Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Haste Makes Waste Leads to the Mother of Invention

Haste Makes Waste Leads to the Mother of Invention
The "Graffiti Cleaner" entry is below

As winter was moving in I was on a tear to get the equipment winterized. Winter can move in fast here in the Ozarks and this year it did. I was using the air-compressor to blow water out of all the hoses, tanks and heating coils. After blowing out one group of high-pressure hoses I took them over and put them in there winter storage place. This is where the problem arose my little 12" surface cleaner (which I find indispensable) had already taken up living in this spot. Without a look I dumped in the hoses and heard a crack and a crunch then saw the wounded little cleaner sitting there. This was the "haste makes waste" part of the story, since I was occupied with getting the weatherization done I dug the broken cleaner out and went on with what was at hand. If I would have slowed down take abit more time this would have not happened. As for me this was not the first time I have broken or messed up something by doing something stupid. We all know if you try to shoot through a job to quickly you will miss something, and going back to get is done right just takes that much more time.

Now I've had this little floating surface cleaner since I've been power washing and was not about to give it up now! It was updated with a larger, better, field repairable swivel years ago. With that addition I now had to get some new parts and adapt them as I had in the past. One would think you could buy some replacement parts but at last there were none the little cleaner was obsolete now. This is the "mother of invention" I had to come up with something, I put the little cleaner on the back shelf and started looking for another one to move the parts to. No luck there while there are other makes and types out on the market this little guy was rated at 4000 psi @ 5 gallons a minute it will take some hot water but not much. Most 12" surface cleaners are not in that class and the ones that are well they cost more than I wanted to spend.

Cleaned by Pete's little wounded surface cleaner.

You can see I knocked out the entire center of the housing could not fix it.
 If you follow Cleaned by Pete on facebook or Power Wash Community to name a few spots you will have seen picture of this little guy in action on many jobs. I have taken some good natured ribbing on using it by other pressure washers due to it size. You have to stick with what you know and who you brought to the dance, I put a lot of miles on this and was not going to give it up. A plastic bucket, bowl, pail any thing I found was not just what I needed, so I kept looking till one day I googled 12" x 3" and found it. It was what I needed I had not thought of it but it would be perfect to use. It was light it would not rust and the cost was low just in-case I could not make it work. Are you ready ....... some may have already guessed and if you said the 1st or 2nd layer pan from a wedding cake you would be correct. A $16.00 anodized aluminium cake pan from Michel's Crafts, with a 20% off coupon you can print off from the web sight I was now in business. With a little scrap from the shop and some nuts and bolts I started in on it this afternoon and this is what I have come up with so far.

With the swivel in place I started to layout the holes for the reinforcement plate.

The top view of reinforcement plate and swivel that Cleaned by Pete has constructed to aid in the rebuilding of his crushed and battered surface cleaner.
I made a reinforcement plat form a piece of aluminium scrap and cut it into a circle. Bored a hole with a cheap holesaw attachment and layed out some bolt holes to put it together. While it is now all metal it is still quite light and will still be able to used on long lances for over head work. Below are picture of it almost finished

The rebuilt little blue cleaner almost done.

Another view of how well the cake pan is working out for the rebuild of Cleaned by Pete's crushed little blue surface cleaner, you can see the update larger swivel that was installed years ago.

 I missed the blue color though I would allway say get the little blue cleaner when I need it. If we were loading I would ask is the blue cleaner in over all the years of use I would miss the blue color so I had to do something to carry on the name. I still have to put on the skirt and it's handle for use on walls and such but here is the reborn little blue cleaner now.

Keeping with the blue I had some blue flames. Cleaned by Pete, mother of invention sometimes leads you down a different path.

Cleaned by Pete and the rebuilt little blue surface cleaner.

Cleaned by Pete needs to put on the skirt and the handle and this surface cleaner will be ready for work in the up coming season.

