Sunday, March 2, 2014

What makes the best water fed pole?

It's one of those questions where you have manufacturers come out with ratios and numbers. Some just claim to be the best. Others just keep doing what they've always done and let the end user determine the issue. 
Are their ways a beginner can make a good choice they won't regret? 
Here are some things to think about. How high are you going to work? What is your budget? How often are you likely to use the pole and for how long? Will it be for after a softwashing or will you be doing first cleans on some dirty windows?
After you decide that you can figure out what will work for you.
For soft washers up to 2 stories a hybrid pole (a mix of carbon fiber and fiberglass) will be just fine.
For first cleans you may want something stiffer and lighter so a full carbon fiber pole will be great up to 3 stories
If you are doing commercial work up to 4 stories on a regular basis you should look in to a Hi Modulus carbon fiber pole.
In all of this you want to find the lightest, stiffest pole you can afford to make your work as easy as possible.
As far as tests the one I find most compelling is a simple angle test where the poles are put in a rack and extended to see how far they will droop under their own weight. I've posted a video of one such test. While not all poles are in the test the two that others most often compare themselves to are (the Gardiner and Unger nLite series) so you should be able to make a solid determination with this.

Pretty much speaks for itself!

For more information go to A New View Exterior Cleaning


  1. I think if I were to get into using a water-fed pole, my main question of concern would be in lieu of the safety features the pole has designed and labeled into it by definition of Industry Standards, which I believe to be sorely lacking within the Market of WFP's today. When choosing 'the best pole' I would consider the artcles points but mainly, how am I protected against electrical shock while using the water fed pole within Medium To High Risk areas?

    1. I understand Shawn. Of course with any pole or ladder or lift you should avoid power lines at all times. You are never "protected" when you come in contact with power lines. Maybe the manufacturers will put a sticker on at some point. This would of course apply to traditional poles as well so they need stickers too.

  2. Thanks Tony for that information. It is true that there are risks in using any tools or equipment that could produce electrical shock when not used properly. My concern is not within the scope of my ladder work or pole usage, it is whether or not there are anti-shock safety features included with water fed poles. Can you address this or not?

  3. While some poles have covers or other features that might be touted as anti shock the reality is that the level of power running thru the lines nothing is going to save your life outside of the unpredictable way electricity travels. One person can hit a power line and live while another hits a lower voltage line and dies. The subtle differences in the surroundings or clothes they wore or even how they were standing were more the contributing factors than the type of pole they used.

  4. Tony, to your knowledge, are there any Water-Fed Poles on the market today, Industry included, that have any rubber coverage and other insulating materials for lowering the risk of high voltage shock? Are there points along the pole that are non-conductive anywhere?