How can I tell when my printer image drum needs replacing?

Thursday, September 9, 2021

How can I tell when my printer image drum needs replacing?

As a well-used piece of office equipment, keeping on top of your laser printer maintenance is essential. Regular, everyday maintenance such as replacing toner cartridges tend to be simple enough to identify and fix, but when you’re noticing print issues and no warning lights are showing, you may need to replace the printer image drum. You can sometimes be fumbling around for hours before identifying the problem – and you may even consider replacing the whole printer itself - but with even just a basic understanding of what to look out for, you’ll be able to rule out ink and toner problems and determine when replacing the drum is necessary.

What is a printer image drum?

Many modern laser printers will have a two-piece cartridge system that consists of a toner cartridge and a printer image drum. However, depending on your printer’s model and size, you could be dealing with one of three distinct types of image drums: • One-way drum (An image drum that is part of the toner cartridge itself • Semi-permanent drums (Separate from the toner cartridge, with a life span up to approx. 25,000 pages) • Permanent drums (Permanent fixtures of the printer’s mechanism, usually found on larger professional & industrial printers, with a lifespan of up to 500,000 pages) In a nutshell, the image drum is the part of the printing process that transfers the toner particles to the page. Over time and repeated usage, image drums start to lose their properties through contact with the paper and can develop scratches and signs of toner residue. This is what leads to a frustrating loss of printing quality, and the printer often doesn’t display when the drum itself needs replacing before it’s too late.

What to look out for when your image drum needs replacing

Black Spots and Blotches

If you see any black spots (or blotches) on printed documents, this is a classic sign of a damaged printer image drum. This is caused by the drum’s surface being scratched or damaged, preventing ink and toner from being transferred to the paper properly. During your maintenance, look for any signs of damage – it could be the case that there’s just dirt and dust that has built upon the surface. If so, it can be wiped off with a dry, lint-free cloth. If the problem persists, the drum is likely damaged anyway and will need to be replaced.

Blurry Printouts

If you find that your printer is producing blurry pages, it can either mean that your printer drum is damaged and in need of replacement or that you need a new ink toner. You can find out what the precise issue is by checking the toner cartridge – if the toner levels are low, simply replace the toner, however, if the levels are adequate then the drum is likely the problem. Like the steps to fixing black spots and blotches, you should clean the drum to remove any dirt or dust that has collected, but if the same issues persist, the drum will need to be replaced.

Poor Print Quality

If your printer may be able to print something, free of spots, blotches, and blurs, but the actual print quality is poor, the likely cause is a damaged printer image drum. Unlike the other issues, poor print quality is signified by faded text and images – while this could also be a sign of an empty ink and toner cartridge, a check of your remaining levels will determine what the precise issue is. Drums are sensitive, so if your levels are fine, it’s likely that they need cleaning or be replaced.

Other Printer Drum Issues

There are several other signs to look out for that point to a printer drum that needs replacing. The most obvious is on laser colour printers and can be found by a flashing message on the printer’s display screen, but that doesn’t always appear. Other signs of a bad printer drum include the printing of blank or grey pages or if you hear any unusual new sounds when printing. The best way to identify any issues with your printer drum is by simply observing – remember to always check the drum for signs of damage and dirt and (if the latter) clean, and if the same issues continue, replace the drum.

Need high-quality printing drums?

If you find yourself in need of a printer image drum for your office, the team here at Zinetic can supply you with everything you need. Regardless of the make and model of your printer, we can locate the precise part(s) you need to ensure that you don’t suffer from any slowdown in productivity. If you find your issues are toner and ink-based, we also offer OEM and remanufactured printer toner cartridges at great value prices. In fact, our products can save you up to 90% on your printing costs. Aside from toner cartridges and refill kits for brands such as HP, Brother, Samsung, Lexmark, Oki and many more. Whatever you need to maintain your printer, we provide a solution that benefits the environment, as well as your finances. Why not take a look around our product range to learn more? If you have any questions about them or on anything printer-related in general, our dedicated team would be happy to help. Call us on 0118 328 2005 or click on our ‘Contact Us’ tab at the top of tha page to send us an e-mail.

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