Pushing the Water Fed limit

A few years ago someone posted a thread about using water fed poles on a 9 story municipal building. Well this thread is very similar, but I’m a different guy! :grin:

We’ll be looking over several city properties that need window cleaning including the building pictured below. Its a 9 story building about 110 feet in height.

The thread I mentioned earlier discussed the practicality of using a lift along with a water fed pole. It seems most folks suggested to not do that. They recommended dropping or, obviously, walking away.

But water fed usage and acceptance has changed a lot here in the US over the last several years. Perhaps there are new opinions or products available to reach heights like this without dropping? Maybe some folks have some experience they’d like to share?

Is working with lift and water fed pole practical and safe? Could a building like this be cleaned from the ground using a pole? (Gardiner makes a 90’ pole! Are there longer poles available?)


Joshua (@Pure_Water_Window_Cl ) does a lot of at height water fed pole work, and I would trust his opinion and advice at working at this height for water fed pole.

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yeah you could do a nlite hi mod and use sections to go that high, but I personally would WFP from a lift.

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Not even practical.

It is one thing to be able to connect enough sections to reach 110’ another thing to use it.

It surely would break under that pressure.


I can’t imagine having any kind of control at that height.


Why do you prefer lift? Is it because of the control issues mentioned?

Also, when you do lift, do you go all the way up or do you go to a height that’s comfortable to use pole?

I’d say that job is PERFECT for using a pole and yes at that height.
First off, you only have 19 windows on each row of the larger one.

There are not any significant ledges so no need for a gooseneck, its pretty easy work. In my opinion, I’d jump on it and use it to justify buying a pimp kevlar/hi-mod carbon fiber to gitterdun.

That’s easy money in my book, and even tho I’m usually against using a pole from a lift, for this job I would if a bigger pole isn’t an option…but the problem is getting to that height with a lift is going to put you in a whole new price range with the rental company. I’d have the rental company salesman go out and shoot it for you. Because one that height is going to be heavy it might mess up that landscaping, making you have to probably get a superboom like a jlg135 and thats almost 15 hunnies a day.

If you have to go that route (and I can bet you that with a boom you will be wayyyyyy outta the ballpark with pricing because city work only and i mean ONLY looks at numbers unless you’re in their black book for no calls) your cost will be too high for them.

I can’t tell from the photos but if the windows open, do the top 5 floors from the inside if the window will come out, and do the rest with however high you can get with your pole.

The san diego city building gets theirs done this way too.

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This type of stuff is way out of my range personally, but I’ve heard of individuals doing this when they can have a man on the roof that can securely use a rope attached to the end of the pole to move it from window to window. This takes the pressure off of the ground guy moving the pole.

Is it just theoretical and not realistic? I’ve no idea, but it sounded pretty cool if you can do it safely.


Naw, that aint gonna work.
The roof man aint gonna see where the window is unless he’s right on the edge…thats a huge no no.

Be very careful with any wfp operation above 65+ feet. We service a couple dozen 65+ foot jobs each year. Working at that height, whether it’s with Nlite Hi Mod, or Gardiner highest quality pole, almost any breeze can pull the brush off the glass and whip it around a corner. You won’t feel the movement for a few seconds because the pole will flex so much. It takes a certain amount of understanding and patience, not to mention nerves of steel, to handle high work such as this.

We do a few jobs at 80+ feet. This is even more serious and we will cancel and reschedule on the spot if there’s a chance of a breeze. We make sure our clients understand this as a condition of our services.

90? 100? 110 feet? Not now. Hopefully in the future. Pole design will have to change first.


Great pics Joshua!

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@Pure_Water_Window_Cl have you used the gardiner pole with the kevlar? They still have too much flex??
I’m asking cuz thats the one I was looking at buying soon.

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We are using the Xtreme and the Ultimate. I prefer the Xtreme and Ben (@lavage_de_vitres_uniqueau) prefers the Ultimate.

When wind and weather conditions are right I would trust the Ultimate up to 85± feet as it is fully telescopic which encourages stability and rigidity when compared to the weight savings of a more modular system. Plus, you can sandwich High Strength Xtreme modular sections in the middle of sections 9 and 10.

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I have personally used the Nlite Hi Mod several times at 80 feet. That’s a 5 foot top section inside of the 4 section Hi Mod Master and followed by 5 Hi Mod 11 footage extension sections. It’s a very high quality pole system but much heavier and much less stiff then the Gardiner Xtreme X3 47 and the Ultimate poles.

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I’ve also heard of this and was considering using it we are rewarded the bid.

The guy at the top is really only there to prevent the wind from taking the pole and to assist in transferring it from one window to the next. And he doesn’t need to see the window to do that. Not necessarily. He would just have to be able to see the pole operator on the ground to know when to release slack. Probably take a few times to get the communication right.

Well considering all that has been said, I guess I can conclude that we can’t actually do a 110 foot building from the ground. The highest pole I’ve heard of is 90 feet. And that straight up! To work you’d have to be off the wall some 20-30 feet for leverage. I suppose then that the only realistic option is a lift.

Too bad you couldn’t water feed from the roof! :wink:

Either way you quote is still gonna be soo much higher than a guy with rope xp, it looks like a job that could be done in about 15 man hours off a rope, your lift will probably cost more than they would charge to complete the job.


:star2::star2::star2::star2::star2: for attitude! Love it :slight_smile:

I[quote=“Pure_Water_Window_Cl, post:10, topic:46261”]
We do a few jobs at 80+ feet. This is even more serious and we will cancel and reschedule on the spot if there’s a chance of a breeze. We make sure our clients understand this as a condition of our services.

This looks like best advice.

Also why not get a Leica Disto and shoot the exact distance to top window head from the ground before committing? I use them all the time. The better Distos will also measure buiding width from one point without walking anywhere. It takes the guesswork out of what is needed. (By the way dont use a cheaper ‘laser distance measure’ instead. Only the Leica is accurate to 5mm in 50 metres.)

PS. The Leica Disto switches between mm/metres and feet at the push of a button…

Yeah you would have to go himod for sure. If I lift I dont lift all the way up but kinda close, maneuvering a lift to get nose to glass is sucky.

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