Home | Blog | Software | Reviews and Features | Forum | Help | Donate | About us
topbanner_forum
  *

avatar image

Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Login with username, password and session length
  • December 07, 2016, 04:27:15 PM
  • Proudly celebrating 10 years online.
  • Donate now to become a lifetime supporting member of the site and get a non-expiring license key for all of our programs.
  • donate

Author Topic: printer to repair or not repair  (Read 5708 times)

techidave

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2007
  • **
  • Posts: 1,012
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
printer to repair or not repair
« on: September 07, 2013, 05:28:09 PM »
I am having a difficult time wrapping my head around printers - laser printers.  Do I repair them or replace them.  By repair, I mean someone else does the work.

I am not talking about cheap printers but ones like the HP Laserjets P3005dn, 4100dn, 1300, 1200.  Also Xerox N2125.

i realize these are some heavy duty printers that are made to last a long time and print thousands of pages before needing some attention.  But one can wrap up hundreds of dollars in repairs, especially if a maintenance kit or fuser is needed.

While these printers won't have the speed of a newer one, they probably are more durable, in my opinion.

so where is the trade off ... replace or repair at?  is it in dollars to repair or how many pages have been run through the printer over the lifetime.  some of my printers are 7-10 years old.  Does that mean I should replace?

I didn't know what other doco users thoughts were on this.  I am using these in a school enviroment if that makes a difference.

thanks,
Dave

mouser

  • First Author
  • Administrator
  • Joined in 2005
  • *****
  • Posts: 36,409
    • View Profile
    • Mouser's Software Zone on DonationCoder.com
    • Read more about this member.
    • Donate to Member
Re: printer to repair or not repair
« Reply #1 on: September 07, 2013, 05:32:57 PM »
my general view of electronics is when they pass the warranty period, repairing is rarely worth it.

mouser

  • First Author
  • Administrator
  • Joined in 2005
  • *****
  • Posts: 36,409
    • View Profile
    • Mouser's Software Zone on DonationCoder.com
    • Read more about this member.
    • Donate to Member
Re: printer to repair or not repair
« Reply #2 on: September 07, 2013, 05:35:52 PM »
Quote
some of my printers are 7-10 years old.  Does that mean I should replace?
yes.

mouser

  • First Author
  • Administrator
  • Joined in 2005
  • *****
  • Posts: 36,409
    • View Profile
    • Mouser's Software Zone on DonationCoder.com
    • Read more about this member.
    • Donate to Member
Re: printer to repair or not repair
« Reply #3 on: September 07, 2013, 05:39:37 PM »
When calculating repair vs buy new, you also have to factor in the fact that these kinds of repairs frequently are unsuccessful, or only fix it briefly, and the costs are very difficult to predict.

Frequently with electronics, buying a new item would be cheaper than even the bare minimum repair costs assuming the repair is guaranteed to be 100% perfect success.  That's the easy call.

More often than not though, you have to make a judgement call about the likely repair cost, hassle and downtime of the repair, and how long it's likely to last after repair.

But when I factor those things in, and consider my experience with repairs not lasting, i almost never come out on the side of repairing.

The only exceptions to this rule is when I can do the repair myself -- in that case i'll gladly spend way too many hours and way too much on parts, just on the principle of the matter.

techidave

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2007
  • **
  • Posts: 1,012
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: printer to repair or not repair
« Reply #4 on: September 07, 2013, 05:58:13 PM »
Mouser, I can partially agree with if we are talking about a hundred dollar printer, then yeah, repairs probably wont be worth it.  But brand new the P3005 and 4100 HP are many hundreds of dollars.  The 4100s are known to be real workhorses and some probably have a million or more pages.  Te older ones tend to have heavier and possibly more metal parts in them than the newer plastic printers.

TaoPhoenix

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2011
  • **
  • Posts: 4,550
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: printer to repair or not repair
« Reply #5 on: September 07, 2013, 06:01:42 PM »
I'd put a voice in for at least getting some info. (These examples assume the repairman is legit, no scams etc). It sounds as if you don't know exactly what's wrong. So I'd at least get a quote. And with that quote, ask if there is a *warranty on the repairs*! In other words, done right, you don't expect the thing to conk out next Tuesday.

Other types of repairs are really cheap proportionally - you know it won't last forever but a lot of printers have some dumb little piece of plastic, or the guiding metal bar gets crooked, or whatever. So then you can escape with say $100, and then *next year* you finally have to bite the bullet and buy new, but as we say in accounting, "next year is next year's problem".

TaoPhoenix

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2011
  • **
  • Posts: 4,550
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: printer to repair or not repair
« Reply #6 on: September 07, 2013, 06:02:35 PM »
Mouser, I can partially agree with if we are talking about a hundred dollar printer, then yeah, repairs probably wont be worth it.  But brand new the P3005 and 4100 HP are many hundreds of dollars.  The 4100s are known to be real workhorses and some probably have a million or more pages.  Te older ones tend to have heavier and possibly more metal parts in them than the newer plastic printers.

