#16 – Maintenances all office equipment effectively

Look around your office – what equipment could you help to maintain? By stepping up to learn how the different pieces of equipment work, what supplies they need – and where to order them, and what to do when they aren’t working properly, you can become incredibly valuable to everyone in your practice.

Security system

Read manual so that you understand how the system works.  If the alarm goes off by error, be sure to call the company immediately.

Surge protectors

A surge of unexpected electricity caused by lightning, poles knocked down, a short circuit, or some other accident can increase our voltage 10-100 times normal.  This surge, even if it lasts only a few millionths of a second can destroy our electronic equipment and computers.

A direct lightning strike would be a disaster. The whole office is protected by service panels surge protectors that have been installed in our breaker boxes.  Our computers are protected by “uninterruptable power supplies (UPS)” that also has a battery generator that will operate for 15-20 minutes so you can continue using your computer even if the electricity is off.


For Service – phone number is located _____________.  Thoroughly read the manual, which is kept _____________________ so you are familiar with all the workings of the copier.  Tell _______ when supplies need to be ordered

-smudged copies ‑ try a fresh package of paper that hasn’t been exposed to the humidity

-moisture on your fingers can cause smudges

-dirty streaks on copies ‑ main copier drum needs cleaned

-dark, dirty copies ‑ dusty mirrors or wrong toner

-misfeeds ‑ clean paper feeds with Fantastik, also make sure paper hasn’t absorbed moisture

-display code won’t clear ‑ turn machine off for 10 seconds


Keyboards should cleaned w/compressed air (in supply room), as well as the screen as often as it becomes dusty, which may be several times a week.  All surfaces should be wiped off at least weekly.  DUST IS THE WORST ENEMY OF COMPUTERS AND PRINTERS.

Occasionally, Dentrix will not be able to complete a transaction and give you an error message with a series of numbers.  If this happens to multiple computers, write down the error message and let your team leader know – we may need to run a rebuild.  A rebuild means to reorganize the database – to run this:

  1. Close all Dentrix programs on all computers in the building
  2. Go to the server
  3. Double click on the “Rebuild” icon
  4. Choose – “Select All”, when finished (takes 3-4 min) click on exit.

Here are some ideas to protect your computer:

  1. Keep all cables away from where people could kick them and unplug something.
  2. Turn off all non-essential computers during a severe thunderstorm. A lightning strike can blow right past a surge protector.
  3. Don’t use a glass cleaner on the monitor. It can remove the anti-glare finish.  Use water.

Facts about viruses – We have virus scan software in all computers with internet access.

  1. Only an executable program file can infect a computer. Never run any program you receive in e-mail.
  2. Attachments to e-mail can contain viruses, not the e-mail.
  3. Our software updates data files daily and checks for updates daily.
    1. Frequent crashes
    2. Rapidly decreasing disk space
    3. Unpredictable behavior
    4. File sizes increase for no reason

Signs of a computer virus are:

  • Frequent crashes
  • Rapidly decreasing disk space
  • Unpredictable behavior
  • File sizes increase for no reason

Every month:

Assistants Defrag the C drive of all computers

a. Procedures

  1. Close all programs
  2. May get “stuck” and need to start again.
  3. Click on start
  4. Select programs
  5. Choose accessories, then system tools, then Disk Defragmenter
  6. Select C drive to be defragmented
  7. Begin by clicking on OK


Every month all computers must be updated to avoid operational errors. The assistants do this.

Windows Update

  1. Click start – chooses windows update
  2. Click “Scan for updates” (green arrow)
  3. Click “review and install updates” – notice how many critical updates are available – you will only install critical updates
  4. Click “Install Now” -may need to accept and agreement – click accept -the program will then download to the PC and be installed
  5. Follow the instructions to reboot the PC


  1. – my computer – control panel internet options
  2. – delete cookies
  3. – delete files – delete office content

Run Scandisk on the C drive- monthly

  1. Empty recycle bin – double click on icon 

Delete Temp Files


  1. Start – find – files/folders *.tmp
  2. c drive
  3. For computers with internet access delete temporary internet files and cookies


  1. – my computer – control panel internet options
  2. – delete cookies
  3. – delete files – delete office content


  1. Unplug peripherals while the computer is on.
  2. Turn off the computer without exiting Windows first.



ZD Windows



Tip World


Printers ‑ Wipe off outside surfaces as they become dusty, several times a week.

Here’s a sequence of steps to follow if the printer doesn’t work:

  1. If the “on line” button isn’t on, turn it on
  2. If still no operation, decide if it’s the printer or the software. Initiate the printer’s self‑test function ‑ this is independent of the software.
  3. If this works, try the computer’s “print screen” this also bypasses the software.
    1. press “print screen”
    2. laser printer: After “Form Feed” and “Ready” lights go on, press the “Online” button, and then “Form Feed” and, finally, “Online”
  4. If the hardware passes these tests, then the software is the problem.


        Laser Printer

  1. Always have a backup cartridge available
  2. Extra cartridges
  3. Store in cool, dark place
  4. Lay flat
  5. Don’t remove foil wrapper
  6. Add life to cartridge by removing it when it starts to get light on the paper, holding horizontally and       rocking gently side to side


Salt in Water softener

‑ Our janitorial service puts the salt into the water softener.   When the salt gets low,  tell _____________ and she will order salt from _______________.  Go to the ____________ room and check the salt level and talk with _____________ to review this system.


Postage Meter

Read the manual for the postage meter. The year needs to be changed on the 1st of January, and any rate changes will be made by ________________ with a new electronic chip.


To add funds to the Postage Meter, hit the “add funds” button.  We add $______ at a time, when the existing funds are under $_____.  Be sure to print the receipt and give to ____________.



Handpieces are listed divided up numerically, by serial number, and color coded by Provider. All handpieces are logged in and out by the Assistants and verified by the admin team. The handpiece log is kept _________________ .  All handpieces are also logged – when purchased, repaired and replaced.  Again, they are divided up by serial number. When handpieces are turned in for repair, they must be ok’d by Dr then sent in to __________ for repair. Care and attention must be paid to purchase dates and repair dates due to warranties.


Fax Machine

To complete this section, you must be able to fix and know who to call if there is an unresolvable problem.



We have movie players that play children’s movies on channel ___, women’s’ movies on channel ____ and men’s movies on channel ____. These are physically kept _________________________ along with a TV so you can see what is playing on each channel. The software to manage these movies is installed on the computer located _______________.

Learn how to start new movies, replace them and handle problems.

To complete this section, you must be able to fix and know who to call if there is an unresolvable problem.


Team Leader ____________________________      date ______________