What's causing grubby marks on paper?

Posted on 2006-12-02
Last Modified: 2008-01-09
I have a Canon LBP-1210 that's got through about 3 or 4 toner refills, not sure how many pages. Recently, printed output has grubby marks which seem to be a 'shadow' of something printed previously. For example, I printed a letterhead with a logo, the next page had a shadow copy of the logo halfway down the page.

I guess the drum is on it's way out, but wondered if there was anything I could to clean it or correct it and give the printer a longer life?
Question by:crescendo
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Expert Comment

ID: 18059987
That is usually a fuser problem. If you look at the fuser you will problably see a build up of toner on one of the rollers.
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Expert Comment

by:Herman D'Hondt
ID: 18062747
Yep, it's the fuser that causes these kind of problems. It is not applying enough heat to melt the toner and make it stick to the paper.

However, while it's the fuser that's doing it, the problem can be caused by paper that is not suitable for the printer, or that is heavier than the printer expects. With some lasers, especially colour, you need to tell the printer if the stock is heavier than 100 gsm or so (US bond paper).

What kind of paper are you using?

Author Comment

ID: 18064583
hi guys

Thanks for the responses. I assume the fuser is the pair of rollers at the back? Not sure of the terminology. Is it fixable by wiping it clean or something? It's only a cheap printer, so there's no point in paying for a spare part and someone to fit it, cheaper to get a new printer.

I'm using standard 80gsm paper as usual. I have noticed that the paper has curled a lot in the output tray, which I used to see when using paper in a damp/cold office, though this office isn't either. The paper also seems quite hot to the touch.
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Expert Comment

by:Herman D'Hondt
ID: 18064747
You're right, on those printers replacing the fuser is not cost-effective. I would expect it to last more than 4 toner cartridges (about 12000 - 15000 pages?) though.

The best way to clean the fuser is by printing blank pages, rather than using any kind of cleaner, which might affect the rubbery coating on the fuser rollers. Your problem could also be affected by moisture, so before you ditch the printer, try a new ream of paper.

BTW, the fuser is the set of 2 hot rollers, situated just before the paper exit slot. The paper passes between them on the way out. They are hot so as to melt the toner and make it stick to the paper. That is why the paper is hot when it emerges, and also why it curls. However the curl is also determined by the paper's grain. Long-grain paper (with the grain running lengthwise) tends to curl less than short-grain - at least in A4 (US Letter) printers, where the paper is fed lengthwise.

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Accepted Solution

Andrew Davis earned 500 total points
ID: 18098795
not sure if this is still active, but i will throw my twenty years experiance as a copier tech into the equation.

i am not familiar with the particular model as no-one brings them in for repair.

but this is the process
the image is laid onto the drum
the image is transfered from the drum to the paper via an elecrostatic charge, any remaining image on the drum is cleaned of via a cleaning blade.
the paper then passes through the fuser assembly to fuse/melt the toner onto the page.

two places your problem may be occuring either the drum is not cleaning correctly or there is a toner sticking to the fuser roller.

look at the fuser first as this is the easier one to repair.
you will have two rollers one will be a plain rubber roller, this one should be fine as if the toner was on this roller then it would stick to the underside of your paper. This roller is commonly called the press roller as it is only there to provide preasure on the paper to the upper roller.
The upper roller is the one that will be in touch with the toner. This roller is usually a metal roller but can also be rubber. eitherway it will have a teflon surface, this is to stop toner from stiking to it.
Have a look at this roller and see if there is a build up on it, they can get a build up due to contaminated toner, if so then you can clean this off with try Metholated spirits, otherwise Shelite, or Turps.once this is clean then your problem should be resolved.
Running blank sheets through the fuser will not resolve this problem as all that does is removes the buildup of toner, it does not remove the contaminate on the fuser that the toner is sticking to, and you will find that the problem will be back within a very (10 pages) time.

if it is the drum, you are probably up for a new drum cartridge, there are ways to clean them but on a lot of these smaller units they are a sealed unit.

if you are using non-geniune toner then this would almost certainly be the cause of the problem.

Author Comment

ID: 18258059

Apologies for not closing the question, I also had some problems with spam filters so the warning was lost. The correct solutuion was chosen, though.

In the end, I replaced the printer.
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Expert Comment

by:Andrew Davis
ID: 18264121
Glad we could help.
unfortunatley it is a throw away society that we live in now.

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