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Printer Help - Ink Cartridge & Printer Tips, Advice, and Guides
These ink articles are provided for general informational purposes only and are NOT intended to provide professional or technical advice of any kind. Click on the links below to find detailed articles in each subject matter. To find answers to the most common printer and ink questions, follow this link: Printer Troubleshooting. Check out our printer blog for the latest printer reviews, ink news, and more.
Disclaimer and Safety Warnings
Some of the procedures described in this document require access to dangerous voltages, hazardous laser radiation, moving mechanical parts, and other potential risks to personal safety and damage to equipment and property. The authors and contributors to this document will not be held responsible for any direct or collateral damage which might result from following the suggestions or recommendations contained herein including but not limited to: shock, burns, electrocution, vaporization, meltdowns, torn flesh, destruction of the equipment, and local or planetary wide power disruptions or implosions.
While printers are not generally considered dangerous pieces of equipment (compared to TV, monitors, and microwave ovens, at least), some types - laser printers in particular - present a variety of hazards that should not be underestimated. In addition, photocopiers - particularly larger high speed machines - need to be treated with great respect while servicing.
There are minimal dangers in servicing most printers. However, there may be exposed line voltage near the line cord and long hair or neck-ties may be sucked in along with paper! Laser printers have their lasers but these are generally located such that accidental exposure to the beam is minimized. The toner in copiers, plain paper faxes, and laser printers may be harmful if inhaled and is a potential fire/explosion risk if carelessly vacuumed. Each of these possible safety issues is discussed below with additional specific information in the chapters for the equipment to which it applies. All in all, working on printers is relatively low risk.
The first set of items applies to all line operated printers:
The following apply to laser printers and photocopiers:
And finally, for laser printers and laser photocopiers:
Fortunately, under normal conditions, the laser beam will not be turned on unless all interlocks are closed and a page is actually being printed and/or will be in constant motion as a result of the scanning mirror (which reduces the risk considerably). (It is virtually impossible to get to the laser beam before the scanning mirror without total disassembly.) However, certain failure modes could result in a stationary beam which ignores the interlocks so take care whenever working on a laser printer with the covers removed.