Don't let your printer dry out over summer

While you might take a well earned holiday over the Christmas break and go somewhere nice and sunny there’s some very good reasons not to give your large format printer a break.
The last thing you need on your return from holiday is to find your print heads have dried out in the summer heat because someone thought it would be wise to turn off or disconnect the printer from the power supply. Most modern wide format printers have a self cleaning function that operates while on standby mode, so if this is the case with your model make sure you leave it on stand-by and maintain those valuable print heads.

As the sunny days of summer approach, many aspects of our lives are affected by the changing weather, including our electronic devices. Printers, being sensitive to environmental conditions, can be particularly susceptible to issues during hot and dry summer months. One of the common concerns is ink drying within the printer, leading to clogging and malfunctions. This article provides valuable insights and practical tips to help you avoid printer drying during the summer season, ensuring your printer remains functional and productive.

Understanding the Issue: Why Does Ink Dry Out?

Ink drying is a common problem during summer, especially in regions with high temperatures and low humidity. When ink is exposed to air for an extended period, it begins to dry, resulting in clogs in the printhead, nozzles, and cartridges. This can significantly impact the quality of your prints and even damage your printer over time.

Tips to Prevent Ink Drying During Summer

1. Use Your Printer Regularly:

One of the most effective ways to prevent ink drying is to use your printer regularly. Printing at least once a week helps keep the ink flowing and prevents it from drying within the printhead and nozzles.

2. Keep the Printer Covered:

When not in use, cover your printer with a dust cover or any other protective material. This prevents dust and debris from settling on the printhead and cartridges, which can lead to clogs and drying.

3. Store Cartridges Properly:

If you have spare ink cartridges, store them in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight and heat. Avoid exposing them to extreme temperature changes, which can cause the ink to dry out.

4. Print a Test Page:

Periodically print a test page to check the status of your ink. If you notice any inconsistencies or fading, it’s an indicator that the ink is beginning to dry, and you should use the printer to prevent further drying.

5. Clean Your Printhead:

Regularly clean the printhead to remove any dried ink or debris. Refer to your printer’s manual for specific instructions on how to clean the printhead properly.

6. Perform Maintenance Tasks:

Many printers have built-in maintenance tasks like printhead cleaning and alignment. Follow your printer’s manual to perform these tasks at regular intervals, especially during summer when ink drying is more likely.

7. Avoid Direct Sunlight and Heat:

Position your printer away from direct sunlight and heat sources like radiators or heaters. Excessive heat can cause the ink to evaporate faster, leading to drying issues.

8. Maintain Proper Humidity:

If possible, maintain a consistent indoor humidity level using a humidifier. A moderate humidity level helps keep the ink from drying out too quickly.

9. Use High-Quality Inks:

Invest in high-quality, reputable ink cartridges. Quality ink is less likely to dry out quickly, ensuring a smoother printing experience even during the warmer months.

10. Power On and Off Correctly:

Follow the recommended procedure for turning your printer on and off. Sudden power offs can cause the printhead to be left exposed, leading to ink drying.

Maintaining your printer and preventing ink drying during the summer months is essential to ensure consistent and high-quality prints. Following the tips provided in this article, such as using your printer regularly, storing cartridges properly, and maintaining a moderate humidity level, will help you preserve your printer and prolong its lifespan. By incorporating these practices into your routine, you’ll enjoy uninterrupted printing and avoid the frustration of dealing with printer drying issues.

If your printer doesn’t have a self cleaning function or you plan to be away for an extended period, let’s say more than a couple of weeks, you should either replace all cartridges with cleaning cartridges and flush the system or, have a staff member come in and do the regular weekly maintenance including running a test print to check all is well. If you are unsure about the best option for your specific printer, then just call the Jetmark team for some friendly advice on 1800 538 627.

In addition to your printer make sure you keep your inks and sensitive media cool this summer as well. Read this article for tips for keeping your supplies safe from over heating this summer.