaded paper on the printer tray.
Open the printer's door to expose the toner or ink cartridge.
Remove the toner or ink cartridge.
Carefully pull the paper jammed in the printer to make sure that the printer head does not get damaged in the process and the paper does not tear.
In the event that the paper does tear, carefully rotate the printer rollers to free the torn portion of the paper.
Replace the toner or ink cartridges.
Frequent Jam Problems

If you experience frequent jams when using your printer, it could be that the printer is dirty and would need to be cleaned. This could be easily done by using a moist (not wet) cloth with alcohol. Over time, dirt, dust and dried toner and ink tend to accumulate on the printer rollers. This would eventually cause the printer rollers to become sticky and cause the paper to cling on the printer rollers, causing it to jam. This could also happen if you have just recently printed out adhesive labels in your printer.

How to Prevent Paper Jams

Use paper that is free from creases and folds
Adhere to the paper thickness specs provided by the printer company
Regularly clean your printer rollers

About the Author:
This Article is written by John C Arkin from the contributor of Office Supplies Information & Resources. More information on the subject is at How To Deal With Paper Jams, and related resources can be found at How to Fix Common Dell Inkjet Printer Problems.

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