blackpat 08:40 02 Apr 2004

hi all, just thought I would let you know.About 3 years ago, I purchased a Lexmark Z32 printer. Anyway,a couple of days ago, it failed to work properly, it said that it wasn't connecting to the computer. So after checking connections, still no joy, I re-installed it, still to no joy. yesterday afternoon, my partner and I were sitting in the lounge, when we both heard a sharp "Crack" sound, on investigating the computer room, we where astonished to see that the lexmark printer had burst into flame and along with the flames the was thick black smoke. I immediately switched off the power at the mains and threw a wet towel over the printer (remember the power was off.) and managed to disconnect it and get it outside. There is black ash all over the place and it stinks of burnt plastic. We are just grateful that it happened when we were there and not out or even worse, in bed.Any idea's what could have happened?
Regards, Blackpat.
PS. There was power to the printer, but it was not switched on.

  Sir Radfordin 08:56 02 Apr 2004

Sounds like an electrical connection within the printer has shorted. Very fortunate you were in the house!

Next steps should be to contact Lexmark (hope you still have the printer) as they are should want to take it to investigate to find out if it was a one-off or something that could affect the rest of the Z32s sold.

Also contact whoever provides your household insurance and at the very least report it to them even if you don't wish to claim.

If Lexmark aren't interested then I would contact Trading Standards as I'm fairly sure they will be interested to hear what has happened.

  Gemma 10:53 02 Apr 2004

I'm glad you're still alive!

Please check the fuse rating in the mains lead plug. If it is greater than 3 amps, find out why.

For everyone out there, make sure that your wiring conforms to requirements. This is particularly important when your machines are on 24/7 and unattended. Have a look at that mess of trailing leads, multiway socket strips and power bricks on the floor. Fit a 30 ma earth leakage circuit breaker in the socket(s) that power your system and a smoke detector.

  Gongoozler 11:19 02 Apr 2004

Many mains powered electronic devices these days use switched-mode power supplies because they are smaller, cheaper to make, and more versatile. The first process in a switched-mode supply is to rectify the mains and store the resulting dc voltage in a large capacitor. If, due to old age or any other reason, the capacitor goes short-circuit the result is often a big bang and lots of smoke!

  VEG 12:03 02 Apr 2004

I had this happen with my scanner that came with my tiny pc (4 years old) in my case I was sat at the pc and smoke started coming from the power adapter. A loud flash and bang and the power adapter melted :(

  Aspman 12:14 02 Apr 2004

bleedin eck!

Never seen a printer go bang. Lots of monitors and PSUs but never a printer.

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