And the Kyoceras we used to have at work ran to several *thousand*! So see above, at least see if you get lucky on a quote.

techidave

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2007
  • **
  • Posts: 1,012
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: printer to repair or not repair
« Reply #7 on: September 07, 2013, 06:08:45 PM »
most of the time they need a good cleaning and maybe new feed rollers, possible a transfer roller or fuser on occasion.  Fusers are expensive and the others are not that bad.  The company i use is legit and very good.  the do repairs for lots of companies and I do trust them.  Usually it cost me the parts plus an hour or so of labor ($75).  My users don't put lots of pages through them so journally repairs last quite a while. 

Stoic Joker

  • Honorary Member
  • Joined in 2008
  • **
  • Posts: 6,296
    • View Profile
    • www.StoicJoker.com
    • Donate to Member
Re: printer to repair or not repair
« Reply #8 on: September 08, 2013, 11:23:03 AM »
Mouser, I can partially agree with if we are talking about a hundred dollar printer, then yeah, repairs probably wont be worth it.  But brand new the P3005 and 4100 HP are many hundreds of dollars.  The 4100s are known to be real workhorses and some probably have a million or more pages.  Te older ones tend to have heavier and possibly more metal parts in them than the newer plastic printers.

Agreed! I still miss the LaserJet 4100 I used to have in my office...it was fast, quiet, and never missed a beat...even though it already had over 1.2 million pages on it.

Consumer grade laser printers do tend to be like Pezz dispensers and are frequently not worth repairing. This is due to the service hostile way in which they are designed. However true business class laser printers allow for the fact that the fuser has a semi-predetermined service life expectancy, and are designed to allow for easy tool-less (or very few) fuser replacement. The only tricky part is usually clearing/resetting the (easily googled) maintenance count error message so it stops giving the fuser maintenance required message.

One thing you may want to look into is the Managed Print Services (MSP) trend in the industry that had been gaining popularity over the last ~5 years. Our company has been into it for 6 or 7 years now, and it is extremely popular with companies that have large printer fleets and an IT department that is feed up with servicing them. Short version is that prints are only paid for on an as printed basis (billed monthly at a rate of ~.4-1 cent per page mono and~ 7-10 cents per page color), and toner, parts, and service are provided free of charge (as part of the contract). This way cost is better controlled because you only have to pay for the toner that you use, as you use it. Which means that the days of trying to budget $1,000 for a set of color toner cartridges for a business class color laser printer are over. Now obviously a certain print volume has to be maintained for this to be profitable for the MPS provider. But a good one will be able to allow for the obviously seasonal nature of a school.


Many of the better MPS providers will also provide the printers at no cost (or cost deferred over the life of the contract), if you sign a contract for a 3-5 year term. We currently have over a 1,000 printers in the field now that are generating print revenue, but didn't cost the client a single dime to have delivered and setup.

Edvard

  • Coding Snacks Author
  • Charter Honorary Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 2,888
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: printer to repair or not repair
« Reply #9 on: September 09, 2013, 12:13:25 AM »
My rule for deciding to fix anything is very simple:
If I can fix it (1)myself with (2)readily available parts (local store or online) for (3) less than the cost of a new [insert object here], then proceed.  
Otherwise, I initiate replacement discussions with my Wife.  ;)

In your position, Techidave, I would advise to not underestimate or overlook costs of downtime as the machines age, along with your long-term projections of potential repair costs.  A few hundred on repairs is not that much if the machines are actually reliable and repairs are easy, in which case you've got a good argument for repairing vs. new.  Just don't ignore how quickly things can add up when repair visits become more frequent over the next 2-5 years, and how much time (money) you'll be losing waiting for repairs to be done as parts become more scarce.
Hopefully you (or somebody responsible) has been keeping reasonably detailed records of repairs, supply usage and costs (newer machines are often more efficient with materials usage), and duration of downtimes so that a solid case can be made to justify either choice.

Target

  • Honorary Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • **
  • Posts: 1,605
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: printer to repair or not repair
« Reply #10 on: September 09, 2013, 12:51:17 AM »
if you have a good relationship with the repair tech's ask them what they think.

In my (limited!) experience most of those guys don't have a vested interest in selling new machines, but they will be aware of your circumstance/usage patterns, the performance of the machines in question, and their relative value in that context.

worst case scenario they'll tell you buy a new one, and if they do, they can probably give you good advice on which models are best for your circumstance. 

Edvard

  • Coding Snacks Author
  • Charter Honorary Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 2,888
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: printer to repair or not repair
« Reply #11 on: September 09, 2013, 10:01:25 PM »
^^ +1  :Thmbsup:

techidave

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2007
  • **
  • Posts: 1,012
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: printer to repair or not repair
« Reply #12 on: September 10, 2013, 05:42:05 AM »
actually, Target, I have asked them and they say both machines are very much worth repairing.  I don't very often buy new machines from him so he does benefit that way from me. He likes the 4100 and the P3005 because they are a business class printer, durable, the parts are easy to get and easy to replace.

to repair or not repair wasn't really the question of the OP.  It was at what point do you stop repairing them and buy new... that was the question.  the printers in question, have less than 72000 pages run through them so they have lots of life left.

