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What Are the Causes of Lines on the Page From a Laser Printer?

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From small desktop units to workgroup-class machines, laser printers can give your business years of trouble-free output. When your trusted hardware starts producing pages with vertical or horizontal lines that don’t form part of the content you printed, start your troubleshooting with simple possibilities before you assume the worst. You can narrow down the source of these defects by correlating the symptoms you see with the suspects that can cause them.

Roller Tracks

When loose toner leaks out of a cartridge and into the mechanical assemblies of your printer, it can contaminate the rollers that move paper through the machine. The “tire-tracks” pattern produced by this contamination shows up at the edges or the middle of a sheet and coincides with the location of the rollers relative to the paper-feed path.

Unless you are a printer technician, leave this cleanup job to experts, especially if your hardware is still under warranty. Before you call for service, however, replace your toner cartridge (or cartridges in a color printer) to rule out defective supplies as the cause.

Vertical Streaks or Lines

Depending on whether you see black or white vertical defects – printed marks or voids in the printing – you may be dealing with nothing more serious than a nearly empty toner cartridge, one with a scratched drum or with poorly distributed toner.