We speak of a “paper jam” when a sheet of paper gets stuck in the printer. It reminds us that after all, computers and especially printers are machines subject to flaws and human errors. Because a paper jam is always linked to a handling error: paper of unsuitable quality or size, bad positioning in the cassette or the loading tray, poorly maintained printer, for example. Sometimes it’s the whole sheet that jams, sometimes the paper tears. Whether it’s on an inkjet or laser printer, here’s how to fix the problem while preventing damage to your device.
Paper Jam in Inkjet Printer
A Printer jam in an inkjet printer should be handled with care, as the paper could damage the printer printhead or ink cartridge (sometimes the printhead is built into it) if it does, it also abrupt handling a paper jam in Inkjet printers. A damaged printhead must be replaced: if it is integrated into the printer, it is almost like buying a new device (the cost of a printhead is sometimes higher than the printer itself), if it is integrated into the cartridge, a new one will have to be purchased.
Paper Jam in Laser Printer
The procedure for resolving a paper jam is the same as with an inkjet printer. However, it is best to let a laser printer cool if it has heated up before handling it to avoid the risk of burns.
An HP printer paper jam in a laser printer can have permanent consequences on your machine: if the paper gets the drum scratched, all the documents printed subsequently will show scratches and this element will therefore have to be changed, when it is not possible. The drum is one of the fundamental parts for the operation of the laser printer (it is the element which deposit the ink and toner on the paper by rotating on itself). Sometimes it is built into the toner itself. If this is the case, it will be necessary to change the whole.
So, what’s the solution?
Follow these steps to avoid or fix printer jam
- Dry paper reduces the risk of jams. To prevent your paper from absorbing ambient humidity, preferably store it in a room at a moderate temperature. Leave the ream of paper open so that the air can circulate.
- Paper already printed on one side should dry well before you consider printing on the other side.
- If you can’t see the sheet, it might be jammed at the back of the printer. Open the hatch behind the hood. Gently pull on the paper to dislodge it.
- If you have a laser printer and an inkjet printer, avoid putting a sheet printed with the first in the second, and vice versa.
- Crumpled or torn paper greatly increases the chances of a paper jam, for obvious reasons.
- Absolute restrict putting sheets in your printer with staples, paper clips or other elements that can be fatal for the cartridges, or even worse, for the printer itself.
- Dust and debris accumulated in your printer can not only cause jams, but also trick your machine’s paper jam sensors. It is therefore important to clean your printer regularly.