Saturday 31 May 2014

Paper not feeding on HP 1220c A3 Inkjet Printer

We do most of our printing on a highly reliable Oki LED printer C5800 colour printer. We've had this for several years  and it rarely jams or gives us any problems even with the double sided printing. You just need to change the toner cartridges occasionally and once in a blue moon the CMYK drums. It sits alone in a store room attached by LAN and always works.We also have a venerable old HP 1220C A3 Inkjet Printer that we use on the odd occasion, though since the office move this time last year it's been shelfware. 

This week though we had the need to print on A3 paper in colour so I dug out the HP1220C and plugged it by USB into our workhorse office PC and fired it up. The paper feed has always been a bit flaky but we coaxed it to accept paper through the manual feed. We discovered the HP original cartridges had dried up, no great surprise there as we'd not used the  beast in a long while. Nothing to fear as we had an unused spare set of new HP cartridges in the store cupboard and we whacked those into the machine. The black ink worked well and the colour was okay if we lived in a magenta only world. No amount of cartridge cleaning would persuade the new cartridges (Type 78) to print in full colour. By now time was running short and I could not wait for a next day delivery of new ink cartridges. We had to drive 20 miles round trip to the local PC World to buy some more. PCW only sold a combined pack of 45 and 78 Cartridges for a shocking £59! We bit the bullet and paid the ransom. Back at the office we hand fed the paper into the printer and coaxed it to produce 20 copies of an A3 document. If you take into account the 6 cartridges we worked through and fuel costs, the printing cost was £8.00 per page excluding any man hour costs.

As a consequence, we now have a new Epson A3 duplex inkjet printer on order for £200. The old HP 1220C will go to the car boot sale.

However to get back to the title of this post I had some free time this weekend and was determined not to be bested by the HP printer. I knew nothing was broken, other than the original poor design, in the printer. It was just a matter of cleaning the right part to remove paper clay from feed rollers. Of course the HP is not constructed for simple maintenance by office staff. Getting to the relevant feed rollers was quite difficult, but I eventually prevailed. If you look into the paper "tray" slot into the depths of the machine you can see a dark grey rubber feed roller on the right hand side. A torch help to see it. Using a nylon kitchen scourer pad, slightly moistened, on the end of a steel ruler I was able to clean the roller. You cause the printer to make a few page feeds while pressing the kitchen scourer against the roller using pressure from the ruler. It made some grinding noises, but did not pull the scourer into the works.

Since then the paper feed has worked perfectly!

Edit: 4th June 2014: - I spoke too soon, the HP 1220C decided to feed multiple sheets at the same time from the paper tray. It has to go! The Epson Workforce WF-7110DTW arrived the day after I ordered it on-line from Printerland. So far I'm very impressed. It has many modern features, such as remote printing which make the purchase well worthwhile.

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