is there a problem cutting pwer to a laser printer?
May 15, 2008 8:59 PM   Subscribe

Is there an issue with putting a laser printer (Lexmark c522) onto a simple timer that just kills the power at night, and lets it power up again in the morning? Am I going to damage components significantly?
posted by dripped to Computers & Internet (7 answers total)
Obviously I can't say `it will never cause problems', but I have on many occasions killed power to my printer through turning it off at the wall socket, and it's never been an issue. Modern electronics are pretty hardy.
posted by tomble at 9:13 PM on May 15, 2008

The biggest thing is laser printers go thru a cleaning/alignment process on power on. Under your plan the printer will do this every time the timer turns on which will waste a certain amount of toner each day. Soft powering off with the switch first will prevent this in most cases.
posted by Mitheral at 10:15 PM on May 15, 2008

I guess it also depends on the switch. Some printers are never really `off' - you press the button and it turns mostly off, but there's still a bit of power going through it. This is like on most modern PCs, where it doesn't just cut the flow of power but instead initiates a software shutdown.

My printer has a big electrical switch, clicking it over is essentially the equivalent of pulling the plug. The power is cut instantly and completely.
posted by tomble at 12:39 AM on May 16, 2008

I have been running a couple of HP lasers with a switch mounted on the power cord for years - never had a problem. The idea was to protect the built-in switch from wearing out. However, these are pretty robust beasts (6P series), from about 8 years ago, when peripherals didn't try to be so smart.

I'm guessing my other printer (HP1000 series, doesn't even HAVE a power button) would have a fit if I tried this.
posted by ghost of a past number at 12:46 AM on May 16, 2008

If it's power-saving you want, might be a good idea to actually check the power consumption when the printer is not in use, or is in a 'soft power off' mode. If you don't have a usage meter of some kind, they're a worthy investment. Many newer devices use trivial amounts of power when not in use (although it can be argued that it all adds up).

Of course if there's some other reason (fire risk, reducing 'wear' or something), ignore this.
posted by le morte de bea arthur at 2:09 AM on May 16, 2008

It won't hurt anything, provided the timer cuts power cleanly and doesn't arc or anything awful like that. Make sure the timer is rated for the peak power that the printer can draw- laser printers, especially color ones, draw a LOT of power at brief intervals.

It might use slightly more toner though. Hard to say. Configuring the power saving mode is probably best- how much electricity will you really save after you purchase this timer?
posted by gjc at 7:31 PM on May 16, 2008

Response by poster: Part of the rational is that it's rest cycle noise is noisy and wakes me up!
Will have to figure out if it has a sleep mode enabled.
Thanks for comments
posted by dripped at 2:03 AM on May 17, 2008

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