I probably will repair once, and then buy new the second time.  98% of the time my machines don't need repaired again.  some of my teachers don't even put a thousand pages a year on them.  so repairs tend to last me a very long time.

40hz

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2007
  • **
  • Posts: 11,768
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: printer to repair or not repair
« Reply #13 on: September 10, 2013, 06:06:37 AM »
My rule of thumb for out-of-warranty laser printers is not to try fix anything mechanical if it requires cracking the main case to get at it.

Logic boards, fusers and transfer units (in many models), and other things that can be got at with a screwdriver, pulled from the case, and readily swapped for a new assembly in the field are fine. Disassembling and reassembling anything beyond that has seldom (in my experience) worked out very well for the customer.

YMMV.

Stoic Joker

  • Honorary Member
  • Joined in 2008
  • **
  • Posts: 6,296
    • View Profile
    • www.StoicJoker.com
    • Donate to Member
Re: printer to repair or not repair
« Reply #14 on: September 10, 2013, 07:34:50 AM »
Logic boards, fusers and transfer units (in many models), and other things that can be got at with a screwdriver, pulled from the case, and readily swapped for a new assembly in the field are fine. Disassembling and reassembling anything beyond that has seldom (in my experience) worked out very well for the customer.

LOL ...Rule of thumb...that I honestly do believe is actually carved in a piece of rock somewhere... IT people, hate printers. Possibly because they are also the primary impetus behind having to interact with users. [/BOFH mode off]

OTOH, If you deal with printers on a daily basis, there really isn't much on them that is that difficult to replace. As it's really just a matter of grokking the (kitchen) appliance like design concept (which I have always hated TBH). But the ever popular business class Multi Function Printers (MFP's) being in the thousands ... It's generally not economically wise to plan on tossing them out to fast.

A lengthy repair on site is expensive. But if a temporary replacement can be provided, and the machine can be brought in-house ... The cost of the repair can be much more easily controlled.

This is why I brought up the MPS contract angle earlier as it works out quite well for both sides. Customer gets an easily managed/more consistent printing cost to work with. And the provider gets a recurring revenue stream that affords them the option of eliminating (old/poorly spec'd/defective)problem child devices because they can be replaced (with a new/properly spec'd device) under the contract at no cost to the customer. It also allows older hardware to stay in the field longer if it's an ultra reliable model like the LaserJet 4100's because spares are kept available (on site for large contracts) and provided by the MPS to keep down time to an absolute minimum.

40hz

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2007
  • **
  • Posts: 11,768
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: printer to repair or not repair
« Reply #15 on: September 10, 2013, 09:33:19 AM »
Logic boards, fusers and transfer units (in many models), and other things that can be got at with a screwdriver, pulled from the case, and readily swapped for a new assembly in the field are fine. Disassembling and reassembling anything beyond that has seldom (in my experience) worked out very well for the customer.

LOL ...Rule of thumb...that I honestly do believe is actually carved in a piece of rock somewhere... IT people, hate printers. Possibly because they are also the primary impetus behind having to interact with users. [/BOFH mode off]

Stoic got me! Busted! Guilty as charged. (And proud of it, dude!) ;D

More seriously, printers provided and maintained under contract do work out quite well if you do volume in a business setting. Around where I am I've been very happy with Ricoh (direct) and their Aficio line of multifunction office printers, and one small local specialist company for everything else printerly.  

Hardware as a service anyone? Works for me when it comes to printers! :Thmbsup:

---------------

@SJ - it's not merely carved in rock. I'll have you know it's etched on a tablet of the finest Venetian marble and the letters gilded with pure gold. On Friday nights pizzas are offered to it in sacrifice by BOFHs the world over in thanks for not having to come in over the weekend and ditz with some lizard-suit's office printer because he/she decided to "get some work done" Sunday morning - mainly with the goal of banking some brownie points with their boss.

Sound familiar?
umyeah.png



What usually follows...

fuser.jpg

Carefully rotate the fuser assembly and push it back down.
If inserted correctly it will glide in smoothly and lock into place.
Ignore any flickering sparks, or tinkly music you may be hearing.
Sparks and music are normal, and to be expected during this step.
Next...
« Last Edit: September 11, 2013, 08:11:25 PM by 40hz »

Stoic Joker

  • Honorary Member
  • Joined in 2008
  • **
  • Posts: 6,296
    • View Profile
    • www.StoicJoker.com
    • Donate to Member
Re: printer to repair or not repair
« Reply #16 on: September 11, 2013, 07:52:28 PM »
Crap,I can't resist...while we're on the off topic:
BOFH: Don't be afraid - we won't hurt your delicate, flimsy inkjet printer

40hz

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2007
  • **
  • Posts: 11,768
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: printer to repair or not repair
« Reply #17 on: September 11, 2013, 08:19:15 PM »
It all reminds me of this: (Warning: NSFW >:D)



 8) ;D