asked Aug 23, 2015 at 3:01pm
Hp HP Photosmart 5510

Printer having issues detecting paper

We have an HP Photosmart printer & it has always been touchy with paper jams. We have kept up with the routine maintenance provided by the manufacturer through the "tools" functions in the "setup" menu.

The issue of paper jams had basically gotten worse as the printer has been used- not by the amount of actual paper jams, but by the jams detected by the printer. Sometimes the printer would stop with no jams at all.

Now our printer will only feed paper up to the first set of rollers and then the paper stops. However, the printer still thinks there is paper in the machine and prints as normal. Then, once the print should have finished, the printer realizes the paper is still sitting in the first set of rollers and flashes the "paper jam" screen.

Basically, we realize our printer is confused but we have no way to fix it. There are no apparent mechanical issues. The issue lies in the hardware &, probably, in the sequence in which the sensors are detecting paper. It seems like the printer *always* had a paper jam issue and it was only a matter of time before the printer was going to no longer function properly.

We called "customer service", and they tried to sell us ink cartridges first and then a new printer. In my opinion, that would be "sales" and not "customer service".

So here's our issue:

I get that technology is mass-produced at a lower cost than ever before. This means that companies rely on the consumer to give up at fixing their products and simply upgrade to a newer model. We are people that repair things that are broken rather than throw them away. It may not be the easiest route and it may take some work to track down the answer but I KNOW it's out there.

If there is a way to explain to my confused printer that it's not working right, I would rather repair it. We restored factory defaults but that apparently doesn't re-set the hardware in the way we need it to. Thanks so much in advance for any help!

There's only the one sensor in the printer that is just before it gets under the cartridge path. Once the paper hits that sensor, the printer assumes that it is ready to get print on it and prints until the job is done, whether the paper moves or not. If it doesn't hit the sensor or doesn't clear it after printing, then the printer signals a paper jam. I've never seen an inkjet where the transport mechanism after the pickup roller fails to move the paper. So, if it picks up and gets to the sensor, the only thing I've ever seen stop it is a scrap of paper left behind after someone impatiently yanked a jammed paper out. What to try is to take a piece of file folder and shove it down the paper path in the direction paper normally moves. The file folder is usually stiff enough to push out any unseen leftover scraps of paper.

by moe on Aug 23, 2015 at 6:52pm Add comment

Hi, I have exactly this problem with a model hp 5520. Have you found a solution? I have it in front of me now, with the top taken off and I keep doing a 'print report' to test it.

I can see that the paper does advance and depresses the switch to signal paper present, and then the print head operates , but what never moves are the4 big rubber rollers that should advance the paper to the printing area.

I can't see how the the drive mechanism for these gets its drive. I think this is where the fault lies.

Underneath the printer once the paper tray is removed you can see a transverse rod with small black and white bevel gears. I have never seen these mesh yet, could they be thedrive mechanism?

by solomonp on Nov 8, 2015 at 6:26am Add comment
Hi, I have the answer now!! - solomonp

The answer to "Now our printer will only feed paper up to the first set of rollers and then the paper stops" is that the plastic spigot that carries the white gear wheel in the train of gears, that are to the left of the printer as you view it from the front, has sheared off. This stops the drive getting to the 4 large paper rollers. To get to the gears, remove the electrics card on the left and then the transverse print carriage complete with ink cart. Then the motor assembly, which is fixed to the case with a lug at the back and a single screw at the front and it comes away with two front rollers, on held by a single U bracket.

Open up the plastic gear box lid . I drilled the cover, where the spindle had sheared off with a hole just big enough to take a brass BA screw of the same diameter and length as the sheared off spigot. I used the screw to cut it's own thread into the plastic cover.

by solomonp on Nov 12, 2015 at 5:02am Add comment