There are certain windows that seem impossible to clean. Maybe the house is on a steep hill or the window is so high that it can’t be safely reached by a ladder. For a long time these windows were the bane of homeowners and window cleaner’s existence. Today, most professionals have found a way to clean those hard to reach windows.
In 1955 an inventor by the name of Irv Tucker introduced a car and home washer kit to the world. The kit included a 3’ to 6’ foot pole that would become the precursor to what we have today. During the 60’s the Tucker Pole was being sold through direct mail and was being used at hospitals, colleges, and business all around the world.
By the 1970’s 30% of all Tucker Poles were being sold outside the U.S. The ability to reach high windows without a ladder made a typically dangerous job relatively safe.
The next huge leap for the water fed pole didn’t come until 1993. That year Craig Mawlam, a U.K.-based window cleaner, met Irv Tucker at the International Window Cleaning Association’s annual convention. The two discussed the problems associated with the existing pole.
Mawlam took inspiration from Tucker and in 1997 launched a water fed pole that consisted of a telescopic pole that used a water purification system. The industry has embraced this type of system and several other manufacturers have made their own improvements and innovations.
The water fed pole system has become so popular around the world that in places with extreme hard water problems they are the norm. For example, almost every window cleaner in the U.K. uses them. British landmarks like the London Eye are cleaned with water fed poles and even the Royal Navy uses the system. It’s not just popular overseas, in the U.S. large buildings and commercial businesses are exclusively cleaned using the water fed pole system.
How They Work
Customers who are used to seeing “nose to the glass” window cleaning, might question the approach of using a water fed pole. Seeing someone not use a squeegee or any kind of cleaning solution might seem like a cop-out, but it’s not. The water fed pole system uses purified water that eliminates all the minerals and chemicals that will leave streaks on your glass.
Water purity is measured in PPM (parts per million) and handheld TDS or PPM meters used to measure the purity of water are readily available for any window cleaner. Even the softest water will need to be purified using a two-part system.
The initial process uses reverse osmosis. RO systems consist of a series of filters that remove sediment and other impurities. While RO water will be mostly pure in order to get a nice clean window, the water must go through deionization. The extra filter is filled with a special resin that will remove any impurities left in the water. The purified water is now ready to make your windows sparkle.
So the next time you see a water fed pole don’t scoff. The water fed pole will not only give you the same streak free window, but it is also chemical free and faster than traditional window cleaning. Water fed poles eliminate the need for ladders, so safety is no longer an issue. The water fed pole system is safer, faster, and greener!