by Doug Rucker Doug Rucker

PRESSURE WASHING VS SOFT WASHING

PRESSURE WASHING VS SOFT WASHING

This PRESSURE WASHING VS SOFT WASHING post and video examines the difference between these two cleaning strategies.  This is from my perspective as I got started in the business over 40 years ago.  But it also addresses changes in the industry over the years.  My very first pressure washing job was in 1979 as a junior in high school.

HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE

When I began there was no pressure washing vs soft washing debate.  However, we did soft wash, but without using that specific terminology.  Basically, we would apply the mix gently.  In other words, when using gentle pressure we would downstream.  We would use the black, green and yellow tips, applying the stream or mist from a distance back away from the surface.  So to me personally, down streaming is the original soft wash method.  Pressure Washing vs Soft Washing did become more relevant about 10 years later.  A franchise power washing company began using, promoting and marketing soft washing as a service alternative.   ‘

SOFT WASHING DEFINITION

I define soft washing the following way.  Soft washing means applying mix to any surface softly with a dedicated pump.  It also always includes a light rinse.  This approach allows applying a stronger mix than what down streaming can deliver.  In the video, I explain that the original dedicated pump is a pump up sprayer.  Be sure and watch the entire video as I provide an answer to the question many people ask me about this.  That question is “How do I know what my mix ratio is when down streaming or using a downstream injector?”

NEW PUMP OPTIONS

Pressure Washing vs Soft Washing gains quite a bit of traction once new electric pumps take the place of a pump up sprayer.  12 volt pumps were first, which were wired and hooked into systems and tanks.  In addition to new pump options, tank sizes grew well beyond the pump up sprayer size.  This allows a new approach we call “batch mixing.” This means creating a cleaning solution with bleach, soap, and water.  Then air diaphragm pumps such as the FLOWJET pump came along.  This is what we have on our KINGSLINGER soft wash system.  Booster pumps and gas operated systems also became more and more prevalent over time.  We sell all of these systems and options through the Doug Rucker Store.  The full video is 23:00 so I encourage you to take the time to view the entire video.

by Doug Rucker Doug Rucker

DROP TUBE FITTINGS

DROP TUBE FITTINGS

This DROP TUBE FITTINGS post and video comes as a result of a YouTube channel viewer request.  There are a couple different ways you can install them.  You can get all the parts at your local stores such as Home Depot or Lowe’s, but you can also get them from the Doug Rucker Store website.  In this video, I use the lid of a 5 Gallon Bucket for demonstration purpose to more easily show how to install drop tube fittings.

NO FILTER NEEDED

Some people like to use sand filters when installing drop tube fittings.  I choose not to use filtration because it restricts the flow.  The way we plumb our tanks with ventilation means we never open the lid.  Thus, there is seldom any trash or debris found in the tanks.  Be sure and view the entire video because there are a lot of variables that I discuss.  There are many different parts and many different strategies to make drop tube fittings.

BLUE COLLAR ENTREPRENEUR

Check out the YouTube channel called “Blue Collar Entrepreneur.”  I actually got the idea for using uniseals from this channel.  It’s a pretty good channel!  Cutting holes for the uniseal is a little bit different than for the bulkhead fittings so pay close attention to the cutting process.  In this case, the seal is “built in” so to speak.  It’s important to prepare the drop tube fittings so that air does not penetrate the system.

If you have any questions at all, please use the comments section in the YouTube video.  Also, don’t forget that if you need a website for your new pressure washing business, we can help! Or if you are unhappy with the way your website looks and feels presently, we can also help with that as well!  Just click that same link!

by Doug Rucker Doug Rucker

BLEACH TANK VENTING

BLEACH TANK VENTING

I was doing some work on my commercial trailer rig and getting it ready for my monthly school.  This trailer has an 8 GPM hot water machine as well as another 8 GPM cold water machine.  In this video I do a walkaround so you can get a feel for all the pressure washing business equipment on this rig.  But my main focus for this post and video is dealing with BLEACH TANK VENTING.  This is especially important if you are using a van or enclosed trailer to prevent deterioration of your equipment.

 

PLUMBING AND HOSES

There BLEACH TANK VENTING setup begins with one hose that is connected to our air diaphragm system.  But there is also a hose which is solely for the purpose of ventilation.  It has a 90 degree thread to barb fitting on a bulkhead fitting on top of the BLEACH TANK.  This allows the fumes and off gassing to come out from that dedicated hose.  This hose goes through a small hole in the bottom of the trailer.

