Brother prints dirty: how to clean him up?

Posted on 1998-11-08
Last Modified: 2008-03-06
After a trans-ocean move, my Brother HL-630 is adding dirty streaks to everything it prints.  If I ever had a manual for it, it's long gone and the Brother website doesn't post product manuals, so I took out the take-outable parts and wiped them clean, as well as wiping the drum as best I could through the slot, but it's not much better.  This must be very easy to solve, please help me solve it.
Question by:ksrberck

Expert Comment

ID: 2013133
Get the printer to a desk where you can work and follow these steps. first remove the print tanks opr head then using som alchohol and a lint free cloth clean the bottom of these, then take the lint free cloth and alcohol and clean the bottom of the head carraige very carefully and thoroughly this is very im,portant in that if there is anything on this it will make lines in your prints, next take your cloth and clean the head park area good. This should fix the dirty printer problem for any type printer.
LVL 15

Expert Comment

ID: 2013134
Hold on there turbo!

Before you move foreward with ddmorgans suggestion (one I certainly would not recommend) I want to know what your print output looks like.

Are they horizontal, or vertical.  Where are they on the page?  Do they look look like "Tire tracks?"
Is it a single streak, or multiple streaks, or is it a single streak.  Is it the same every time it prints, or does it change.  I would need some detail on this.

The most I would try at this point is using some canned air to blow the printer out and see how that effects it, if at all.

Let me know.

Joel R. Helgeson

Author Comment

ID: 2013135
Thanks, DD, especially for the careful details; but it's a laser printer and desn't have tanks and heads.  I'd like to know a little more about Joel's objection.  The alcohol waits in the wings.  So there's still a place in the computer world for Q-tips?

Joel, the streaks are actually one big smear, darker at the top of the page, lessening a little toward the bottom.  There is both horizontal and vertical texture, none of it distinct, and, in the smear, a shadow repetion, starting halfway down the page, of the page currently being printed.  It's ugly!
LVL 15

Expert Comment

ID: 2013136
Ok shadowing is indicitive of a problem with the drum or the fuser unit.  

I would try spraying out the printer with canned air or vaccuuming it out (carefully) using a dusting attachment.  I say carefully because the magnetic toner as it is being vaccuumed up creates static electricity and if you have a metal vaccuum hose it can store a charge and zap you and the printer (you'll recover, but your printer may not).

Is the inside of the printer visibly dirty?  Do you see any black toner anywhere?  It may be in need of a professional cleaning.  Let's see where this simple cleaning gets us first though.


Expert Comment

ID: 2013137
Have you replaced the toner cartridge?  If not, give it a try before you dig too deep inside the printer.
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LVL 15

Expert Comment

ID: 2013138
There is no "Toner Cartridge" simply a toner hopper/bottle that feeds toner into the drum/imaging unit.  If that came loose in transit, it could have leaked toner all over the place creating quite a mess.  Replacing would not offer the usual benefit that one expects in a more conventional laser printer.  On the plus site, the toner bottles for this printer are only $34.99 for 3k pages...

Expert Comment

ID: 2013139
Then I would also suggest you change the imaging unit...this problem is most likely coming from the image drum. Other spots to check is to look at the drum in the fuser...let the printer off for a while before doing this,the fuser get extremly hot.Anyway check to see if the fuser has a scratch in the teflon,also cleaning the corona wire may help,it is a long hair-thin wire ,I'm not sure where it is located in these printers though.This can be easily clean by useing some canned air.

Accepted Solution

schmitty22 earned 50 total points
ID: 2013140
always suspect DRUM leakage in laser for this problem.  replace drum and correct the problem... HOWEVER _ most drum replacements now a days is not very cost effective.  check out the price of drums and compare to the price of newer models.. most of the times newer compatible model are better cost in the labor and cleaning fees associated with drum replacements.  And sometimes Cleaning and drum replacement will only be a quick fix for a declining printer
LVL 15

Expert Comment

ID: 2013141
Hang on,
I would be willing to bet VITAL BODY PARTS that there is nothing wrong with your drum itself!  There is something wrong with the way it is cleaned of with the wiper blade, discharged by the PCR roller (There is no corona wire) or excessive tonor buildup around the fuser (sometimes referred to as plaque or tartar because one must scrape it off).

Before you start shelling out good money to buy new parts, a thorough cleaning by a professional would cost you much less than a new drum without any doubt!  Drums for that printer are up in the $250.00 range.  Even then, a printer expert would be able to rebuild your current one for at least half that amount.

Let's see where we wind up after ksrberck tries all the suggestions given thus far.


Expert Comment

ID: 2013142
I had the exact same printer. I spoke to a few other people that had the same printer, same problem. It is in the OPC drum, a VERY expensive part to fix. One person told me that the only way to avoid this happening again, after replacing OPC, was to always keep the printer ON. (Great solution, huh?) Terrible printer, Terrible Tech Support ... my opinion.
If you think it is the fuser, print a page then stop the printer before the page makes it to the fuser. See if the marks are on the page.
LVL 15

Expert Comment

ID: 2013143
Excelent suggestion!

In all my years of printer troubleshooting, and shooting I've never thought to troubleshoot the fuser that way...  I hate to say this but with my past experience with this printer I have found that it is only good for:

1) Keeping stacks of paper from blowing around the room whenever a door or window is left open.
2) Not much else.

I've never actually replaced the drum unit on one of those printers, but I HAVE replaced those printers before (with ones that have worked).

Sorry ksrberck if I am destroying your optimism.

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