Why do I get a thick horizontal line on my print outs?

Jim Chambers December 2, 2012
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Laserjet 1320 B/W printer prints a single 2-3mm dark horizontal line across every second or third page, otherwise printing is excellent. Line can be anywhere on page and it’s getting worse!

Any ideas?

  1. Etech Etech
    December 10, 2012 at 3:14 am

    Does it do the same thing when you make photocopies with that printer? If so, it's a printer problem.

    • Jim Chambers
      December 11, 2012 at 4:11 am

      Its just a printer with no scanning attachment.

  2. Diane White
    December 5, 2012 at 8:39 pm

    My HP Laserjet does the same thing and I simply remove the toner cartridge give it a shake replace it and it makes the lines go away.

  3. Jan Fritsch
    December 3, 2012 at 10:37 pm

    Usually any damage related cause would create a repetitive pattern ~ but I wouldn't rule it out. The best thing you can do is take the thing apart and look at all possible causes (developer, drum, roller, fuser), visually inspect them and carefully clean them.

    For anything else it would be good to know some statistics e.g. total page count, last service, drum age, fuser age, ...

    Also don't take numbers stated by service personal or specifications too serious. You'll usually hear or read numbers of 150.000 or more life-time where in reality problems will add up by 1/3 of that.

  4. Rohit Pandey
    December 3, 2012 at 6:43 pm

    it must be cartridge problem...check it out..
    it can create some more probs in future for ur printer as well as for documents...

  5. Alex Perkins
    December 2, 2012 at 11:21 pm

    My printer had a problem similar to that, it would mis-align parts of text. I found the best way to sort it was to clean the header. Just Google how to do that or look it up in your printer instruction book.

    Holiday Wishes,

  6. Jurmy Chris
    December 2, 2012 at 9:48 pm

    Clean the cartridge's head and then calibrate.

    • Jim Chambers
      December 3, 2012 at 3:14 am

      Its a laser printer

  7. Irshaad Abdool
    December 2, 2012 at 6:47 pm

    Remove the toner and clean it properly. be careful not to damage the toner. maybe the printer too inside is dirty.

  8. Jim Chambers
    December 2, 2012 at 4:59 pm

    Its NOT a repeating pattern at certain spacing on every page so its very unlikely to be a defect in toner cartridge or fuser. Tried another cartridge with no imrovement.

    • Rob Hindle
      December 3, 2012 at 12:56 pm

      Looks like it uses an integrated photosensitive drum + toner cartridge.

      If a fresh cartridge doesn't help that's eliminated the most likely hardware suspects and doesn't leave much.

      As Sherlock Holmes said. “When you eliminate all other possibilities, what remains, no matter how improbable, is the answer.”

      Remaining possibilities are improbable!
      1. software problem at the PC or printer
      2. Printer memory problem
      3. Communications error
      4. Residual toner in the mechanism

      1. do a printer reset - switch of for a couple of mins, power on with the GO button pressed. Release GO when the Attention light stays steady.
      PC software, highly improbable - but can you try a print from another pc, a laptop maybe?
      2. reset may fix it, otherwise any indication of full memory or memory error? Does the control panel offer a memory test?
      3. If you're using the parallel printer port data corruption is another (remote) possibility. Try a different cable, ensure cable not routed past anything electrically "noisy". Switch to USB
      4. I guess you've thoroughly checked the paper path and cleaned anything that looked cleanable...

  9. Rob Hindle
    December 2, 2012 at 2:20 pm

    This answer is NOT specific to the named laser printer. In brief: you probably need a replacement photosensitive image transfer drum.

    There are 3 main components involved in getting an image onto paper: The image is "written" to a photoconductive drum (or occasionally a photoconductive plastic ribbon) by a laser (or sometimes by LEDs). Toner is applied to the drum, sticking to those parts where the image will be black. That toner is then transferred to the paper which then goes through the fuser rollers which are heated and "melt" the toner onto the paper.

    Different printers have different consumables. The fuser unit can fail and can develop defects that affect the print quality but normally only a consumable on the more expensive models, more often it's a reason to replace the printer.

    It's quite common to have an integrated cartridge with toner and transfer drum/roller (often light sensitive green coated metal) in one unit or they may be separate items. Printers with separate drum & toner tend to be cheaper to run as the transfer roller can last for several toner refills.

    You may find there's a cleaner (small felt pad) either as part of the printer or part of the drum component. This is used to wipe a wire that carries an electrostatic charge, part of the image transfer mechanism. Always worth a try if print quality is degraded but probably not the solution here.

    If you are getting a periodic repeat of an unwanted mark on the page the image transfer drum is the likely suspect. You may be able to spot and clean the defect but do beware of strong light on the transfer roller, it will degrade it, The surface is sensitive so don't touch or scratch either. The drum can be rendered useless by a short exposure to sunlight (it's possible that only a small part of the drum has exposed through a slit in the mechanism which would result in patches on the printout). If there is any visible defect on the drum you can try wiping with a soft tissue. Fluids may damage the drum but if you've decided its otherwise a write-off you could experiment, just make sure that everything is completely dry before reassembly. There are some other rollers involved to feed the paper through the mechanism, give them a wipe too but not likely to be part of the problem.

    If there is visible damage to the drum or cleaning is not effective you probably need to replace the drum.

    If you can get at the fuser rollers it's worth checking them too if nothing else has helped.

  10. Aniket Singh
    December 2, 2012 at 7:48 am

    it may be fault of cartridge.....try to replace it...our reinstall printer driver then try if the same problem occur then replace ur cartridge

  11. Junil Maharjan
    December 2, 2012 at 4:41 am

    The cartridge might be leaking or making a mess on the drum. Take it for repair.

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