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  1. #1
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    Can laser printers be damaged by losing power during a print job?

    I had my HP business inkjet printer on a UPS because if there was a power failure during a print job the $200 printheads could dry out and fail if power didn't come back soon enough.

    Would a laser printer risk any damage if there was a power failure while printing or is it safe to leave it off the UPS (it is however on a surge protector)?

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  2. #2
    Field Supervisor 1,000+ Posts Eric1968's Avatar
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    Re: Can laser printers be damaged by losing power during a print job?

    If a printer has a HDD, the HDD could crash if the power is interrupted during a print job (just like a computer). BTW, printheads don't dry out during a power failure.


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    Field Supervisor 500+ Posts Wild Bill's Avatar
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    Re: Can laser printers be damaged by losing power during a print job?

    RTFM : /

    Izzy

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    Service Manager 1,000+ Posts rthonpm's Avatar
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    Re: Can laser printers be damaged by losing power during a print job?

    I agree with Eric on the hard drive issue. Be sure if it's on a surge protector that the amperage is greater than what the manual calls for. I've seen plenty of cases where a cheap surge protector will trip thanks to the number of amps the machine plugged into it will draw.


  5. #5
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    Re: Can laser printers be damaged by losing power during a print job?

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric1968 View Post
    If a printer has a HDD, the HDD could crash if the power is interrupted during a print job (just like a computer). BTW, printheads don't dry out during a power failure.
    I hadn't thought about the hard drive, but I don't use the features that use the hard drive like job storage, is the hard drive used even during normal print/copy jobs or are those done using RAM only?

    I also don't understand how an inkjet printer printhead wouldn't dry out during an extended power failure if the printer was printing, of course if the printer was idle and the printhead was parked when the power failure occurs nothing will happen, but if the printer is printing during a power failure then the printheads will be left exposed to air and dry out. For example those really old inkjets where you had to swap cartridges for either black or color, or for either color or photo quality color, the unused cartridge had to be left in a special holder that kept the printhead sealed airtight to prevent it from drying, they also warned you not to leave it unsealed for more than a few minutes.

    Thanks


  6. #6
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    Re: Can laser printers be damaged by losing power during a print job?

    Quote Originally Posted by aab1 View Post
    I also don't understand how an inkjet printer printhead wouldn't dry out during an extended power failure if the printer was printing, of course if the printer was idle and the printhead was parked
    You suspicions are properly founded. Nothing electronic is damaged by power loss.

    For example, when does a disk drive first learn the system is shutting down? When DC voltages suddenly start to disappear. It receieved no advance warning. That was how all disk drives worked even when I worked on drives that used motor oil to move the heads. But that is not what so many computer techs are told by advertising.

    Power loss does not damage any electronics. Some see electronics fail after a power loss. Then somehow just know the damage must be from a power off. We call conclusions based only in observation "junk science".

    Now, let's review your fears by tempering conclusions with numbers. A UPS in battery backup mode outputs power so dirty as to be potentially harmful to same electric motors and power strip protectors. See that power brick with the ink jet printer? That power supply is so robust as to make the 'dirtiest' UPS irrelevant. However some laser jet printers may not have a power brick to 'clean' the 'dirtiest' AC power from a UPS. So UPS manufacturers recommend not operating a laser printer from their 'as cheap as possible' UPS.


    Again, so many will post fears of disk drive damage because they never learned how all disk drives worked even before the original IBM PC existed. They heard mythical fears. And did not demand any numbers. Then just know power loss must cause hard drive damage. Learn from someone who first learned how disk drives work. And always demands numbers. Power loss does not cause hard drive damage nor ink jet printer damage.

    Be concerned about a laser printer powered from a UPS. Some of the dirtiest power seen in any home comes from a UPS while operating in battery backup mode. Most appliances make that 'dirtiest' UPS power irrelevant. Some motorized appliances can be harmed.





  7. #7
    Technician ZAZA_2012's Avatar
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    Re: Can laser printers be damaged by losing power during a print job?

    ur threads all are boring ! we are strong and we have long idea and you tell us for the damn printer!!!


    what do you have inside ur Mind!!


    be nice or leave us alone


  8. #8
    Geek Extraordinaire 2,500+ Posts KenB's Avatar
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    Re: Can laser printers be damaged by losing power during a print job?

