QUESTION: For the guys who bring their pure water or use backpacks

…how the crap do you not run out of water in like ten minutes?

a 5 gal backpack would seriously last me 5 minutes. and then you are burning tons of time refilling that thing, over…and over…and over…

the way i see it, in order for you to save any serious time over trad methods, you need to be running 1gpm (or more)out your brush head. otherwise it’s too stinking slow. you spend so much time rinsing with those jets running like an old man with prostate issues trying to take a leak. i try to blow as much volume as my source will allow. basically, more volume x proper jet orifice= greater production. i think that’s pretty much fact.

i could see if you had a mobile system and a 50 gal buffer tank and you could top off as you went, but i just don’t get how you can pack a few jerry cans of pure water and get anything done.

can someone enlighten me?

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SHURflo SRS-600 12V ProPack Backpack Sprayer

4 Gallon Capacity.

Pump capable of 1.0 gpm with 40 psi demand switch. This is the backpack that I just bought but have not used it yet. Hurry up and answer people:cool:

Hey Caleb,

For me it depends on the condition of the glass. For quarterly to monthly maintenance I mostly use a backpack. I can work for twenty minutes with one fill. Even if I’m refilling every 20 minutes or so it is still very worth it for me. I choose my clients based on the high difficultly and fact that other companies here just don’t know how to get to the glass safely. I just charge with the refilling factor in mind.

With the backpack trolley I use 2 pencils jets or 2 fan jets monitored closely with an Aquadapter. If I feel I’m running out too fast I shut off flow after a quick initial rinse and then turn it on just for the final rinse. This is doable with well maintained glass.

I would love to work strictly out of a van mount tank system but for my market it’s sometimes just easier to trolley it.

Joshua Adriance
Pure Water Window Cleaning

joshua, of everyone on WCR, i figured you would have this particular strategy dialed in. you are in a unique situation and it’s clear you don’t mess around- if it doesn’t make sense you wont do it. so i get that it works for you.

i’m questioning the other guys, guys here in the u.s. that do resi work and commercial work and cart these tiny tanks around with their little pumps and batteries. i can’t for the life of me figure out how that is more efficient than an on-demand system.

and trust me, i’m open to being re-educated on this. i’m in a state of flux right now on my pure water game, so i’m willing to try anything that might create a better work flow, lower my cost of water, up my production etc.

Depends on how bad the glass is. I just use a valve to regulate the water. Like Joshua said you can do a quick wet down then scrub then rinse with a higher flow.

The most i used on a house was about 12 gallons and that was a lot of 2 story big glass that would be hard to ladder.

The most i took on a commercial was up at Mesa Verde and that was about 16 gallons. Good thing i had the backpack because i couldn’t find a bib out there!

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Hey Caleb when I first bought my back pack I was just using it for tops only
I have a few commercial accounts I used it where there was no water source ( small buildings ). Now I have a van an
Everything is mounted inside. Reels di , and I only use the back pack for the few commercial accounts
That don’t have water source. If the tops where easy ladder jumps I would just ladder them. there is always that set of windows where you are like man that’s going to be a pain in the ass , so I Would have the back pack for that . So to me it’s just another tool to have.
Oh an this is how I would work when I had my back pack at a house . I would have a 24’ garlick pole with a white pad an unger pad holder , and a I liter pump sprayer with a drop of Ecover . I would spray the pad scrub a couple of windows then just scrub frames an rinse with wfp. I don’t know it worked for me .

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1 full backpack + 2 jerry cans (= just a hair over 15 gallons) was my limit. Enough to do an average size 2 story home.(usually still had a bit left in the backpack after) If I had just the one house to do then that was my setup. Bigger house or more than one house a day I’d bring a system. Funny how one’s technique develops if your mind is on water conservation. It’s very doable for many. it’s like a household budget. Give yourself $200 budget for groceries and you’ll come back with $200 worth of groceries. Give yourself $150 and you’ll come home with $150 worth of groceries. And I’ll bet in either situation you didn’t walk around starving from lack of food.

Here is the solution:

  1. SLOW DOWN YOUR FLOW: Use fan jets to slow down the water flow

  2. FOR REALLY DIRTY WINDOWS: Get a WCR garden hose adapter to 5/16 push to fit connector and connect your water fed pole line to it. Using tap water from the house pre clean a section (one side) of windows / Frames / sills etc.


  4. USE YOUR SQUEEGEE!: what? You might say… If you use your squeegee when cleaning hydrophobic windows (ie: screen side windows, usually lower pane of double hung) it will save you lots of time and WATER during the rinse.

I have cleaned a lot very dirty windows using this approach. I would estimate about 30+ panes of glass before I refilled my backpack (4gals)

Hope that helps your dilemma!

