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Printer Care:
Importance of Maintenance

The Importance of Leaving your printer turned on and Plugged in.

Written by sawgrass
on June 22, 2023
in Tech Tips

The Importance of Leaving your printer turned on and Plugged in. 

One of the many perks highlighted about owning a Sawgrass sublimation printer is the fact that it’s supposed to be low maintenance with minimal interaction needed in between prints. The main focus of this minimal interaction is that we recommend that you leave your printers turned on and plugged into a power source so it can perform what is known as the automatic maintenance cycle. When not in use, your printer will enter a sleep mode where the LCD screen of your printer will go blank, but the power light will remain the nice bright blue color. In this state the printer is essentially asleep, but this will still allow the printer to perform its maintenance automatically. These cycles it performs are mandatory due to the nature of all sublimation ink. All ink in an injet printer has a natural tendency to want to coagulate with itself and clump together if it sits in one spot for too long. As you can imagine this can be quite troublesome if this occurs within the innermost components of the printer, being the print head or the ink lines. Clumps, clogs, and more can cause issue with how your printer performs, both in printing, and when performing its daily maintenance.
By leaving your printer turned on and plugged in, this allows the printer to perform like it should whenever you want to print. The idea is that no matter how much or little you print, this maintenance will always allow you to use your printer whenever you want to, regardless of if you print once a week, once every three weeks, or even every day if you want, or hundreds of times a day if desired. Now with the maintenance cycle itself, generally what is happening is that the printer will push through a tiny amount of ink from the cartridge, through the lines of the printer, through the print head, into your waste unit every 8-12 hours or so that the printer is idle. Generally the amount used will be less than one percent of any given cartridge. However, in some cases if the printer is detecting a clog of some kind in the lines or print head then this can cause the printer to use slightly more ink to get the issue cleared. Those percentages will vary in every scenario. With the maintenance happening every 12 hours or so, one thing to note is that this can be influenced by your printing habits. Your printer will understand that with every print you are doing, that the ink is being used, pushed, and pulled through the lines and print head for your prints. It would then be absolutely fair to say that the more you print to your printer, the less maintenance it will perform, and thus the less waste will generate in your waste unit.
Of course, we understand that with leaving the printer on and plugged in, this can be difficult in certain situations such as if you need to move the printer, dealing with a power outage, or even some type of inclement weather. The important thing to know is that the printer won’t “break” or immediately have a clog or issue the moment you turn it off. In these situations, it’s understandable and okay. It’s not the action of turning your printer off that cause’s problems, rather it’s the habit of leaving your printer off that will cause it to have problems. The longer you have your printer off, the higher the risk you will be at for your printer to experience those types of issues like clogged nozzles or banding in prints. If you find yourself in one of those situations mentioned above, make sure when you are able and safe to do so, that you turn your printer back on, and leave it plugged in so it can continue its scheduled automated maintenance. 

If you have additional questions about maintaining your printer or any technical issues that you may be having, please reach out to us at