    From what I've seen over the years, low power will not damage electronic equipment.

    However, it's when the power comes back on that you are likely to get spikes, which if severe enough, can wipe out almost anything.

    So it's not just the obvious "getting hit by lightning" scenario to be concerned about, that's a different animal.

    Also, don't be lulled into a false sense of security by cheapie surge protectors, no matter what they advertise (normally in how many joules they can protect you from).

    When the weatherman is predicting storms, and tells you to turn everything off (better yet, unplug it), listen to him/her. They are offering free advice on protecting your stuff, or even a fire.

    Based on this post and some previous ones, it sounds like you have some big time issues with power. Do yourself a favor, hire a qualified electrician, and splurge a little. Your equipment will run much better, and you'll stay safe. Your electric bill may even actually go down, as you'd be drawing fewer amps, and running more efficiently.

    Don't be a cheapskate; seems to me that you're pinching pennies where it makes the least amount of sense.

    Skimping on ink and toner is one thing - your property and safety are quite another.

    So, just when is this "old enough to know better" thing supposed to kick in?

  9. #9
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    Re: Can laser printers be damaged by losing power during a print job?

    Quote Originally Posted by KenB View Post
    However, it's when the power comes back on that you are likely to get spikes, which if severe enough, can wipe out almost anything.
    So, when a printer is powered on, it is always damaged by the resulting power on spike?

    When the entire neighborhood grid powers on, no voltage spike exists. Either power is on just like power restored by a wall switch. Or (more often) voltage is slowly rising. What is the best way to power on all electronics? Slowly rising voltage.

    A slowly rising voltage can be harmful to motorized appliances such as a refrigerator. Therefore better designed air conditioners have a power on delay. To wait for voltage to rise. So that power on is abrupt. Meanwhile, urban myths claims an abrupt power on has spikes? Good. Letís see those numbers - knowing the spike is a classic urban myth. But then how many EEs with a few generations of experience have posted here?

    If a power restoration creates a voltage exceeding 330 volts (as so many assume by ignoring that number on a box), then how big is the spike every time the AC voltage goes from negative to positive 120 volts? It does that 60 times every second. If power on is creating a 330 plus volt spike, then how big is the spike when AC power switches from negative 120 volts to positive 120 volts?

    Those spikes and resulting damage are only popular urban myth. A biggest spike comes from a typical UPS when in battery backup mode. For example, this 120 volt UPS outputs spikes up to 270 volts. Ideal power for all electronics. Potentially harmful to motorized appliances. But again, the bottom line always means numbers.

    How big is a spike when AC power goes from negative 120 volts to positive 120 volts sixty times every second? Same as the spike when neighborhood power is restored Ė virtually zero. Biggest spikes are generated by a typical UPS. Since all electronics are so robust, even the UPS spike (ie 270 volts) causes no damage.


  10. #10
    Geek Extraordinaire 2,500+ Posts KenB's Avatar
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    Re: Can laser printers be damaged by losing power during a print job?

    Even if the power does come on smoothly when it first restores, (which I still doubt) what about those happy little bounces you get during lightning storms, or when the power company truck is parked on your street and techs are doing repairs? (There was a lot of that in my neighborhood 2 years ago - there were several bad transformers.)

    It's been a few years, but I've actually seen my lights in the house come on very brightly during a storm for a split second. Not a lightning strike, but rather a surge.

    Have you ever used a quality voltage monitor a customer account? I have many times, and while a lot of times they come back "clean", I've seen some whoppers, too. Surges up to 400 volts, and even beyond.

    I realize that the power companies have overall got their proverbial act together, (I've heard that the 60 Hz power is regulated to 3-4 cycles per year), but they're not perfect by any means.

    Please note that based on his previous posts over the past year or so, aab1 has come out and said that his power pretty much sucks, and needs some big time work. While they can be fun , he doesn't need to be filled in with minute technical details or a theoretical discussion - he needs some serious rewiring, ASAP.

    So, just when is this "old enough to know better" thing supposed to kick in?

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