Congratulations on your new WaterFed® system! We feel confident once you become familiar with your system, you’ll be as big a WaterFed® fan as we are.
To begin, if you just purchased your WaterFed® system, have you received an email about it from us? These emails include helpful videos and manuals to get you started and feeling confident about using your new cart. If you have not received this email, these resources can also be found on each cart’s product page. We have created this post so that you know what to expect from your system and how it can set you and your business up for success.
The first thing that will help you best know your system is to understand what WaterFed® is. If you’re already familiar, skip this part. If you don’t, click to expand the section below.
The pressure you can expect from your system will vary on a few different factors. The one thing you should know is that your WaterFed® system is not a pressure washer. It’s important to note that although it seems like pressure would make a big difference, that is not how the magic of WaterFed ® works. It is also vital that you know what to expect with your specific type of system.
DI vs. Multistage vs. Multistage with a Pump
The first factor is the number and type of filters your system uses. If you are operating a DI filter system, your water passes through one to two filters max. This is an easy process, so DI filter systems tend to have good pressure when the flow comes out of your WaterFed® brush. The DI system usually produces a steady stream of about 5 gallons per minute and costs roughly about $1 to $2 per gallon. The cost is higher per gallon, but the process is simpler, and the outpouring flow pressure is similar to that of tap water pressure.
A multistage system has a low-pressure output, think slightly more pressure than a trickle. This is because the water travels through more filters, slowing the process. By adding more filters, a multistage system will produce a significantly lighter pressure than a DI system. When we use a multistage WaterFed ® system on our 60 PSI tap, about 0.65 gallons per minute are produced, as opposed to five gallons per minute from a DI system. The kicker is in the cost. For a multistage WaterFed ® system, it costs about $0.02 per gallon. Even though the additional filtration restricts the flow, your multistage is much more efficient and cost-effective in producing clean water. This is also why it is recommended you use a multistage WaterFed® system if you regularly use your WF system to clean. It boils down to the cost of the replacement filters. Because the perk of this system is not in the pressure/flow, but in the purity of the water, it helps to think of the multistage WaterFed ® system as a team of workers relying on each other, rather than a one-person army like the DI systems.
The last WaterFed ® option is to have a multistage system with a pump. The pump, of course, speeds the process along. It pushes the water through each filter, rather than relying on tap pressure or gravity. These are great WF systems for cleaners looking to use theirs frequently and for windows 4 stories or higher. In many cases, even if you aren’t planning to go higher than 4 stories, you will still want a pump because it will allow you to work faster. A multistage system with a pump produces about 0.75 to 2 gallons a minute but stays consistent with $0.02 per gallon. This means that the pressure of the water coming out will be stronger than a multistage system without a pump, allowing you to go higher and work faster.
Regardless of the WF system you have, the water pressure is enough to clean and rinse windows.
Another factor that can affect your WaterFed ® outflow pressure is the temperature of the surrounding area. The tendency is that when it gets cold, the pressure decreases a bit because molecules in the RO membrane shrink in the cold, which makes it a tighter squeeze for water to get through.
Your WaterFed ® system will work best if you flush the RO filter after every use. To do this, start by turning off your system’s pump if it has one. Next, fully open the bypass. Turn off the water to the pole by shutting off the quick-release valve that connects your hose reel to your pole. Allow water to exit from the bypass for 2-3 minutes. After, turn the source water off. You are good to go! This will make the RO filter last much longer, and will save you money!
Your TDS (Total Dissolved Solids) meter will register zero with new filters. However, it is essential to know what kind of reading you can expect from each filter. Assume you start with 100 TDS. With a DI filter system, your TDS meter will read zero. This is because the water went through only one filter. With multistage filter WaterFed ® systems, your reading will be very different. After the first filter – the Sediment/Carbon filter – your water will still read 100 TDS since the filter has only removed chlorine and larger sediment. This is important because your RO filter will be damaged by chlorine. From there, the water travels to your RO filter. After this, it is normal for your TDS meter to read somewhere between 2-10. You should not be alarmed if and when your meter does not read zero after the RO filter. The process is not complete! Next, the water travels through the DI filter. After this process, your TDS should read zero. Below, we have included a small chart to help illustrate this point.
It is easy to see that the DI system is much more of a simple process than a multistage WaterFed ® system, so why bother? It comes down to price. A DI system costs $1 to $2 per gallon and is best for infrequent usage. Meanwhile, a multistage system costs $0.02 per gallon and is recommended for frequent use. If you were to try and use your DI system as often as your multistage system, you would find that the DI system would end up costing you an arm and a leg because of filter replacement costs.
Multistage Filter System TDS Reading Chart
When you start to use your WaterFed® system, you might have to do some damage control with the windows you are going to clean. Soapy windows are common for people to see when they first begin using a WaterFed® system. This is due to past window cleaning efforts, in which soap dries onto the outer edges of the window and usually comes back to life because of the new, constant flow of water from your system. To fix this, simply rinse the soapy water off with your system. You may have to do several rinses to remove all of the soap residues. This will take a little longer, but you’ll only have to do it the first time you clean the window.
We could go on and on about how great WaterFed® is, but we’ll try and keep that to a minimum. However, it is important to know what to expect from your WF system. We have many WaterFed® resources on our blog and our YouTube channels and continue to create more. If there is a matter that has not been addressed in our resources, give us a call, and we will help you with any WaterFed® questions you might have!