FILLING THE TANK

In this BLEACH TANK VENTING video, I also provide instructions on how we fill the tank with bleach.  We use a 10 GPM flow jet pump, which is the same pump that comes on the KINGSLINGER soft wash system.  I also explain the purpose of utilizing a dip tube when filling the tank.  This prevents bubbles and suds from forming in the bleach tank when soaps are also in the tank.

NO NEED TO OPEN LID

The point of BLEACH TANK VENTING is that there is never a need to open the lid.  And in this video I provide details on this as well as some of the history behind this idea.  It works very well.  Once I began venting my bleach tanks, I immediately could see my equipment deterioration was no longer the issue that it was.  I can’t recommend this approach strongly enough and hope it will save you time, effort and dollars as your business grows.

by Doug Rucker Doug Rucker

PRESSURE WASHING BUSINESS EQUIPMENT

PRESSURE WASHING BUSINESS EQUIPMENT

Do you know what pressure washing business equipment is needed to start a pressure washing business?  If you enjoy the outdoors and working with your hands, this is a great way to earn income.  It could be as a side hustle, but then could very well grow into your full time job.  In this video post, I provide five tools that would comprise the basic requirements for your pressure washing business equipment needs.  My passion is helping pressure washing startups and I’m excited to share this insight with you.

KINGSLINGER SOFT WASH SYSTEM

You will need some type of soft wash system.  We always recommend THE KINGSLINGER because we believe it is the best system available.  We have continually tested and improved the system over time, and allows you to get a higher mix ratio.  Bleach, water and surfactant easily combine or blend into one solution.  There is even a third option for another cleaning agent when necessary.  We know that the Kingslinger soft wash system is the top priority when considering pressure washing business equipment.  If your business is not ready for the cost of a soft wash system, a pump up sprayer will work until you can afford it.  If you expand services into roof cleaning, you will definitely need a soft wash system.

PRESSURE WASH GUN ASSEMBLY

Next on the pressure washing business equipment list is the gun.  This pressure wash gun assembly comes with the gun, hose connector fitting, and a mosmatic swivel. Then there is the JRODNOZZLE KIT that is number three on the list.  Be sure and watch the full video for all the details and demonstrations of how this all works together so well, saving time and effort on the job.

MODIFIED X-JET

This looks very similar to the gun we mention above.  But the modification allows you to connect a hose coming directly from the X-Jet or five gallon bucket.  The JROD nozzle kit can also connect to the modified X-Jet gun.  The final piece of pressure washing business equipment is a check valve for the downstream injector.  You might appreciate more information concerning a Downstream Injector Check Valve by checking out this post.

 

 

 

by Doug Rucker Doug Rucker

PRESSURE WASHER FITTINGS

PRESSURE WASHER FITTINGS

This PRESSURE WASHER FITTINGS post with video will help anyone just getting started in the pressure washing industry.  A popular first unit to purchase is the 4 GPM portable pressure washer at 3500 PSI.  I do not recommend any machine under 4 GPM for any new pressure washing business.  It has a Honda GX 390 and I provide step by step instructions for getting set up.

LEAD FITTING

The PRESSURE WASHER FITTINGS for this machine begins with what is coming off of the unloader.  Most manufacturers ship with the coupler in place there.  This is what I call the “LEAD FITTING.”  I provide specific details for hooking up the garden hose and the pressure hose.  The entire process can be inverted depending on your personal preference.

UNLOADER

Another important element of PRESSURE WASHER FITTINGS to understand is the unloader.  The unloader is what regulates the water pressure that will arrive from the machine.  For the most part, the unloader is factory set and you never need to adjust it or even touch it.  Unless you have need to replace it.  You can lower the water pressure through the various nozzles that you will use.

STAY ON THE GUN

It is important to “STAY ON THE GUN” to continually release pressure build up inside the pressure washer machine.  Otherwise, the machine heats up the water.  This can result in damage to the pump.  There is a way to bypass this risk which I cover in detail in the video.

