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AcuLaser C1100, CX11N & CX21N: How to clean the photoconductor unit (PCU)


  • You have been advised to clean the photoconductor unit.
  • There may be toner visible on the photoconductor drum and/or transfer belt.
  • You have print quality problems such as marks on the page.
  • These models: AcuLaser C1100(N), CX11N, CX21N and all variants.


The photoconductor unit (PCU) is an integral part of the printing process. Print quality can decline if excess toner adheres to its internal parts, such as the transfer belt or the drum.

This article explains how to check and clean the photoconductor unit.


  • Be aware that during removal or cleaning, toner powder could get onto your hands, clothing or work surfaces.
  • Prepare a clean, level work surface before starting, and put down paper if required.
  • You will need a soft, dry, lint-free cloth with which to clean the PCU.


Select which images you want to be displayed in the article:

  1. Remove the PCU.

    1. Power the printer on, and open Cover B.

      Cover B

    2. Raise the orange lever inside Cover B.

      Raise the orange lever

    3. Remove the PCU.

      Remove the PCU

    4. Place the PCU to one side on a clean and level surface.

  2. Please observe the correct handling precautions.

    Caution Icon Caution:

    See "Safety Precautions" in your reference guide for more information:

    • The photoconductor unit (PCU) weighs 2.8kg (6.16 lb). Be sure to hold it firmly by the handle when carrying it.
    • The PCU is light-sensitive. Avoid exposing it to light any longer than necessary. If you need to keep the PCU out of the printer for long periods, cover it with an opaque cloth.
    • Be careful not to scratch the surface of the drum and transfer belt. Also, avoid touching the drum, since oil from your skin may permanently damage its surface and affect print quality.
    • Avoid tilting the PCU more than necessary.

    Warning Icon Warning:
    • Do not dispose of used consumable products in fire, as they may explode and cause injury. Dispose of them according to local regulations.
    • Keep consumable products out of the reach of children.
    • If toner is spilled, use a broom and dustpan or a damp cloth with soap and water to clean it up. Because the fine particles can cause a fire or explosion if they come into contact with a spark, do not use a vacuum cleaner.

  3. Rotate, check and clean the drum.

    1. Turn the PCU upside-down.
    2. Locate the drum: this is the blue cylinder visible on the underside of the PCU.

      Underside of the PCU

    3. Rotate the drum by pulling the black plastic edges of the drum towards you.

      • Use two hands, placing your thumbs on the black plastic, as shown here:

      Rotate the drum

    4. As you rotate the drum, clean it with a soft, dry, lint-free cloth. Do not use any fluids or abrasive materials.

      • The drum may be quite stiff to turn at first.
      • It is normal to have some vertical lines (rings) on the drum at the left and right edges.
      • Damage to the drum, such as scratches or marks that you cannot clean off, may require the PCU to be replaced.
      • Once the drum appears to be clean, proceed to the next step.

  4. Rotate, check and clean the transfer belt.

    1. Locate the transfer belt: On top side of the PCU is a white label with four black arrows. These point to the rubber transfer belt.

      Top side of the PCU

    2. Rotate the drum as advised in Step 3. The transfer belt will turn as you do so. Rotate the transfer belt towards the black arrows on the white label.

    3. Clean away any toner adhering to the belt using a soft, dry, lint-free cloth. Do not use any fluids or abrasive materials.

      • Carefully remove any foreign objects you find, if any, such as stuck labels or jammed paper.

        Example of a label stuck to the transfer belt:

        Label on Transfer Belt

      • Once the transfer belt appears to be clean, proceed to the next step.

  5. When you have finished cleaning, reinstall the PCU.

    1. Hold the photoconductor unit by its handle, and align it with the arrow marks on the printer. Insert the unit until it clicks shut.

      Reinstalling the PCU

    2. Push the orange lever down (1), and then close Cover B (2).

      Close Cover B

  6. What to do if the problem remains.

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