Thermal Printer Maintenance – CompTIA A+ 220-801: 4.3

Thermal printers are common output devices in many retail stores. In this video, you’ll learn the maintenance steps necessary to keep a thermal printer operating properly.
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If you’ve ever replaced the paper inside of a laser printer or an ink jet printer, you know it’s a pretty simple process. And it uses standardized paper. When you’re working with a thermal printer however the paper is a very specific kind of paper that’s used in that thermal printer. And it’s usually very specific size that’s designed just for that particular printer.

So not only do you have to get the right kind of paper, you have to get the right size as well. So that’s something to think about when your stocking up on office supplies. Make sure you keep a list of the type of printers you might have in your environment so that you keep in stock the right kind of printer paper for all of those different printer types.

The actual replacement process for removing the existing used role and placing a new one in is relatively easy. There’s a simple paper feed inside of the thermal printer. And as you’ve seen in a thermal printer, there’s not a lot of moving parts. As long as it’s able to pull the paper through the printer, then you simply replace that particular role and you can continue printing the receipts and the other things you need on that thermal printer.

One type of printer maintenance that you do tend to do on these thermal printers is to clean off that heating element. One common way to do this is with something like a thermal printer cleaning pin. These usually have IAP isopropyl alcohol inside of them or some similar kind of liquid. That allows you to get into that very tiny heating element and clean off just that section that you need. You don’t need a lot to be able to clean that. So usually you can remove it with just a few wipes. And the thermal printer is now cleaned on its element.

Sometimes the manufacturer of the thermal printer will also recommend that you use something like a cleaning card. This is a card that once you take it out of this package is simply a white car that you sent through the printer. And in the process of it going through, it also helps to clean off that heating element.

Cleaning inside of a thermal printer is a relatively simple process. We don’t have any toner and there’s no ink involved. So it’s not as dirty as perhaps other printers might be. You usually get something like paper dust that’s inside that accumulates over time. It’s very common then to grab these small little printers, disconnect them, and to maybe take them outside. Blow them out and that way you can get all of the dust out of the system.

You want to be sure not to use something like a vacuum cleaner. Vacuum cleaners tend to create a lot of static electricity. If you’re going to use a vacuum, make sure it is a vacuum specifically designed to work on computer components and that way you can make sure that you don’t damage the very sensitive electronics that are inside of that printer.