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Difference Between Servicing Copiers and Printers

Updated: Jun 7, 2019

The differences between copiers and printers can create enough confusion to stop many copier dealers from making the profitable leap to servicing HP laser printers.

Difference Between Servicing Copiers and Printers
Difference Between Servicing Copiers and Printers

Metrofuser has had a number of copier dealer technicians attend its laser printer repair training classes over the years. Here’s what copier service technicians have said:


Laser Printers often have fewer diagnostics compared to copiers Many copier technicians remember the image formation process for the digital theory. In a copier, nearly the whole process from paper movement to the whole of image formation, including high voltage charges, are monitored.

Laser printers are different. They do not monitor as many of the parts of the print process that copiers do. Printers often have fewer diagnostics compared to copiers.

Thus the dilemma becomes, when you get a printer problem, such as an image defect, and you get no error code, and replacing the toner cartridge doesn’t fix it, what do you do?


The image formation process is the same yet different For the copier, a service technician can often check diagnostics or will see an error code which begins to point them in the right direction.

They may also have test points where they can look for voltage levels on boards which would indicate certain charges are, or are not present, or not at proper levels. For the printers, this rarely exists.

So how does a service technician trouble-shoot an image defect where there is no error code, no internal diagnostics to help them and replacing the toner cartridge does not help it?

This is where truly understanding the laser printer image formation process comes into play. Say for instance, an image defect of a black page pops up.

There is no error code and the toner cartridge doesn’t fix it. What do you do next? Those who understand the process may ask if the page is 100% black or if it has a white border.

A white border could denote the laser is constantly on for the printed page as the laser is often given boundaries as to where it cannot print. If it doesn’t have a white border, most techs would start wondering if the drum conditioning charge is being applied.

Either by a bad contact to the toner cartridge, a bad high voltage power supply or the problem could be that the signal isn’t getting sent to the power supply to tell it to turn on that charge.

“Getting into tougher image defects such as light print, or gray shading around print or even horizontal lines that jump out of place on the page can really boggle a service tech.”


Light Print Issues While most service techs may be able to figure out the black page issue, how many could figure out a white or blank page issue? Again, there are no error codes and replacing the toner cartridge doesn’t fix the problem.

Most would blame a bad transfer roller. However, even a missing printer's transfer roller in many printers will create light print, not a blank page – assuming you don’t get a paper jam first.

Some say trouble-shooting laser printers is more of an art than a science. I somewhat would agree that experience in the science of laser printers helps one in the art of trouble-shooting them.

Other Helpful Laser Printer Technical Support Resources

Metrofuser is a leading global innovator, manufacturer of printer parts, equipment, diagnostics, repair information and systems solutions for professional users performing critical tasks. Products and services include hp printer parts, printers and printer repair training. Parts include hp printer parts such as printer fusers, printer maintenance kits and other hp printer replacement parts. The company's, customers include office equipment dealerships, online retailers, repair centers and MPS service providers nationwide. Metrofuser has been named to Inc. Magazine’s fastest growing companies five consecutive years.


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