Tips On Clearing Paper Jams In Printers

We all know how frustrating it is when trying to print an important document and the paper jams. It can happen for any number of reasons, but one thing is guaranteed, annoyance. But there's no need to let your frustrations spill over, take a deep breath and follow these simple guidelines for clearing printer jams.

First of all you need to identify the cause of the jam. Has the paper become stuck in the printer? Has there been a mechanical failure? Once you are able to see exactly what is making the paper jam, then you can start to look into how exactly you're going to find an effective solution.

As with most errors, it is often best to consult the manual of your particular device before diving in and doing anything too severe. Unless the issue is immediately apparent of course, in which case you can dive in.

The first thing to try, and in typical engineering advice, is to simply switch the printer off. This will reset any memory and then when it is switched back on, assuming it was just a temporary technical glitch, the paper should feed out and you can re-commence your printing job once again. Speaking of paper feeding, you may also want to press this button if it is featured on your printer. That might help dislodge it or at the very least, highlight where the issue is.

If this is unsuccessful, you will have to consider some more manual solutions. Quite often in a laser printer, the slightest crumple in the paper can cause it to be filtered through the system incorrectly before it inevitably get caught in something. In this instance, open the front of the printer and see where the paper is and determine whether or not it is reachable.

Most laser printers will have an immediate shut-off when you do open the front or there is a fault, ensuring that they don't jolt back into life whilst you're in there. If you are concerned leave it switched off. Once you've located the paper, see if you are able to find any obvious issues - rips or caught in a moving part - and then carefully attempt to pull it out.

It is important that you damage any of the mechanisms within the printer and you should also ensure that the paper comes out whole. If you end up ripping it, you then have to prise any remaining bits before firing it up again; otherwise these could get lodged elsewhere and cause more damage. This is why it is vital that you apply even pressure and don't yank or tug at it.

This is obviously a little simpler when using an Inkjet, as the paper should be externally visible at one end or the other. However the same principle applies, so don't try to force it to much as you may end up damaging the components and having liquid ink everywhere.

Once you remove the obstruction, check for any other issues. For example there may be dust of other sedimentary damage within the device. This should all be cleaned out and tested before looking to start any future prints.

When you've completed all of that, switch off the printer again and switch it back on to reset it, then send through a couple of test pages. This will ensure that things are running freely and there are no other issues to contend with. As soon as you're satisfied that everything is back up and running, get on and re-print your work.

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