I’d like to get into pure water cleaning this year. As I’m looking the various pole sizes and pricing different equipment it got me wondering about what I need. How much pole am I going to need doing typical residentials?? 20 foot, 27 foot?? I’m on a budget here and trying something new. Any recommendations??
My equipment list seems pretty minimal: pole, di tank, backpack. What else am I going to need?? Do the poles here come with hose or do I need to add that also?? I’m planning on transporting the water to location.
I do 3rd story residential w/ my 26ft CL-X. As long as you aren’t doing a lot of 3rd story work the hybrid poles will work. The poles come w/ a brush and hose. If you are going to do a lot of work w/ the back pack I’d strongly suggest an AquaDapter.
The Gardiner SLX 30 is a great pole. I have had mine for 2 years, great for residential up to 3 stories. Carbon fiber, very little flex. Collapsed length is around 5’ so you can do first floor windows and tight areas. More expensive than the hybrid poles but well worth the money.
I’ve been told by those who sell poles that the most popular is the 3 story - 27’ to 35’. After that, people’s eyes go higher and they go after the 50’+.
For me, 25’ is great, 90% of the time, but I run into sloped properties and exposed basements and use a 35’. There in Indiana I can’t imagine many mountaintop vistas or stilted homes. If you’re considering having only one, multipurpose pole go for a shorter retracted length and more sections, this will make it more maneuverable in tight areas like on porches or between the home and a fence.
Your list is good, every business is different, best thing to do at first is: “Keep it simple, silly!”
Here’s my list if I started from scratch again, others may/will have other opinions.
-Dual trim, vinyl brush.
-Tubing/Hose: I put 3/8" OD tubing with hose clamps on the jet nozzles. 3/8" is more common at home depot and such. The brushes are usually setup with 5/16" which is harder to find parts/tubing for. I have 30’ of 3/8", with a ball valve in the middle to control the flow, connected to 250’ of 3/8" rubber hose on a portable reel. This will let me go pretty far and wrap around a home, or 3/4’s around at least - avoiding the need for a backpack.
-If you’re looking to run 2 poles/people, then a double pump and tank or backpack would work out for you and be a good idea.
-In Indiana, your water is probably hard. If the tds above 150 you’ll need an RO/DI system.
I will say that a tank is pretty awesome for storefront/commercial work - aside from high traffic areas and managing the hose on the sidewalk!
As far as the backpack and tanks:
For me, I wanted every toy for WFP at first, but half of the things I don’t use or parted with now. The tanks may not be needed if your system is easy to work with in your rig. I ran into more issues when I incorporated a pump and tank- with the extra hoses and points for failure, pump wouldn’t always prime, battery would die or go low on long work days… And like I said, the backpack may not be needed if you can at least get within 300’ of the job from the water source.
Just to further clarify (:)), the Ettore range has been designed specifically for their market needs and is based on our latest pole architecture and composition. The 10ft is exactly the same as the 10ft CLX, however all the rest are unique sizes to Ettore. As you have said the 25ft and 35ft are based on the CLX carbon composite (Hybrid) material, however the 35ft is different to standard CLX poles as it uses a different size top tube for greater rigidity. The 45ft and 55ft are based on our current Super-Max range (in the US these often get called the SL-X) and the 65ft is based on our High-Modulus Super-Max.
The CL-X/SL-X/Super-Max range are still available in our standard sizes.
Thanks Alex. Would you mind telling us the benefits/differences between the different carbon fiber materials that are discussed at times. For instance I’d like to know how you classify materials like high modulus or carbon fiber cloth as opposed to a regular carbon fiber. Which is stronger, lighter, most rigid?
For our standard window cleaning pole purposes we use what we refer to as our ‘standard carbon fibre’ type. This is actually an intermediate modulus material (some firms may call this high modulus). Modulus refers to the density of the fibres used in the production. This is measured in tensile modulus of [B][FONT=&]xxx[/FONT][/B] million pounds per square inch or MSI. Carbon fibre material in the range of 33MSI to 42MSI falls into this range of intermediate modulus.
