Nobody wants to invest in a copier/printer just to have it break down within months.
Not knowing how to properly care for your machine can shorten its lifespan, causing you to waste valuable time and money on issues that weren’t anticipated.
Luckily, there are several tips you can follow to help increase your machine’s lifespan.
Follow these eight tips to help prevent premature service issues, ensuring your machine will be happily running for years to come.
1. Give your copier room to breathe.
The spot you choose to home your copier is crucial. Small spaces can lead to difficulties using or accessing the machine for service repairs.
Enclosed spaces can lead to overheating, creating a fire hazard in your office.
When choosing a copier, discuss with a business consultant if the place you have picked will be appropriate for the size machine you bought. Be open to finding a new spot if needed.
If you currently have a copier that isn’t in an appropriate spot, we recommend moving it to a more suitable location within your office.
Make sure you understand how to properly move your copier/printer. Call your service technician; they can walk you through these steps to ensure nothing is damaged.
Damage caused by improper moving is not covered by your service agreement.
2. Dust, dirt, debris, oh my!
Cleaning should be a regular part of caring for your machine. Dust and debris can collect on copiers that are located in places such as construction zones or oil rig sites.
Even temporary construction surrounding the office can lead to dust settling on the copier when doors are opened and closed.
An increase in dust and debris will lead to an increase in service calls.
Additionally, cleaning the glass frequently will ensure clean copies.
Another feature to keep clean is the tablet-like interface. With the tablet being a high touchpoint for users, cleaning will help prevent the spread of germs.
Using stylus pens on these tablet-like interfaces can also help prevent the spread of germs on your shared office equipment.
To ensure you are properly cleaning your copier, read our article on how to safely clean your copier before attempting to clean your machine yourself. Damage resulting from improper cleaning is not covered by your service agreement.
3. Humidity is the enemy.
Humidity dampens paper. Damp paper can cause unnecessary paper jams. Be sure to store all paper supplies in a dry place.
Once a package of paper is open, store the extra paper in an airtight container. Paper not stored in an airtight space can collect moisture.
4. Cheap supplies can damage your machine.
When investing in a quality copier for your business or home needs, use quality supplies such as paper, drums, and toner. Cheap paper and other supplies can cause unnecessary service calls.
One of the most common and detrimental mistakes we see customers who are not covered by a service agreement make is buying an inexpensive drill and fill toners.
Drill and fill toners have a proven failure rate of 40%. These toners lead to ink spillage that can damage your machine and produce hazardous toxins. Not to mention, it affects the quality of your output.
There are four different types of toners to choose from:
- Original equipment manufacturer (OEM)
- Newly Manufactured
- Drill and Fill
While OEM is of the highest quality, there are great options for affordable newly manufactures toner designed for everyday users.
As long as you do not choose a drill and fill and purchase from a reputable company, your toner should be safe to use.
“You don’t just shove paper in [the copier], you don’t bang on the buttons, you don’t sit on the glass. If you want it to work, you have to treat it with respect.” – Xerox repairman, Mad Men.
While Xerox copiers are durable machines, the Xerox repairman from Mad Men made some valid points.
Some of the best ways to respect your machine include:
- Closing doors and trays gently
- Not banging on the machine or interface
- No kicking your machine (it’s happened)
- Gently unplug the cord, no yanking
- Call a service tech if pieces are falling apart; duct tape is not the solution
- Do not print over your machine’s recommended printing volume
The last bullet point is often overlooked. Do not print to the machine’s duty cycle each month.
Manufacturers include a duty cycle number that is much higher than the recommended print volume per month to showcase the power of the machine, not to encourage this printing level on an ongoing basis.
While that copier could print to the duty cycle, you will experience service issues quickly when continuously printing to this level.
Recommended reading: Duty cycle vs. recommended print volume
6. Drums are like vampires, they can’t be in direct sunlight!
While your drums won’t burst into flames upon immediate exposure, keep drums out of sunlight for an extended time.
Additionally, always have a backup set of supplies on hand.
Having an extra set of supplies will save you from running out of ink in the middle of a busy workday. Nothing is more inconvenient.
7. Are you inputting paper correctly?
To avoid paper jams within your machine, input the paper in the trays by placing the paper securely into the green feed guides.
Once the paper is changed out, don't forget to tell the machine what size and type were inserted.
For further questions or guidance inputting paper, contact your vendor’s service team.
8. Maintenance plans are lifesavers.
Several issues that could arise while owning/leasing a copier could be solved with a maintenance plan.
Maintenance plans provide high-quality toner automatically shipped to you as needed, highly tenured service technicians, immediate phone support, and the assurance that you will always have a working machine.
Maintenance plans eliminate the concerns of cheap supplies, broken parts, or getting stuck with a dead machine.
When leasing a machine, a maintenance plan is usually automatically added for around $12 per month plus your monthly usage.
When purchasing a machine, we recommend purchasing from a local copier vendor, not a retail giant such as Wal-Mart or Amazon. These machines aren’t built for business or demanding home-office needs.
When you purchase from a copier vendor, we recommend adding the maintenance plan.
Without a maintenance plan, you are stuck with finding and purchasing costly toner as needed and, if the machine breaks or has a problem, service technicians are next to impossible to find.
Even if you manage to find a service technician, this problem will likely continue to arise until the machine is dead.
Additionally, if you don’t have a maintenance plan, once the machine dies, you are stuck with it.
Add a maintenance plan to your copier.
Each tip discussed today will help prevent premature service issues within your machine. However, tip number 8, adding a maintenance plan, will likely save you more time and money than all the other tips combined.
The amount of time and money saved with the automatic toner shipments will allow your employees to focus on more important matters in the office.
The convivence of having a service team at your disposal to fix any issues that may arise will save your company headaches that inevitably arise as the machine gets older.
You’ll be thankful you decided to invest in your business by purchasing or leasing a quality copier from a vendor that includes a maintenance plan.