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Advice for newcomer

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Hey guys. So I've been lurking around on the forums throughout the winter months and finally decided to register. I tried to soak up as much information as possible as to not be an annoyance with repeated questions, though I'm sure some of my questions have probably been answered somewhere before. Feel free to give feedback on any or all of my concerns and thanks in advance. Also, some of my concerns may be up the line of the premium members section, so it's fine if not all my concerns can be handled here. I'm just not quite read to make that jump yet as I just registered.

First off, I've been looking at the 12 volt systems from pressure tek. I was looking at the fatboy bandit roof cleaning system but also noticed the fatboy kuri tek kit listed at $600 ($700 with the pump in a box) Is it really worth the extra $700 for the rack system and hose reel? I mean I can justify a couple hundred bucks, but 700? Maybe I'm missing something. Either way, what are your thoughts on the kuri tek kit. Seems to have everything I need and could invest in another system later?

Another question I had was with tanks. I was going to have 1 65 gallon mix tank and the pump, keeping things simple, and mixing before I left the house for the day. Is there any downfall to doing it this way? I've seen guys have so many tanks and it just kind of confuses me. I'm just started out so I'm looking for a simple system, that's cost efficient. My other dilemma is transferring chemicals to my mix tank. How do you guys normally do this? I plan on buying drums from Univar since I have a location 15 minutes away from where I live. How do y'all set up your system to get SH to mix tank with 1 pump. This is probably such a noob question and maybe it would be easier if I had everything in front of me.

Next thing is mixing. From what I've read, a 70/30 of water and SH..adjust a little for surfactant. I plan on also doing siding. Whats the mix ratio normally for say, vinyl siding?

Two final things I can think of is do you guys pull from the top of your tanks? Or what do you advise. And also pricing. Now I know this will vary greatly, but is there some way I can have a base for what to charge per sq footage? And how about vinyl siding?

Thanks for reading. And like I said, I know that being a premium member might bring more help, which I plan on doing in the next few weeks. But for anyone who can chime in on any of the above for now would be greatly appreciated!

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You are right being a premium would answer most of your questions.

What will you be using to haul your tank(s) around? Depending on what you are using will help determine set up and what other equipment you might need.

If you can afford the rack system, go for it. What you are paying the extra money for is the frame, reel, pump in a box, accumulator, drop stick and all of the set up done for you. For what you get the price is just about right.

With a 65 gallon tank you should keep extra SH with you.

If you do not buy a dedicated transfer pump just use your cleaning pump.

Pull from the bottom or top, it is a personal preference. 

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You are right being a premium would answer most of your questions.

 

What will you be using to haul your tank(s) around? Depending on what you are using will help determine set up and what other equipment you might need.

 

If you can afford the rack system, go for it. What you are paying the extra money for is the frame, reel, pump in a box, accumulator, drop stick and all of the set up done for you. For what you get the price is just about right.

 

With a 65 gallon tank you should keep extra SH with you.

 

If you do not buy a dedicated transfer pump just use your cleaning pump.

 

Pull from the bottom or top, it is a personal preference. 

 

Alright thanks for the reply. I'll either be hauling it in a van, or with a trailer. Haven't decided yet. I have a trailer already, but the trailer only has a grated bottom, which seems to make it more difficult to mount things? So I thought about just putting it all in the van until I can invest in an enclosed trailer or maybe even a flat bed landscape truck, which I would really like.

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You really don't want to be riding around in a van with a tank full of SH. Heaven forbid you have an accident. Put some wood on bottom of your trailer. You can either use a cheap syphon pump or your hose from your mix tank to transfer over your SH to your mix tank.

Try to join asap, it will open you up to another world.

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Agreed. The only way to put SH tanks into a van is to use a sealed tank system with external fills and vents. This is fairly easy in a box truck or enclosed trailer, but requires drilling through the sheet metal in a van. Also, you  are better off building a system if your own. The pre-built systems have weaknesses such as the reel. If you go electric, always buy spares...up to and including a pump. Always. 

