Printer problems: Jamming – printhead out of alignment – misprinting

Printer problems: Paper jamming – printhead out of alignment – misprinting

Using an all-in-one printer's tools to fix printer problems

Using an all-in-one printer’s tools to fix printer problems. Click on the image to view its full size

Printer problems

My excellent Epson SX415 multifunction peripheral (MFP), 2009/2010, now discontinued, has developed printer problems that are causing paper jams. The head alignment must be incorrect because the same line of text is printed out in blue and black with one colour not being superimposed over the other 100%. I have been given a quote by Epson of £80 to repair it. I can buy the latest Epson Expression Home XP-432 All-in-One Inkjet Printer for £50 [April 2016] that provides a touchscreen instead of buttons and wireless network support, but, being very fond of it, I would like to know if I can save this model.

Answer

Those are all common printer problems.

The paper jams could be caused by a blocked or dirty feed tray or rollers, which running the service options (provided by Windows when the printer’s device drivers and software are installed) that clean them might put right. The misaligned text would suggest that one or more of the fixed printheads has been moved out of position.

Your printer has 6 cartridges and printheads that are built into the printer not into the cartridges. If the printheads are built into each cartridge, every time you install a new cartridge you have a brand new printhead. But a printer with built-in printheads keeps using them and they can wear out, get blocked or become misaligned. Every inkjet printer that I have come across has service features that when run align and clean the printheads and modern MFPs can even run routines that clean the feed tray and rollers.

Run the printer’s head-alignment tool, which should realign misaligned printheads. Remember that to get the best prints, run one or two printhead cleaning cycles and select the “Best”print option. If you need instructions on how to do that consult the printer’s user manual or read the following article on how to run a printer’s service routines.

Troubleshoot printer problems in Windows 7/8.1/10

If the printing problem still exists, switching to a higher print quality might do the trick, because at lower print-quality settings, many Epson inkjet printers simulate black text out of a mixture of colour inks for quick printing. The black cartridge is used for quality printing and the switch over may solve the problem of the same line of text printing in blue and black with one colour not being superimposed over the other 100%.

If those routines don’t fix the problems, try disconnecting the MFP from the mains power supply and examine the print mechanism and the area under the printheads, removing anything that could be the cause of the blockage. I web-searched for Epson printheads, but could not find any. Some HP and Canon printheads are available.

If none of those actions cures the printing problem and the jamming, you’ll have to replace the MFP.