Got a Line on Your Copy? Learn What That is and How to Fix it.
Wed Aug 19, 2020 | Lasers Resource
We have all come across it at least once in life. You go to make a copy of a sheet of paper, or of several sheets of paper, and there are one or more lines running down the length of the sheet. Now you are distracted from what should be helpful and worth your while, as you read the same sentence again and again because your mind is focused on the line. Need it fixed before a service technician can make it out? Let's see if this can help.
Here's what it is, how it is caused, and how to fix it.
Let's start with what typically causes this.
There are several reasons why a line will appear on your printed copy, but only one place for it to be.
Let me guess, this line only appears when you scan one or more pages through the ADF? You may be wondering, what is an ADF? It stands for Automatic Document Feeder (ADF) and is that input area on top of your copier where you can place multiple pages and then have the pages feed into your device, one page at a time.
The cause of the line on copy happens during the scanning process in the ADF. As you can see in the picture below, there are normally two pieces of glass on the top of your copier—the large one is where you place a whole sheet of paper, and the small, long one (highlighted in red) is fed through the ADF. It passes over this smaller piece of glass where the page is read and copied.
Believe it or not, the main culprit for the line is an ink pen. If someone wrote on a page that is being scanned, many times that ink gets transferred to the glass, especially if the ink is gel or if there is an “ink blob”. The ink can be thick enough on the glass to actually block the page from being read on the glass as it passes over. This is just read as a black streak by the copier because it can’t see anything else, and prints that way as well.
Ink is not the only reason this can happen though. We have also seen whiteout and other items that people put either on a page or into the ADF, with the worst being a long strand of hair.
How can I get rid of this line?
Well, since it is such an easy problem (it’s pretty easy to rub off ink or whiteout that isn’t dry), it also has an easy answer. Clean the glass.
You can use Windex or any normal glass cleaner and a paper towel to clean the scanning glass. The hair is a different story, but it will most likely be wrapped around a roller, so if you've ever had to “de-hair” a vacuum, you know what to do.
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