Xjet vs ball valve for range

So I hope I can get some input on a job I have coming up. Basically its a huge historical building and most of the exterior is travertine tile. The building manager wants us to provide a “soft water rinse” to the entire building. Lots of the work will have to be done from a lift due to the size and height of the building. He originally wanted us to use a garden hose to rinse the whole building, I explained the softwash process to him and he is willing to allow us to use that. It will be done with water only, no soap. They require soft water to be used.

My two questions:

I have an Xjet, would I get more range with a ball valve? The Xjet will work but just wondering if the ball valve would be a better option.

Can I run soft water through my pump? I have heard that DI water is bad for the pump but what about soft water?

Thanks in advance,

Not sure about the soft water stuff, I would just use downstream nozzles for the best range.

Hey Wayne-- I don’t know the answer about running soft water thru your pump. My rule of thumb is to never "upstream"anything thru my pumps. The last thing we ever need is to cause a potential problem with our pumps. On our stationary machines all pumps are set to run in bypass so when the guys are using them and they put the wand down the pumps will keep circulating with cool water.

My question to you would be do you generally downstream(after the pump) your chemical solutions on to a house or do you use the x-jet?
Also explain the soft water application and how that works. Is it some type of filter set-up? Is it something that’s added to the water itself and at what ratio?

It sounds as though whatever you do, do not hit that tile with any pressure…not even by mistake.

We wash houses with soft water all of the time.

We use a lot of well water and it is often treated to removed suspended solids, dissolved minerals and other impurities. It make the soap soapier, and the windows dry cleaner.

When you see a water spot, you aren’t seeing water, you are seeing the left behind junk that the water carried.

Window cleaners use an advanced form of soft water. That is why it’s called pure water cleaning.

It is believed that some forms of purified water will shorten the life of some pump components, but for this job, add $600.00 to the bid and buy a spare pump so that when your pump fails in 30 months (instead of failing in 32 months), you’ll be prepared.

Questions about x-jet, low pressure nozzles, etc. etc. are not an issue, take one of everything, plus spares, you’ll know by the time the job is done.

Do you get paid even if no improvement occurs?

Rain is natures soft water. If all it needs is rained gently poured over it, why hasn’t it cleaned itself?

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Excellent post as always, Tim.

Right on, thanks for the feedback guys. Long story short is this…The historical society hired a consultant about preserving the life of the travertine on the building. They said that wicking occurs with the tiles and if they are not rinsed they will get worse. They do know that there will not bet much of a visual improvement but want it done for maintenance reasons. And yes, we will be paid regardless of how much better it looks.

Like I said, I plan to use an Xjet nozzle because I own one. Ive never used a ball valve and was just wondering if that would squirt water farther than the Xjet. Can anyone provide a link to where I could buy the ball valve parts?

Good deal.

What pump do you have?

If it’s big enough to do this job, you will want a series of meg tips that are of 40 to 60 orifice. Get them in 0, 15, 25, and 40 angles. You can also get them in 65 degree but that tip will wash the back of your head and the back of your calfs when you have it pointed straight in front of you so avoid that one.

The ball valve will not be used. Use your regular PW gun and get a jrod that will hold four tips. That way you can change tips based on what you are spraying.

If you research down streaming, you will be duplicating most everything on the soap part without the soap.

No link, call Bob at Pressure Tek And tell him what you want to do. Tell him that you will not be rinsing so for now, you only need the low pressure side. Tell him Tim said hi.

A ball valve is on the end of your hose so that you can switch guns without shutting down. In this case, it will just wear your arm out faster. You don’t need it here. Michael K has videoed a house wash using just a ball valve but I don’t think that he intended that to be representative of everyday washing.

Are you cleaning the Getty museum? That would be massive

Hey Wayne I don’t know if you window WCRA members get a discount from www.powerwash.com but you can shoot Chris L. A text or whatever to see you get a discount there. If so I think You’ll save at least 5% from Mike @ www.powerwash.com better yet call there and ask them if the WRCA guys get discounts.

Just trying to take care of one brother from a sister org… Good luck.

Wayne I think your reach will be comprable from either… But if you use the Xjet you can keep your purified water out of your system. As mentioned above it does have some potential for harm.

Thanks Chris, thats what I wanted to know. I just got back from Purtec where I rent my DI tanks and they told me softwater tanks only remove calcium via some type of salt resin. I’m just going to run it through the pump. I dont think it will cause any problems as people use soft water to prevent damage to pipes, water heaters, etc.

The Xjet will be higher pressure than down streaming tips. How much pressure can you put on it?

I used to use x-jet all the time and here is something a lot of people do not think of or even know about. All x-jets are not created equal. There is an internal orifice that has to be matched to the GPM of the machine you are using it with. If the orifice is matched for the flow of a 3 gpm machine it is not going to work so well with a 5.5 or 8 gpm machine. The same goes for the other way around as well.

To get to the orifice, take the male plug out and use an allen wrench to remove the orifice. It should have a number stamped on the back of it like 13 or 17 or something like that. Call Bob at Pressuretek or someone that sells x-jets and asked what you should have for your machine.

Having your x-jet matched to your machine will allow it to shoot further without it spraying mist all over the place.

I started out saying I used to use x-jets, but while they are a good tool I still keep on the trailer, I seldom use it anymore since I started downstreaming and using low pressure nozzles. Now I can clean much faster, clean much higher, and use less pressure on the surface than I ever did with the x-jets.

For your question about the ball valve… I do have a ball valve on my hose, but it is mostly for going from gun to surface cleaner.
I have a quick connect mounted directly to a gun and another one with a quick connect on an 18" wand and gun. With my low pressure nozzles, I can shoot 50’ high with the 18" wand so I seldom have to use anything longer. The shorter one is used inside breezeways and other tight spaces.

Again, Bob can help set you up with the right low pressure nozzles to match the gpm of the machine you will be using.

Interesting, I thought the only differences in x-jets were dictated by psi (that’s how they’re classed when ordering). Learn something new every day…

Sent from my Galaxy S3 Android

Even though I own an m-jet, the x and m jets are not low pressure and you can do damage with both. I would highly recommend changing pressure for a soft wash rinsing with nozzles. In the untrained hands, a m and/or x-jet can zorro up something as bad as a 0degree tip

See all the good stuff you learn on the PWRA

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