Paper Jams

Paper jams probably generate most of my service calls. I have a few suggestions users can try that may help.

FIRST: When removing a jam, always pull out the paper very slowly and uniformly. Use both hands to distribute the force. If you tear the paper by yanking it, it may take a technician to get the rest out. Or worse, it can break or dislodge a paper sensor flag that will also require technician to repair. If you find the machine resisting, do not yank the paper: turn the machine off. Removing power may turn off the stepper motor that is resisting your efforts. Patience!!!

SECOND: How do you know you got it all? Just lay the paper on your desk like a puzzle and make sure all the pieces are there. If not, go looking. That little piece that is missing might  be stuck at a sensor flag, producing that paper jam message that won’t go away. So check the entire paper path for jams. Don’t overlook the duplexing unit. Many machines have them now. If you were not duplexing a job at the time, that is probably not the cause. The duplexer automatically prints boths sides of the paper.

NOTE: if the machine turns on with an immediate paper jam and makes no effort to feed any paper or doesn’t make any of the usual motor noises, a sensor flag is being held down by paper or it is dislodged or broken.

COMMON CAUSES OF PAPER JAMS: Jams with no apparent jam are often caused by the fences in the cassettes being out of position. Pull out the cassette and look at the little walls called fences that position the paper in the cassette. Make sure that the left and right fences allow for a little play in the paper stack or check the left/right adjustment. The most common offender is the back fence that sets the paper length. Remove the paper and look for the pointer that indicates the paper size, usually ltr for letter. Make sure it is properly adjusted. This often gets pushed back when adding paper, moving the paper away from the pick up roller. I bet I get 3 or 4 of these a month!

Another cause is the paper not being uniformly stacked in the cassette. Someone will add additional paper to the cassette but it will slightly or not so slightly offset from the paper below it. This creates a ladder effect that can rub the fences or the front of the cassette, creating a bind that causes intermittent paper feed failures. Remove the paper and square it up.

If you need additional assistance, you can always call or email me.

John Scudder