Mettler Maintenance WC

backpacks strength seems to be when:

scarcity is an issue - limited purewater for whatever reason
spigot access - no accessible water onsite or issues with spigots, locked
window access - like a large exterior 3rd floor + balcony
and spigot distance are issues - cant get water to vehicle with reels
vehicle distance - hose reel cant reach
amount to clean - if there’s only a couple windows way out around back and running hose would take longer than backpack

we’re all different, but for me with spigots everywhere and plenty of reel, running hose has been the simplest, most efficient way to go

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[MENTION=12729]JaredAI[/MENTION] [MENTION=7269]Majestic66[/MENTION] [MENTION=67]Beautiful View[/MENTION] [MENTION=5058]mettlermaintenance[/MENTION] thanks for replying.

did you guys find that once you got a technique down, you could work just as quickly as you would with an on-demand system? that’s my biggest question. not wether it can be done, but do you sacrifice a lot of speed because you have to work with less volume, so that it’s costing you more than it’s helping you?

I guess in my case (see my video series ‘Testing The Waters’) where I started off in a position where I didn’t have a system for the first couple of months, I just bought RO water, I trained myself in the art of wfp’ing with less water available. So it’s kinda like when you’ve gotten use to using little then when you get a system you feel like you won the lottery but at the same time a tiny bit of guilt for using so much pure water when you know you could do it for less. Don’t get me wrong, on larger jobs and commercial jobs I couldn’t imagine using just a backpack.

You kinda have to be more methodical prior to hitting up a window. I’m sure if I started with a system first and then tried the backpack route my thoughts and approach would be different.

Less volume of water coming out of my jets hmm, I don’t think so cause I would always have 4 jets I used the reach it beta pack, and the shurflo back pack that has 3 speeds . I bought this one cause pure water gave it good reviews, and he was right. Never really worried about running out of water cause I would always have my ladders with me. The only thing I think that slowed me down was re filling the back pack. All in all my set up the way it is now reels mounted in truck hook up to spigot and start cleaning is more practical ( efficient) don’t have to wheel around a back pack , an don’t have to run to the truck when I run out of water . So I def. prefer this way than back pack glad I have it even though I have to dust it off when I do use it now.

Depends on the house and how much junk is on the windows. But in general it seems to be faster to me. Don’t have to get out the cart, hoses, etc. just walk up and go.

The only thing faster would be a truck mounted unit.

But you have to get a feel for the size of the house you can do. The backpack just rocks residential.

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so probably the most killer setup would be a van mounted system with buffer tank, and a backpack or two as a supplemental tool. i’m building a van mounted system in the next couple of weeks but i could see how having a backpack would be useful to go along with it.

Will you be using the same van for power washing as well and using the same tank or do you run seperate vans for pw and wc?

i’m probably going to have to set up a pw specific trailer. i just have too much gear right now, and it was a real drag trying to fill all the pw stuff last year, or move it between vehicles etc. maybe just a small one this year that we can tow with our e150.

Do you really need a buffer tank then . Most houses have spigots an it takes 5 min. To hook up yur hose. For me I didn’t want to take up the space with a tank i do mostly all resi . I have the cox stack reels set up right by the back doors . Just something to think about . Everyone has different needs.

If you can swing a trailer that’s the move. Organizing, loading and unloading pws is a huge pita.

i thought about that, but there are a few reasons i think it would be good. i’m going to build an ro/di system and i want to run two poles off it. i think i’ll need a buffer tank, because one 4x40 ro membrane won’t quite produce enough water on the fly to supply two poles at the flow rates i want to work at. and it will only get worse as it gets colder and the ro membrane’s production drops. the heater will help with that, but having 30 gallons or so will give me the buffer i need to keep rolling despite challenging conditions.

another reason is that, around november, most people here have their outside spigots turned off so they don’t freeze. even if it’s warm enough to use pure water (anything above 32F in my book) on a lot of jobs that time of year we can’t get any outdoor water. so having that tank will allow me to at least bring water with us so we can continue to wfp later into the year.

We ended up burning away valuable time last year cause we relied on the customers water source. I’d go price out a job thinking hey i see 2 or 3 spigots that means i can run a power washer or 2 and a di tank at the same time. I’d give a very entertaining quote where the customer knows hes getting a great deal and im thinking this is gonna be easy money and ill be out of here in 3-4 hrs tops. Then you find out 2 spigots dont work or they all run on one pipe and turning them all on at the same time kills the pressure. or like caleb mentioned they are turned off for the winter(and never got turned back on). So after learning the hard way now i make sure that the spigots are operational when i go to the house the first time and if they’re not ill make sure they get their neighbors permission to use theirs so that things go smoothly. Having a buffer tank leaves less room for error on the job, if you can make room for one, go for it.