Paper Shredder Troubleshooting & Fault Guide

The best user maintenance your shredder can receive is regularly oil your paper shredder

Paper shredders are normally reliable devices, however, shredding paper can cause excessive levels of powder-like paper dust, debris and lint accumulating inside the shredder especially with paper shredders that cross-cut paper into fine particles. Where there has been a lack of regular maintenance, electronic and mechanical faults may occur. It’s best to have annual preventative maintenance performed to office shredders as recommended by most manufacturers of paper shredders. During annual preventative maintenance, mechanical and electronic components are thoroughly cleaned out, adjusted and lubricated to vastly reduce the level of failure.

Follow this shredder troubleshooting/fault guide to help with some common problems. Contact us any time if you have questions or can't get your shredder running.

Common Problems:

Rexel Auto+ & Fellowes Automax common problems:

 

How to unjam a paper shredder?

  1. Unplug the shredder, open door, remove the bin and look at the output side of the blades. If there is blocked paper manually pick/pull the paper out. Run the shredder in reverse and forward for 5 seconds in each direction.
  2. Where possible liberally apply some shredder oil between the jammed pages, run in reverse and forward consecutively until the paper is released.

Possible faults: 
Paper feed guides (strippers) if build up of paper is repeatedly evident in the same area 
Possible damage to cutting mechanism – “head freeze”. Does shredded paper look normal?

TIP: Avoid jams by feeding less than the maximum number of sheets that your shredder is designed to shred.

Still No Success? 
Place a service call

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Why is my shredder jamming easily?

  1. The shredded waste bin is full
  2. Run in reverse & forward 3 consecutive times
  3. Unplug the shredder, open door, remove the bin and look at the output side of the blades. If there is blocked paper manually pick/pull the paper out. Run the shredder in reverse & forward for 5 seconds in each direction.
  4. Has shredder oil been applied regularly? Read your shredders instruction manual and oil your shredder.

Possible faults: 
Paper feed guides (strippers) if build up of paper is repeatedly evident in the same area 
Possible damage to cutting mechanism – “head freeze”. Does shredded paper look normal?

TIP: Avoid jams by feeding less than the maximum number of sheets that your shredder is designed to shred.

Still No Success? 
Place a service call

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Why is my shredder noisy?

  1. Has your shredder been oiled regularly and recently? Read your shredders instruction manual and oil your shredder.
  2. Run in reverse & forward 5 seconds each way 3 consecutive times

Possible faults:
A skipping chain or slipping belt requires adjustment or replacement
Possible damage to cutting mechanism – “head freeze”. Does shredded paper look normal?

Still No Success? 
Place a service call

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Why my shredder doesn’t turn on?

  1. Check the power cable is plugged into the outlet properly & turned on
  2. Check the power cable is plugged into the shredder properly
  3. Main power switch on shredder is in the on position
  4. The shredder control switch is set to forward, or standby for auto start/stop shredders
  5. The door is closed / bin is inserted properly
  6. Check the shredder head unit is positioned correctly on top of the bin

Possible fault:
Faulty PCB if no lights or displays illuminate

Still No Success? 
Place a service call

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Why is paper is not being shredded properly?

  1. If the paper in the bin has an impression but is still in one piece, this is almost always faulty cutter shaft bearings, bushes and/or plates
  2. Possibly shreds one sheet thickness normally but not when shredding a greater thickness

Possible faults:
Cutter shaft bearings, bushes and/or plates

Still No Success? 
Place a service call

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Shredder won’t stop after shredding. How do I stop it?

  1. Clean shredder auto start/stop eye sensors in the paper feed
  2. Clean paper detection sensors in the auto feed tray
  3. Be sure shredder is not positioned directly below a strong & changing light source

Possible faults:
Faulty forward run switch (manual start/stop shredders)
PCB, switch, auto start/stop eye sensor fault

Still No Success? 
Place a service call

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Manual feed shredder operates but does not feed paper. How do I make it feed paper?

  1. Check for any obstruction in the paper entry like adhesive label preventing the paper from entering the blades
  2. Does the paper feel like it is contacting the blades but not being pulled in?
  3. Is the shredder making an abnormal noise?

Possible faults:
Obstruction in paper entry requiring removal
Gearbox/transmission issues such as broken gear/s
Broken motor drive shaft
Worn cutting mechanism not gripping the paper.

Still No Success? 
Place a service call

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Shredder hesitates to start. What could be wrong?

  1. The shredded waste bin is full
  2. Has shredder oil been applied
  3. First unplug the shredder, open door and remove the bin. Look at the output side of the blades. If there is blocked paper manually pick/pull the paper out. Replace bin and run the shredder in reverse & forward for 5 seconds in each direction 3 times.

