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

Thermal printers have relatively few maintenance requirements. In this video, you’ll learn about thermal paper replacement, heating element cleaning, and debris removal.

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If you have a thermal printer, you know that it can be very difficult when you run out of thermal paper. That’s because you can’t replace it with some other kind of paper. Thermal paper has a special chemical coating on it, so you have to be sure that you have thermal paper available to replace when that printer runs out.

You also have to make sure you have the right size of paper. When you are replacing paper in a laser printer, it’s a very standardized size. There’s letter paper, there’s legal size paper. But for a thermal printer, every printer uses different sizes of paper. So make sure you keep a list, or you check with the manufacturer to know exactly what size fits for that printer.

And since this is a thermal printer, the replacement of paper is very easy. It usually only takes a few seconds. You open the printer, you remove the old roll, you put in the brand new one, and it will usually even feed the paper through automatically.

The component inside of a thermal printer that’s doing the actual printing is the heating element. You can see one of the heating elements here. It’s usually just a long piece of metal. We usually clean this with IPA. That’s Isopropyl Alcohol. It’s often put into the shape of a pen, which is one that just has a very small tip on it so you can get inside these very tiny areas and clean this off very efficiently. Make sure you are very careful when doing it because there are other electrical components inside of the printer. You want to just clean that particular heating element section.

You might also have the option to use a cleaning card. This is a card that you send through the printer, just as if you’re sending through thermal paper, and it cleans the entire path as it passes through.

The inside of a thermal printer doesn’t get as dirty as a laser printer because obviously, there’s no toner. But because the paper’s constantly going through, little tiny pieces and dust of paper can create residue inside of the printer itself. So it’s useful to remove that from inside the printer and clean everything out. One way to do this might be to pick up these printers. A lot of them are very small, you can take them outside and blow them out with just a little bit of air. If you’re not able to take it outside, or you don’t want that dust going everywhere, you can simply use a damp cloth and wipe out the inside of the printer.

You probably want to avoid using a traditional vacuum cleaner inside of your printer or your computer. That’s because traditional vacuum cleaners have a lot of static build up and a lot of static discharge that occurs. There are specially designed vacuum cleaners just for computers, and they would be perfect for cleaning out the inside of the computer system or inside of a printer.