Four Warning Signs of a Bad Printer Drum

A broken laser printer is the last thing you want to encounter on any day in the office. Faulty printing machines lead to unexpected downtime which harms morale and productivity in general.  A bad printer drum can limit the quality of your printer output. Yet, with the many components in your printing machine, it can be difficult to ascertain the exact source of your laser printer’s problem. Before focusing on the printer drum, you need to check if other parts like the toner or tray are worn out.

Remember, your printing machine uses the drum and toner cartridge to put out photos and documents. While the toner accommodates black or colored powder the drum component is tasked with transferring the color onto the paper sheet surface. The drum slowly deteriorates as time goes by. Apart from physically diagnosing your printer’s problems, there are some signs and symptoms that you can rely on to point out a bad printer drum.

Read on as we break down crucial warning signs of a bad printer drum.

Error Message

A huge chunk of laser printers incorporates a unit counter specifically for the drum unit. The component monitors the number of pages that the printer puts out. It will count to a certain maximum limit which will remind you to replace the drum. Any time you see a warning message or error code whenever you intend to print a document, it is a good indicator of a deteriorating drum.

Black Spots on the Output

When the printer begins producing output with substandard images and blurry documents, it is a clear sign that the drum needs a replacement. Along with that, there will be colored or black toner spots on the final printouts. Another way to point out a bad printer drum is to look out for horizontal lines on the produced documents. The lines will appear each moment the paper sheet interacts with a fault drum.

Blank Printout

Whenever you notice the text and images of the printer’s output beginning to fade, it is an early indicator of a failing drum unit. Apart from a blank output, you will also notice white and black patches on the printed documents. These are signs that the drum is failing but not completely worn out. The printer will start producing documents that are entirely blank after the drum component is completely worn out.

Substandard Print Quality

A low-quality printout is perhaps the first sign of a deteriorating printer drum. Contrary to what you may deduce from black spots and blurry prints, low print quality is indicated by faded images and text. The sigh can easily be mistaken for exhausted ink. Once you have confirmed that your ink levels are okay, the only other source of the problem could be a bad drum.


It should now be easy to tell if your printer drum has a problem or not. The printer drum is just as important as any other component on your printing machine. To avoid unplanned downtimes and keep your printer working in top form, it is wise to service and maintain your equipment regularly.

Proactive maintenance involves replacing worn-out parts in time. The drum and toner are often under the most stress during the printing process. You should keep an eye on them at all times by staying on the lookout for any warning signs.