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Lines on your documents or scans? 4 things to try before you call your service tech

If you have spent any time in your life sending print jobs to the copier, scanning documents, or receiving faxes, then at some point you have definitely noticed lines on your documents, scans, or faxes. Sometimes this issue can be resolved in less than a minute and other times it requires a copier technician.

Here’s what you can do to resolve this issue on your own:

  1. Print something from your computer. If the document comes out with a line or lines on it, call your service tech. Your machine or a component in your machine needs to cleaned, or a component needs to be replaced.
  2. If you print a document from your PC and it comes out clean with no lines on it then run your original through the document feeder and make a copy. If the copy comes out with a line or lines on it but the original is clean don’t call for service. You can resolve the issue in less than a minute. Saving you valuable time and your copier tech from having to make a trip out to your location.
  3. If your inbound faxes have lines on them the only option to resolve this is to contact the sender of the fax and ask them to clean their slit glass. This has nothing to do with your machine and can not be resolved on your end.
  4. If you use your copier to do a lot of document scanning you may also see a line or lines on your scans when they arrive at their destination.  

The cause and how to resolve it yourself

When you make a copy using the document feeder and not the flat glass, the machine only uses the “slit glass” to make a copy of your document. The slit glass is the smaller strip of glass at the left side of the bigger flat glass. Things such as white out, ink from a pen that has not dried yet, adhesive from the back of a post-it note, and other debris can transfer to the slit glass and build up over time.

As this debris collects and gets bigger, the lens in your scanner sees it as part of the original document and re-creates what it sees. The slit glass can be cleaned very easily and in very little time.

  • Lift up the main door for the document feeder unit to expose the flat glass and the slit glass.
  • Locate the slit glass and with a piece of blank paper or a damp but not wet cloth, clean the surface of the slit glass.
  • Run another copy of your original and if the line is gone, congratulations you’ve resolved the issue on your own.
  • If the line is still there repeat the process and don’t be afraid to use some “elbow grease” and press firmly on the glass as you move back and forth over it.
  • If you still can’t remove the line call for service and let your tech know what you did to try and resolve the issue but that the line is still present.

More often, copier issues and breakdowns are prevented altogether with proactive maintenance. If we see something that's about to break, we proactively repair it BEFORE it breaks.

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Topics: Printers and Copiers, Managed IT

Written by Steve Ferrera, Service Technician Leader // Copier and Print Services

I have been servicing copiers and printers for 20 years working on machines from many different vendors and formats. Always interested in providing knowledge and know-how to make sure our customers experience minimal downtime and remain as productive as possible. I have worked as a support specialist for 30 years in various forms developing a knack for troubleshooting and providing a rich and rewarding customer experience.