If you do a lot of photocopying, you’ve probably encountered a time when your copier produces streaky images. Streaking is a common issue, occurring in the form of light streaks, where toner is lacking, and dark streaks, where it looks like the toner overflowed. The problem indicates that the toner isn’t sticking to the places it’s supposed to on the paper. There are several potential causes for this problem.
1) Needs Cleaning
Over time, the components inside copiers collect dust, dirt and grime. Failure to properly clean inside a machine can affect its performance. Streaking often indicates that the corona wire is dirty, especially in older machines. The corona wire is a piece in the bottom of some copiers that puts a charge on the paper so the toner will cling to it. Refer to your manufacturer’s instructions or contact a professional copier repair service for instructions about how to clean a particular machine’s parts. Cleaning the inside of your copier every could of months can help prevent streaking. Also, clean the glass copy board with window cleaner to avoid marks on the paper that can streak and smudge copies.
2) Toner Problems
A couple of potential problems with toner cartridges can cause streaking. One is a cartridge that is low on toner. Most copiers will warn you if the toner is running low and needs to be replaced. Another problem is that the cartridge needs to be cleaned. Many cartridges use a charge wire that charges the copier’s drum. If this part is dusty, the drum won’t charge the paper properly and streaking can result. Streaking can also be caused by excess toner spilling over from a cartridge’s reservoir. Refer to the manufacturer’s instructions about how to clean your model’s cartridges.
3) Paper Problems
Copiers sometimes produce streaky copies because there is something wrong with the paper. If you’re using anything other than copy paper, it might not be be able to charge correctly so that the toner will stick to it. Another potential problem is that low humidity may be causing static electricity in the paper and preventing if from charging correctly. To avoid this problem, store your paper in an area with moderate humidity, especially on cold winter days. If you suspect static electricity in the paper currently loaded in the machine, take the stack out, hold it in one hand and fan the pages with your thumb and forefinger on the other hand.
4) Hardware Problems
Other issues that cause streaking have to do with your copier’s hardware. In particular, a malfunctioning drum unit won’t be able to transfer clear images on paper copies and could produce streaks. If it isn’t charging properly, it probably needs to be replaced. Hardware issues usually need to be taken care of by a professional copier repair technician.