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Tel:     011 768 1100
           011 679 2949
Cell:    082 611 2707 
Fax:    086 510 2123
335 Ontdekkers Road
Florida Park
Level 4 contributor
Pure Water & nothing else
Selecting the right Water Fed Pole System (WFPS)

What does WFPS stand for?

WFPS stands for Water Fed Pole Systems.

What are WFPS used for?

WFPS are used for cleaning windows, signage and even cladding ~ at heights up to 20m ~ without using ladders, scaffolding or expensive cherry pickers.

What are the advantages of using WFPS?

·         Safety – using WFPS allows the operator to work from the ground i.e. without using ladders, and so removes the risk of working at height completely.

·         Environmentally friendly – WFPS use only pure water and so there are no detergents or chemicals to pollute the environment.

·         Cleaner – windows cleaned using the system stay cleaner for longer, as the surface of the glass becomes sterile from the use of only pure water.

·         Faster – cleaning windows using a WFPS is usually 30 to 80% quicker than conventional window cleaning methods.

·         No damage to property – because WFPS do not require ladders or scaffolding, there is no exterior marking or damage to walls and windowsills, and no unsightly ladder marks or damage in lawns and borders.

How do Water Fed Pole Systems (WFPS) work?

Pure Water is pumped through a hose reel, up a telescopic Water Fed Pole and through jets in the brush at the top of the pole, where it is sprayed onto the glass. The brush contacts with the surface of the glass and frames, and lightly agitates the surface, loosening the dirt. Any dirt or dust particles are flushed away by the constant stream of pure water.

What would happen if normal tap water were used to wash a window?

The glass will appear milky white and/or streaky when it dries, and you will be able to write on the glass surface with your finger. This effect on the glass is due entirely to the mineral content of the tap water.

Water Fed Pole Systems work... because they use the equivalent of distilled water.

WFPS use Pure Water (i.e. water without any mineral content), so as it dries it leaves the windows perfectly clean. Pure water strives to return to its natural (dirty) state, and so when applied to the window, pure water automatically absorbs the dirt. 

All tap water contains a quantity of minerals. The quantity differs from one area to another because of the variety of environment and ground rock strata that rainwater passes through before it reaches our rivers and ground-water storage reservoirs.

If you were to buy bottled spring water from the supermarket and read the label you will notice that water contains minerals such as calcium, magnesium, chlorides, nitrates, sulphates, bi-carbonates, sodium, potassium and silica etc, that are dissolved in the water.

Totally Dissolved Solids (TDS)

A TDS meter is required to identify the total quantity of minerals that are dissolved in YOUR water. A hand held TDS meter will give a three-digit reading. If you were to test the water at your tap, the meter would probably show a reading of between 035 parts per million (035 ppm) and 600 parts per million (600 ppm). While this is OK for drinking, it is of NO use for window cleaning!

If you want to wash glass and end up with perfectly clean windows, all the minerals need to be filtered or extracted from the water, resulting in a TDS reading of 000 ppm (indicating zero mineral content or total demineralisation). This is called “Pure Water”.

The higher the initial TDS reading, the higher the costs and more involved the methods required in demineralising the water.

There are a number of different filtration methods used to produce demineralised water – but some methods are just too expensive to even consider. The most cost effective methods are: 

1.       A de-ionised resin vessel on its own. (Sometimes called a polisher)

2.       A de-ionised resin vessel and a reverse osmosis filter along with pre-filters.

3.       A de-ionised resin vessel, a reverse osmosis filter along with pre-filters and a water softener.

Which filtration system is best?

The answer depends on the initial TDS reading of your water. As a general guide, consider the following.

A)      If you have very soft water, option 1 would be cost effective in the short term.

B)      If your water is harder, you may need Options 2 or 3 depending on calcium and magnesium levels.

Which filtration system do you need?

If the water is hard (i.e. it has a high TDS reading), a 4 or 5 stage system is recommended. The last stage (DI vessel) should always be mounted in the vehicle as a final polisher before the water hits the window. It is also recommended that, if possible, the filtration system should be static (i.e. located in a garage or workshop) rather than mobile (i.e. mounted in the vehicle or trailer).

Of course there are many variables governing the choice of filtration system, such as quality of available water, type and proximity of work, number of operators, volume of water required and type and size of vehicle or trailer available.

If you have a static filtration system near to where you are working and you run out of water at midday, it is very convenient to drive to base and refill. Obviously if all your work is near to your static system, your business can operate with a smaller capacity tank and smaller vehicle.

If most of your work is far away from base, it is likely that you will require the filtration system fixed inside the vehicle, which usually means a larger vehicle with the biggest tank that the payload permits.

