Streaking and line-associated image defects appearing over printouts are often attributed to an aging printer cartridge drum. The mentioned defects often transpire with high yield toner cartridges that are rated beyond 5,000 pages at 5% page coverage such as the C500H2KG unit that loads the Lexmark C500 series of laser printers. Drum life is designed to last as long as the volume of toner supplied with the cartridge unit; to even outlive the rating of the cartridge with its set life cycle of 30,000 pages. Therefore, when streaking and line image irregularities manifest over printouts even prior to the depletion of toner supply, said defects cannot be entirely blamed on the drum unit. The wear and tear the drum unit endures over large volume printing likely has its impact on a particular drum component called the Drum Recovery Blade that works to clean the drum surface of residual toner after every print cycle.
The Drum Recovery Blade functions like the wiper blade of a car that clears the windshield of rain water or snow during blizzards to improve road visibility. When the wiper’s wear out, certain sections of the windshield are not effectively cleaned; to therefore compromise road visibility. The same thing happens to a defective recovery blade. Since the component could no longer effectively clean the drum from residual toner, print defects materialize. The recovery blade inside the cartridge is composed of a thin Mylar (plastic sheet) that is devised to collect excess toner sticking on the drum surface and consequently transfer collected toner into the cartridge’s waste chamber. Being thin-skinned, the component easily deteriorates and warps. In this condition, the recovery blade could no longer maintain a tight seal; causing toner to splatter on the paper path.
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Consumers are always privy to misconceptions, like the assumption that toner refills (even with the use of compatible toners such as the toner supplied with the Lexmark C500 high yield toner refill kit) can cause toner leaks. Always be guided that toner refills on used toner cartridges will never cause toner leaks. Instead, an old, damaged cartridge recovery blade is behind toner leaks inside the printer on most occasions. Moreover, never assume that OEM toner cartridges are always free from defects. Toner leaks can also transpire with genuine cartridges, particularly when the thin Mylar recovery blade is not properly aligned during installation.
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