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Diagnosing Poor Image Quality: How to Avoid Streaks and Smudgess

printer scanning

The next step to look at is the copies made from the document feeder, verses the copies made by placing the original on the glass. If the copies from the copy glass are good, but copies from the document feeder are not, examine the feeder’s “slit glass” as shown below. These areas can be cleaned with glass cleaner.

slit glass

If the above test produces the reverse result, good copies from the feeder but not from the copy glass, the obvious solution is to clean the copy glass, as shown above, with glass cleaner.

As a general rule, a dirty copy glass will produce copies with spots, but a dirty slit glass will produce copies with streaks.

If the image quality is printer related the solution is slightly more complicated. If you have a cartridge based product, changing the cartridge is the quickest and easiest thing to try. By changing the cartridge, you are effectively changing a large portion of the image formation portion of the machine. If the image quality problem has been resolved then you’ve fixed your problem. If the problem persists the fusing area would be the next logical area to look at. In some machines the end user can access the fusing area and actually change the fuser itself.

If you can’t access the fuser, or you have a non-cartridge based machine, a technician must be called. However you will be able to point to the problem area with confidence when the technician arrives. The tech can troubleshoot down to the exact problem area and repair it.

One last thing to try before calling a technician, especially for light copies, is to change the paper. Moist paper will cause either light copies or light areas in the copy. This is most commonly found when making those first copies in the morning or after long weekends. When humid weather conditions exist, humidity causes the paper left in the trays to become moist, as the air conditioners are lowered at night or on weekends. Replacing the paper in the trays with fresh paper from an unopened package will often help.

Trying these few simple tips will often times get you up and running in no time, with copies free from image defects.