THERMAL RELIEF VALVE

The thermal relief valve is another critical component when learning about PRESSURE WASHER FITTINGS.    This piece can sometimes fail and need replacement without any warning.  This is why I recommend always have replacements with you so you’re work flow will not be hindered.  There are many, many more details I cover in this 45 minute video so be sure and take time to watch it in its entirety.  Also, if you’re looking for help with your website as you start your pressure washing business, click here.

by Doug Rucker Doug Rucker

SIAMESE PRESSURE WASHERS

SIAMESE PRESSURE WASHERS

Have you ever heard of SIAMESE PRESSURE WASHERS?  This post and video features a large commercial parking lot job.  This particular job was extremely dirty with tons of mud, dirt and debris and took longer than expected.  So on the second day, I was able to SIAMESE PRESSURE WASHERS, using two machines to create one flow.  So between the two machines, we were able to achieve 17 gallons per minute.  This reduced our rinsing time in half and can be done with two individual pressure washer machines.

HIGHER FLOW MACHINES for SIAMESE PRESSURE WASHERS

Pressure washer machines are rated by gallons per minute.  So the higher gallons per minute you have, the more powerful the siamese flow will be.  In this siamese pressure washers example, I have an 8 gallon per minute machine and a 9 gallon per minute machine.  I was able to hook the two machines together into one output flow combining for 17 gallons per minute when rinsing.  The kit you need to execute this is available at my Doug Rucker Store.  I provide extensive detail on this product and how to hook it up.  Be sure and watch the entire video for all the details.  Two machines run together at one time into a T connector with check valves.

START LOWER GPM PRESSURE WASHER FIRST

It is best to start the lower GPM machine first.  So in our case, we begin by starting the 8 GPM machine first.  Then we start the 9 GPM machine.  If both machines are identical then this is obviously not a consideration to worry with.  But just remember to start the lower GPM machine first.  One of the things the video demonstrates is how we were able to pick up the pace using our surface cleaner.  We then rinse with an open valve and I explain the reasons for this in the video as well.  If this helps you, consider attending one of my monthly training events in Houston. These events include on the job training as well as classroom instruction.  It’s also a great way to meet some new friends in the business.  Thank you for checking out this siamese pressure washers post.

 

 

by Doug Rucker Doug Rucker

SLUDGE SUCKER

SLUDGE SUCKER

There are some occasions on pressure washing projects where having the SLUDGE SUCKER is very handy.  It’s usually a commercial property parking lot, but can also apply for some residential driveway cleaning jobs.  In low lying areas usually water is gathers, puddles up, and isn’t able to adequately drain off with the rest of the property.  It will generally be filled with mud and dirt because the water sits there and has nowhere to go.

HOW TO MOVE IT

The usual attack for standing water is to just use a pressure washer to spray it away.  This can be frustrating, time consuming, and sometimes makes the property look worse than when you started.  So sometimes its best to break out THE SLUDGE SUCKER.  Also known as the sludge pump, this is an easy way to turn your pressure washer into a water pump.  With it, it becomes very easy to move, displace, or relocate large amounts of standing water.  There is no filter so dirt, leaves, debris and such is sucked up into the large hose and relocated quickly and easily.

HOW OFTEN

The sludge sucker is not something we use often.  It does tie up some space on your truck or trailer, and we do not keep it with us for every job.  It’s a tool that I know I have and as I do estimates for commercial properties, I can see if it would be important to have.  But the last thing you want to do is leave a big puddle behind on a commercial parking lot.  This is a poor reflection on your business so you’ll want to have a strategy in place to remove low lying standing puddles of water.

ONLINE VIDEO SCHOOL

If it interests you, take a look at my online video school with over 250 videos.  You can drastically cut your learning curve and get set up for success right out of the gate as you start your pressure washing business.

 

by Doug Rucker Doug Rucker

X-JET PRESSURE WASHER

X-JET PRESSURE WASHER

The X-JET PRESSURE WASHER chemical injection nozzle comes in variety of options that you will need to choose from.  You will choose an orifice size which matches the gallon per minute machine you will use with it.  Complete product specifications can be found at the Doug Rucker Store website.  This video unboxing is the number 13 corresponding to a 4-4.5 gallon per minute machine.  The product includes a small bag with color proportioners and a 15 foot hose with screen filter.  The hose also has a two way shut off valve.  Of course, it also includes the X-JET PRESSURE WASHER nozzle.  The instruction guide has a large amount of very helpful information.

X-JET PRESSURE WASHER BUCKET

In this video, I also demonstrate using an X-JET five gallon bucket.  This bucket is a no spill container and is connected to the X-JET hose.  You’ll want to make sure you keep the bucket well ventilated with the vent hole on the side or back of the bucket.  DON’T LOSE THE VENT CAP!  Click here for more information on the X-JET bucket.  Another option is to make your own bucket, which I provide instructions for in this video as well.

