One of the most common problems that can plague your office copier is the dreaded paper jam. A paper jam should not cause you to panic. Usually, you can fix the issue yourself. However, there are many causes for copier paper jams, so you may have to do a little troubleshooting to figure out the problem.
Clearing a Paper Jam from Your Office Copier
Before getting into the possible reasons for a paper jam, you should know how to clear one out. All you need to do is find the jam and remove the jammed paper. Your copier likely has a series of doors and compartments you can open to check for the jam.
When you find the offending sheet, do not try to force it out. Instead, try to move it along the path it was on, then pull it out the other side. If you yank it or get too aggressive with the paper, you may rip it. This will make it that much harder to remove. Aggressive removal can also damage the copier's rollers.
Many modern copiers will even give you an indication of precisely where the jam occurred. Once you clear the jam, you should check to see if any of the following issues were the cause of it.
Incorrect Paper Size in Copier
Having the wrong paper size in your copier can cause it to jam. Sometimes, even the wrong paper thickness can jam up the machine. Always make sure you're using the correct paper size for your machine. Also make sure your paper isn't damp or dusty.
Incorrect Paper Loading
Your copier likely has a specific way for you to load paper into it. Load the paper into the tray, keep it aligned correctly, and don't force it. Make sure you don't overload your machine with paper. Too much paper can also cause a jam.
If in doubt, remove all the paper. Make sure the papers near the bottom and top of the stack have no bends or folds in them. Place the correct amount of paper into the tray. It's better to go with less rather than more paper if you're unsure.
Paper Dust and Debris Buildup
Dust and debris will build up in your copier over time. It occurs naturally, but you can accelerate the process if you use old or poor-quality paper. That paper dust can grow to the point where it clogs the machine and causes a jam.
You should periodically clean the machine to keep it free of dust. Wipe the outside and inside with a clean, damp cloth. You should also wipe down or vacuum out the paper trays.
Don't Let Paper Jams Go Unchecked
If there's a paper jam, see if you can find the reason for it immediately. You should also check the manufacturer's instructions as well. Don't just clear the paper jam and keep on printing. Fixing these smaller issues as they occur can save you a service call or extensive downtime later.
You can have a situation where paper jams occur frequently, and you cannot figure out why. In such cases, you should definitely have a professional take a look.
For more information, contact a company that specializes in copiers.