small business copier

9 Little-Known Factors That Could Affect Your Small Business Copier

If you own a small business copier, you have to give it the right kind of maintenance.

Ignoring potential problems will lead to large repairs, meaning you waste more time and money in the long run. But if you know what to look out for, you can prevent common copier problems before they occur.

Take a look at these nine little-known factors that could affect your office copy machine.

1. Using the Wrong Type of Paper

Most small business copiers can take several different kinds of paper. But make sure you know what those types of paper are. Feeding your copier paper that isn’t the right size can cause paper jams.


If the paper is too big or too small, the copier can’t pull it through the machine the right way. To fix a paper jam, you have to get into the machine and remove the stuck piece of paper by hand. You then have to reload the copier with the correct paper.

You can also jam the copier if you load the paper wrong. Double check you’ve put the paper incorrectly before turning the machine on.

If you can’t fix a jam by removing the paper, the jam could be a result of paper dust. As the dust builds up, it can work its way into the machine and clog the feed tires. Get into the machine to wipe the tires clean and vacuum up any dust to fix the problem.

2. Not Enough Toner

Your copier needs the right toner to run. If the toner starts to run out or if you get the wrong kind, the print quality will go down.

Many copiers require a specific type of toner. If the new toner cartridge doesn’t fit, you don’t have the right type. Don’t try to force it in. You might break the cartridge open on accident.

The loose toner inside the cartridge is powdery. If the cartridge pops open, the powder is getting inside your copier. It won’t work again until you get in there and clean it all out.

Poor print quality could also be the fault of the toner manufacturer. You can bring the cartridge and some papers with the poor print quality into the manufacturer. They might give you a replacement.

3. Old or Wrinkled Paper

Paper absorbs moisture from the air. When paper sits in the copier drawers for several weeks, the natural humidity will make each piece of paper stick together. This moisture can make the paper come out of the copier wrinkled and messy.

If the paper has been in the copier drawers for more than two weeks, you should take all the paper out. Fan through each piece to pull them apart before using them. If the paper still comes out wrinkled, replace the paper with a new stack.

Worn out feed rollers can also lead to wrinkled paper. You can replace these copier parts, but you’ll need help from a professional technician.

Don’t ever feed any paper through your copier that has visual damage. That damage will show up on the finished print.

4. Finishing Output Trays Don’t Have Enough Space

A copier’s finishing output trays move up and as the machine prints or copies paper. Putting large or heavy objects too close to the finishing output trays could damage the machine.

The finishing output trays shouldn’t make any clicking noises as they move. If they do, it’s a warning sign they’re getting damaged. The output trays might stop working altogether if they don’t have enough space.

You can buy replacement parts to repair broken output trays. But it’s a lot easier to move any heavy objects a few inches further away from the copy machine.

5. Foreign Objects

Make sure any paper you put in your copier is free of staples, paperclips, and other objects. These things can scratch the glass or mirrors inside the machine. And damaged glass leads to low-quality prints.

Staples and paperclips could also come loose and get lost inside the copier. If this happens, the copier could jam. You’d have to find and remove the object before using the copier again.

Be careful with rings as well. Jewelry can scratch the copier glass, so if you wear large rings, you might want to take them off before you use the copier.

6. Not Giving It Time to Rest

Overworking your copier can speed up natural wear and tear or cause damages. Give your copier breaks so it has a chance to cool down between jobs.

Toner binds with the paper best when it stays warm. But that doesn’t mean you have to leave the copier on at all times. Instead, switch it to energy-saving mode when you don’t need it. You can shut the entire machine down over the weekend. No one will be at the office anyway.

This will both save you money on your energy bill and make your copier last longer.

7. Pushing the Same Button Over and Over Again

Pushing the same button over and over again isn’t going to make the copier work any fast. In fact, you could end up confusing the machine and making the entire process take longer.

When you press the copy button several times in a row, you’re telling the copier to make several different copies of the same document. That means you’re wasting both printer and toner.

If your copier isn’t working fast enough for your needs, you might want to buy a new copier with a higher ppm.

8. Dirty Scanner Glass or Mirrors

Copiers with smudged or dirty glass and mirrors produce bad printing and copying jobs. Debris covering your glass could leave odd dots or lines on your documents.

You can prevent this problem by cleaning the copier glass and mirrors. You should be able to find cleaning instructions in the owner’s manual.

9. Improper Density Levels

The density controls regulate how light or dark the copied documents will be. If your print is coming out far too dark or light, someone may have changed the density by accident.

You can fix this problem by altering your copier’s settings. When you rest the density level, the print should look normal again.

Factors That Could Affect Your Small Business Copier

If you don’t pay attention to proper maintenance, you small business copier might not last long. Baking care of your copier doesn’t take a lot of work. Make sure you use the right toner, load the right paper, and give the copier enough space to work.

Looking for the right copier for your office? Take a look at some of our options.