I'd be remiss if I didn't recommend an Air Diaphragm pump system. You can have one for little more money as the Bandit system and it is vastly more flexible and reliable. You'd get a manifold-less roof cleaning specific reel and not a pressure washing reel that will rot the manifold out.  

 

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Thanks for the help guys. I'll probably set up the trailer then and skip the van idea all together. As for the air Diaphragm pump system, I'll be looking into that in the future. Right now, I think I'm going to just get the fatboy kuri tec kit for $600 and when I get the funds, move to an air system. Also, since I'm a nub lol, could you elaborate on what you mean here, "You'd get a manifold-less roof cleaning specific reel and not a pressure washing reel that will rot the manifold out."

Edit: Also just a question about chemical tanks. Do they expire? I have a buddy who has a horizontal chemical tank he was going to give me but its been sitting in the woods a while. It shows some age on the outside but maybe just needs cleaning. He has never used it or filled it with anything. I took a look inside and it appears to be in immaculate condition. Just wondering if the tanks are regulated or anything.

 

Edited by AP Roof Cleaning

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Thanks for the help guys. I'll probably set up the trailer then and skip the van idea all together. As for the air Diaphragm pump system, I'll be looking into that in the future. Right now, I think I'm going to just get the fatboy kuri tec kit for $600 and when I get the funds, move to an air system. Also, since I'm a nub lol, could you elaborate on what you mean here, "You'd get a manifold-less roof cleaning specific reel and not a pressure washing reel that will rot the manifold out."

Edit: Also just a question about chemical tanks. Do they expire? I have a buddy who has a horizontal chemical tank he was going to give me but its been sitting in the woods a while. It shows some age on the outside but maybe just needs cleaning. He has never used it or filled it with anything. I took a look inside and it appears to be in immaculate condition. Just wondering if the tanks are regulated or anything.

 

Watch for any signs of crazing on the tanks...otherwise they should be fine. No real regulation I know of. I'd fill them up with water first and make sure nothing leaks or cracks since Poly is subject to UV degradation over a period of time. Plan on checking the bulkhead fittings if you plan to use them. Many use Buna rubber seals which are inmoatible with SH. Assuming everything is good, just monitor them. 

Reel wise, the majority of reels sold in our industry are power washing reels. This means they have a metal manifold. Problem is, Sodium Hypo reacts strongly with most metals with exposure and corrodes them. With most reels the manifolds leak then fail. I looked at the problem and did a different approach. I approached it as a chemical reel and then worked with Hannay reels, widely considered the best, to offer a manifoldless roof cleaning chemical reel with no metal inline and only a PVC Super swivel. Result is a reel with no manifold rot problems. 

 

Edited by PeakOfPerfection

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Hey guys. I figured I would just continue on this thread instead of starting a new one. I'm pretty much almost setup and ready to clean roofs. I'm also setting up my premium membership Monday, which I hope will lead to great knowledge :D. But I had a couple more questions because my plumbing experience is zero. I received the kit from Bob at pressuretek, and I'm about to hook up my hose to the reel, to my chemical tank. I'm going with the drop stick method and was wondering if someone could show me a picture of a drop stick or give me a parts list? I'm sure its simple but doesn't seem to be much info out on the web. 

Second question is, my hose reel has 1/2 inch inlets so I was going to setup a quick connect to the reel. Would these connects work for the setup I'm looking to do? I can't seem to find these at local yet, but trying the local hardware store next. Lowes didn't seem to have any.

https://www.morebeer.com/category/stainless-quick-disconnects.html

I'm looking at the MPT female and male disconnects.

