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5500 5550 Jamming in the fuser when printing color pictures?

Author: Metrofuser Tech Support Reference Number: AA-06257 Views: 9478 Created: 01-10-2014 01:07 pm Last Updated: 01-20-2014 02:12 pm 100 Rating/ 1 Voters


Something we have been hearing a lot of has been the HP LJ 5500-5550 jamming in the fuser assembly when printing color images.

I remember working on printers and knowing there needed to be a ¼ inch blank border around the edge of the page being printed. Nowadays the newer printers are printing a lot closer to the edge some actually printing all the way to the edge. The problem is without the border there is a better chance your paper will wrap around the fuser roller. There are many variables that may cause the paper to wrap itself on a fuser roller the full bleed, heavy toner coverage, and not enough heat are a few.

A fuser uses heat and pressure to fuse the toner on the paper. The newer printers including 55xx fusers are made with a new design. The older HP fusers were made with a heat roller. The newer models are made with a foil sleeve wrapped around a heater. This allows the fuser to reach the correct temperature faster, allowing the printer to go into standby mode faster and also printing from standby mode faster. The target temperature during STBY: 170°C (338°F) when power is ON. This shifts to 155°C (311°F) later on. When printing, the temperature will vary according to the print mode selected.  

This is where the problem arises. We had slower print speeds with the older models, now the printers are three to four times faster. The pages are spending a lot less time in the fusing process.

Some of the other variables are paper, remanufactured toner, pressure, time, and as stated above heat.

Let’s start with paper, as always HP recommends you use HP paper. I've been working on printers a long time and have rarely seen customers using “HP” paper. The same can be said with the toner the difference being a lot more customers will use OEM toner (Original Equipment Manufacturer).   Poor paper quality can cause issues. The bigger issue is the remanufactured (compatible) toner cartridges. These color toners vary from each company selling them. Some have good color quality and some don’t. The jamming and wrapping occur when the temperature or non-stick properties are not good. When the melting point of the toner properties are incorrect this will cause toner buildup, which will cause poor print quality and also will cause paper jamming and wrapping in the fuser. Pressure is also important as pressure is used in conjunction with the heat to fuse the toner onto the paper.
TIME is big. The longer the paper takes to travel thru the Fuser assembly the better the fusing process will be, but you need to be careful if it takes too long in the fuser you may get discolored paper. The 55xx printers run at 21.5 pages a minute when using letter size paper. There are different ways to have the printer reduce the print speed. You can go into the paper handling menu and configure the paper type which will slow the print speed.

These are the feed speed according to media

Feed mode                   Media type                Print mode               Feed speed   
Normal mode             Plain paper                Full color                  Normal
                                                                            Monochrome          Normal
OHT mode          Overhead transparency   Full color                  1/4 speed 
                                                                            Monochrome          1/2 speed
Thick 1 mode            Thick paper                  Full color                 1/2 speed
                                                                            Monochrome          1/2 speed
Thick 2 mode            Thick paper                  Full color                 1/2 speed (5500 models only)
                                                                            Monochrome          1/3 speed (5550 models only) 
Gloss 1 mode            Glossy paper              Full color                 1/3 speed
                                                                            Monochrome          1/3 speed
Gloss 2 mode            Glossy paper             Full color                  1/3 speed
                                                                           Monochrome           1/2 speed (5550 models only) 
Image mode      
(high glossy mode; (5550)    Glossy paper     Full color                   1/4 speed 
                                                                           Monochrome            1/4 speed
Gloss film mode         Glossy film               Full color                    1/3 speed (5500 models only)
                                                                           Monochrome            1/4 speed (5550 models only) 
Envelope mode          Envelope                   Full color                    normal
                                                                          Monochrome             normal
Thick paper mode      Thick paper             Full color                     normal 
                                                                          Monochrome             normal
Label paper mode      Adhesive labels      Full color                   1/2 and 1/3 speed (5550 models only)  


                  The easiest solution I have found and that HP always recommends is using the manual tray (tray 1) when printing special paper. The Manual tray slows to half speed when not programmed as a cassette. This will allow the pages traveling thru the fuser to go slower which will allow the fusing process to work better.

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