UNDERSTANDING WATER FED POLES
There are a lot of waterfed pole brands on the market today. There is also a lot to know and understand as choosing the right waterfed pole for you depends on a few key factors.
- How high will you be working?
- Are you primarily doing residential or commercial? A mix of both?
- How often will you be using your waterfed pole?
If you don't know the answers to some of the questions, don't fear! We are here to help. In this guide, we will go into detail and teach you the components behind the water fed pole, the styles of waterfed poles, picking a pole based on job type, material type, quality and much more!
Basic WaterFed Pole Components
Learn the different parts of a standard waterfed pole.
1. Water Fed Pole Hose
2. Water Fed Pole
3. Water Fed Pole Clamps
4. Water Fed Pole Angle Adapter
5. Water Fed Pole Brush
1. Hose – Feeds purified water to your brush
2. Pole – Helps you reach the window
3. Clamps – Locks the pole in place upon extension
4. Angle Adapter – Connects the pole to the brush
5. Pole Brush – Agitates and cleans the glass surface
1. Your DI tank or system purifies the water.
2. Purified water gets fed through the hose out of the brush.
3. The waterfed brush delivers pure water to the glass.
4. The waterfed brush scrubs and cleans the glass.
5. Purified water (water with no mineral content) leaves glass streak-free when it dries. No soaps or chemicals are required.
Two Main Styles Of WaterFed Poles
At first glance, the two main styles of Water Fed Poles look the same. But there are a few subtle differences.
- Pole sections fit inside of one another
- Open a clamp and extend a section to gain height
- Typically lower cost
- Available in a wide variety of materials
- Sections can be added or dropped on some models
- Combines the features of a Telescopic pole with modular sections
- Pole sections fit inside one another, but sections can also be added on later to gain additional height
- Typically higher cost
- Usually available in Carbon Fiber
- Sections can be added or dropped at any time
- Combines the features of a Telescopic pole with modular sections
Picking a Pole Based On Job Type
Residential? Commercial? The same pole will work on a residential home or a large commercial building.
However, if you service one more than another, you may be interested in the slight differences.
If you mainly do residential window cleaning, you can get by with a 25 – 40-foot pole. A WFP with a shorter collapsed length is helpful when navigating around a residential property. A standard telescopic pole will be all you need. Consider looking at the XERO Micro line for a top-notch affordable residential pole.
If you mainly do commercial window cleaning, a longer modularscopic pole will work best for you. Consider looking at the XERO Pro range, or if you need to reach maximum heights, say above 50 feet we highly recommend the XERO Destroyer. Both are great choices that will grow with you. You can start with a 40-foot pole and then add on sections later to help you reach greater heights.
Water Fed Pole
Material Type & Quality
Not all materials are created equal!
Water Fed poles are produced in 4 different basic material types. Aluminum, GlassFiber, Hybrid & Carbon Fiber.
Aluminum is an entry level water fed pole material type, like the Unger nLite Aluminum Pole pictured. Usually, these come with the most affordable price tag as this pole will be heavier than other pole materials. It is best for janitorial companies, employees, or those just testing out water fed window cleaning. If you start cleaning more frequently, you will definitely want to upgrade to a lighter pole.
Hybrid poles, like the XERO M9 Pole are a great entry level water fed pole option. Perfect for the infrequent user or if you are just starting out. A Hybrid material pole would be a good choice if you plan to use your pole infrequently, say about 10 hours or less per week. In addition, Hybrid poles are usually not recommended for use over 35 feet, you're going to see a lot more flex at these heights.
The professional window cleaners choice and our #1 recommended material is Carbon Fiber! The XERO Micro series is a great example of a Carbon Fiber pole that is lightweight, stiff, and safe for use up to 60 feet. If you plan to use your pole more than 10 hours per week we highly recommend this material. There are also different levels of Carbon Fiber which we explain more below.
More On Carbon Fiber
There is more than one grade of carbon fiber available! If you are going to use your Waterfed Pole for more than 10 hours a week, consider Carbon Fiber. Your body will thank you.
For prolonged use or at heights, Ultra High Modulus Carbon Fiber is what you should consider. Two great options are the XERO Pro Ultra Light Pole or if you need to reach up to 90 feet, the XERO Destroyer.
See our chart below for recommended pole material based on user frequency. If you are just testing the waters, plan on using the pole infrequently, or are purchasing it for an employee, a lower cost material will be ok. However, if you intend on using the pole yourself for any extended period, we can not recommend Carbon Fiber enough. The stiffer and lighter your pole is, the more efficiently you will be able to work. In addition to efficiency, a “floppy pole” can have long-term health effects from repetitive motions. Professionals choose carbon fiber whenever they can.
Carbon Fiber VS
As we've said several times, the number one recommended pole material for professional window cleaners is always going to be Carbon Fiber. But where are the main differences between Carbon Fiber and other materials? Is there really that much of a difference? In short, yes. Flex and weight are two huge differences. Price is also going to have to be considered. Materials like Aluminum, Fiberglass and Hybrid will cost less than a Carbon Fiber.
The weight of the pole is also important. Aluminum, Fiberglass, and Hybrid poles are much heavier than Carbon Fiber poles. The heavier a pole is, the more difficult it is to maneuver and it will kill your back long term. If you are using a waterfed pole frequently or daily, you need a lighter pole to put less strain on your body.
Flex is a HUGE factor. Aluminum, Fiberglass, and Hybrid poles are far less rigid than Carbon Fiber poles. The less rigid a pole is the more difficult they are to handle and use in the field. The higher you go, the floppier and more flex it will have.
Material – VS
Body Wear & Tear
Even though there is an assortment of low-cost materials to choose from, we recommend Carbon Fiber to most professional users.
Which XERO Pole
is right for you?
Whatever is important to you in a watered pole - price, stiffness or weight - we have a pole meant for you!
XERO Micro Series
The XERO Micro Series includes a compact range of water fed poles that are perfect for residential window cleaners. Dubbed the shortest/tallest available on the market, it stands at a mere 53 inches tall and extends to an astounding 30 actual working feet. Its compact stature makes it perfect for smaller work vehicles! Made of 100% Carbon Fiber, this is our most affordable range of Carbon Fiber poles for professionals. Check out the XERO Micro Basic, High Mod or Ultra Light Hod Mod poles. We also offer the XERO Micro Basic in Colored Waterfed Poles as well.
XERO Pro Series
Residential & Commercial
The Pro line of XERO Poles is available in three models according to your budget and needs and is great for residential and commercial jobs. Browse the XERO Pro Basic, Pro High Mod and the Pro Ultra Light High Mod. Each model is available in 30, 40 and 50 feet. By simply adding XERO Universal Extensions it is possible to reach 60 or even 70 feet as well. This has all of your favorite XERO pole features: bolted on clamps, durable Carbon Fiber, easy to add and drop extensions and much more!
XERO Destroyer Series
High Reach Commercial
Looking for a high reach pole built for commercial work? Check out the XERO Destroyer, which is our stiffest, most rigid waterfed pole offered and capable of reaching heights up to 90 feet! This pole is designed specifically to reach maximum heights. Made from premium Ultra High Modulus Carbon Fiber, this pole is remarkably light and great for daily use. It's also super easy to add and remove extensions as necessary.