Ah, printers. So easy to use and so reliable…until they’re not. Yes, even the key appliance that seems to be the only real constant in your office or home has its bad days.
Dealing with printer problems is something users come to face every now and then. But while some might be quick to call IT or make a trip to a tech support center, others rely on a little basic know-how to save money and time.
Of course, problems you run into with your printer can vary based on the make and model. Tap or click here for Kim’s printer of choice. But no matter what printer you use, it’s important you know what these problems are and how you can troubleshoot them.
Here are four common problems people run into with their printers, and how to solve them.
1. Low ink no print
We’ve all been here. If you haven’t, you must have someone else printing for you. The low ink warning system is designed to give users enough time to get replacement cartridges before the ink reserves run out completely.
However, there are some printers that will refuse to print if ink levels are considered “low.” Imagine a car that suddenly stops running on a quarter tank of gas. This is ridiculous and really shouldn’t be allowed.
While low ink troubles may be a regular occurrence for most printers, they come few and far between for the Epson EcoTank. Instead of cartridges, it comes with four built-in, supersized tanks for each color, which you can easily fill up when they’re low.
And don’t even worry about dealing with cartridges. The EcoTank comes with two years’ worth of ink and saves you both time and a substantial amount of money in the long run.
Note: Kim’s regular listeners have probably heard her refer to her sponsor, Epson, quite often. Epson’s 4750 EcoTank has earned its place in our office. With advanced cartridge-free printing and easy-to-fill supersized tanks, we never worry about replacing ink and neither should you. See why the Epson EcoTank series is Kim’s printer of choice. Available at a Best Buy, Office Depot or OfficeMax near you and online at Epson.com/EcoTankKim.
2. Paper jams
At one point, this was so common with printers that office workers would fit it into their schedules just to compensate for time lost when attempting to print. Today, the dreaded paper jam still rears its ugly head. and it always seems to happen when you’re on a deadline or preparing for a meeting with clients.
Most of the time, paper jams are simply caused by paper misalignment. Make sure the stack of paper is neatly aligned before putting it in the tray and the guides are flush with the paper. You also want to be cautious not to overfill the tray.
If you have the right equipment, there’s no need to be overly cautious. The EcoTank 4750 has a 30-sheet automatic document feeder (ADF), coupled with a paper tray that holds 250 pages. This makes paper jams a thing of the past.
3. Printing too slow
Printers should have the need for speed. Unfortunately, good speed is not a universal quality across every brand. The average print speed of most units is between 11-13 PPM (pages per minute), while the EcoTank 4750 averages about 15 PPM — quite a significant difference.
To speed things up, it’s recommended you avoid two-sided printing, often referred to as duplex printing. If the printer has to flip the paper over to print on both sides, it can slow down print times significantly; however, Epson’s 4750 comes with an automatic two-sided printing feature that allows it to keep pace with its regular print speed.
4. It just won’t print
There could be a number of reasons why your printer won’t work. Years ago, you would have had to call someone or simply replace your printer. But before you toss it out the window, there are a few things you should check first.
If you don’t see any error messages leading you to the problem, check that the printer’s USB or Ethernet cable is connected. If it’s a wireless model, make sure the Wi-Fi is still enabled and that it is connected to the right network.
If you’re printing from a new computer, the printer driver and software need to be installed. If they’re already installed, it’s possible the driver has been corrupted, and if so, it should be reinstalled. You can refer to the manufacturer’s download page for the newest software version and installation instructions.
If all else fails, the best solution is to restart. You can begin by restarting your software application. If that doesn’t solve it, reboot the computer. Finally, switch off your printer for a few moments before turning it back on.