Brian has talked about this briefly in an earlier post on this blog (see it here) but since I ran into this problem on a few machines recently I thought I would elaborate on this problem. On most machines the primary charge roller is located in the print cartridge so when you replace the cartridge you replace the charge roller. In Lexmark and Kyocera printers the charge roller is separate from the print cartridge; therefore, it doesn’t get replaced as often and has more opportunity to cause print related problems.
The charge roller puts a charge on the drum before the image is written to it. If the charge roller has too much build up or debris, like label glue, gets on the surface then the part of the drum unit that area touches doesn’t get properly charged and spots or gray background will result.
On Lexmark machines the charge roller is easily seen by removing the print cartridge and looking up in the cavity of the machine. It will be a light tan roller about a foot in length. The one I saw on the T630 I was working on looked OK but I was getting a gray background on the right side. The nice thing about these early models is that you can remove the charge roller and switch sides. So I put the right end into the left side and printed again. Sure enough the defect was on the left side. At this point I knew the charge roller was the issue. In cases like this I typically replace the charge roller and toner together. Most of the time the cartridge has an issue that contaminates the charge roller so if you just replace the charge roller you might have issues again sooner than later.
Also when ordering PM kits or charge rollers by themselves I make sure the parts vendor is sending me Lexmark OEM rollers. If you’re really in a jam and the customer is desperate for clean prints or if you’re unsure if the charge roller is the problem then you can take alcohol to the charge roller to clean it off. I usually start off with a small section, clean it off and see if it helps. If that does the trick then I clean the rest off. Just make sure the roller is dry before you stick it back in and run prints on it. Otherwise you will get alcohol on the drum surface and you will have to run several prints to clean it up
I just did this on an HP, Lexmark, and Kyocera machine but I always tell the customer it’s probably time to replace the charge roller or cartridge to avoid unwanted call backs.
To easily remove the charge roller on Lexmark printers you have to lower the front lid down slightly otherwise you will be struggling to move the arms apart to remove the roller.
Lexmark T630 charge roller 99A1017
Kevin Gumpp is a certified printer technician and freelance writer for Market Point. If you have a question regarding this topic or have any other printer repair related questions or topics for which you would like more information, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.