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Why does my printer jam?

Posted on 2010-08-26
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Last Modified: 2012-05-10
My Dell 5110CN color laser printer experiences a paper jam wen trying to print on Avery color laser paper using the MPF tray.   It prints OK on plain paper.
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Question by:DoctorK12008
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by:dansperber
ID: 33533351
Have you tried adjusting the settings when you click print to heavy weight paper or label stock?  Some printers actually print slower with those settings and it helps it from jamming.  Regular paper is 18-24 pound weight, and labels are usually 24 or a little heavier.  Cardstock is usually 60 or 90 weight.  Most printers wont print on really heavy cardstock, and in the printer manual it should tell you the heaviest weight of paper recommended for each tray.  Have you tried printing of the actual paper tray and not just the manual feed tray?
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by:DoctorK12008
ID: 33534546
I have to use the MPF tray in order to take advantage of duplexing.   I have tried all the paper settings without success.   The problem seems to be intermittent.   Have you any other suggestions?
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by:dansperber
ID: 33544069
does it jam from the main paper tray?  if not, you can still duplex from there, you just have to flip the paper manually.
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by:DoctorK12008
ID: 33546093
Flipping the paper is not an option.   The main paper trays hold 20# paper for printing receipts, etc and I cannot ask the receptionists to do this when I want to print a brochure.
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by:dansperber
ID: 33560204
How exactly does it jam in the manual feed tray...does it pickup too many sheets?  Does it feed sideways?  Does it go in and then jam on one of the internal rollers.   From there we can determine why it is jamming and find a solution.  I checked dell.com and it says you should be able to print up to 60 lb paper through all trays.  If it is picking up multiple pages, I would check and clean (with alcohol, then blow out with compressed air) the pickup roller and separation pads...if it is feeding in sideways (crooked), I would check to make sure that there is no other paper in the paper path...maybe something got jammed once and there is still a bit of paper on the side?  I have also used a product called Rubber Rejuvinator, which you can wipe on all the rubber rollers...which will bring them back to life and help with paper pickup (with age, the rubber rollers become dry and cracked, and this stuff really helps).  Sometimes these printers get a lot of paper dust in them, so a can of compressed air can be a good thing to have on hand.  If the paper goes all the way in and then jams inside the printer, I would check the entire paper path...the manual feed path is slightly different from the main paper tray path so maybe something is blocking in there?  There is usually a separation roller inside the printer below the toner cartridge...maybe that is causing the jam...dont use any chemical on that one, just a can of compressed air or a damp rag to clean that one.  I havent seen the inside of that dell printer, so I dont know the exact layout, but most all printers have the input rollers, separation pads, separation rollers transfer rollers and the path sensors...maybe there is some dust on one of the sensors?
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Author Comment

by:DoctorK12008
ID: 33571748
The brochure page enters the printer straight about 2-3 inches then stops.   If I open the front cover and remove the brochure paper then close the cover, sometimes it prints OK.   The problem is getting it past the 2-3 inch stage.   This is the point where it contacts the first roller.   I have cleaned thoroughly with canned air and used Rubber Roller Restorer on the rubber rollers.   This problem is most common when I start using a new batch of brochure paper.   Perhaps the individual sheets are somehow sticking together?   I have contacted Avery, the paper manufacturer about this problem but I have just got a canned reply, which is no help.   Do you know any other company that makes tri-fold brochure paper for color lasers that has a crease to help with the folding?   The Avery paper has this and it makes the process much easier.
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Expert Comment

by:dansperber
ID: 33576668
I've seen that tri-fold paper at officemax and office depot...I know HP makes it, as I have used that before....havent tried the avery stuff yet, so maybe I will stay away from it.  Not sure what stores you have nearby, but you may want to start at officemax and go from there... For the printer, does it print regular bond paper through the manual feed without jams?  Maybe because of the fold mark in the paper it is causing it to jam...if the input rollers arent spinning at the exact speed of the feed rollers throughout the printer, it could cause the paper to start to fold when it is going into the printer, and then cause the jam.  Try the HP brand stuff first and see if that works.
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Author Comment

by:DoctorK12008
ID: 33577539
I will try the HP brand, the only problem is I think it does not have the creases in it to help with folding.   I will let you know.
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by:dansperber
ID: 33579570
this one says inkjet, but it has the creases in them...I bought some a year or so ago that was glossy paper for color laser and it had the tri fold creases in them.
trifold.jpg
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Author Comment

by:DoctorK12008
ID: 33579628
I found some specific for color laser printers on the HP website and ordered it.   I will see if it has the creases and let you know.   I don't suppose it is OK to use inkjet paper in a laser printer due to the heat generated.
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dansperber earned 500 total points
ID: 33581560
i've used standard inkjet paper in a color laser before...it works, but it is sometimes more porous so that the inkjet ink can dry, so the image may not be as crisp.  If you try to use laser paper in an inkjet the ink wont dry fast enough and you get smudging.  The only time that there is an issue with specific papers like that is pressure sensitive paper and t-shirt transfer papers as those are very heat sensitive.
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Author Closing Comment

by:DoctorK12008
ID: 33627331
I just got some HP color laser paper that has the creases in it.   Since using the rubber restorer, the Avery paper has been working normally.   I will try the P paper as soon as the Avery is finished.
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