Water Fed Window Cleaning
Water Fed Window Cleaning has seen some of the industries greatest innovations and technology at work, making it a more modern and safer method of cleaning windows. You can use pure water, or water that has been purified with all its minerals removed, to clean glass, solar panels and even some awnings as well. Let’s go over the benefits of waterfed window cleaning, the science behind it and what equipment you need to get started.
There are many benefits to water fed window cleaning over traditional methods. For one, it’s safer due to the elimination of ladders. Users can easily clean windows up to 75 feet high with their feet safely on the ground. How amazing is that? This results in increased safety for you or your employees. Waterfed window cleaning is not only safer, it’s faster as well. It can easily cut your job time in half while still creating streak-free results. Being able to reach those previously inaccessible windows is also a huge benefit. Ultimately, pure water systems allow for better results with a minimal inconvenience to your customers.
To understand exactly why water fed window cleaning works, you must first understand the science behind it. Regular tap water, as it naturally exists, has tiny dissolved particles in it. Once the water dries on a surface, those particles become the spots you see left behind. So, if you were to clean with normal tap water it will result in the glass having a milky white residue left behind. It’s important to understand what TDS or “Total Dissolved Solids” means, it’s basically a simple measurement of water quality or how soft or hard the water is. Measuring your TDS is an important step. Your TDS will dictate what waterfed equipment you need and which will be most cost effective in the long run. You can test your water with any basic TDS meter or by finding out your TDS here. To clean windows spot free, the TDS of your water needs to be at 0. You need pure water, or water without any mineral content, which will leave windows perfectly clean when it dries. Pure water automatically absorbs the dirt leaving windows 100% spot free.
But how do you get pure water? A pure water system can be as basic as a DI tank or as advanced as a multi-stage RO/DI machine. You can purify your water with either and each method will get you to a TDS of 0. Which method you use (and which is the most cost-effective to you) all depends on your incoming water quality or TDS. For example, if your TDS is below 100 you are considered to have softer water and a simple DI tank based system will work well for you. On the other hand, if your TDS is over 100, you have hard water and a multistage system is necessary. A DI tank will not be a cost-effective method of purification if you have hard water. Be sure to check out our selection of Waterfed Purification and Systems.
Let's take an even closer look at the two purification methods we mentioned above: DI Tanks/Systems versus Multistage systems. Deionization Resin (commonly referred to as DI Resin) is honey colored plastic beads charged with chemicals that remove the minerals and impurities from the water. DI Resin is 100% necessary to reduce the Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) to zero and is the last stage of an RO/DI unit. Standard DI tanks or systems with resin are great for areas with soft water, solo operators or infrequent users. It can be used as a standalone filtration system or as the final step in a multistage purification system. DI Tanks are much cheaper then multistage systems but again, a DI Tank will only be an appropriate option if you have a lower TDS of under 100. If you have a TDS on the higher end of the spectrum, you will burn through your resin much faster than if you start with a lower TDS. Using a DI only system may seem cheap up front but the DI resin doesn't last long, over time you will spend a fortune refilling the tank. Ultimately, you may save some money upfront but in the long run this would be a poor investment. It all comes down to water quality.
Now, onto multi-stage systems. A multistage system is best if you have hard water or are using your system frequently or even daily. A Multi-stage system will cost a lot more up front but you will be changing the DI resin much less frequently and it will cost less. Multi-stage systems are a better long term investment for many customers. Multistage pure water systems are generally geared towards frequent users and are a great option for either a residential or commercial window cleaning company. There are a few options when it comes to multistage systems. Choose between a 3 Stage System such as the Xero Pure, a multistage system with a pump, such as the IPC HydroCart Gas Model, or a multistage system with a water tank such as the Tucker Fill N Go.
