11 things to stop doing to your copier

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Printers and copiers are integral parts of doing business. When they go down, work comes to a screeching halt. But few people realize how much our everyday actions affect the life of our copier. Let’s look at some things that people currently do to copiers that need to stop.

1. Setting food or drink on or near the copier.

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We’ve all been there before. You’re in a rush out the door, coffee in hand, and when you get to the copier, you set your mug on top of the machine. You grab the papers, pick the coffee back up, and you’re on your merry way. Well, this is a bad habit. If something happens and your coffee spills over the machine, you’re in trouble. Depending on the severity of the spill, you could be down for quite a while. Liquids and electronics don’t tend to get along.

The same goes with food. If there’s a popcorn machine next to the copier, stray kernels could get into the trays (gross). Not only could papers have butter stains on them, but food might get lodged in the machine. If that’s the case, a paper jam might be the least of your worries.

Instead, put a table near the copier so you can set your coffee down while you’re in a hurry without risking the life of the machine.

2. Wearing a diamond ring while cleaning the glass or clearing a jam.

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This one isn’t a well-known issue. Everyone knows that diamond is the hardest mineral, and that you need a diamond saw to cut diamond. It should be obvious, then, that a diamond ring could scratch the platen glass and mirrors inside the machine. Yet no one ever thinks about it.

If the ring gets flipped upside down so the stone is facing the glass rather than away from it, it could scratch the platen. This would show up in every copy until it’s replaced.

The same goes for clearing jams. There are mirrors inside the machines, and if a diamond ring scratches them, the output quality could go down.

These replacements could cost hundreds of dollars. It’s worth putting your diamond ring in your pocket for a few minutes until you’re done. Unless you’re a forgetful person; replacing a lost diamond ring would be a lot more expensive.

3. Leaving boxes too close to the sides of the machine.

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The finisher trays on the sides of the machines aren’t always stationary. Depending on the print job, they may need to go higher or lower, and if your machine does this automatically, there can’t be boxes in their way. If there are, say goodbye to the finisher tray.

Heavy boxes below the trays can cause a bit of damage when they move up and down. If you need boxes next to the machine, put them far enough away from the machine so the trays won’t run into them when they move. The cost of the replacement tray isn’t worth the cost of a few extra inches of wall space next to the machine.

4. Kicking the paper trays shut.

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This one may not seem like a big deal. The drawers are always low to the ground, so it’s easier to kick the drawer shut rather than bend over and push it closed. This is especially true if you’re wearing a skirt or your back hurts. But, the drawers have some small, fragile pieces that could break if it is shut too forcefully. Not only could the paper tray stop working, but there could also be small, loose plastic pieces in the machine. This is never a good thing.

5. Wet ink or Wite-Out on the papers being copied.

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No one likes streaky copies. Copying a piece of paper (on the glass or through the document feeder) that still has wet ink or Wite-Out on it could create these streaks. Depending on the liquid, the fix could be easy or difficult. Either way, it’s best to wait for the ink to dry. The amount of time you’ll have to wait will be less than the amount of time you’ll have to spend cleaning up to prevent those awful streaks.

6. Forcing toner into the machine when it won’t fit.

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Toner cartridges should go into your machine rather easily. If you’re having difficulty, make sure it’s facing the correct way and isn’t rotated at a wrong angle. If it’s lined up correctly and it still won’t go into the machine, you probably have the wrong toner cartridge. The last thing you want to do in this case is force the cartridge into the machine.

If the incorrect cartridge is forced into the wrong sized whole, it’s most likely going to break open. It’s (sometimes literally) like trying to fit a square peg into a round hole; it won’t work. If it breaks open, loose toner (basically, plastic powder) will get all over the inside of the machine. It takes a long time to get it cleaned up, so your machine will be out of commission for a while if it happens.

Instead, give us a call and let us know you think you have the wrong toner. We’re here to help!

7. Pressing start more than once for the same copy.

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At times, machines can run a little slower than we’d like. We press the start button to make our copy, and it doesn’t go right away. What’s the one thing you shouldn’t do when this happens? Keep pushing the start button. Especially if you’re jamming your finger onto the button, pressing harder each time.

If the start button is an actual button you press, the forceful pressure could break the board underneath. If it’s on a touchscreen, the sensory overload could freak out the entire touchscreen. If your start button breaks, it’s going to be difficult to use the machine. Be patient.

8. Putting staples and paperclips through the document feeder.

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Document feeders are helpful when scanning a large stack of papers. Rather than having to flip over and copy each page, you can place a large stack of papers in the document feeder, press start once, and wait.

You’ll have a hard time, though, if any of the papers have staples or paperclips on them. Not only will the pages get folded and torn, but the rollers inside the document feeder will also break. A lot of damage can occur, so it’s necessary to remove all paperclips and staples before using the document feeder.

If the staples can’t be removed from the document, use the platen glass to make the copies or scans instead.

9. Letting paper sit in the paper tray for weeks without being used.

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If paper sits in the drawers unused for several weeks, the heat and humidity of summer can cause problems. Humidity can make paper stick together if it sits for too long. This creates jams once the machine is up and running again. If you’re going to leave the copier unused for a long period of time (for example, during summer vacation), take the paper out. Once you return to the office, fan the paper out before putting it back into the machine.

10. Loading the wrong sized paper into the drawer.

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Many drawers can fit several different paper sizes. However, if the fences that surround the paper aren’t set to the correct paper size, the machine gets confused. If it thinks there is 11″ x 17″ paper in the drawer, but 8.5″ x 11″ paper comes out, a jam will occur.

11. Copying butts.

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Not only is copying your butt gross, it’s also bad for the machine. The platen glass is only meant for paper, so it can’t bear the weight of a person. Not only will the glass break, but you might injure your arms and wrists as you fall through. And you’ll have to explain to your boss why the company needs new glass.

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