These 8 simple tips can help you keep your copier up and running.

We've yet to meet anyone who likes it when the copier starts winking at them. 

And it's not flirting with you either.

Something's wrong. 

There you are at the copier, ready to pick up your document or make a few copies and then some random error code starts blinking at you on the display.

If you're lucky, it's a simple paper jam or the machine needs some more paper. Those are easy fixes. 

If you want to keep your copy machine from winking at you, there are some simple steps you can take. 

1. The Right Copier (or Printer) for the Job

The most important tip is to align your document output equipment with your business needs. Overuse a copier and it'll break down and require more maintenance. Underuse a copier and it'll break down and require more maintenance. 

You wouldn't use a hammer to put a screw into a wall. Work with a trusted partner who will help you identify your document needs and help you buy or lease the perfect mix of equipment to meet those needs. 

2. No Eating or Drinking

I'm not trying to get in the way of anyone's caffeine addiction, but spilling coffee, tea or coke on your copier is a bad thing. Bagels and chips leave crumbs. Having either liquid or crumbs inside your copier isn't good for it – or your print quality. Don't treat your copy machine like a buffet table. 

3. Paper Has an “Up” Side

Be sure to insert paper into the feed trays the right way. Look for images in the paper tray demonstrating the correct way to insert the paper to print things like labels and envelopes. 

4. Fan Paper

After you check the paper for the right orientation, fan it before you drop it into the tray. This helps to eliminate static electricity and puts some air between the sheets, which will help prevent paper jams. 

5. Keep It Clean

Dust or grime on the glass surfaces will interfere with copy and scan quality. Clean any glass you can see regularly. Use glass cleaner and a lint-free cloth. 

6. Call for Reinforcements

If you notice the same error repeatedly, call in your service partner. If you can't access a paper jam to clear it or can't get your copier to work after clearing an error code (or can't get the code to go away), then it’s time to call your service partner. Copiers are complex pieces of equipment, combining software and hardware - you poking around inside is just going to make things worse.

Don't be a hero. Call in the experts. 

7. Check the Settings

Copiers can handle multiple sizes and weights of paper. Make sure your settings are for the right paper you're using in the machine. 

8. Be Gentle – No Slamming Doors!

No matter how badly your day is going or how annoyed you are, don't slam the various doors or lid on your copier. Close the paper trays gently; not with a shove/kick of your foot. When clearing a jam, open the copier where indicted slowly. Close gently and press firmly until you hear a click. Don't slam anything shut. And for heaven's sake, don't sit on the copier to revisit 1987 and copy your derriere. 

Dust in the Office – A Little Lagniappe

I came across research about office health and dust as I put this post together. In brief, dust (a combo of dirt, skin, insect pieces, pollen, cobwebs, and fiber particles) is constantly collecting in your office. And, seriously, try not to think about that too hard!

Bad air circulation and air filtration that doesn't work can make your copiers and your co-workers sick. A few tips to keep dust – and cubicle cough – down in your office:

  • Hire a cleaner to wet mop, vacuum and dust.
  • Move things when you dust – under your phone, keyboards, picture frames and any other “stuff” you've accumulated on your desk.
  • Get under and behind desks – look at the cables under your desk and you'll see what I mean.
  • An air purifier could be worth it.
  • Dust your computer screen – this is also good for your eyes. 

Follow these tips and your copier will jam less often. 

That's right, “less often.” Like any machine, copiers and printers will break down and require repair and maintenance. That's why it's important to have a copier supply partner you can trust (like us).  

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