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Hey guys. I figured I would just continue on this thread instead of starting a new one. I'm pretty much almost setup and ready to clean roofs. I'm also setting up my premium membership Monday, which I hope will lead to great knowledge :D. But I had a couple more questions because my plumbing experience is zero. I received the kit from Bob at pressuretek, and I'm about to hook up my hose to the reel, to my chemical tank. I'm going with the drop stick method and was wondering if someone could show me a picture of a drop stick or give me a parts list? I'm sure its simple but doesn't seem to be much info out on the web. 

Second question is, my hose reel has 1/2 inch inlets so I was going to setup a quick connect to the reel. Would these connects work for the setup I'm looking to do? I can't seem to find these at local yet, but trying the local hardware store next. Lowes didn't seem to have any.

https://www.morebeer.com/category/stainless-quick-disconnects.html

I'm looking at the MPT female and male disconnects.

Wait until you see the Stickies on the Premium forum. So much knowledge! Once you get there you MUST read the section on what you will need for an electric pump system. 

drawtube_zps87wdtyts.jpg

The drop stick. First off, electric pumps prefer flooded section to work best. BIG flooded section is best. The rule of thumb is to use 1" PVC Spiral suction line for the electric pump. The drop stick is as easy as PVC pipe, a 90 degree elbow, a flapper or ball check valve and a filter for the end of the hose. Please note you can NOT use a spring loaded check valve. There is not enough suction on the pump to overcome the spring and the spring will rust out. 

Everything in the tank needs to be PVC, Teflon or Viton. The problem comes in when you remove the drop stick...you spill SH on your trailer/truck/etc. Putting on a check valve helps, but there is still fluid physically on the draw tube. Also, note, a draw tube is NOT recommended in an enclosed trailer, van or box truck. Those setups should be sealed and externally vented tanks. 

The issues with the SH dripping is why a lot of experienced guys use bulkheads. A bulkhead can be mounted either on the top of the tank if you prefer top draw...or on the bottom of the tank for flooded draw. i draw from bottom bulkheads. Done right, they won't leak. Top is cheaper since you can get away with a Poly bulkhead. 

The DRAWBACK to a bulkhead is that you need to plumb in a second tank to hold your fresh water for flushing and you need valves and a tee. More plumbing. The drop stick is easy for a beginner, take it out of the mix tank, stick in the fresh water tank...or bucket. The spills from the tank do add up over time however. Eventually you will want to permanently plumb things in and forego the drop stick. It is beginner stuff.  

Don't use stainless connects at the reel. Just plumb it directly in. The only place you want a stainless quick connect is at the very far end of your spray hose where the fluid meets the roof for your spray nozzles. They'll rust, quickly. Cost of doing business. Make absolutely certain you rinse the pump, hose, reel, etc after every job.

Failure to rinse is the death of the electric pump and the reel manifold.  

Any if your in-system quick connects should be Poly Camlocks with Viton seals. Preferably Gatorlocks or Banjo. The hoses going into the reel manifold should be hard plumbed. You want a quick connect at the pump so you can quickly change it out. Did you buy a spare pump? If not, put it on the short list along with spare pressure switches and relays. The rule of electric pumps is that it will fail ONLY when either 

A. You are 90% of the way through the project

or...

B. You are at the end of the project and you have a huge job starting on Monday. And it is Friday. At 6:00. PM. 

Edited by PeakOfPerfection

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Wait until you see the Stickies on the Premium forum. So much knowledge! Once you get there you MUST read the section on what you will need for an electric pump system. 

drawtube_zps87wdtyts.jpg

The drop stick. First off, electric pumps prefer flooded section to work best. BIG flooded section is best. The rule of thumb is to use 1" PVC Spiral suction line for the electric pump. The drop stick is as easy as PVC pipe, a 90 degree elbow, a flapper or ball check valve and a filter for the end of the hose. Please note you can NOT use a spring loaded check valve. There is not enough suction on the pump to overcome the spring and the spring will rust out. 

