Why is my laser printer smoking?

If your laser printer is smoking, it’s a serious issue that requires immediate attention. Smoking from a laser printer can be caused by several factors, some of which may pose a fire hazard or could significantly damage your printer. Here are some possible reasons why this might be happening and what you should do:

1. Overheated Printer Components

  • Cause: Parts of the printer, such as the fuser unit, which uses heat to fuse the toner to the paper, can overheat due to malfunction or prolonged use.
  • Solution: Turn off your printer immediately and unplug it from the power source. Allow it to cool down before attempting any further troubleshooting or inspection.

2. Faulty Fuser Unit

  • Cause: The fuser unit might be defective or damaged. If it overheats, it can produce smoke.
  • Solution: Inspect the fuser unit for visible damage once the printer has cooled down. You may need to replace the fuser unit, but consider having a professional service technician inspect the printer first.

3. Toner Spillage

  • Cause: Excess toner can accumulate inside the printer and on the fuser unit. When heated, this toner can produce smoke.
  • Solution: Clean any spilled or excess toner from inside the printer. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning to avoid damaging the printer.

4. Incorrect Paper Type

  • Cause: Using the wrong type of paper or media that is not supported by the printer can cause overheating and smoking, as the printer’s settings may not be appropriate for the material.
  • Solution: Ensure you’re using the correct type of paper as specified by the printer’s manufacturer. Remove any unsuitable paper from the printer.

5. Electrical Problems

  • Cause: Issues with the printer’s internal wiring, power supply, or electrical components can lead to overheating and smoking.
  • Solution: This is a situation best handled by professionals. Do not attempt to fix electrical problems yourself as it could be dangerous. Contact the manufacturer or a professional repair service.

Immediate Steps to Take

  • Safety First: Immediately turn off and unplug the printer. Do not attempt to use the printer again until the issue has been resolved.
  • Ventilate the Area: Open windows or use fans to disperse any smoke and to reduce the risk of inhaling potentially toxic fumes from burning plastic or toner.
  • Professional Inspection: Due to the potential for electrical fire and the complexity of printer repairs, it’s advisable to have the printer inspected and repaired by a professional.

Preventative Measures

  • Regular Maintenance: Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for regular maintenance, including cleaning the printer and replacing consumable parts like the fuser unit when necessary.
  • Use Recommended Consumables: Only use toner cartridges and paper recommended by the printer’s manufacturer to avoid damage.


Smoking from a laser printer is not normal and indicates a serious problem. For safety reasons and to prevent further damage to the printer or potential fire hazards, professional inspection and repair are strongly recommended.