Unger Pole Modification
In 5 years of window cleaning I had not yet come across a job that requires every trick and tool in the window cleaning arsenal, until last month when I got the opportunity to bid a beautiful home right on the sandy beaches of Malibu, California. To be honest I was a bit overwhelmed at first, no matter how confident I tried to appear to the customer. There were four window sets in particular that I knew I would have to seek out help for. These window sets are large sliding doors on a second story, but the difficulty with these window sets is that the bottom half of them are barricaded by a very large piece of glass, and the glass barricade is only about 6 inches away from the glass sliding door, leaving no room at all to be able to use an extension pole and clean them traditionally.
Flustered and feeling helpless I drove down to the J Racenstein headquarter in Carson to seek out help. Within minutes of me being down there, Steve Blyth had greeted me and inquired about my problem. I showed him the pictures and we immediately set to work, brainstorming and looking around the warehouse for possible solutions, until we finally settled on building our own product that could take care of the problem.
My business is equipped with pure water technology, but no waterfed pole brush would be able to fit in this tight gap, therefore Steve and I created our own pole. We knew we needed to clean the window from the top side where there was an opening, so we used a traditional extension pole, and attached a shorter 3 foot extension pole onto an UNGER Adjustable Angle Elbow that allows us to reverse the angle on the extension pole. We then clamped on a waterfed brush that is usually used for car washing onto our newly created pole. We chose this brush because it had no angle on it. With our newly created product we could drop the brush into the slot from the top and clean not only the glass barricade but also swivel it and clean the sliding door glass. Our final step was to connect a hose to the brush using zip-ties, allowing pure water to flow through it.
As for results, I was excited to see that our newly created waterfed pole did work in regards to its ability to reach not only the inside of the glass barricade, but also the glass sliding door as well. However, truth be told, the results on the glass were sub-par, even though my TDS meter throughout the day read 000 ppm. I am skeptical about whether or not pure water technology can be used on a home that receives so much ocean spray. My working theory for the poor results is that there is a profusion of salt that has burrowed its way into the glass so that even after brushing and rinsing the glass it still spots and streaks because there is so much salt on the glass. Initially I did the entire exterior with Pure water and had to return the next day to re-do the whole exterior “the old-school way” with strip washers and squeegees because of the poor quality produced by the Water Fed pole. If anyone uses Pure Water on homes on beachfront property I would be interested to get feedback and see if you faced the same problems I did, because this job has become a monthly account for me.
Much thanks to everyone at J Racenstein, but especially to Steve Blyth for spending 4 hours with me in the shop. I am incredibly grateful for their outstanding customer service as evidenced by the fact that they made my problem their problem.