Everything in the tank needs to be PVC, Teflon or Viton. The problem comes in when you remove the drop stick...you spill SH on your trailer/truck/etc. Putting on a check valve helps, but there is still fluid physically on the draw tube. Also, note, a draw tube is NOT recommended in an enclosed trailer, van or box truck. Those setups should be sealed and externally vented tanks. 

The issues with the SH dripping is why a lot of experienced guys use bulkheads. A bulkhead can be mounted either on the top of the tank if you prefer top draw...or on the bottom of the tank for flooded draw. i draw from bottom bulkheads. Done right, they won't leak. Top is cheaper since you can get away with a Poly bulkhead. 

The DRAWBACK to a bulkhead is that you need to plumb in a second tank to hold your fresh water for flushing and you need valves and a tee. More plumbing. The drop stick is easy for a beginner, take it out of the mix tank, stick in the fresh water tank...or bucket. The spills from the tank do add up over time however. Eventually you will want to permanently plumb things in and forego the drop stick. It is beginner stuff.  

Don't use stainless connects at the reel. Just plumb it directly in. The only place you want a stainless quick connect is at the very far end of your spray hose where the fluid meets the roof for your spray nozzles. They'll rust, quickly. Cost of doing business. Make absolutely certain you rinse the pump, hose, reel, etc after every job.

Failure to rinse is the death of the electric pump and the reel manifold.  

Any if your in-system quick connects should be Poly Camlocks with Viton seals. Preferably Gatorlocks or Banjo. The hoses going into the reel manifold should be hard plumbed. You want a quick connect at the pump so you can quickly change it out. Did you buy a spare pump? If not, put it on the short list along with spare pressure switches and relays. The rule of electric pumps is that it will fail ONLY when either 

A. You are 90% of the way through the project

or...

B. You are at the end of the project and you have a huge job starting on Monday. And it is Friday. At 6:00. PM. 

Thanks again for all the great info! I haven't purchased a spare pump yet but that's coming soon. The only thing I was wondering about from your post was the quick connect for the hose reel. With my kit, it came with the 1/2 inch kuri tek hose with fixed stainless steel ends. So that's why I figured to go with the quick connect. I suppose I could just continue to twist the hose as I tighten to the reel? But I figured that would be a pain to deal with if I had a leak or needed to remove the hose for some reason. Is that what you're suggesting I do when you say plumb it directly?

Also just a side question, but I have a 125 gal tank from Tractor Supply, since I wont be using the bulkhead at the bottom (yet) will the standard bulkhead be fine to just tighten up and resist the SH? You just had me thinking about that when you said you could do a poly bulkhead at the top for cheaper and has me wondering whats already on the bottom. I'm assuming the one already installed will be fine?

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Alright so I got everything plumbed up today and took a lot of advice in this thread. No leaks (yet) and everything seems to be working great. The fatboy is really impressive. Will be buying spares as suggested. I think I'm finally ready to do my first roof after reading many threads here. And can't wait to increase my knowledge in the premium section. Thanks for the help guys! 

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Good luck. Post before and afters of your first roof. Be careful if you get on the roof and watch for overspray and SH in the face if you are on the ladder (you DID buy a ladder stabilizer...RIGHT?). Eye protection is not often talked about but is necessary because the first eyeful of SH you get will SUCK like you cannot believe. 

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Agreed. The only way to put SH tanks into a van is to use a sealed tank system with external fills and vents. This is fairly easy in a box truck or enclosed trailer, but requires drilling through the sheet metal in a van. Also, you  are better off building a system if your own. The pre-built systems have weaknesses such as the reel. If you go electric, always buy spares...up to and including a pump. Always. 

I'd be remiss if I didn't recommend an Air Diaphragm pump system. You can have one for little more money as the Bandit system and it is vastly more flexible and reliable. You'd get a manifold-less roof cleaning specific reel and not a pressure washing reel that will rot the manifold out.  

 

I just had to replace the swivel on my reel

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