Maintaining Inkjet Printers – CompTIA A+ 220-901 – 1.15

Inkjet printers are relatively easy to maintain. In this video, you’ll learn about cleaning print heads, replacing inkjet cartridges, printer calibration, and how to properly clear jams.

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If you have an inkjet printer, you know that keeping the heads clean is very important. The inkjet printers use very small droplets of ink, and they’re coming out of very tiny little print heads. So it’s very common that you will have clogging of that ink. This is so important that many printers will perform a cleaning process every day. If you start looking at your output, you notice there are a number of streaks or there’s missing colors, then you probably have a clogged print head. Most printers will also allow you to manually clean the print heads. If you’re doing a lot of printing or you want to be sure that the print heads don’t clog, you can use that manual printing process in the printer controls.

You might also want to remove the print head or the cartridge that contains the print head and manually clean it yourself. Usually you can get some isopropyl alcohol and very carefully clean the print head. You’ll notice when it’s dirty you can visibly see when a print head happens to have a lot of clogging on it. It might be an easy thing to quickly clean off and replace inside of the printer. Inside of your inkjet printer are the ink cartridges themselves. These are usually separate colors, so you might see a C, an M, a Y, and a K standing for the cyan, the magenta, the yellow, and the K stands for the key color, which is generally the black color inside of the printer.

Some cartridges might combine some of these colors together. So in this example, you can see one of these cartridges contains cyan, magenta, and yellow all on the same cartridge. One disadvantage with this is that if you run out of yellow, you have to replace the entire cartridge, even if there’s some cyan or magenta still in the existing cartridge. Fortunately, these only take a few minutes to replace. They pop out. You can pop a new one in. And it usually spends a few minutes after replacing the cartridge calibrating and making sure that it’s configured perfectly for the printer.

These cartridges are also mostly plastic, so it’s always a good idea to recycle them when that’s available. Here’s a picture during the cartridge replacement. They’re very modular. They snap out. You snap a new one in. It only takes a few seconds to replace the cartridges. When you replace the cartridge, the printer usually performs a calibration. But you could also run one manually. This is going to align the print heads to the paper so that you get perfectly straight lines and the colors don’t overlap. This calibration process is usually automatic. You don’t have to make any changes yourself inside of the printer.

But if you do want to make some minor adjustments to the calibration, most printers will give you some options so that you can fine tune the process. With any printer, we often run into paper jams. And an inkjet printer is no exception. There are a lot of different turns and twists as the paper goes through the printer itself. If you run into a jam, you may want to remove all of the paper from the trays themselves and try to get everything out of the way. At that point, you’ll probably be able to see exactly where the jam is occurring.

You don’t want to rip the paper. It might get caught inside the printer itself. There’s probably a way to easily remove it very carefully with just a little bit of pressure. You also want to be sure once you’ve removed it, that there are no scraps of paper inside of the printer, or when you send paperback through, it’ll simply jam again.