Best method(s) for reaching 2nd & 3rd stories efficiently

I am new to the house soft wash side of things. We have done one home to date and learned quite a bit from that. I had 2 sides of the house that were 35+ft to the peak. We were using an original X-jet fan tip. We ended up using a 32’ extension ladder with the larger stabilizer arms (disc shaped pads) to stand off from the house a bit. Between moving the ladder quite a bit, carrying solution up the ladder, attempting to be close enough for a good application/rinse yet not too close - the whole operation felt rather all thumbs and took a good deal of time. What are the best methods to set up and really efficiently cover an entire side of a house, from first story to 2.5 or 3 story smoothly? And how long should this take?

Nice talking with you this morning Luke. The xjet vs. downstream debate won’t be settled in this thread but I downstream three stories plus from the ground. There is a safety factor involved that gives me some comfort. Especially since most of our house washes are one man and that man is my son.

Most sides should be in under one half an hour but the time/efficiency thing takes care of itself as you gain experience.

Oops, gotta go. Halfway to Nashville and I can’t text about safety and drive at the same time.

Hope to see you there!!

iPhone - Tapatalk

I hate ladders!! When using an X Jet, I would get out the extender pole for the high up areas. Now, with down streaming, if I get a super high area I’ll break out Ole’ Blunderbuss! (A 72" wand) works perfectly.

Clay Doggett
BlueLine Pressure Washing

My ALL-FLO that I soft wash with will hit 3 stories.

If I can remember right you have an 8 gpm if so what tip do you use to get that high?

We use one of Guy’s shooter tips for the really high stuff.

Speaking of Guy, I just saw one of his vans in the parking lot when we got back from dinner.

iPhone - Tapatalk

Wow, you guys got there early … Don’t drink all the Beer before I get there :slight_smile:

Thanks for the good input. I am seriously contemplating becoming a full time down streamer, thanks in part to our good chat this morning, Tim. Actually, this thought brewing pretty strongly about 10 min in on our first job - either that or change our name to “Barnum and Bailey house washing service”: clown act is no extra charge. But I am still interested in the logistics of the extender pole with the x-jet you referenced Clay. How long is it and how do you manage your solution container while using it?

It’s a 16’ general pump brand pole. I put a 25’ 5/8 clear vinyl hose to the x jet. As far as my solution container, my SH can come in round 5 gal containers with handles on top. So it is easier to put my mix in that and tote it around with me.

Clay Doggett
BlueLine Pressure Washing

1 Like


Leave that 32’ ladder on your ladder rack … their dangerous just getting them off the rack and moving them (esp if it’s fiberglass). Your never said what GPM machine your using … My 8gpm will easily reach the peak of a 2 story house. Any thing else just use an extension lance. I got 2 alumunium lances of each size pressuretek sells.

I checked out those lances at Pressure Tek last night. I believe I’ll have to have some of them on the truck. When using the lances, does the tip still shoot straight from the end of the tubing or do you have a fitting that angles your nozzle to allow holding your gun more vertical? I have seen some pics of extension that appear to angle the tip at a 30º or so away from the pole.

Hi Guys !!, I am sorry but I am going to post on this thread since my questions goes right along with it’s been discussed in here. I am quite new (In the business I mean), still got a lot to learn. - Anyway here is my situation, let me first say that I got a 3500 PSI with 5.5GL trailer setup. Now I got this project on a 5 Buildings housing students, they got me signed to clean 270 awnings/canopies and there is quite a few up to 3rd floor which is close to 25 to 30 ft high. They provided me with a boom lift and I was able to get quite a few those done. The problem is that it takes a lot of time to move the lift between buildings and dealing with traffic and blocking parking spaces to be able to get to those canopies up high. as I only have a downstream which I like so far, but on this project I am thinking I would do better with a X-JET due that I need only a little bit of soap for each canopies, but still has a lot of soap left on my hose so is taking a lot longer to rinse all that soap. Can someone tell me what’s the difference of an (M5-XJET and a General Pump High Pressure Soap Shooter Nozzle with Rinse Capability) for me it looks the same, what is the pros and cons? Also there is some areas inside of a courtyard that I cannot get the lift there. What would you suggest? I am thinking in getting a 24FT telescopic wand to able to rinse that high or IF I get a (Ladder Saver Long-Range Soap and Rinse Nozzle), could I be able to shoot from the ground and get a good rinse or should I get a least a 72" wand? And maybe if I find a good way to do it from the ground, I could do all of the canopies a lot faster and that would save me a lot of money because “time it’s money”. Am I right? Sorry if I am rambling, I do that a lot. But if I am thinking correctly, even if I have to spend a few bucks on a x-jet and a telescoping wand, I think I would make all that back on my time and I would have more equipment for the future. So Please let me know what you think, I know that a lot of the guys are at the Convention, I really wish I could be there but I couldn’t let these contract to pass. Thanks in advance for taking the time to teach this old dog some new tricks.

I can tell you that I am pretty new myself. Last year, a guy gave me the original X Jet to borrow for a while. It worked well but the I saw the general pump nozzle you referenced and bought it thinking it would be similar and far less inexpensive. Using it, there was a major difference between it and the X Jet. Smaller orifice and more pressure than I wanted. I bought the ladder saver. Liked it for rinsing but put it in the tool box (I still have it) cause I didn’t know or understand down streaming. This year I purchased the X Jet M5. I’ve used it several times to start the season but joined this group and quickly decided to try down streaming. Since then, I really haven’t looked back. As for what you are looking to do, the X Jet can throw a lot of soap but I think you could save some money and get a good DS setup for the job. I feel as if I have more control with my spray that way. An extender pole wouldn’t be a bad idea either, but depending on the building’s layout you may not need it. Using DS, you can reach that third story.

Clay Doggett
BlueLine Pressure Washing

I do have a DS setup and I like it, at least for the most part. What I don’t like it’s that I don’t much control

Oops ! I hit send before I have finished. Sorry! Back what I was saying, what I don’t like on the DS it’s that I don’t have much control on my soap/water ratio. Maybe It’s just me that still haven’t figure out how to control my ratio. On this specific project my main concern it’s that I have to go 25 ft up on a lift to wash only 2 or 3 awnings/canopies at the time, so I don’t really need a lot of soap since I am not washing the walls at least I am not getting paid for it, and after I apply the soap really quickly with my DS I still got a lot of soap in my hose and it’s taking a little too longer to rinse all the soap

it takes me 23 seconds to clear my 200 ft hose of any soap

1 Like


I’d like to get a description of your setup. Pics would be great too!

1 Like

here is one with a remote control to turn off and on the soap

Thanks, Dave! I’m wheeling my 4gpm belt drive in and out of my work van (set up for window cleaning also), but have had a mental picture of something like you are showing for the future. What size are your trailers. Single axle or tandem? Specs on pumps? Size of water tanks? Length of hose on reels? Are your rigs configured differently for different kinds of work? What percentage of your work is softwashing versus pressure washing?