1/30/14 Today I added a brace to the back of the arm. Used the center from the reinforcement plate, that was cut out with the hole saw tapped it and cut some treads (1/" x 20) on a piece of an old extension that was laying around. Saw a Cam Spray 12" cleaner and like the brace on theirs so I made one similar to it. Ordered a new replacement brush/skirt for a 15" cleaner it should be in next week. I'll have to cut it down and will install it inside the pan with nuts and bolts in order to keep the rolled edge for strength.

 Before and after the rebuilt 12" surface cleaner is almost ready for use, Cleaned by Pete
2/07/14 added a skirt on it to finish it off today this little repair now is ready to go. The total price of the project came in under $30. Now just have to be more careful in future.

Adding a brush/skirt finishes off this project now it's ready for the coming season of work. Cleaned by Pete and his refinished surface cleaner.

Cleaned by Pete serving Southwest and the greater Springfield MO area 
call us at 417-459-7869

Thanks for reading and supporting our blog.

Here is it at work! 

The Graffiti Cleaner

In stead of making a new blog entry, since this is so closely related to the article above I thought I would just "update" this one. As things would have it I also need a small "graffiti cleaner" with some extra parts, an old pot, hand drill, anglehead grinder, and the old skirt off the broken surface cleaner from above I started on this. Using ideas I gathered form the rebuild above here is what I'm doing now.
Using simple hand tools an anglehead grinder, hand drill, a few bits Cleaned by Pete of Springfield MO is making a surface cleaner for use on graffiti projects and cleaning.

With the hole drilled in the bottom small holes drilled around the edge then using a bigger bit to enlarge them Cleaned by Pete was able to make the larger hole, then file it smoother.

Using an small parts swivel which we had for a spare, Cleaned by Pete was ready to start the construction on the "graffiti cleaner" which will help keep thing cleaner here in Springfield MO.

Cleaned by Pete's assembled cleaner so far stainless steel, aluminium swivel, mink skirt, the "Graffiti Cleaner" is starting to shape up. Springfield MO's best graffiti removal.

Inside view of the "graffiti cleaner" cleaned by Pete of Springfield MO, will now need to make a spraybar which with a handle and a spray gun can finish the project.
Aluminium 90 degree ends, nozzles and stainless steel tubing that need to be cut, rethreaded, and then assembled will make up the spraybar for the graffiti cleaner. A photo from Cleaned by Pete, Springfield MO.

Just another look at what we started with. Cleaned by Pete and what he hopes soon to be their  "Graffiti Cleaner" to help keep Springfield MO just a bit cleaner.
Stay tuned for more on this new project, will be adding a gun, a handle and the spray bar, we'll keep you updated. Finished rethreading the stainless steel tubes and making them to the correct size. Threading stainless is in a whole different world it is some tough stuff. Stopped at the local power washing dealer and picked up a gun and nipple for it. Now to decide on where and how to add a control handle to it. This "graffiti cleaner" will be ready to go to work.

Graffiti cleaner almost ready for work, Cleaned by Pete Springfield & Southwest MO.

Spraybar completed and installed, Cleaned by Pete Springfield & Southwest MO. power washing, graffiti removal, house washing and more 417.459.7869.

Spraybar completed and trigger gun installed (picture of the almost completed hand held surface cleaner). Cleaned by Pete Springfield & Southwest MO. power washing, graffiti removal, house washing and more 417.459.7869.

Thanks for reading and viewing Cleaned by Pete what a power washer does.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Winter or "down" time on your hands?

Winter or "down" time on your hands?

As I am sitting here blogging you may guess I'm not working. Well that statement is a little misdirecting while I am not in the field washing and cleaning I am blogging hopefully getting more internet exposure and I'm always on the lookout for ways to help better Cleaned by Pete. New ideas, parts, attachments, machines, or just updating existing equipment is all part of the job requirements.

Each person finds different ways to work on his or her business during this time of year. Each area of the country is different and may also dictate what is being done. Most of the people I have met or know, who power wash have one thing in common they always seem to be on the go. Washing, cleaning and working we all strive do be doing something. Winter time brings this to a halt in parts of the country and with the "Polar Winds" we have had one cold winter so far.

