Paper jamming – Dell 3100CN

A customer recently called in regarding paper jam issues on their Dell 3100cn color printer. After remote troubleshooting, a technician decided it was likely the roller set. Contacted Dell for replacement parts and ordered them. However upon reviewing the issue closer while onsite, I noticed that the 2nd paper tray had two loose tabs above the paper tray. A quick check confirmed that these were the locking mechanisms to connect the 2nd paper tray. While the tray appeared to work fine, over time, there was enough movement occurring to cause the trays to separate or move just enough for a paper jam to occur. Locking these in place resolved the problem without the need to replace the rollers.

A couple of take aways:

  1. Read the manual if you’re not familiar with this printer series – yes, most HP printers do not use a lock for the tray, but many (but not all) Dell printers do. Always be familiar with the directions on new equipment.
  2. If the printer is new and has a low page count, then it isn’t likely the rollers. New being <3 years, and low page count being either half of a maintenance kit page count or very generally 10x the model number (so 30,000 pages in this case).
  3. Dell printers do not appear to be designed to be maintained. Over 45 screws to replace one roller and  a paper sensor.