When to Avoid Using WaterFed®

Amy LavinWaterFed®, Window Cleaning

More and more, it seems that water-fed is transitioning from skepticism to an essential part of many cleaning jobs. There are always moments when a pure water cleaning system would be ideal. Whenever you can use WaterFed®, you’ll save time, increase safety, and get the best results possible. There are, however, times when WaterFed® systems are not recommended, and traditional cleaning comes into play.

In the cold – And by cold, we mean 40º F (4.444°C). We suggest you pivot cleaning solutions when it becomes 40º F or colder. That’s because WaterFed® filters can quickly ruin if they freeze. While 40º F isn’t yet freezing, if the weather rapidly changes while you are, the filters could be ruined. SteveO from 20/20 Window Cleaning avoids pure water in the winter. “You’re really running the risk of it freezing.”

Near power lines – WaterFed® poles are highly conductive! With that said, we ALWAYS recommend you walk around your new job site and take note of any power lines within 50ft of the location. If power lines are close in range, avoid using your pure water cleaning system. No job is worth the risk. Some poles are advertised as being insulated from electricity. While they might offer some extra protection, abc recommends that you still avoid using your pole anywhere near power lines because your crew may drop the bottom insulated section without understanding the risk, and wet conditions could compromise the effectiveness of the insulation. It’s best to exercise extreme caution with power lines, and no product is a license to ignore basic electrical safety. 

Windows that require chemicals – Sometimes, there is no substitute for window cleaning chemicals. WaterFed® does not employ chemicals, so windows that need them to become clean are not a good fit for a WaterFed® system. Window cleaners will often run a pass over windows with pure water before using chemicals, or other methods, to clean them. This will loosen dirt and allow the chemicals to be more effective. Examples for when you’d need chemicals include hard water stains and inorganic stains that aren’t water-soluble.

Insane TDS areas – While WaterFed® systems can purify any water, it becomes cost-ineffective if the system’s filters are quickly “used up.” WaterFed® cleaning will always be incredible, but if not cost-effective, then it becomes impractical. This is especially true of DI only systems, which are very cost-sensitive with high TDS.  

Specific building features – There are three features a building can have that will make pure water ineffective. 

Wood frames – Wood and water, without a seal, never get along. Frames are rarely sealed, so we recommend cleaning using another method.  

Storm windows and doors – Storm windows and doors require organization, plenty of towels and rags, a squeegee, a sleeve and t-bar, cleaning solution, and patience. But not a WaterFed® system. 

Screens – WaterFed® isn’t used to clean window screens, just like a squeegee and sleeve aren’t either. You also can’t clean a window through a screen, so all screens need to be removed before you can use a pure water system.

Remember that WFP is not a replacement for traditional cleaning. As Luke the Window Cleaner said, “they’re both equally important”. If you recognize a situation where water-fed isn’t ideal before you begin, you can save time and make an educated decision on a new cleaning solution.

Have you experienced a situation that you decided wasn’t ideal for WaterFed® cleaning? Leave a comment below.