As I type it has made it to a high of 16 degrees out side with blistering winds dropping the wind chill factor to the single digits to below 0 at times. Impossible to work outside and a bit cold to work in the shop for a day unless you are running the heater full blast. Just hard to get motivated at times. Well here is what I do for fun to fight off some of those winter blues. Looking for bargains this time of year is fun, Criagslist, ebay, other auction sights, local classified adds and flea markets are the place you can find me. Winter finds some of those bargains you are seeking the power washing season is over and those looking to sell may find it harder to locate that buyer.

Here are some of the items I have found thus far:

Cleaned by Pete's new Souix steam cleaner.

The newest addition to the line up at Cleaned by Pete a model B Siouz steame cleaner. While it is used it is new to us, I have always wanted one of these since I started in the washing / cleaning business now we have one.

Two weeping guns with full swivels good up to 5000 psi, hot water wash guns with heat guards.

Both guns have adjustable tips and splash guards both are brand new and found at a local flea market.

While I have never seen a high pressure flex tip like this before the price was right along with the extension wand were both flea market finds. The water broom was found on ebay never used I like to keep a broom like this with each washing rig.

Ebay find: I know nothing about this but it is intended to be put to work with our patio and BBQ maintenance program.

Out of the box this cleaning water broom will be working with our patio cleaning washer pictured below. Compact and portable was the goal when Cleaned by Pete built the unit to get around and behind customers homes with a minimal invasion or footprint.
The patio cleaning unit is the one with the hose reel on top.
This time a year is also a great time to pick up bargains in the home and garden shops. Garden hoses are priced on clearance this time of year reducing inventory for many reasons. The big box stores and other stores also have other useful items on sale during the off season. One still has to shop smart and keep a keen eye out, but may help to pass the winter season.

As I said that is what I do for fun it keeps up morel and readies one for the coming season. Having all your duck in the row now, means you can hit the ground running when the season get here.

 Now for things that you normally don't do: updating the web page or web sight this is one of the best times to do this. I am not a computer genius far from it, but I know what is working with my sight. I'm not large enough to pay some one full time to up date and add "fresh content" to the web sights that we have. Remember it is not only what you add but you need to rid yourself or old stale information. I have had my content lifted word for word this make it old and stale the web crawlers don't know who lifted it or took it form whom. I now over looks this information. If you have control go in, redo, get rid of, add to, move things around get a fresh new look. It will help your rankings, you up date tools and equipment as well as techniques all the time. Do your web pages need the same thing most of the time the answer is yes. Take the time and have a look this spring it will pay off. Winter is not really a "down time" look at it as a new or refreshing time, to get things done. On a side note make sure your web page is ready for mobile uses. Mine were but up on a closer view my phone # did not show up till you scrolled down a little that was not good. Grab their attention and keep them there till they call. Don't let them get away, if they have to look for something down the page you may have just lost out.

Some find this next subject a bit off but I like to do it now during the winter. I find it saves me time when the season starts. Money is tighter in the winter but I have tried to allot my spending for this time. Right now I'm stocking up on soaps and chemicals. Placing orders and getting what I will need for the coming season. Not waiting for the last minute to get it in. Keeping up the inventory which has run low toward the end of the year. Those needing a right off for taxes this was the time. I also try to replace any parts that were starting to give me problems and to stock up on small parts that were consumed during the year. O'rings, nozzles, quick connects, field repair hose ends and unions, to name a few. If you had that sticking unloader or injector replace or repair now sitting over the winter is not going to cure it. Just cause we are not in the field does not mean there is not work to be done.

Cleaned by Pete is located in Springfield MO and services the Southwest and greater Springfield areas. We are still cleaning up Springfield one home at time. Call us for a free prompt estimate for your cleaning needs: 417-459-7869.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Weeping over lost water? what gun am I using?

Weeping over lost water? what gun am I using?

