Question about Sharp AL 1631 Copier

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Average useful life of Sharp AL-1661CS

I have a Sharp AL 1661CS and am having problems with the drum unit. I've already replaced this twice. The copier has 46,492 copies on it. I'm debating wether or not I should spend the $199 to replace the drum or put that towards a new copier. I'd like to know what the expected average useful life is for this copier to help me make my decision.

Thank you.

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  • Donna Lam
    Donna Lam Oct 16, 2008

    When I use the copier/printer, toner is left on the edge of each page. I've taken the toner cartridge out and the drum cartridge and cleaned everything to the best of my ability. When I look inside the copier, you can see a little pile of toner underneath of the drum unit which is on the same side as on the toner on the paper. When I was checking the price of a new drum unit, I saw it was $200 for the unit and thought I'd see what the expected life of the copier is. I make a little over 1,500 copies per month. I'm trying to figure out if it would make more sense to put that $200 towards a new copier.

  • Donna Lam
    Donna Lam Oct 16, 2008

    I found the white foam seal which is actually black with toner. That is where the excess toner is getting on the paper so I will try a new cartridge. Lots of toner hanging out on the bar that faces the drum. Don't know if that is normal or not.

  • Inno Laur May 11, 2010

    The drum is scheduled to be replaced on those machines I believe every 25k copies. If you've already done it twice and it still needs replacement that's kind of pre-mature.
    I've seen similar machines over 150k (sometimes even more) with no significant problems as long as parts are changed on the recommended schedule.
    If it's in a particularly dusty/dirty environment those numbers can be greatly reduced and you will go through more parts, drums included.

    What are the symptoms you are having? Perhaps it's not the drum.


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With that machine the toner cartridge also contains developer. Without getting too in depth, it sounds like maybe your toner cartridge is leaking a bit of developer which takes with it a bit of toner. Developer is made up of tiny metal particles which are supposed to stay inside the developer unit. As the seals wear in the developer unit (which is part of the cartridge) it allows a little to leak out causing the problems you are seeing.
When you take the toner cart. out, at the rear side (part that goes the furthest into the machine) you'll see a white foam seal. If you notice some excess toner (and probably developer) sticking straight out from that, it could be that the seal has a jagged edge which is dragging developer off of the magnetic roller and depositing it on the drum making the line you speak of on the left hand side.
Also check to make sure the copier is sitting level, if it's not then the concentration of toner at one end of the developer unit is too great and some can be allowed to spill out.

So in short, it's probably not the drum that's at fault, it's more likely the toner cartridge.

Is it worth replacing? There's no easy way to answer that. If the machine is used in a fairly high volume workplace, it's probably worth replacing. If you could get by with a smaller cheaper machine (brother, HP, lexmark etc.) that does printing, scanning, faxing and copying you may be better off.

Posted on Oct 16, 2008

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