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Is It Worth Fixing an HP Printer?

If you have an HP printer that is broken, the natural question that should arise is, “Is this HP printer worth fixing?” 

There is not a one-size-fits-all answer to this question, but there are some general guiding principles to consider.

We will cover when to fix a printer, when to avoid printer repair, and how to make policies around what should and should not be repaired.

HP LaserJet or HP OfficeJet Pro?

One of the first things to consider is what type of technology you have. If you have an HP OfficeJet printer, it is likely much cheaper than the typical HP LaserJet series. Some of these HP OfficeJet printers are less than $200.  In most of these cases, sending a technician onsite is not the right move.

Depot vs Onsite Repair Service

Some clients we can do depot repair for, because it can be easier or cheaper for them to have 10 or 20 units stored and ready to ship when a printer breaks, rather than get onsite techs who may have to go twice (once to diagnose and get parts, second time to do the repair.) If you have units that are light and compact, this can be a nice way to go. The larger and heavier the HP printer, the less this is appealing to most customers.

Age of Copier or Printer

The next thing you would want to consider is the age of the printer or copier. If you have printers that are basically brand new, it makes more sense to do repairs than if the printer is 10 years old.

The only exception to this rule has been if you are running some specific legacy software platform that only accepts a limited series of old printers. We have seen this in a few cases where the business was being run on old software, and this software was critical, but the newest printers it supported were three or four years old. This kind of situation is more common when a software vendor goes out of business.

If you have a normal situation, you should consider the average printer life to be about five years under normal conditions. If you paid $1,000 for the printer, and it is two years old, there is about $600 of useful life left. If the printer repair is $500, we would generally think that HP printer should not be repaired but replaced, because it is less than 40% into useful life, but the repair is more than 50% of the cost of a replacement unit.

You would normally prefer the numbers to be the other way. Let’s say the laser printers are two years old (40%), and the repair on one is $150. That’s a lot different because now it costs 15% of the unit cost when it appears you should have 60% of the life remaining.

Inkjet Printer vs Laser Printer Common Issues

The most common issue with an inkjet printer is the printhead getting clogged or going bad. This is normally solved by putting in more ink. There are some HP inkjet printers that have the printheads built into the unit, and they are replaced individually. This is common in the HP DesignJet series of printers.

If you see stripes or blank areas in the printing on an inkjet, it is probably the print head, and that is usually cheap and not a bad repair.

For laser printers, the most common issues involve the drum or fusers. Sometimes it can be a bad toner cartridge. The normal complaint involves print quality. Again, these tend not to be overly brutal in cost, but if you only spent $300 for a laser printer four years ago and a fuser is $200, is it really worth fixing the HP Printer?

We Can Help

If you have a broken HP printer and are still confused if it should be replaced or repaired, we would love to help you with this decision. We are especially able to help people with larger print fleets make logical rules for when an HP printer should be repaired or replaced.

We have printer repair service nationwide to help your team make the right decisions about what HP laser printer to repair and which ones to replace.