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Looking for where the cutoff is for keeping the Phaser on, or turning it off.

We have a Xerox Phaser 8550 - and we print to it about once a week. However, we feel like it is burning through a ton of ink being left on (in powersave). We would like to turn it off but are worried about it either clogging up if it is left off, or breaking with the on/off cycles.

So how long do you need to go between print jobs to before it makes sense to turn on and off the printer between jobs.

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Thanks everyone, you actually gave me some ideas to go off of in terms of additional research, and it looks to be an issue with Ink Purging, combined with other factors:

Ink Purge - When the printer is idle for 2 days or more, it cools down completely. When the printer exits the cool-down mode after being idle for 2 days, it purges ink as part of the warm-up cycle. The printer is ready to print in about 20 minutes. This also seems to be referred to as a "Full Warmup" (different printer but seems like it explains the problem).

1) Learning Usage Patterns (thanks Eric) - I suspect the system was seeing usage once a week on different days, and is sometimes coming out of powersave - doing an Ink Purge. We have turned this feature off.

2) Power Outages - we occasionally have power outages - once every other month. This will cause an ink purge.

3) Since we only print ~1 time a week. The printer needs to do a ink purge when it prints too.

Looking at how much ink ends up in the tray after an ink purge, we are probably using a decent chunk of a stick a week. I cannot find numbers on the amount of ink, but it definitely looks like quite a bit judging by the pictures in the Repair Manual.

Looking through the 8550 manual , I see nothing about leaving the printer off for a long period of time.

And after doing some more searches I came up with this:

Note:You should leave the printer on if you use it frequently (such as during a normal work week with daily use). The printer has an automatic standby mode that keeps the printer ready to use and reduces energy consumption. If the printer will be idle for two days or more (such as over a weekend), turn it off.

So, I think to save some power, and avoid any accidental ink purges, I will keep the printer off when not in use.

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I used to work with tektronix phasers, as they were way back then. We used to switch them on and off as needed with no problems. No printer ink is cheap, but I seem to recall the solid ink blocks they used (do they still use those?) were especially expensive. – RobM Nov 21 '10 at 23:14
Yes, They still use solid ink, and yes it is still super expensive. But the print quality for office graphics is great. – jgv999 Nov 22 '10 at 0:53

Leaving a printer on shouldn't burn any ink at all (unless it's printing, obviously). If you're only printing once a week it's probably worth the power savings to turn it off completely. Most printers burn 20 to 50 cents per day in electricity while in standby (sometimes much more).

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Is that a general comment or specific to the Phaser models? They have a "ink tray" where excess ink goes, and it does fill up over time. That said, I guess it is might only fill while printing? But I do hear it making some really odd noises occasionally when it is in powersave. – user60922 Nov 21 '10 at 20:30
I've seen Solid Ink printers do weird and wonderful things... – Mark Henderson Nov 22 '10 at 2:24

we had a xerox phaser (dry ink) printer and left it on for years. The neat thing about the Xerox Phasers is that they would learn usage patterns. For example, if I came into the office early, I would notice the printer coming out of sleep mode around the time we would normally begin using the unit. If I came in at my normal time, I would notice the printer already warmed up and ready.

We left ours on for 3-4 years we had it. We no longer use the printer as the hardware failed after it's warranty.

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Is there a possiblity that someone is doing a large amount of after-hours printing on it? There's almost certainly a page counter on it so it wouldn't be hard to detect any unathorized usage that is using up all that ink.

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This brings up an excellent point. It sometimes prints test pages (once a week) but it is possible someone is using it after hours. I will check the counts over the next couple of weeks. – user60922 Nov 21 '10 at 20:38

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