6 Common Photocopier Machine Problems And How To Fix Them


Modern Technology can be a thing of beauty when all systems are a go. But when software or hardware fails to perform, delays are frustrating and costly. Copy machines are subject to problems like paper issues, ink and paper jams and sometimes service breakdowns indicated by strange lines of code.


Though built to perform the simple task of copying images and words from one page to another, the photocopier can cause frustrations for office employees globally. Listed below are the top six copier snags and, better yet, some quick-fix remedies:

  • Paper Jams

Paper jams are among the most common copier errors encountered. The leading causes being improper paper loading or wrong paper size. These problems cause the photocopier to pull the paper through wrongly; causing a jam that delays your print or copy.

Resolving these types of problems force you to take out the jammed paper manually and correct the paper alignment or reload the proper paper size.

Interesting enough, paper dust exists and tends to choke the copy machine and cause paper jams. The best solution to this problem is to clean the feed tires regularly and once in a while, vacuum away dust and debris inside the photocopier.

As a rule, you should always ensure your copy machine supports the type of paper being used. And also remember to store your paper in a dry place to prevent moisture that can make printing problematic.

  • Lines on Paper

When you duplicate a piece of paper with simple images and text, but your finished copy has lines, streaks or other faults in the reproduction, you become frustrated. There are many causes for this potential photocopier machine problem, and they comprise:

  • Problem with fusers
  • Developer unit or drum malfunction (only applies to multi-component photocopier systems)
  • Foreign substances on the scanner mirrors, or glass
  • Drum blade break down causing large lines vertically down the page

The third problem is resolved through getting rid of interferences and cleaning the scanner mirrors and glass (refer to your user’s manual for correct cleaning guidelines).

The remaining problems should be resolved by replacing the unit causing the problem; more often than not these should be addressed by getting in touch with your service provider.

  • Overheating

Your copier might be in the most air-conditioned space available, but it doesn’t take much for it to go into overdrive, regardless of the climate, season, or room temperatures.

The bulbs in the photocopier, together with the fans, drawers, gears and other devices, can quickly overheat and result in potential damage. Keep an eye on the photocopier’s LED panel for caution messages about overheating and advise users to stop continually running the copy machine without breaks.

  • Toner or Cartridge Problem

Malfunctioning, empty or low toner problems can come about within your copier. If they’re empty or low, simple replacement should fix the problem. If it’s faulty, there could be one of two things happening:

  • Manufacturer Defect – Take a copy of the poor quality copies and the cartridge to the place of acquisition and ask for a replacement.
  • Incompatibility Problems – most photocopiers need a specific toner; if you try and use an incompatible cartridge, you won’t like the print quality.
  • Wrinkled Pages

There is nothing professional about copies that come out of the copier creased. Instead of looking like a skilled business professional, your staffs show up for business meetings or tender paperwork for reports that look like they were grabbed out of a student’s knapsack.

Crinkled pages every so often result from worn-out exit rollers and feed that cause jamming or sticking. Then again, beat up paper trays, moisture produced by fuser assemblies and humidity can also cause crinkled pages.

If the paper is damaged, avoid using it. For problems with paper trays, you can get replacements. But, fixing the feed rollers and fuser assembly calls for the help of a specialist.

  • Copies are Too Dark or Too Light

Almost always, problems with dark and light on copy pages are going to be due to imbalances in the density controls on the photocopier. Somebody might have unintentionally changed the settings, making subsequent copies too dark or too light. In this instance, resetting the density levels is the best solution.

It’s also possible that the drum could have reached the end of its useful life or that the toner in the copy machine is bad. Some toners are not up to manufacturer codes and can cause light density problems. Replacements should be bought and fitted.

  • Spots on the Page

This photocopier issue contains random arrays of dots ruining an otherwise perfect copy. If you see the dots in the same place consistently, it’s possible there is a problem of debris or smudges on the copy glass or mirror. Again, this can be remedied by cleaning the mirrors and glass.

A more random array of spots all over the document could be a flaw in the drum. Replacing drums should help remedy the problem.

Best Solutions

In addition to the solutions stated above, there are some steps that you can take in your workplace to make sure that these common photocopier machine issues are reduced.

Most importantly, never be forceful when it comes to unloading and loading paper from the copy machine. Last but not least, ensure you follow the replacement timelines for important parts and fixtures on the copier to avoid problems that stem from wear and tear.

Last but not least, have the copier cleaned by a professional from time to time. The buildup of debris and dust inside the machine can lead to many of the problems discussed above.

As you can see, many elements need monitoring to keep your photocopier working efficiently. If your office copier is nearing the end of its useful life and you don’t have enough capital to buy one outright, turn to PhotocopierCompare, for high-quality, state-of-the-art photocopier rentals.

As the leading provider of office equipment leasing, rental and sales opportunities in the UK, they’ll help you look into the different options available to find the best solution for your business.