Static Filtration System (Garage or Workshop)



Production of water is more efficient at a constant warmer temperature. Water continues to be produced by a static system even while you are working or driving. When returning to base you can transfer water from the static tank to the vehicle tank in minutes.

Sometimes, you need water and are too far away from base to return. (However with a DI polisher in the vehicle you can make water very quickly but at the cost of degenerating the resin.)

If you decide to expand your business you can fit a booster pump to make water faster and/or add more reservoir tanks to the filtration system. This will increase your total reservoir and enable you to supply more vehicles with pure water.


Mobile Filtration System (In vehicle or trailer)



If you run out of pure water while working, you can find a tap and make water in your vehicle using the reverse osmosis system in the van (but only at a rate of approx. 100 litres per hour on average. This may not keep up with a 'water fed pole' use of water.  You also have a DI pressure vessel that can make water on its own very quickly but at the cost of degenerating the resin.)

If you run out of pure water while working but need to continue working you may have to wait an unacceptable length of time to make enough water through a reverse osmosis filter.


You can also make water by linking up to an outside tap while working if your vehicle is to be parked for a reasonable length of time.


During freezing conditions it is difficult to keep your filtration system at an acceptable temperature for a reasonable production rate. (Unless you are prepared to go to the cost of insulation and/or the costs and additional risks of a heater).








Once the correct choice of filtration system has been made, the choice of vehicle or transport system must be determined.

Essentially the choices of mobile WFPS are:

·         Vehicle systems (Van or Bakkie)

·         Trailer systems

·         Trolley, Backpack and DI systems

Vehicle Systems

Experts in the Water Fed Pole System Industry all over the world recommend the use of a vehicle (van or bakkie) as the preferred solution whenever possible!



Ease of use!  Driving, Parking and Operating!  (It is so much easier to step into your van at the start of the day and drive to the first job, park in the best place and then set up your equipment and work!)

Can be expensive to buy / maintain


All tank sizes can be used. (Vehicles come in all shapes and sizes and loads can vary from 250 litres to 1500 litres)


All types of systems can be used. (You may want to operate as a one-man system or up to a four-man system. Vehicles can be adapted to whatever system you prefer.)


Best Security (A WFPS is an investment and it needs to be protected. Vehicles have excellent security in the form of alarms, immobilisers, wheel clamps etc. Outside ports can be fitted enabling total security while you are working even if the vehicle is out of sight.)


What size Vehicle?

Firstly - do you intend for one person to operate from the vehicle, or two or more?

The answer to this question will make a massive difference to your choice of vehicle because water weighs 1kg per litre (500 litres of water would weigh 500kg or half a tonne), and a Water Fed Pole can use up to 120 litres per hour or more unless you restrict the flow. A quick calculation tells you that 500 litres of water may last one person over 4 hours when used continuously, and a 1000 litre tank of water may last one person 8 hours when used continuously. (1000 litres of water weighs 1 tonne. (1000kg).

Continuous use is only normal on very large buildings. If you are constantly stopping the flow of water or moving on to other sites, or restricting the flow of water by means of a flow regulator, then the water will last longer than shown above.

A smaller vehicle with a payload around 650kg such as a Corsa Bakkie or a Renault Kangoo may carry about 400 litres of water maximum. That’s about 3.5 hours of continuous use for one operator.

A medium sized vehicle with a payload of 900 kg may carry about 600 litres of water, which represents around 5 hours of continuous use for one operator.

A larger vehicle such as a Hyundai Bakkie would have no problem carrying 1000 litres and more (depending on the payload specification), giving enough for an 8-hour day of continuous use for a single operator.

Remember however the option to install the filtration system in the vehicle and produce pure water on-site.

While the above suggestions are approximate ~ it remains the operator’s responsibility to ensure that the total weight of the water plus all other equipment does not exceed the designated payload of the vehicle.

Trailer Systems

A Trailer with a WFPS on board is an option to consider instead of or in addition to a Van system.



Can be towed behind a car. (Check up on what is the recommended towing weight for the car. You may be able to tow more weight with a braked trailer than with an un-braked trailer)

High Security risk! A trailer is much more easily stolen than a vehicle.


Suits more than one type of work. (For example - Water fed pole system in the trailer & Garden Service equipment in the vehicle).

Time-consuming & difficult to handle.     It can be frustrating to lift the trailer hitch on and off the tow ball and manoeuvre the trailer around the building on which you are working. This is particularly true when the trailer is single axle. Because water is a fluid weight it can alter the balance of the trailer quickly and become very difficult to control. This situation is improved if the tank is excellently baffled. A twin axle trailer handles the weight and movement of water far better but is very difficult to steer around corners by hand.

