Inkjet Printer Maintenance – CompTIA A+ 220-1001 – 3.11

You’ll want to constantly maintain your inkjet printers to keep this working properly. In this video, you’ll learn about cleaning print heads, replacing inkjet cartridge, performing a printer calibration, and clearing paper jams.

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An inkjet printer operates by placing small droplets of ink directly from a print cartridge onto the printed page. Unfortunately, the ink that we use in these inkjet printers tends to clog very easily. And you’ll find that some printers will run an automated cleaning process every day just to make sure these heads don’t become clogged.

If you see output from an inkjet printer that shows streaks across the page or you’re missing one particular color completely, it may be because one of these print heads has become clogged. If your printer doesn’t have a daily cleaning process or you’d like to start one on the printer yourself, you can use the control panel on the front of the printer to start the cleaning process. Sometimes you can remove the print head from the printer itself and very carefully clean the print head manually. These print heads are pretty delicate, so you want to be very careful if you’re doing this manually.

Here’s a close-up of a very clogged inkjet print head. You can see that all of this ink is clogged up over the head. And that cartridge is not going to be able to print to the page at all.

Here’s a close-up of an inkjet cartridge that does not have a clog. The print head is very clean here. And you shouldn’t have any problem printing with this print head.

Replacing the inkjet cartridge is a very common maintenance task. We run out of ink all the time. And so you have to pull one ink cartridge out of the printer and replace it with a new one.

The ink cartridges are often separated. This one happens to have the C, the M, and the Y colors in one cartridge. And the black or the key is in the second cartridge. Your laser printer may have three separate cartridges for the C, M, and Y. It depends on the model of the printer.

These literally take seconds to replace. They easily pull out of the printer. And you can replace it with a brand new one. Print manufacturers also have a recycle process so that you can take that plastic cartridge, send it back to the manufacturer or to a recycle center, and they’ll take care of recycling it into the next series of print cartridges.

Here’s a close-up of an inkjet cartridge replacement. You can see that they pull right out of the printer very easily and replace right back into this spot. And you’re back up and printing again.

After replacing a print cartridge, you may want to look at the output and make sure that all of the colors are printing properly and are aligned right on top of each other. If there are any colors that are bleeding outside of a particular color, you may need to perform an alignment. This calibration option is usually available from the front panel of the printer. You’re able to print out the page and then make minor adjustments to the colors from that panel.

As we’re feeding paper and envelopes into a printer, you may find that those pages will sometimes become stuck. And we’ll need to remove that paper jam from the printer to be able to continue with the printing process. One of the first things you should do when trying to clear one of these jams is to remove the paper tray and if there’s any loose paper that happens to be caught and may be easily removed from that paper tray area.

Then you want to remove the paper that’s from the path of the printer. Make sure you use a firm pressure when removing this from the printer so that you don’t rip the page and leave paper inside of the printer. Lastly, you may want to open the cover of the printer, check inside, make sure there’s no loose scraps of paper inside, and then try sending another page through to see if it’s able to print.