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Hot Water and Window Cleaning

Published: December 19, 2018

Waterfed pole systems that heat pure water were once seen as a desirable luxury. Wonderful to have, especially in the winter time, but rather expensive and not strictly necessary.
So what real difference does hot water make, and is it worth the extra investment?

Hot water Reach & Wash systems may appear to be a fairly recent innovation, but in fact, heated systems have been around for almost 13 years. So this begs the question, why use heated water at all? There are several very good reasons. The first, and perhaps most obvious reason is that using hot water, especially in the winter months, makes the job of window cleaning much easier.

Using cold water when the outdoor temperature is close to freezing can be harsh and even painful on the hands. Not only is hot more pleasant to use, but the hoses stay soft and supple, and are generally far easier to manage.
Aside comfort and ease of working, there’s simply no doubt that cleaning with hot water is more effective than cleaning with cold. That is not to say, however, that perfect results are not possible with cold water. Thousands of window cleaners achieve top-notch results using cold water every day. But hot water is able to get perfect results faster and with less effort. Why? Because hot water has a greater dissolving power than cold.

Getting it Hot
The original Thermopure™ Systems used cylinders of propane gas to heat the water. This was a very effective heating method, but has some serious drawbacks. Carrying gas around in the van is inconvenient, and it’s difficult to know how much is left in a bottle. Also, burning the gas requires a flue to be fitted to the vehicle to allow the exhaust gasses to escape safely, which is quite a major modification in it’s own right. And when the gas bottle is empty, it is often difficult to find a replacement nearby.

For reasons of practicality and safety, a different method of heating was necessary, and this came along in the next generation of Thermopure™ systems which used Diesel.

Diesel Power
Ionic developed diesel fired hotwater systems approximately 18 months after gas systems, and they were an immediate success. The advantages were obvious; diesel is readily available from every petrol station, and as the system draws fuel from the van’s own tank, it was easy to see how much was left, and to refill it.

Diesel burners could emit their exhaust gasses in a similar way to engine exhaust (outside the vehicle) and so a separate flue is not needed. For these reasons, diesel fired hot Thermopure™ systems became very popular and had entirely superseded gas-fired Thermpoure systems within a few months.

Today’s Choices
Diesel powered Thermopure™ systems are now firmly established as the option of choice for window cleaners who want heated pure water, and are more popular than ever. However, often due to cost considerations, some window cleaners choose to go for cold-water systems initially, only later realising that they actually want hot.

What options are there for upgrading?

When designing the Zero (Ionic’s advanced Reach & Wash® system), Ionic specifically made accommodation for the Thermopure™ heating system components. This means that at any time, cold-water Zero systems can be easily upgraded to hot water, without the need for any external boxes. For those with other types of cold-water system, Ionic’s HotBox is a universal add-on that houses the same Thermopure™ system in a compact and efficient package that even has it’s own 12-volt battery.

This can be an ideal solution for upgrading practically any system. For window cleaning businesses that use a static purification system (perhaps to serve a fleet of several vans) a Thermopure™ delivery system is the answer. Put simply, there is no water-treatment on board, the tank is filled with ready-made pure water from the static system. This water is then heated as it is pumped from the tank on it’s way out to the pole.

It’s Easier from the Start
Although the upgrade options are useful and (especially in the case of the Zero) very effective, it makes most financial sense to simply purchase a hot system in the first place than to upgrade to hot later on.

It’s easy to be tempted to save money by just going for cold water, but it’s worth noting that approximately 7 out every 10 window cleaners who purchase cold systems, return to Ionic within two years looking to look to upgrade to hot water. Window cleaners like Danny Swathis from Glasgow who recently upgraded his Ionic V4 system to hot

“Like most, I always considered hot water to be an unnecessary expense, and so didn’t opt for it when I got my system. After a couple of winters and some very cold Scottish winds, I don’t want to face another December without hot water!”

To discuss hot water options for your system, call Ionic Systems on 1300 88 45 66

See hot water in action:

Last updated: December 19 2018

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