A little waterfed pole secret for you pressure washers

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.

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What kind of DI tank and where do you get them? I’m completely new to the WFP as in I’ve never used one but would like to get into it. Great info.

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Are you suggesting using a pressure washer as a pump for water supply to the wfp? Or do you not use a pump at all in your build?

The refurbed 3/4 cube DI tank from WCR is an awesome deal.

My bad, looks like they finally sold out of them. But their half and full cube tanks are also reasonably priced.

https://shopwindowcleaningresource.com/pure-water-systems/di-tanks-resin.html

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Horrible advice. I want all these rich pressure washers buying the most expensive poles, so when they get frustrated with them they can sell them to us window cleaners for half price. Right, @Steve?

:rofl:

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I love this. Sounds like you did not use a pump at all, how high could you work without a pump?

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So would you recommend something like this to get started?

https://squeegees.net/economic-di-2-stage-purifier-p-127.html?cPath=232_47

https://squeegees.net/waterfed-conversion-kit-p-987.html?cPath=238_222

I don’t know where you live, but here in Boston I use a company called Atlas water systems. I you google water purification where you live, you’re bound to find a place like Culligan water softeners who do DI, or someplace similar. DI/purified water is EVERYWHERE. Hospitals, laboratories, car washes. It’s just a matter of finding your place in your area. You can either buy a tank online and own it, or rent mine from the water company like I do. Amazon has a handful, and they are called resin tanks. It does not look like they have a lot of heads, if any. The head is what has your water in/water out connections on it to run from your water source in to your waterfed pole out. I use whats called a .5 cubic foot tank, and its about 24" high and when filled with resin and water weighs probably about 50-60 pounds.

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Haha, so true. Funny thing is I spent almost $2,000 on my first WFP set up. Then I started to get serious about power washing and I come to this forum and get beat up for being a cheapskate and not having “professional” pressure wash equipment. Now, a bunch of power washers are wanting advice on cobbling together cheap, junk for entry level WFP equipment! LOL :roll_eyes:

If you get a bunch of cheap DIY WFP stuff, you are basically the window cleaning equivalent of the power washer who is using the 2.3 GPM Simpson with a $69 surface cleaner.

Power washers should take their own advice and if they can’t afford professional equipment then leave the window washing to someone else until they can afford the right tools for the job. :grin:

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The conversion kit is aces. I haven’t used it, but. know Unger makes a really great brush head, and it comes with everything else, except that 40’ of hose will not be a whole lot to work with. Id go to window cleaning resource and grab 100’ of Xero kinkless. I have 300’ in my truck, and 200’ of it is on a small hose well, and I have only had to use the third 100’ section like 2 times. 200’ is MORe than enough to get me around most houses, even with the pole extended 30’ up.

As for a pump, I have never used one. Customers water pressure has ALWAYS been enough for me. See, when you’re using a WFP, the resin in the tank is deionized, in a mixed bed, which means the resin is both positively and negatively charged, so when the water comes out of the brush head it wants to grab the dirt from the glass after its been wetted, and pull it away from the glass to rinse away. As a general rule, I never have the stream coming from my brush head jets shooting further than 2-3 feet away from the brush head. you’re scrubbing the glass and rinsing it at the same time, not using pressure to wash it off. Just like SH with siding where the chemical is doing the work, the water is doing the work of removing the work, with the brush digging into the harder to scrub stuff, assisting the water in removing the dirt. With that Garelick pole I was using for awhile, it was only 24 ft high, plus about about foot with the gooseneck and brush attached, and me being 6’4"wish, I would have guess my working height was about 27-28ft, which covered almost all 2 story stuff unless the house was on a hill in some spots and the windows were a few feet higher in that spot. Even now with the new Xero pole I got that does 40’, I am still not using a pump. Pumps are for is you are using two waterfed poles on a job so both poles have an adequate water supply, or they are for when you are cleaning very high, like 60-70’ where gravity of pushing water up hill just isn’t enough for the spigot pressure to quite make it to the brush head, or it will make it but it will be a trickle and take forever to get a rinse on one window.

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No pump at all in my build. Then or now. Most residential WFP work doesn’t require one as spigot pressure should be enough (if you’re using just one WFP on said job).

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Awesome, great feed back man, really appreciated. I have an unger add an arm pole 30’ that would work great. If I don’t need to use a pump, then I could probably get into wfp for under $1,000.

That is news to me! Thanks!

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Alright, I just hit up my local water purification shop for DI resin and a tank, I can update you guys with prices if you want.

Im interested to hear prices for rentals and recharges since you guys use those loonies and toonies…id like to see what your prices are compared to mine here

Lame… I was going to save a ton of money too… and I would have gotten away with it… if it wasan’t for you medaling kids and that dam dog!!!
Good point as usual

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I just leave window cleaning to the window cleaners.

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It depends slot on what kind of TDS readings people will be working with. DI alone won’t work in areas with higher readings or even areas with readings of 100. With a pump, wfp washers can collect rain water and run it through a sediment filter and a di tank very cheaply. Rain water off my roof tests at 7 ppm which greatly cuts di resin costs.

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I’m with you a 100% on this. Looks like way too much work to me.

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I think exterior window cleaning with a WFP would be a great add on after a house wash the windows will be pretty much clean.

You could train a monkey to go right behind you & finish off the windows with the WFP & leave them streak free.

Albeit it would have to be strong monkey for 2nd & 3rd story windows unless you invest in a carbon pole.