Tape Dispensers

4 Tips to Troubleshoot Gummed Paper Tape Dispenser Problems

Better Packages

By: Better Packages on August 3rd, 2017

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AdobeStock_68137816-595341-edited.jpegWith proper maintenance and preventative care, an electric water-activated tape (WAT) dispenser tape should last for years. This equipment is durable, efficient, convenient, and helps improve productivity.

Water-activated tape, also known as gummed tape or paper tape, forms a permanent seal with cardboard so that it’s tamper-evident. The tape is available in two configurations; Kraft paper or Kraft paper reinforced with crossing synthetic fibers to provide strength.

Gummed tape dispensers are built to be easy-to-use and durable. However, if you are experiencing operational difficulty, here are 4 troubleshooting tips to help you solve problems that arise.

1. The Dispenser Won’t Turn On

Let’s start with the basics. If the dispenser doesn’t turn on, there are a few things to check:

  • Start by making sure the electric power cord hasn’t accidentally been knocked out of the outlet.
  • Try unplugging the unit and plugging it back in.
  • If the plug has a surge protector, reset if it was tripped
  • If neither of these work, contact the manufacturer or an Authorized Distributor to have it serviced.


2. The Power Is On, But Machine Isn’t Dispensing Any Water-Activated Tape

There are several possible causes for tape not being dispensed by the unit:

  • Make sure there’s tape in the machine.
  • The tape may be incorrectly loaded in the machine. The paper tape needs to follow the correct path or it won’t work.
  • Are the water brushes or water tank inserted correctly? If not, they could be blocking the tape path. Check your manual for instructions on how to install the brushes and water tank correctly for your model.
  • Check for blockages along the tape path. You could have small pieces of tape lodged along the path impeding proper functioning. Remove the upper plate and clean out any small pieces of tape you find.

3. The Water-Activated Tape Comes Out Dry Or Not Sufficiently Wet

Inadequately wet gummed tape will prevent the tape from bonding completely to the carton. Here’s what to check if this is occurring:

  • Make sure the water tank has adequate water (at least filled half-way). The tape will not be moistened properly if there isn’t enough water in the tank.
  • Verify that the brushes and water tank are inserted correctly. (Consult your manual for instructions specific to your model). If they are not installed according to the manufacturer’s guidelines, the dispenser will not properly wet the tape.
  • Excess glue can build up on the brushes over time hindering their ability to distribute water on the surface of the tape. Check the brushes to see if this is the case. Brushes can usually be cleaned easily using warm water and mild dish soap, unless you’ve waited too long between cleanings. If the glue cannot be removed with cleaning, you’ll need to purchase a replacement brush.

4. The Water-Activated Tape Doesn’t Adhere as it Should

It may seem that the tape is moistened, but it doesn’t create the permanent bond that it should. Here’s what to look for it this happens.

  • Check the water level in the tank. Poor adhesion often results from insufficient water on the tape.
  • Inspect the brushes. Excessive glue on the bristles will impede proper tape moistening.
  • If the water being used is hard (high in mineral content), it may be necessary to add water conditioner in the tank.
  • Check the heater’s operation and adjust it as required.

For more troubleshooting tips, consult the operator manual for your unit.

Better Packages | WAT Dispenser Maintenance

Better Packages offers a complete line of water-activated tape dispensers. Its parent company, Intertape Polymer Group, sells a full line of Central® water-activated tape, including reinforced and non-reinforced tape.

When your Better Pack dispenser needs repair, you can send it directly to the Better Packages manufacturing facility in Ansonia, Connecticut, USA or have it repaired by one of the company’s Authorized Distributor that handle service and repair. These Authorized Distributors are fully trained experts. They maintain an extensive parts inventory and use only Genuine Better Packages replacement parts. Rest assured your dispenser will be expertly repaired, serviced and returned quickly to your company.

In the market for a new gummed paper tape dispenser? Click below to see which carton sealing machine will be the best packaging solution for your company. 
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About Better Packages

Founded in 1917, Better Packages is a leading manufacturer of tabletop water-activated tape (WAT) dispensers used in carton sealing. Better Packages’ product line includes auto-dispensing electric machines that are used in high volume fulfillment centers, as well as manual dispensers. In the U.S., Better Packages sells through multiple channels that include industrial and packaging distributors and catalog wholesalers, as well as direct to end-user customers. Its distribution network consists of over 160 authorized distributors including Tier 1 shipping and packaging. Better Packages also has another 50 international distributors that service over 70 countries. Better Packages is a wholly owned subsidiary of Intertape Polymer Group (IPG), an acknowledged leader in the packaging industry. IPG sells a full line of Central® water-activated tape, as well as many other premier packaging products.