I’ve been a window cleaner for over 20+ years. I have been using a waterfed pole for about 7 years. I do not use a RO/DI system at the moment because a simple 1/2 cu. ft DI tank hooked directly to the customers water works fine for me. I pay $7 a month to rent the tank and about $75 each time I need to get a new tank due to the resin not reading 0-10ppm TDS on my handheld meter.
When I first started out, WFP setups from Gardiner and Ionic were about $3000 to start for about 30-35ft of reach. That was WAY out of my league. Nowadays, you can pick up a 40’ Xero pole with a brush and I think about 50’ of water line now for about $750, which is what I paid about 2 months ago for my new Xero carbon fiber pole.
My point is, since I couldn’t afford one in the beginning, here is what I did…I owned 3 24’ extension poles (I prefer an extension pole to a ladder due to speed and safety, and I am very good with an extension pole), so I would use one to soap, and one to squeegee so I didn’t have to swap tools from the end of the pole. Since I had a 3rd pole as a backup, the pole is a Garelick by the way, which is a very strong aluminum pole that twists to lock, and does not use a collet system like the mr longarm painter extension poles, nor does it use the ‘pull tab to slide the pole then release the tab to lock it into place’ system. Just twist to lock. (you can use ANY extension pole you have on hand, provided it has acme threading (this is standard broomhandle thread), and if you are prepared to handle the weight of the pole itself in conjunction with the water line AND the brush…it CAN get hard on the shoulders after an hour or two) I then bought a moderately aggressive wfp brush for about $50, an angle adapter with an adjustable neck and acme female threads, and about 100’ of water line to run from my DI tank. I attached the angle adapter to my Garelick pole, attached the brush to the angle adapter, ran the water line from the brush to the tank, and for about $100-125 bucks, I had a homemade waterfed pole that I used reliably for about a year before I could afford a real wfp pole that would reach 35-40’. I know a lot of the pressure washers here have issues with spending $600+ on a tool that is not part of their main moneymaking business, so I thought this might help out with anyone who wants to do water feeding as an add on for a very low startup cost, especially these days since there are quite a few vendors making hose, brushes, and poles, so it’s relatively easy to parts from company A, and other parts from company B to put together an inexpensive waterfed pole to start with and to see if you actually like doing it or not.
I myself am just now starting to get into siding cleaning because I have a lot of clients asking for it, and I already have the clients built in from having them as window customers. I am price shopping for a 4GPM belt drive unit, scored a Landa water jet surface cleaner a few weeks ago for $250 (which would have worked amazingly well if I wasn’t using my current Briggs Stratton washer thats only 2.3GPM), and I have a X-jet M5. I also have a local supplier where I can pick up SH 12.5% for $3 a gallon, which I think is a pretty good price and they always have plenty on hand. I just need to learn about ratios/mixing, should I be using an x-jet or not, should I be using a Jrod, will my pump reach 2.5 3 stories effortlessly so that I don’t have to work as hard so the chemical can do everything…thats the boat I am currently in.
If anyone has any WFP questions, let me know…I’ve seen a lot and cleaned a lot, so I have pretty good experience.