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Power strips and surge protectors are useful pieces of equipment. A power strip gives you additional outlets while a surge protector offers additional outlets plus surge protection. However, you have to be careful if you have your printer attached to one of these. Here's what you need to know.

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Be careful with power strips and surge protectors! If you have your ink jet printer plugged into a power strip or a surge protector, you should never use the switch on the strip to turn the printer on and off. Most ink jet printers need to park their print head in a preconfigured place when the printer is turned off. If you cut off the power using the power strip or surge protector, the head will not be parked correctly which can dry out the print head or cause it to clog. Always use the power switch on the printer to turn it on and off.