You might have experienced leaking toner cartridges in the HP 5500 color laser printer. Streaks of toner on the front and backs of printed pages and or noisy cartridges when printing. Toner on the ETB (electrostatic transfer belt). Any of these problems could occur independently of each other or simultaneously. Replacing the cartridge in question will fix the problem, but most likely only temporarily
These issues can be caused from frequent printing from Tray 1, the 100 sheet Multipurpose tray. When the control panel is set in the PAPER HANDLING MENU to TRAY 1 SIZE equals ANY SIZE, and TRAY 1 TYPE equals ANY. Having tray 1 set this way can cause the printer to go through an extra toner purge and cleaning cycle after each print job. If larger size jobs are being utilized the failure will not happen as quickly as it will if just 1 or 2 pages jobs are being sent, which is generally the case from the MP tray. Printing from tray 1 with these control panel settings will prematurely fill up the waste toner hopper in the print cartridges. When the waste toner becomes to full prematurely, the cartridge can fail in several different ways.
The waste toner might start leaking out of the print cartridge. The cleaning blade can become overworked and not be able to clean the drum, which can leave streaks on the front and the backs of the print media as the waste toner is now getting on the belt. Another symptom is the waste toner hopper can get so full that the waste toner stirring blade cannot move, causing the drive gear for the cartridge to make a loud clicking noise. Again replacing the cartridge will correct the problem, but it’s not the solution. Changing the settings to the correct media and size being used for tray 1 will prevent further damage to the print cartridges, but does not correct the underlying cause.
The problem was with the firmware on the DC controller. The firmware was updated by HP to correct this issue on the 5500. Existing DC controllers cannot be flashed. The DC controller would have to be replaced. Print a configuration page and note the Printer Number, under the Information Section. The updated or newer DC controllers will have the number as 70 or something higher. Perform a full calibration when you replace the DC controller.
There is another problem that can cause toner to be on the belt and dumping toner in the 5500. It’s a mechanical failure though. They are the de-alienation enstrangement bars. They are located behind the toner cartridges. They raise and lower the toners into the printing position and cleaning position when required. Remove the toner cartridge’s and you will see them on the back of the frame of the printer. Black plastic pieces, 4 total. They can crack and wear with time. A visual inspection is all that is required. They seem to be more rugged on this engine and do not fail as much as they have on the 4600 series. Very easy to replace, loosen the two screws that hold the cams in place, (take note of their position before you start) and slide the old one’s out to the right off the shaft. Slide the replacements in from the right over the shaft and set the cam back into place and tighten the screws after setting them back into the slots.