This page consists of common photocopier faults and repairs. And has been written by Mick Bailey who has over 35 years of photocopier repair experience.

Paper Jams.

One of the most common photocopier faults and repairs. So many things can affect the paper handling system of a machine. As a user can do to reduce a chance of paper jams by firstly, fanning the paper you put in the machine (you do this because when paper is cut to size at the paper mill, the guillotine will join the edges together, by fanning it will separate the edges).

Make sure the paper is clean and dry (I know this sounds weird, but through experience paper kept in damp conditions or in a dirty environment has caused problems). If you’re not sure, take the paper out of the machine and replace with new, this may cure the problem. In cold or damp environments keep the paper in the machine to a minimum and excess paper kept in the original wrapper as this is nonporous. Always make sure the paper is placed in the machine correctly with no curled edges or corners.

If paper constantly jams after a paper jam has previously happened, make sure there are no remnants of the previous piece of paper. Also check there is no stray objects in the machine such as paperclips, staples or rubber bands. If originals are jamming make sure the original paperwork is not torn, dog eared or of very pour quality as this will cause a problem. You’ve now covered most avenues of exploration; you may need a service on the machine.

Black lines.

Try a print from your PC, has the print got a black line on it? No, now try a photocopy. Are the lines only on photocopies? Yes, try a photocopy through the top feeder, has the photocopy got a line on it? Yes, now try a photocopy by lifting the lid and placing the paperwork you want to copy on the platen glass. Does the photocopy have a black line on it? No, lift the lid and clean the thin bit of glass beside the large glass. There will be Tippex, ink or another stray mark on it (note, blue ink can be hard to see).

Marks on copies.

When making a photocopy are the marks moving up and down the page? Or are they static? If the marks are moving the fault will be a mark on an internal component within the machine. If the mark is static, it will more than likely be some thing on the glass, lift top lid and clean the glass.

Wrinkled copies or prints.

Firstly, make sure the paper in the trays are in the correct position. With the side and rear guides of the paper tray butted up against the paper. Check that there is no stray items or small pieces of paper obstructing the paper path. Make sure the side door is shut fully. If after trying this, you may need an engineer visit.

Photocopies or prints too light or too dark.

If you’re finding the prints or copies are too light, check the settings on the display and make sure a colleague hasn’t changed them. Then try a laser clean in maintenance mode (refer to your trouble shooting section of your user manual for this). Try some new paper from a fresh packet. See when the machine was last serviced, it may be time for a clean up of the internal part of the machine. If the copies or prints are too dark, as before making sure a colleague hasn’t changed the printer settings. Also, when printing check the settings on the document at the PC end, it maybe set up for eco printing or set to light/dark. Once again check when the machine was last serviced, it may be time for a clean-up of the internal part of the machine.


If the paper feels warm coming out of the machine, this would be normal. As the toner will require fusing to the paper, this requires a part of the printer called a fuser unit to get hot. The fuser does have lots of safety parts that constantly monitor temperature, if the machine gets too hot it will cut out and not be customer re-settable. An engineer will be required.

Toner replacement.

Most photocopy machines give plenty of warning to replace toner before they run out. Always check what printing you have to do. When the low toner warning comes up on the display you may have one thousand prints left in the tube. But have planned to do one thousand one hundred leaving you short. Always change the toner when the machine says now empty or change now. Some machines such as the Kyocera will only let you change it when it is empty by restricting access to the tube or bottle. Never take out the old toner and put back in as this can confuse the machine or monitoring software.

Waste toner.

All laser machines have a waste toner box or bottle, this will need changing every so many thousand prints, it is wise to keep a spare one for when this happens. Some machines, for example some Kyocera’s will use the old black toner bottle when empty to repurpose as the waste toner, so don’t throw this away as it will be required when the waste is full.


At EBM Managed Services Ltd we have monitoring software for toners and will send these out automatically once the toner gets to a certain percentage when you have one of our contract service plans. Our service plans also cover all parts, toner and engineer labour.

For more information about our comprehensive range of managed service plans call us on 01376 512575 or go to our contact page fill out you contact details, and we’ll call you, no pressure or pushy sales it’s not our style! CLICK HERE

Would you like to know more about Common photocopier faults and repairs?

Simply call us on 01376 512575
Send a quick message Enquiry form
or Start a conversation Live chat!
Contact us guy