white printer placed on a wooden desk

What’s Wrong With My Printer This Time?

Printers have been around for a long time. We’ve used them in offices, homes, schools, and every other industry for nearly a century, yet for some reason, they still baffle us today. Unless you’re working in the print industry, it’s highly likely that you don’t have the faintest idea of what to do when your printer breaks down.

Fortunately, printers aren’t really that difficult to understand. They’re like every other machine, but the reason they seem so inscrutable is that we often look in the wrong places for how they go wrong. If you want to avoid unnecessary Zebra printer repair job, here are some things you can do for your printer to prevent it from breaking down:

Ideally, you should have more than one

This isn’t a shill to buy more printers — sometimes, it really is more economical to have more than one printer lying around. This is more applicable for offices than those who have one printer that works from home since the loss and benefits of having one printer around are directly correlated with how many people are using it.

Printers can often see surprising use for their age, and while our other tools and devices can be maintained and designed to resist wear and tear, the printer’s complex design and different components often mean it can be more susceptible to these factors than your usual office machine. That’s why having redundancy in place is a good idea: not only do you take the load off one busy printer; you also have a designated backup in case the other one fails.

Monitor printer use

Another reason it seems like printers break very easily is that we’re often not used to handling printers correctly. With the majority of our work taking place online, it becomes easy to dismiss the proper way of handling a printer, which can contribute to the eventual wear and tear that it experiences over time.

Monitoring how your printer is used — the type of paper or ink used, the frequency of usage, the placement in the office — can often give you clues as to what exactly can go wrong with the machine and head off these potential situations. Of course, regular maintenance and cleaning can also go a long way into minimizing the stress put on it.

Check part compatibility

Close up printer ink jet cartridge

Finally, one of the ways that printers can often malfunction is if one of its parts isn’t compatible with the others. This is a problem that you often see when you load the wrong type of ink or paper into the machine, and can often brick the printer if left unattended. The precise output expected of a printer means all of its components are manufactured to exact specifications, and cannot be replaced with just any part.

The best way to do this is to always have the printer manual around or having a technician check up on it at regular intervals. Not only do you save money from buying a part that the printer can’t use, but you also save on the repair costs if that part had malfunctioned inside the printer itself.