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And when should I replace it?

You are happily printing out a mass of statements. You have had the new printer for 8 months now, with no problems. 
Just  yesterday you replaced the toner cartridge with a new one, the fourth one now, when suddenly the statements are becoming faded, But how could it be so? You've only just replaced the cartridge, so that has to be the problem! You take it out, check that you've removed the seal properly, shake it for a possible blockage, and try again-  same problem. So you get the reserve cartridge out, install it..... and aghhh... still no success. Has it occurred to you that your drum unit has worn out.
Before describing a drum printer cartridge or unit, it is important to know that you should replace it approximately on a ratio of every 3 to 4 toner cartridges.
What is a drum printer cartridge and what does it do? 

A printer drum is a rolling pin inside of a laser/toner printer. To create image patterns, a laser beam shines on the drum in the shape of the required image (text, pictorial), to place what are called "electrostatic images." The drum is then rolled through a reservoir of toner, the powdered substance that creates printed images on the paper (for both black and coloured prints), on those previously invisible electrostatic patterns. The paper rolls through the drum, where the toner is applied, and then finally goes through what is called a fuser which is a heat source to melt the powder, to create your printout.

The drum is different to the toner cartridges, the sole purpose of which is to hold the toner powder. The drum is the unit that normally clips onto the back of the toner cartridge, and it holds the image and  is extremely important to the laser printer functioning properly. When it starts to wear, you will have problems with print quality and you may experience frequent paper jams.

Signs of drum deterioration:
  • Smudges or marks on paper
  • Faded print
  • Blank areas in print
  • Paper jam

Although some printers will give you a warning that you should replace your drum unit, it is a good idea to have a spare in the storage room.

Drum units include the Brother DR-150CL, DR2025, DR2125, DR2225, DR3000, DR3115DR3215, DR6000. DR7000, and DR8000. Also the Dell 310-7042, the Epson C13S051055, the HP CB384A, and the Xerox CT350150.

Our next article will be on how you can clean a drum unit, for the brave hearted!


1 Comment

Learned a lot about printer drum units. My only problem is that I do not have the idea on what compatible unit should I buy? Would it be fine with any?

Posted by lasertek on June 14, 2013

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