Roof Cleaning Pump Power- 12v, Gas, or Air?

What kind of setup are you running now? Have you tried other methods?
For instance, I know guys who started with 12v, went to air-driven, and went back to 12v.
What are you using now, and why?

Here’s an article I wrote on the pros and cons of each type:

Choosing a Roof Cleaning Pump | eClean Magazine

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Started with Electric. Switched to Air. Now I buy/rebuild/resell air pump systems. Always searching for something better, but for reliability, flexibility, re-buildability and longevity…it is still hard to beat a properly engineered air system.

Who is this? I want to go with an air system soon and I would like to find out more about how to properly engineer one, but I can’t find much reliable info about it…Would you PM me your info? Thank you!

(Sorry to hijack the thread Thad, back to the subject)

Atlas Services
Exterior Cleaning Specialists
North Carolina

I’ve been using a 12 volt system for the last few years, but I’m thinking about moving to a gas powered pump, any good brands that I can look at.

Sent from my iPhone using Pressure Washing Resource

We use a gas powered UDOR pump system to apply our roof chemicals. No time for batteries running low or flat out dead.

Are you using the Zeta or the Kappa? Over on TGS and PTState the info has been pretty negative about the gas powered pumps…you haven’t had any trouble?

Atlas Services
Exterior Cleaning Specialists
North Carolina

It’s a shame this thread died before any good information could be gleaned from it.

Well, you resurrected it so maybe we will get some more feedback!

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Yeah! Thanks for resurrecting this! I am still anxious for info about the Udor gas powered pumps…I’d love to go with air, but to save space and money, gas sounds like a good all-around set-up…IF the pumps hold up well.

Here are some pros and cons. This is admittedly from somebody who is biased since I buy, rebuild and sell Air Diaphragm pump systems. However, I also own and run a multi truck roof cleaning operation and use these things every single day.

Pros. Inexpensive to purchase. Simple to set up. Compact. Quiet.

Cons. High long term cost. Electric pumps are ultimately expensive to run because they burn out quickly and require frequency replacement in many operations. Including batteries. 4 Fatboys per year is what an air diaphragm pump and compressor run. Very limited in the types of nozzles you can use thus high materials usage. Needs a battery that you need to remember to charge.

Gas. (Udor/John Blue, etc.).
Pros. Relatively compact. Hits long distances due to higher running pressures. Higher output than electric. Somewhat more flexibility in nozzle selection than electric but limited to sensitivity of bypass.

Cons. Expensive. Reliability has been spotty at best. High pressure can be an issue if you get too close as you exceed the PSI limits of the roofing material. Has to run a bypass with high percentage chemicals. Requires refueling.

Air Diaphragm.
Pros. Most reliable of all pump systems if properly set up. Widest range of spray nozzles, lowest materials usage. Depending on pump and compressor, highest output and longest spray distance. Up to 50 GPM for a 1" pump setup (rinsing/materials transfer)). Fully rebuildable. Lowest overall operating cost of any pump due to rebuild ability, longevity and flexibility. Material savings. Available in materials which are completely immune to acids and high grade oxidizers such as PVDF/Kynar.

Cons. Most space intensive due to needing a compressor. Noise. Higher initial price vs electric. Cost of entry CAN be higher than gas with a large Air Pump setup (1"). More supporting equipment such as water separator required. Requires refueling.

Air pumps scare people because they don’t understand how they work and there are more pieces involved. This isn’t really a con as once they build the system and start to use it, they quickly realize that actual daily operation is simple…start the compressor and turn the air valve.

Last year, I sold over 50 AODD pumps, mostly used pumps that I rebuilt to save guys money. About 1/2 of them were to established cleaners and the other half were to newbies. The higher the percentage of SH you run such as for Tile roof, the better the AODD pump will look. Why nobody makes a Kynar/Teflon electric is beyond me. The majority of the established guys were electric pump users.


Great post! Very helpful! Thank you!

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do you have a web site for your air pumps?

Sounds like a good deal, I wish I knew about these when I purchased my other air pump a few years ago.

Are they sensitive to mounting position? I currently have mine mounted horizontally on the wall of my box truck, well that was my set-up before I sold everything this month…

Yes, most AODD pumps are position sensitive due to the ball valves they use. There are a few smaller select pumps which can be mounted sideways or even upside down.

Keep in mind my website doesn’t have individual pumps on it. The reason being is that inventory changes quite rapidly. Two weeks ago I had 6 1/2" pump and 4 1" pumps ready to go. They are all gone. Best bet is to call me to chat about your specific needs as well as what pump and associated equipment will work best with it.

How much should a good air unit cost. The Industrial Cleaning Equipment in my town sells them for around $3000.

If you are talking about a pump…I have them from $249 to $999. They are probably selling a 1" AODD pump. I sell them completely rebuilt for $999 in Kynar/Teflon. They run about $3-5K new. That is the beauty of air pumps…totally rebuildable so I take advantage. There are risks of buying used as you can get duds and you need to know the pump codes so you don’t get something that is incompatible (some pumps look compatible but will melt with SH put through them).

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Hi, Kevin.

If you would like to sell on PWR please review the vendor membership information that I sent you last month.

PM, email, or give me a call if you need more info.

Thad, I derailed the thread when I ask about the pumps and I didnt mean for it to turn into advertising for the guy. Next time I’ll take it off line or PM - which would be easier to do if there was contact info for each person…

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I’m switching to soft wash this spring. Going with the Delevan Fatboy 7gpm for starters. Backing that up with a Northstar 7gpm. I would like to compare the two.