In this article, we’ll look at a common complaint found in the HP P3005 printer; noises in the rear of the machine. On several occasions I’ve gone onsite to fix other issues with this printer model only to be confronted with a very loud machine. The noise tends to gradually get louder so people sitting right next to the machine don’t fully realize how noisy their printer has become. Several things can cause this so let’s get started on what is happening, what to look for and how to resolve this.
Once you verify that the printer is noisier than usual, you’ll have to find out exactly what is causing the situation. So, you’ll need to first pull the fuser out and inspect it and the surrounding gears. To remove the fuser, follow these steps:
1. Open the rear output bin all the way by pressing the door down, disengaging the door stops. All the way down the door should be at a 90 degree angle. Remove the two screws.
2. At the bottom of the back cover behind the dust cover door are two alignment tabs. Disengage those by pulling from the bottom and lifting the cover away from the machine.
1. Pull right and lift away from the printer.
1. Remove the duplex inlet guide by releasing the two tabs and pull it out towards you.
2. Disconnect the two cables on the right side and unclip the wire holder on the side of the frame securing the top cable.
3. Disconnect the power cable on the left and remove the four screws near the corners on the fuser.
4. Gently remove the fuser from the back of the machine.
Note: The pressure roller is on the bottom and is made out of a rubber like material. The fuser film is on the top and wraps around the heating element.
Now that you have the fuser out turn it around so the front is facing you. Check around the pressure roller bushings for a pile of bushing dust (dark brown powder) on the metal fuser frame. Usually bushing debris is more noticeable around the pressure roller gear. Also pull the pressure roller gear off and look for cracks on the inside where it fits around the roller shaft. Check the pressure roller for waves or wrinkles (the roller should be smooth). And, check the pressure roller’s gear teeth for any abnormal wear, although this is less likely. Finally, while, not usually related to the noise, check for decolonization or tears in the fuser film while you have the fuser out of the printer.
By this point you probably have at least seen the bushing dust. However, any of the above symptoms would advise replacement of the fusing unit. You can buy most of these parts individually but it’s generally best to replace the whole unit as one because of general wear of the rest of the parts. The fuser life is rated at 150,000 but I usually see them show good signs of wear around 75,000 to 90,000.
Most of the time you’re likely to only find the bushing dust. If you try and manually rotate the fuser gears you will probably find they are hard to move.
Most of the fusers sold today have bushings made of a stronger material. People believe that the old bushings material was too soft, causing it to wear prematurely because of the intense pressure applied to it. When it wore it pushed the pressure roller back causing the gear to improperly align with the rest of the gears in that area, resulting in more noise and abnormal wear of the surrounding gears.
Once you know if you need an updated fuser or not, also look at the inside of the printer, where the fuser sat, where you will see five white gears on the top left side (two gears on each side of a middle gear that swings between the two sets). The four stationary gears should be replaced anytime the fuser is replaced. Most that I’ve removed don’t show obvious signs of wear except in some extreme cases. But, trust me, they are worn and need to be replaced. You can buy them individually with part numbers:
RU5-0956 – 20/20 tooth gear
RU5-0957 – 20 tooth gear
RU5-0958 – 17 tooth gear
RU5-0959 – 19 tooth gear
I’ve personally never had to do this but, in some cases, the drive gear on the main drive assembly might need to be replaced. In cases where the fuser seems OK, I update the four gears, reinstall the fuser, and check the noise level. If it goes away, great! But if not, the fuser will have to be replaced also.
Alright, so there you have it….the problem, the cause, and the fix. I keep a few gear kits in my car stock and make it a routine maintenance item, like feed rollers. Most machines I touch at least get new gear kits if the copy count is low and the fuser looks in relatively good condition. Typically machines seem to start to develop the noise around 50,000 copies and by 100,000 are in desperate need of repair; although I’ve seen a few make it to 150,000 prints. In really extreme cases the bushing will deteriorate to the point that the fuser gear doesn’t even mesh with the drive gear. In others I’ve seen the worn bushing eat away at the metal shaft of the pressure roller causing jam problems.
I hope this information helps you evaluate your printer’s noise condition and decide on what items need to be replaced. I don’t always have a fuser with me, but with the gears, well, I can just pop those in and in a few minutes decide if more is needed. Anyway, this fix should be relatively easy to isolate and fix. And the people who have been living beside this noise ordinance violator? They will be happy you stepped up and finally put a stop to it. So now they can listen to their music station again, talk on the phone, or listen to the birds chirp outside.
Kevin Gumpp is a certified printer technician and freelance writer for Market Point. If you have a question for Kevin regarding this topic or have any other printer repair related questions or topics you would like more information on, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.