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View Full Version : Stripe down my pages: toner or drum problem?


singularity2006
09-19-2007, 07:51 AM
I brought home a perfectly working laser printer only to find that now it prints a solid black line straight down all my pages.... I see the excess toner on the drum unit and have dusted it off with air, but it still does it. Is this a drum issue or is this a toner cartridge issue? Is it possible to determine?

Thanks in advance! :-)

jcbray
09-19-2007, 08:10 AM
A second hand printer of mine had this problem, soon followed by the led display failling. I don't think they are related of course. I just threw it out at that point - at least it seems to be a non-unique problem, so there probably is a solution for it.

lots
09-19-2007, 01:45 PM
Since we have the resources, the first thing we usually swap in this case is the toner. Usually this is the problem. Occasionally printers require a good cleaning to get rid of any excess toner, but we don't have to do that too often.

I notice this happens if the toner sits around for a while and "settles" Sometimes shaking it will work.

singularity2006
09-19-2007, 04:58 PM
Since we have the resources, the first thing we usually swap in this case is the toner. Usually this is the problem. Occasionally printers require a good cleaning to get rid of any excess toner, but we don't have to do that too often.

I notice this happens if the toner sits around for a while and "settles" Sometimes shaking it will work.

Ah, yes.... sadly, I don't have a new cartridge with me at the moment. I tried shaking the unit too... maybe I can stick it on our massaging chair... hehehe. :)

brianod
09-19-2007, 06:09 PM
A black line that goes straight up and down the page is almost always a scratch on the drum, which can't be fixed. Most inexpensive laser printers give you a new drum with the toner cartdrige which is why they are so expensive to replace. Your clue to drum damage is a very precise line, always in the same place on the page.

Actually, if your drum is removable, you could see the scratch with the naked eye but do it in a room with subdued light. Light will destroy the drum's surface. Do this only as a last resort.

If you had a white line up and down the page, that could be toner not being distributed evenly (shaking could help) or it could be caused by blown led pixel on the imaging unit but that's very rare.

singularity2006
09-19-2007, 09:48 PM
A black line that goes straight up and down the page is almost always a scratch on the drum, which can't be fixed. Most inexpensive laser printers give you a new drum with the toner cartdrige which is why they are so expensive to replace. Your clue to drum damage is a very precise line, always in the same place on the page.

Actually, if your drum is removable, you could see the scratch with the naked eye but do it in a room with subdued light. Light will destroy the drum's surface. Do this only as a last resort.

If you had a white line up and down the page, that could be toner not being distributed evenly (shaking could help) or it could be caused by blown led pixel on the imaging unit but that's very rare.

Yeah, I've been looking at the drum up and down and it's really hard to see if there is a scratch. To my eyeball anyway, it looks like the drum is totally clean and shiny. However, when I run a single print, I notice the toner accumulating up on the same line down the center of the drum all around the circumference of it. Somehow, I think it might be a drum .... but could toner cause that?

This is very odd because this printer was working fine before I took it home from work so I'm not sure if something happened in my car or what... How fine can a scratch be in the drum before it causes that solid stripe? (I don't have any faded stripes that indicate low toner, just a solid black line).

brianod
09-19-2007, 10:30 PM
If it's a scratch on the drum it the flaw should look identical on every page. Check one printout to another, if the line is not the same, it's probably not the drum. The drum is less than 2 inches in circumferance so the pattern repeats on an 11" page.

I damaged a Panasonic laser printer just by transporting it in my car. That's why I will never buy a used laser off of ebay. Thay always get damaged in transit. New ones come with the drum packed in a seperate box, usually.

Also, if it's a scratched drum, you should be able to see it with your eye.

I used to fix big IBM 3800 laser printers and the drum size was over 30 inches. When the drum got scratched it was actually on a roll inside the drum and you could crank out a new section to fix problems like this. Oh, the good old days.

singularity2006
09-19-2007, 11:50 PM
If it's a scratch on the drum it the flaw should look identical on every page. Check one printout to another, if the line is not the same, it's probably not the drum. The drum is less than 2 inches in circumferance so the pattern repeats on an 11" page.

Hhhmm... hard to determine. The line seems to always be exactly in the same place, but then, the solidity of the line varies - sometimes it is lighter, sometimes darker.

I think I will buy a new toner first as that is the cheaper option and if that is no good, a new drum. Stupid expenses.... ~.~

brianod
09-20-2007, 12:28 AM
Hmm, doesn't sound like toner problem. Can you scan a printout page and post it? If it's toner the printout error would be wildly different on each copy. A line, even a wavy line means that the error is fixed in some place. That's why toner doesn't sound right to me.

There's a corona (very thin wire) called a transfer corona. It's job is to pull latent image off the drum and transfer it to the paper, just before the paper goes through the fuser to fix the image.

That corona could be dirty and not transferring the image correctly. Or tyhe corona could be arcing. make sure that the printer is grounded with a 3 prong plug. Just spitballing ideas here.

Let us know what the fix is when you do find out the problem. Are you sure that you have seperate toner and drum parts? Only higher-end machines have those. When they sell you toner in most office supply store they don't tell you that there is a new drum as well. Toner costs about $30 alone but a toner with drum, about $100 or more.

singularity2006
09-20-2007, 07:26 AM
Thank you so much for your help in diagnosing this! Man, my single line has now mutated into two lines.... lol. HEre is a scan ...

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v192/singularity2006/lines.jpg

I noticed that this line is shifting a bit.... it is moving in and out from middle to not middle. This one is more to the right of the print than before and now has two lines. I'm sure this has to play into this somehow, but this printer was taken out of an EXTREMELY dusty office and I am positive something got into either the drum or toner to make it do this (in the process of me taking it to my car and taking it home)... hard thing is, no matter how much compressed air I use, i still get these line(s).....

edit..

wait, printed some more, i think the line is still in the same place, just different thickness....

brianod
09-20-2007, 05:07 PM
Well, scratches in the drum don't move and they don't go away. Also, your toner looks good, nice and even and dark.

Here's a way we used to diagnose these kinds of problems. In the middle of printing a sheet, turn the power off to the printer (unplug it). This will cause the paper to jam mid cycle. Open up the printer and carefully pull the paper out. You should have at least half an unfused print. Also, if you do this you may have half of a latent image left on the drum (backwards printing still on it). If you see the line on the latent image of the drum, it's the drum.

This still looks like post drum damage to me. A dirty transfer corona or something contaminating it pre fuser roll.

Try that power off test and see what the paper looks like. If you pull the paper out carefully, it shouldn't damage the printer.

Good luck.

singularity2006
09-20-2007, 09:47 PM
Thanks for the tip. I did that but was unable to see anything on the corona roll (that's the shiny roller, right?). However, right under that one, there is a second roller with the lines on it (3 lines actually). Here are some pics:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v192/singularity2006/roller.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v192/singularity2006/drum.jpg

So yeah, definitively the drum??

brianod
09-20-2007, 10:02 PM
Yeah, I guess so. You might want to get a remanufactured one off of ebay or one of many, many web sites that sell refurbished drums.
It's a Brother so there should be compatible oem's. Figure $50 or so.
Sorry.

singularity2006
09-20-2007, 10:35 PM
Yeah, I guess so. You might want to get a remanufactured one off of ebay or one of many, many web sites that sell refurbished drums.
It's a Brother so there should be compatible oem's. Figure $50 or so.
Sorry.

yeah, was looking on eBay earlier. Super thanks for all ur help. :)

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