GUN MODIFICATION

You can also use the X-JET nozzle with a pressure washing gun by hooking it up at the end of the lance.  My recommendation is not to use the X-Jet for roof cleaning.  I have seen too much roof damage caused from higher pressure volumes X-Jetting with a gun.  They are great for house washing but not for roof cleaning.  This method of cleaning saves money on wear and tear because it reduces the amount of equipment the bleach touches.  In general though, I prefer downstreaming over X-Jetting.  But they are handy to have because they are more effective for some particular jobs.

WEBSITE SERVICES

Does your new pressure washing startup business need website services?  There is no sense in you having to reinvent the wheel!  Check out the website services we offer.

 

 

 

by Doug Rucker Doug Rucker

DOWNSTREAMING BASICS

DOWNSTREAMING BASICS

This post includes a video covering DOWNSTREAMING BAISCS for pressure washing business professionals.  We explain in a simple and basic manner how to operate downstream infectors.  I am a huge fan of downstreaming as it is the original soft wash method before soft wash became a buzz word about ten years ago.  So don’t miss a word of this in depth downstreaming basics video!

ADJUSTABLE DOWNSTREAM INJECTORS

One type of downstream injector is adjustable.  This just means you can adjust the chemical ratio that comes out from the downstream injector.  The fully open position allows you to get highest mix ratio possible.  Conversely, as it moves toward the closed position, a lower mix is the result.  In my years of experience, I never really saw need to close it.  So I quit using adjustable downstream injectors.

FIXED INJECTORS

The fixed injector has no flexibility in terms of mix ratio.  This is a popular approach because it is a fast, easy way to apply the solution onto the surface.  In fact, I sell the GENERAL PUMP HIGH DRAW INJECTOR through my Doug Rucker Store.  It comes in either 3-5 gallon per minute or 5-8 gallon per minute.  We use a schertzbox remote to turn the chemical on and off, saving time and effort when rinsing.  Be sure and watch the entire video for more insight such as using check valves with downstream injectors.

MIX RATIOS

One of the most complicated aspects is calculating precise mix ratios.  Regardless of the ratio calculation, the main concern to look for is whether the mix is changing the color of the stain on the surface.  Double ports do not increase the mix ratio.  A double port simple delivers more of the same ratio mix from a single port injector.  I also explain our JROD nozzle system that includes our shooter tip.  There is so much more in the downstreaming basics video so be sure and watch it all!  There are a few OTHER PRODUCTS which I find extremely helpful in my business.  I can’t recommend these to you highly enough!

by Doug Rucker Doug Rucker

COMMERCIAL PROPERTY CLEANING TIPS

COMMERCIAL PROPERTY CLEANING TIPS

This video features commercial property cleaning tips on a large, metal building with some unique challenges.  There is a lot of limestone split face block which is very dirty because of its highly porous nature.  Another description folks use for this is decorative block.  Notice in the video the before and after photos that will give you a great feel for this project and how effective our cleaning methods turn out.

ADJUSTABLE CONE NOZZLE

I explain how we use an adjustable cone nozzle for cleaning this decorative block.  Using a dedicated pump with the adjustable cone nozzle allows you to apply a gentle mist for this porous surface.  We apply a 50% bleach mix mist so that the mix is not bouncing off the wall or running down onto the ground.  I also show how we use an extension wand for this application method.  We use the KINGSLINGER soft wash system to apply the mist mix.  You can find the Kingslinger specifications and purchase options here.

DON’T FLOOD THE SURFACE

There is no need to flood a surface with bleach mix.  This is especially true when applying solutions for roof cleaning.  The goal is simply to get a nice, small coat onto the surface so that the bleach and the oxygen from the air can work together.  In golf lessons, they usually advise something like “don’t try to kill it.”  In other words, overpowering your swing is counterproductive.  This also applies to the amount of bleach mix you put on the surfaces that you’re cleaning.  Don’t kill it or overpower it.

COMMERCIAL PROPERTY WALLS

We could see both black and green mold or mildew colors on the metal walls.  This is very common on surfaces where there is little exposure to the sun.  Our first attempt at downstreaming was ineffective, so the Kingslinger came in handy for this part of the job as well.  We apply a 30% with the 10 GPM Kingslinger soft wash system with the 0020 nozzle.  There are more tips so be sure to check out the entire video!  If you are interested in learning more about all the training options we provide, check out our extensive FAQ page.