Possible faults: 
Faulty paper feed guides (strippers) if build up of paper is repeatedly evident in the same area
Possible dead spot in motor or faulty start capacitor
Cutting mechanism tight due to possible damage – “head freeze”. Does shredded paper look normal?

TIP: Avoid jams by feeding less than the maximum number of sheets that your shredder is designed to shred.

Still No Success? 
Place a service call

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Shredder starts by itself. How do I stop it?

  1. Clean auto start stop led sensors. Unplug your shredder from its power source and wipe over all auto start stop sensors. There may be more than 1 set of sensors depending on your shredders design, with some having multiple dedicated feed entries for shredding of CDs and credit cards. A microfibre cloth works well wrapped around a thin ruler then inserted into the centre of the feed entrance rubbing up & down and side to side wiping over the auto start stop sensors.
  2. Check for excessive amounts of light. When placing your shredder, be sure not to place it directly under a bright source of light. Although rare, poorly designed shredders have been known to self start due to conditions where there are excessive amounts of light.

Possible faults:
Auto start stop led sensors

Still No Success? 
Place a service call

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Why is my shredder showing the bin is full when it’s not?

  1. When lining the shredder's bin with a bag, please make sure it's made for shredders using clear/transparent material. Using regular garbage bags of solid colour, the sensor will not function correctly. Refrain from using a white, solid colour or non-transparent bag.
  2. One possible cause may be paper particles covering the bin full sensor due to a build up of static. Try cleaning the sensors wiping with a dry cloth or blowing them with compressed air. Retest once the sensors are cleaned.
  3. Unplug the shredder, open the door and remove the bin. Look for a pivoting flap/plate at the output side of the blades. Often the flap/plate is hanging or spring loaded, check its range by pushing it back. Observe if it returns freely to its original position when released. At the same time carefully listen for a slight click noise from the micro switch when pushed forward and returned.

Possible faults:
PCB, micro switch or a dislodged flap/plate which could happen during relocation

Still No Success? 
Place a service call

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Why does my shredder only operate in reverse?

  1. Check the shredded waste bin isn't full
  2. Clean shredder auto start/stop eye sensors for paper feed

Possible faults:
PCB control board

Still No Success? 
Place a service call

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Why does the door open light stay on when the shredder door is closed?

  1. Check if the cabinet door is out of adjustment. If your shredders door has a striker or embedded magnet that activates the door open safety micro switch or reed switch inside the cabinet, it may not be aligned due to the door being out of adjustment. A shredders door that requires adjusting is usually obvious, in this case, adjust the door hinges.
  2. Check the cabinet door striker isn't bent or out of adjustment. If your shredders door striker looks bent or broken, bend back to align with the door open safety micro switch or replace if required.

Possible faults:
Door open sensor switch
PCB control board

Still No Success? 
Place a service call

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 Why my Rexel Auto+ shredder doesn't feed paper?

  1. Check for any obstruction in the paper path including the manual feed entry, auto feed entry and roller area
  2. Observe the condition of the rubber auto feed roller surface. It should be smooth and of dull appearance.
  3. Is the shredder making an abnormal noise?

Possible faults:
Possible obstruction in paper path or rubber rollers requiring removal (such as adhesive label)
Rubber auto paper feed rollers with an irregular shape, rough or shinny surface will require replacement or cleaning
Gearbox issues such as broken gear/s
Broken auto feed roller drive gear/s
Broken motor drive shaft
Worn cutting mechanism not gripping the paper.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Rexel auto+ auto feed shredders use a friction feed system of rubber auto feed rollers to auto feed paper into the shredder’s blades. Smaller sized papers must be positioned over the rubber auto feed rollers to successfully auto feed paper.

Still No Success? 
Place a service call

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Why my Fellowes Automax shredder doesn't feed paper?

  1. Check for any obstruction in the paper path including the manual feed entry, auto feed entry and pick up disc area
  2. Observe the condition of pick up disc is undamaged
  3. Is the shredder making an abnormal noise?

Possible faults:
Possible obstruction in paper path (such as adhesive label)
Damage to pick up disc
Gearbox issues such as broken gear/s
Broken auto feed pick up disc drive gear/s
Broken motor drive shaft
Worn cutting mechanism.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Fellowes auto feed shredders use a pick up disk system to auto feed paper into the shredder’s blades. Smaller sized papers must be positioned at the pick up disc to successfully auto feed paper.

Still No Success? 
Place a service call

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