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Is there a method to purge the printer lines of ink so one can store the printer for an extended period of time. I know printers are cheap but this particular unit fits a space and is easy to use so I want to keep it. This unit is an HP 1056.

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If you really don’t plan on using the printer for a while the best thing you can do is take the ink cartridges out of it. The problem with printers, as I am sure you know, is that the ink will harden on the printer’s headers. The headers are where the ink comes out of. Once that happens then it is junk. The ink also will dry up within the cartridge itself if not used enough.

The good thing about HP printers, which is what I have as well, is that the headers are on the ink cartridges themselves, so when they dry up you can just replace the ink cartridges and by doing so you also replace the header. Now on Epson printers the headers are on the printer themselves and can’t be replaced, so when they dry up from not using it enough, you have to throw the entire printer out and get a new one.

A good friend of mine who is a professional in the graphics industry prefers Epson because they print in a higher image quality. I hate Epson because of how their headers are. My first two printers were Epson and had to throw them out because of the lack of use. I have been using HP since.

Something you can try to do if the ink cartridge is not working because it was sitting for a while, is to take a Q-Tip, dip it in rubbing alcohol and wipe it across the metal part of the ink cartridge, where the ink comes out, to clean it. I have done this many times when the ink stopped working and that helped.

As far as purging printer lines, you can’t do anything like that. All you can do is the methods I mentioned. Then once you start using it again, there should be an option somewhere under your printer settings to clean the printer. What this does is it tries to clean the headers on the cartridges and the lines when something is printed. There is also a test page that can be run after that. Both use a fair amount of ink, but it does help if your stuff isn’t printing correctly.

On a side note, I never take my ink cartridges out of my printer. I leave them sit in there and I often don’t print anything for several months. I just try the methods I described when I need to print something and it isn’t working, rubbing alcohol on it, etc.

If this helps please vote it up and possibly mark it as an answer.

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