First off let me invite you to a new year here on the blog. Been down with weather and with slow to no internet then topping it off a bit of computer trouble. With all that behind us now it a time to get in this next entry.

Weeping over lost water? I was asked something the other day and had a daaaaa moment. Upon thinking about it, it occurred to me I had the very same experience  or question when starting in with pressure washing. Though the question is simple and the answer is simple it is something that needs a little explanation, so here it is. I bought a new replacement gun the other day this one has a blue trigger on it why is it blue? I saw there were some red ones too. They look the same they had the same pressure and gallon ratings, but the blue one was a few dollars cheaper. 

Well the blue trigger, a blue trigger guard, or blue stripe means it is a weeper. The blue gun does not shut off completely. It weeps or squirts out a stream of water when there is pressure in the line or at the head of the power washer's pump head. Now that is just about the stupid thing you may of heard a gun that does not shut off why would they make such a thing? Well to help aid in cooling and over working the unloader or pump in general. This type of gun is most used in the self-service car washes. Where people don't care about the way some thing works or how hard they use it or when they use it.

Blue triggered weeper gun, Cleaned by Pete photo.

In the car wash you place you money in and a small stream of water start squirting out and is still squirting out sometimes when you leave this relives the line and head pressure as well as helps to drain the gun, lance, and line that may freeze due to weather conditions. Most of the customers would not take the time to drain the hose or gun when they finish there washing job but the weeping trigger gun or as I call them "weepers" does it for them.

Red triggers or red markings mean when the gun's trigger is let off there should be no water exiting the gun. If water weeps or keep running then the gun is defective or a piece of chafe may be lodged in the triggers seat assembly. Why would a power washer want one of these weepers if they are only good for a self-service car wash then. There are a few reasons that I have them. In a pinch when you need a gun they will still work only they don't totality shut down the water supply. You may be partial to blue over red, it was cheaper. Well the main reason I have and use this style of gun is safety. How is a blue weeper safer than a red gun? Let me propose this: you're on a roof (I use to wash kitchen hoods and exhaust fans) you finish your washing your pump is running you must either have someone stand there to turn it off or you must climb down and do it your self. Your partner is inside handling the water flow of what is being washed down he really can not do it, I'm too cheap to hire someone to just stand and turn on and off a machine. You can use a weep gun it lets a small amount of water out that is controllable you can lay it down or lower it off the roof. The pressure is not enough to hurt anything. It also lets fresh cooler water cycle in and exit the pump thru the gum keeping the pump cooler. We have heard of leaving the trigger open with something but that lets 3000 psi loose when your not around not safe for you, clients or anything around. If you just shut it down using the regular red gun then go crawling to the ladder down to the ground over to the washer takes time. The recycling water starts to heat up in the pump, a weeper gun is a good item to use here. When we wash a tall building the lift seems to take for ever to get up and in just right position if you have someone to stand around to start and stop the machine that is good I usually don't I can start it with a weep gun, because it's letting off pressure keeping the water circulating keeping the pump cool while manoeuvring into place. Just one last scenario recently I was working on the roof only water supply was a bit away power washer had no reserve tank 3400 psi at 4 gpm with about 300+ feet of high-pressure hose to get to where needed. I had to go around the air-moving stacks across a small bridge that spanned the buildings about 6 to 7 feet, around the corner and under the duck work. Had the hose laid out with the weeper gun I could start the power washer and then make it around under and across the bridge with out having to run or be unsafe the gun ran a small stream of water keeping the pump cooler and the stream was not powerful enough to move things around when left alone.

I like to keep a weep gun or two on the rig at all times. They don't get the use of the red guns but when I need it for safety in doing a job it makes it worth while. Safety on the job is the first thing I think about and that covers all the aspects my customer's, my personal, my machinery, and anything else around, all safety concerns. I'll use a blue weep gun, for those certain jobs and know that I'm doing the best I can in being safe. This is why I use a blue weeping gun other may use it for other reasons.