Our CLX poles uses tubes with a wall thickness that is a mixture of 50% of this ‘standard’ grade carbon fibre material and 50% glass fibre material. This provides a pole of moderate stiffness and lightweight at a price point that makes it affordable for most users. These are often referred to as hybrid although this is not really a technical description, but in the WFP world has become accepted to mean partially CF partially GF. Some ‘Hybrid’ poles on the market only have about 12% carbon in them which means that they will not perform as well as those with a higher percentage. Personally I would only use this type of material on poles up to about 25ft in length as over this length flexibility can become an issue (IMO).
The SLX(18-35ft) and Super-Max(40-50ft) range then use our ‘standard intermediate modulus carbon fibre’ throughout. All of the extending sections use 100% of this carbon material, the handle section then adds a thin insulating layer to provide insulation. Using this material allows for lighter weight poles (about 20%-30% lighter on poles up to 30ft), but primarily this allows for greater rigidity in use. Using a full carbon 30ft pole is so much easier than a similar size hybrid type pole. The downside is that the price does rise quite dramatically. What we find though is that many window cleaners start with a Hybrid type pole (like the CLX), but then trade up to a complete carbon pole (like the SLX) as their experience builds.
To achieve an even better performing pole than these types of poles you need to increase the modulus of the carbon fibre and also modify the design of the poles. To achieve a higher modulus of carbon, say 55MSI, the carbon fibres are processed more and result in a finer fibre which can be more densely packed which results in the same strength and rigidity from a thinner/lighter product.
In our High Modulus carbon fibre poles (SMAX61, Super-Lite, Xtreme, Aquaclean65) we use a very ‘High Modulus’ of in excess of 63MSI – this gives us the ability to achieve a product which excels in rigidity and lightness. For the SMAX61 and the Aquaclean65 this simply means using this superior material with the same architecture and you get a more rigid, stronger and slightly lighter tube material. For such heights this is essential to maintain control whilst working.
Whilst the Super-Max61 and the Aquaclean65 are world class in terms of weight, compactness and usability they are still, in my opinion, fairly basic in performance and usability. To achieve better performance you need to look at different designs – this is where we move on to the Super-Lite Modular and the Xtreme poles.
The Super-Lite Modular pole utilises very high modulus (+63MSI) material and due to its taper construction is able to have very thin walls. This reduces the weight of the pole (particularly at the top end) which in turns allows it to be more rigid than any telescopic pole can achieve. The downside of this design is that it is modular and the need to handle many sections; the other is that the walls of the tubes are very thin which means it is less resistant to lateral stresses so can be damaged by incorrect use. For high level work though is does allow a very stress free and light way of working.
To go even better a completely new design was needed though and this is where we came up with the Xtreme range of poles. These also use the finest Japanese high-modulus (+63MSI) cloth along with a completely new design and construction method (Utility Patent applied for in the UK, US, and EU). This combination has allowed us to achieve a pole that has almost all of the rigidity and weight advantage of the Super-Lite modular, but with the convenience of a telescopic pole. It also has virtually the same robustness of sections as the standard SLX and Super-Max poles. For me this combination had proved invaluable in my own window cleaning rounds. I now use just these Xtreme poles as they are much faster to use than the modular poles, but much less tiring than even a full carbon SLX pole. They are complex to manufacture though which is, I feel, their only downside. It is unlikely that this pole will be equalled or bettered in the foreseeable future due to its construction and design. There would be no real world advantage of going to an even more exotic MSI carbon as the benefits in our application would not be realised.
[B]Hybrid (CL-X type) [/B]
+Affordable and easy to use
Reduced rigidity at height
[B]Full Intermediate Carbon Fibre (SL-X/SMAX)[/B]
More rigid, lighter use and allows greater heights to be achieved
+Even more rigid, slightly lighter and stronger
-Even more expensive
[B]High Modulus Tapered (Super-Lite )[/B]
+The ultimate lightweight pole design
-Thinner walls need more care in handling
[B]High Modulus Xtreme design[/B]
+The best of everything in one package – the fastest pole on the planet
-Expensive and complex to manufacture