Cheaper. A trailer is less expensive to purchase, run and maintain than a vehicle system.

Difficult to Park. This is because of the train length! (The length of the tow vehicle and the trailer together)

Increase capacity in stages. A trailer system can be useful to increase the potential of a vehicle system.

Cost of insurance to cover the trailer value itself, as well as the insurance cover to tow.

Multi-functional. When towing a trailer system with a vehicle, an operator can work on one building with the trailer system (un-hitched), while the vehicle system can work on another building.

Towing may restrict the speed of your cleaning operation. (Road speed may have to be slower and un-hitching etc can prove time consuming)

Most tank sizes can be used.

You need to finance a vehicle to tow the Trailer.

Most types of systems can be used. (You may want to operate a one-man system or up to a four-man system. Trailer systems may be adapted to suit most systems).


Types of Trailers

Typically there are braked and un-braked trailers. Braked trailers cost more to purchase, but there is a limit on the payload that the law allows to be un-braked. Typically un-braked trailers can carry loads up to a maximum of 500 litres of water or 500kg. Braked trailers are safer to tow and can also improve the braking performance of the towing vehicle. Braked trailers can be fitted with a range of tanks from 500 litres to 1500 litres. Single axle trailers can be difficult to control (when un-hitched) if not used with the aid of the jockey wheel. Double axle trailers are much safer to un-hitch because the fluid weight will be more stable between a pair of axles but they are more difficult to manoeuvre around bends by hand.

A box trailer is more desirable because the tank and system is protected and unseen, and there is room inside for the poles and other window cleaning equipment.  However - an open trailer can be one of the most cost effective ways to get started.

 Which water fed pole should you choose?

Once you have decided on the filtration system (static or mobile) and the type of transport system (vehicle, trailer or trolley) - it is time to decide which water fed pole is best for your business. The factors to be considered are how high is the work; and which of the following are most important to you – Lightness, Durability, Rigidity or flexibility, Serviceability and Cost. No one pole will have all of the above features and it should be understood that whatever pole you choose will be a compromise.





Light up to 9m

Light up to 14m

Light up to 10m

Light up to 14m

Tough – can take Knocks

Hard wearing -needs more care

Tough – can take Knocks

Hard wearing -needs more care

Flexible over 7m

Flexible over 14m

Rigid up to 18m

Rigid up to 18m

Serviceable parts

Serviceable parts

Serviceable parts

Serviceable parts


Medium/Low cost

Medium Cost

Most Expensive

Most larger window cleaning companies use a combination of pole types for different reasons.

Fibreglass Poles

Fibreglass poles are the cheapest to buy and are generally robust in every day use, however the sections can wear very quickly. Although it is possible to get replacement sections, it is sometimes more cost effective to purchase a completely new pole.

Fibreglass poles are particularly heavy to use over 9m and also become very flexible.

Aluminium Poles

Aluminium poles are made with aircraft aluminium alloy and are one of the best poles available. (Not to be confused with squeegee poles that are made of low-grade aluminium.) They are very light and strong up to 14m, and are also very reasonably priced. Extremely hard wearing this pole should last many years if looked after and all parts are replaceable and cost effective to buy. A disadvantage to aluminium poles is that the sections can dent if treated carelessly. Over 14m they are too flexible.

Some aluminium poles, but not all, have slow clamping methods or threads that can easily jam.

Carbon Fibre Poles

Carbon fibre poles (like fibreglass) are robust, and very rigid and are often used to reach heights of 14 – 20m. The drawback with carbon fibre is that they are very heavy to use and expensive to buy.

Carbon Kevlar Poles

Carbon Kevlar poles are similar in weight to aluminium poles and are therefore good to use up to 20m and rigid. They are however the most expensive type of pole.

General info on Water Fed Poles

It is important to remember that poles are made in various length sections (1.8m, 2.4m and 3.6m) when you consider whether the pole may fit inside the vehicle or you may have to use a rack or pole tube. The length of the closed down pole will be longer when you take into account the telescopic sections, the gooseneck and brush.

Water Fed Poles utilise a variety of different types of brushes, some better than others.

Goosenecks come in a variety of lengths to enable you to get over wide sills and make contact with the bottom of the window.

Most Water Fed Poles have a single hose that connects to jets in the brush. The water is contained between the surface of the glass and within the bristles of the brush and you can control and contain the spray. To clean the window and leave it gleaming you will have to lift the brush off the surface of the window and rinse the glass with the jets of water.

This will, unfortunately, cause a spray/mist, take more time and be more difficult to accomplish.


We hope that this information helps you with the basic selection of your WFPS!

Please feel free to contact us should you require further information or assistance.


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