Generally, the 4 components of a multistage system include a sediment filter, carbon filter, RO membrane and DI resin. Both the carbon and sediment filters protect the RO from chlorine and sediment. The Carbon Filter should be replaced about every two months. Both filters are inexpensive and it’s always a good idea to have extras on hand. The RO Membrane’s main purpose is to lower your TDS to a level that will extend the life of your DI Resin. It can effectively remove 90% of the TDS from the water before it moves down the line to your DI. The RO membrane is the largest and most expensive filter. For this reason, your RO membrane is extremely important. With proper care, your RO membrane will last for many years and can run you anywhere from $350 - $600 depending on the make and model of the system. Finally, the DI is the last stage of defense and is changed as needed. It removes the remaining minerals from the water leaving you with 100% pure water. Since pure water is a cleaning agent and it will dry spot free. If you start to see your TDS creeping up from zero, it’s a good idea to get some resin on order.
Standard DI tanks, systems and multistage systems are what’s known as “On Demand” Systems. Simply put, they make purified water on demand. Another type of system worth mentioning is a tank based system. A tank based system can be filled overnight and you transport the water in the tank, along with your purification system right to the job. With this method, you are not dependant on your customer’s water pressure or even the availability of water. It’s a simple process; the tank is filled with water, it goes through a pump, through the filtration and out through your hose.
Now that we understand a little more about purification and what kind of system you need, it is time to choose a Waterfed Pole. The main components to any standard water fed pole is the pole, the angle adapter, the brush and lastly, the hose and fittings. Water Fed poles are generally produced in 4 basic material types: Aluminum, GlassFiber, Hybrid & Carbon Fiber. HiModulous is also available which is recommended if you are consistently working over 50 feet. Regardless of which composition you choose, when waterfed cleaning, purified water gets pushed through your waterfed pole. At the end of the pole, the waterfed pole brush has jet configurations, spray nozzles or rinse bars. The water is then applied onto the glass or surface through the jets. The soils and impurities are agitated by the scrubbing of the brush and the soils are then suspended in the water, ready to be rinsed away by the constant stream(s) of pure water. The pole and brush system get agitated across the glass surface. No detergents or soap are required, just brush the water on, rinse it off, and the result is a streak-free finish. Voila, the glass surface and frames dry spot free!
Now that we've covered waterfed pole and systems, consider adding a few waterfed brushes to your waterfed equipment arsenal. Most of our customers own several brushes to better prepare for different kinds of jobs. When it comes to waterfed brushes you can choose between Nylon, Boars Hair and Hybrid bristles. Full Nylon is gentle, lighter and great for maintenance cleans. Boars Hair is heavier but much more aggressive and can clean with fewer passes. Hybrid Brushes (a mix of Nylon & Boars Hair bristles) are extremely popular because they give you the best of both worlds. Every brush comes with a set of jets which can be configured in different ways. This allows water to spray onto the glass or surface. Brushes come equipped with either single jets or dual jets in different configurations. There are two types of jets: pencil and fan. Pencil jets emit a small, circular jet of water while fan jets emit a fine mist of water and fan out over a larger area.
There are a few other waterfed accessories you need for pure water window cleaning. Goosenecks, for example, are important in allowing you to reach over window sills and also for keeping the brush flat on the glass. Waterfed hose is another essential. When it comes to waterfed hose you want something that is lightweight, lays flat, kink-resistant, easy to work with and has almost no memory. You want to be able to easily pull out any coils or kinks that do occur. Other Water Fed Accessories are also available such as hose reels, TDS meters, pumps, and replacement filters and housings. Keep your waterfed system working like new with any replacement parts, we carry it all.
If you are considering making the transition into pure water it can be overwhelming and we certainly understand that. But worry not, our product specialists are here to guide you and help you choose the best waterfed set up for you, your budget and your business. If you are interested in learning more about pure water we suggest reading the free Understanding Pure Water Guide. You can also schedule a free waterfed consultation with one of our products specialists who have a combined 50+ years of waterfed window cleaning experience.