What to do for a Noisy HP Desktop Printer and Paper Curl Problems

Two questions I’ve been asked recently are how to make the machine quieter and how to reduce the amount of paper curl on the sides of the paper.

Paper speeds have gotten pretty impressive on all printer makes and models. Even small printers have awesome print speeds. However, most people have noticed that their personal machines, the ones that sit next to them in their office, are too noisy, especially when they are printing while talking on the phone.

Another issue they’ve noticed is that paper is curling in the exit tray and, after 15 to 20 sheets are in the tray, the paper coming out starts pushing the papers underneath out of the tray and onto the floor or the paper just looks messy and doesn’t stack easily when removed from the tray. There are two adjustments that HP has built into the settings that can solve these problems.

With speed comes noise, there really isn’t much to say about that. But paper curl is usually a result of moisture in the paper. When humidity hits 80% to 90% we tend to see more problems with paper curl. Slower print speeds and more heat helps remove more moisture from the paper and less curl results.

Quiet Mode
Almost all printer makes and models now have a “quite mode” feature. I just had to adjust a Brother machine the other day for this problem. Like the econo-mode feature, not too many people really know about the quiet mode. The quiet mode can accomplish three things:

1. Make the machine run more quietly
2. Better print quality
3. Less paper curl

Quiet mode accomplishes these three things by slowing the print speed down. so using this mode will not give you the peak print speeds HP advertises for the product. I always inform my customers that I can make the machine quieter but at the expensive of some of the quickness. Most people agree to the trade-off, but I recommend you inform them so you don’t get a call back in a few days with the customer complaining of how slow the machine is printing compared to before you serviced it.

Less Paper Curl
Some machines have this ”paper curl” mode and others don’t. This mode is very similar to quiet mode. Models like the HP P2055 have both features. Older models have the paper curl feature but not the quiet mode. Some newer models have the quiet mode but not the paper curl.

If you’re servicing a printer that has both modes you can play around with the features and work out which one works best. With all that being said, just like the quiet mode, using paper-curl mode will probably slow print speeds a bit.

The manuals aren’t specific on how the speeds are affected by different modes. It seems some models slow down quite a bit but on other models it doesn’t make much of a difference. What I have noticed is that the more the print speed is slowed, the less noise and the less paper curl. To find out what features your machine has look in the user manual. Alternatively, from the printer’s control panel, print the menu map or user settings in the information menu.

If adjusting these modes doesn’t fix the paper curl issue, try a different brand of paper or store the paper in an area with less humidity. A fuser can also cause a paper curl issue but it is worth trying other things first.

Printers tend to run noisier as they age, especially the newer models. The increased print speed slowly eats away at the plastic gears inside the fuser drive assembly. Slowing them down can reduce some of the wear but they will eventually have to be replaced. If slowing print speeds down doesn’t resolve your noise issues it might be time for further investigation. A fuser or fuser drive gears might be starting to wear out and replacement might be needed.

Kevin Gumpp is a certified printer technician and freelance writer for Market Point. Market Point is a HP PartsOne Partner selling HP printer parts. 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 maryp@marketpoint.com.

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