Paper Shredder Troubleshooting / Maintenance Guide
All paper shredders should have their cutting heads lubricated with a recommended lubricant on a regular basis. As a rule the higher the security level the more important and the more frequent should lubrication be applied. Failure to lubricate on a regular basis will result in jamming, overheating of the cutting head and consequent damage to the head, gears or motor. A good guide for security level 3/4 shredders is every time the waste bin is emptied. Higher security level machines should be lubricated more frequently, strip cut shredders sometimes but sometimes on older machines when the head is worn lubrication will result in the paper not feeding at all. In this eventuality do not lubricate and start to consider replacement. Lubrication should be transported out according to the user manual. This can be by passing paper that has oil on the surface through the head, by pre oiled sheets or by oiling the head directly (this should be done sparingly) ensuring that something is under the head to catch any excess. ie plastic bag with shredded paper in.
Self Lubricating Shredders
Some shredders are self lubricating and will stop when the oil needs replenishing. Only the manufactures specified oil should be used for these machines. Often these machines will stop when oil is required. If after replacing the oil the shredder will not operate switch it off and on again at the main power input, if there is no switch disconnect from the main supply and reconnect.
In the event of a paper jam reverse the cutting head to clear the jam. Most shredders have an individual reverse switch / button but some have rocker switches and the operator may not be aware that the switch can be rocked back to reverse the machine. The shredder may appear to jam but this could be caused by the door opening, the bin full function operating or the safety flap being opened. If a jam will not clear it is advisable to check these. Most paper shredders have a sensing device in the feed area which can start or stop the machine. If this sensor becomes dusty the machine may run continuously or show a permanent jam, cleaning this sensor with a soft blower brush may cure the problem. Please switch of the machine before cleaning this sensor. Most paper jams and subsequent damage is caused by feeding too many sheets of paper through the head at one time. Keep well below the manufactures specification as this is a maximum figure usually specified for 70 gsm (most paper is 80gsm) Also bear in mind the age of the machine, an older machine will not perform as well as a new one due to wear and tear .
If a machine appears dead first check the power lead and fuses. Do not change the power lead for one with a lower rated fuse (This happens repeatedly) Secondly look for a hidden on / off switch. Some shredders have switches at the rear or side and can be inadvertently switched if the machine is moved. Thirdly check that all doors lids are closed. Some machines switch off completely when the door is open.
Avoid putting any paper clips / staples through the head. Many paper shredders are able to take these but over a period of time these will cause more wear & tear to the head resulting in a shorter life Separate stapled sheets before feeding. Do not feed plastic through the heads, this stretches around the cutters unexpectedly filling the gaps and slowing up the machine and can ever stop the machine completely. Please read the operating instruction for individual machine.
by Bob Jaggs