How to Fix Paper Shredder Sensor in 5 Steps

Many paper shredder users may face some problems like auto start/stop machine or even after completing shredding, the machine won’t stop.

Do you have this kind of problem? Don’t worry it’s not a big deal. It usually happens with many users.

First of all, we must know that there are different kinds of sensors in a paper shredder machine: an auto-start/stop sensor, a back sensor, a sensor for overload protection, and a sensor for detecting paper jams.

These helpful and effective safety features prevent the motor from damage and also protect people from accidents.

In this post, we will discuss an auto-start/stop sensor.

How to fix Paper Shredder Sensor in 5 Steps
How to fix Paper Shredder Sensor?

Auto Start/Stop Sensor

The auto-start/stop sensor is a modern safety feature that protects people from accidents and also prevents damage to the motor.

It automatically starts working when the paper is detected in it and stops working when there isn’t any more paper left inside the machine for shredding.

How does the Auto Start/Stop Sensor Works?

The most common kind of sensor is a photo/automatic start/stop sensor is one of the useful features in any paper shredder because it automatically starts working when there is paper inside it and stops working when there isn’t any more paper left inside the machine for shredding.

The auto-start/stop system consists of a light beam/photo sensor, which consists of a beam of light with a light detector. This beam is adjusted between the shredding blades so it can detect when there is paper in front of it or not.

So, if the machine detects an interruption in this beam of light, which means that there is paper in front of it, then the motor will start working.

Types of Auto Start/Stop Sensor

First, there are two types of sensors

  1. Photo/Light Beam
  2. Mechanical

that are used in paper shredders. There is no difference in functionality between the two types; they simply work differently.

With this in mind, find which type of sensor is used in your machine when determining where the sensor is located.

How do Identify which type of Sensor is in your paper shredder?

First, turn off your shredder and unplug it from the outlet. Then carefully remove the top lid.

Secondly, determine if there are sensors in front of the cutting blades or not. If there is no sensor then it’s a mechanical type because without a light beam/automatic start/stop sensor in front of the blades, the shredder will never work at all.

Photo Type Sensor:

This type of paper shredder sensor is most widely used in most modern and quality paper shredders. It consists of a light source (LED) and a detector, which can be easily identified with its black color.

Moreover, the photosensor is more efficient than the mechanical one because it covers almost half of the opening area.

Mechanical Type Sensor:

This type of paper shredder sensor usually consists of a metal part that detects the paper. It will depress when papers are on the tray so that it signals the machine to start shredding.

After the shredding is completed the metal part will be at its place and the paper shredder will stop shredding.

However, it has many disadvantages such as its sensitivity level decreases over time. With this in mind, try to replace the old one with a new photo sensor for better safety and performance.

No matter which type of sensor your machine has installed, the priority should always be safety first because, without these useful sensors, people will be exposed to dangerous accidents including injuries or even worse consequences.

So do not ever disable these sensors – you can use them if needed – but make sure they are maintained regularly so that they work efficiently and the machine is safe to use.

Where is the paper sensor in a shredder?

The Photo Type Sensor is located in the very center of the mouth of the shredder, just below where paper is inserted.

Where the Mechanical Type Sensor is usually located at the top of a shredder. It can also be hidden by a sliding cartridge if your machine has one. Use this tip to locate it more easily.

When looking at your automatic feed opening (mouth), slide out any cartridges that happen to be there – or open up/lift off any covers that may cover sensors (if removable).

You will now be able to see all photo sensors/mechanical sensors clearly because they will no longer be obscured by anything over them.

What causes a paper shredder sensor to stop working?

Photo-type Sensor:

The main reason why the photo-type auto start/stop sensor fails is because of dirt. This means that it can accumulate dust and build up over time so it won’t work properly.

Also, if your paper shredder has been exposed to water or any other liquid then this type of sensor might fail as well due to rusting which causes the metal parts to wear out more quickly than they should.

Mechanical Type Sensor:

This type of sensor goes wrong due to heavy usage over time. So, it will gradually wear out even though it isn’t similar to an electronic device.

Its lifespan doesn’t depend on batteries but rather on its production quality. Problems with this type usually include:

  • A dirty or dusty guide. This makes it almost impossible for the “use” part of the sensor to work properly;
  • The guide is bent in such a way that it doesn’t pass through and stay in place in the same position as when it was new;
  • There is an obstruction/debris inside the device which makes this type less reliable than what it should be.

How to Fix Paper Shredder Sensor?

It usually happens with many users that the auto start/stop system doesn’t work properly and even after completing shredding, the machine won’t stop working; this means that we must fix the sensor.

Photo-type Paper Shredder Sensor

There are 5 basic steps to fix the paper shredder sensor which are as follows.

  • First of all, turn off your device and unplug it from an outlet.
  • Secondly, carefully remove the top lid as it can be dangerous to your eyes and fingers as well as a hot metal cutter head.
  • Then turn over your paper shredder machine and find where is the sensor located.
  • Clean all parts of the sensor with a soft cloth carefully without scratching any part of it.
  • Lastly, put everything back into place in order like before, and then try using your device again to see if there are still issues or not.

If not then you successfully fixed this problem; otherwise, repeat these steps again until you do succeed in fixing this issue on your own.

If you cannot fix it yourself then consider buying a new paper shredder or contacting the manufacturer for assistance.

All in all, you should know that only machines with photo-type light beam/automatic start/stop sensors are safe to use and other types don’t have this system so they aren’t considered as high safety standards.

Most of all, knowing how your machine works are very important because it can save people from accidents that might happen while using it without knowing about its actual functionality.

This way you will be aware of when there is paper inside the device or not which can help prevent injury.

Mechanical-type Paper Shredder Sensor

  • Sometimes they get stuck so in order to fix this issue, you should disassemble them and put them back together, or replace the whole thing.
  • Insert an object like a toothpick into the sensor’s hole (if there is any) then press it down just slightly to see if that makes any difference in how the device functions when it detects paper or not.
  • Replace this part with a new one.

What to do if the Auto Start/Stop sensor has failed?

If your machine is equipped with a photo sensor, the main cause of the problems will be because it has become cloudy over time due to exposure to sunlight or too much dust, etc.

You can try cleaning this area thoroughly using an eraser or some other non-scratching material that isn’t too abrasive.

Another option is to contact customer service for advice on how to resolve these issues.

If you have a mechanical type of auto-start/stop sensor and it fails, there are sensors inside which control when the motor starts working so they may need to be replaced if repair isn’t possible.

For advice on this, you will need to contact technical support.

Alternatively, it’s possible for some people to try and replace these parts of the device on their own using materials that are available at home.

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