With an increase of window cleaners converting from a traditional to a water fed pole system, there is still a little confusion about how to go about such a significant business decision.
To buy the tank, poles, hundreds and hundreds of meters of hoses, filters and pumps to be then fitted inside the van can be very expensive, often costing thousands of pounds. I’d like to share with you ways I’ve found of starting to use a water fed pole system, on a budget of between just £300 to £600. I hope this will help save you time and money along the way.
Since talking to some fellow window cleaners (good friends of mine), I have come to notice a pattern in that option of the tank in the van and the hoses being dragged around the whole house and being reeled back again isn’t always the fastest and therefore isn’t always the most popular. With trolleys or backpacks being a lot cheaper, which includes pumps and batteries fitted all in one this also provides a get out and go route with no faffing about with hoses and parking etc.
Window Cleaning Warehouse sells there own backpack for £119.95 with battery level indicator, and speed control which holds up to 18L of water. I have used this one for over a year and had no problems with it, the speed control helps to control flow and reduce wastage water.
One of the cheapest poles i have seen is from Gardiner pole systems. they have two ranges of poles; carbon composite to carbon fibre. the carbon composite range starts from just £28 however that is just a 9ft pole. a 22ft (6.7m) good enough to reach the majority of all windows on a house costs £92 ex vat however this is just for the pole not the brush and hose. However whilst researching around for the best prices, i came across the full clean centre which sells for a slighty smaller (20ft) Glass fibre pole with a brush, hose and a spare brush for just £89.95 (see picture).
Of course the main component for a WFP system are the filters. this is where it can often get expensive and complicated. Some people just use a Di Resin vessel which, with water in and purified water out with no wastage, this is a quick way to get purified water fast. For a 7l vessel would cost around £40 on ebay and 25l of resin around £70 from pure freedom. As the resin’s job is used primarily to polish the water, the resin runs out quickly sometimes with the larger rounds having to replace the 25l resin on a monthly basis. This way is not as cost effective as if you were to use a Reverse Osmosis system to purify the water beforehand. Pure Freedom sells a 300GPD (gallons per day) RO system for £183.40. As this produces a lot of wastage water i would not reccomend if you are on a water meter.
Now last but not least the water storage tanks. If you are interested to get a big container to store either in the garage or outside i recommend the bigger container the better because the water coming out of the filters trickles out with a days usage can only generate around 300 GPD so with a large enough tank there poses no risk of overflow. DV Fuels sell used only once 1000l containers from £42. I personally bought one from this company and as the previous use was carrying around fruit juice all it needed was a good clean and flush out and it was ready to use. If space is a issue a 210 litre plastic drum would store enough water for a days work and at £12.50 from the same company you cant go wrong. They also sell 25l plastic containers for £1.75 each. i would recommend in the region of 10 to cater for a seriously long days work.
So if you were to buy this equipment with the backpack, pole, Di resin, 210l tank and 10 containers would cost you just under £350 much cheaper that i am sure you would have thought, therefore proof that it doesn’t need thousands and thousands of pounds to change from traditional to the WFP system, you can actually set up on a bootstrap.