Friday, August 29, 2014

The Humble Yard sign, the employee that works for you 24/7 in all types of weather.

Yard-signs: a Cleaned by Pete employee

Working hard to get the right sign before getting them printed. I like that employe that keeps working hard and gets paid very little. That describes the humble yard sign. I need to investment in some new yard signs the sun and weather are taking a toll on the old signs. Also as times change so does or views and the signs are looking dated. While working a couple of weeks ago for one of our regular customers, that we concrete clean and house wash for, they deal with buy and selling homes, an idea hit me. Seeing their sign I started to come up with this idea for a new yard sign using their sign as a guideline for my new sign.  This is their sign:

Yard-signs seem to be a great employee for me. I use them while on jobs that I'm doing, then I can leave them there to keep working. The older signs are starting to show some ware. Time to hire some new employees to stand proud and promote what I do. Working 24/7 in all types of weather what more can you ask for? These are some signs I've used over the years, some are better than others but most have brought me some good returns.

A Cleaned by Pete sign used in the past.

A Cleaned by Pete yard-sign used in the past.

A Cleaned by Pete sign used in the past.

A Cleaned by Pete yard sign used in the past, was retired after it was involved in a hit and run accident when a car ran-over it in a yard. One of or early caricatures.

Promotional sign we use for a while it still finds use at fairs and expos.

Promotional sign it still is used at fairs and expos.
But now for the new crop of employees this is the interview period I would guess. Seeing what one will be the best fit and will work for us in the future. Which one has the most promise for the company.

 Playing around and working on getting the yard signs ready for printing. As always I have do make a bunch of different formats and get the ideas down in the computer. Then get the idea of what makes the best look and what everyone likes. Then tweak them around a bit. So here are the profs for the signs so far.
We clean dirty houses, Cleaned by Pete Springfield Missouri, the areas #1 house washer.

We clean dirty houses, Cleaned by Pete Springfield Missouri, the areas #1 house washer.

We clean dirty houses, Cleaned by Pete Springfield Missouri, the areas #1 house washer.

We clean dirty houses, Cleaned by Pete Springfield Missouri, the areas #1 house washer.
Cleaned by Pete "we clean dirty houses" Springfield MO the yard-sign.
 Why did I base my sign on one of my customers signs? Well I have seen this sign in and around town and it always attracts attention and is very visible. Using the yellow color as the background, with standard black lettering I thought we'll see what it can do for Cleaned by Pete. Keeping it simple has been my advertising agenda for years.
   In any case a sign is a reflection of your company and says alot about you. You have to temper looks and messages with what you're trying to get across to prospective customers. That is what I'm trying to do. I find it relaxing and like to do things myself I know my company and area and feel I can capture and relay the message. Not brain surgery here just letting others know we did a job and can do yours. If you don't have or use this silent employee you may want to give it some consideration.
Cleaned by Pete
house washing the safe, soft washing way
serving the greater Springfield Missouri area

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Bypassing the Down-Stream Injector

Bypass the down-stream injector

I had posted up some photos of the bypass system I built a while back. I never thought it would be of that much interest to others. It seems it is one of the hotter topics, discussions and items that have hit the market for a while.

Cleaned by Pete's "bypass injector system", putting in a ball valve and some pluming you can transfer the water pressure and flow around the injector which will give you the full psi and gallon flow from your power washer. We find it very useful and time saving in our washing / cleaning style.
As always there are the two schools of thought but this time it seems there are 3 schools of thought. One just take the time to shut off the machine and take out the injector save the money not needed. The second build or buy one and use it, time saving, full power, and very very needed. The third it does not make that much difference so who cares.

Cleaned by Pete bypass injector unit, by trowing the red handle on the ball-valve you can bypass the downstream injector. In doing so you will have the full potential of power and flow from your washer.

I happen to fall in to the second group of thought. Fairly obvious other wise why would I build one then blog and wright about it. The time saving I found is this: I use to remove the injector but this is much easier for me. I would have to turn off the pump, let is stop then walk to the other side relieve the head pressure which meant I would have to drag back the gun and hose back to the truck. This is true in my case if I had been using a weep gun then this step would not be necessary. I just don't like a gun not shutting off the water flow completely. I would relieve the head pressure then pop out the injector put the line back together. I still had to walk back to the other side where my motor is pull start it, yes I'm still old school no electric starter on the washer. After starting walk around get the gun and return to work with full power. Now it is just walk to the truck throw the ball-valve and walk back. In my case it works for me so I use it.

Cleaned by Pete's bypass injector unit.

The extra pressure and flow dose make a difference when using a smaller psi unit. Most know I do mostly house and residential cleaning. So a smaller psi unit is fine the extra power for doing driveways and concrete comes in handy and makes the job quicker. I have also noticed I have been using just a bit less gas with it in bypass mode seems the motor and pump are not working as hard all the time. Everyone knows it harder to push water through a longer hose it seems to make sense it would be harder to push water through that little hole in the injector.

Adaptors to be able to place the "injector bypass system" in line without taking or replacing any fittings and on anyone’s power washer. Cleaned by Pete bypass injector unit.

I'm not here to argue nor try to change your point of view but these bypass systems have a place on my trucks. I believe they save me time, are easy to use, give you the full potential of power and flow from your machine. I also think they may make your machine work less, relives some ware and tear, and save on fuel. All a big plus in my book. 

I was asked how does this work with only one ball valve should you not need to to shut off one and open the other? Good question to which my limited under standing of physics, from my college classes was this. "In theory since a liquid will take the least path of resistance it will also flow faster and in volume thru the unimpeded path. Making the this path the straightest flow should also help, that is why the ball valve is in the short straight line. Water being a liquid too should take the least path of resistance. With that it should not have a enough pressure to create the low pressure zone inside the injector, causing it not to draw in the soaps or cleaners. Since the injector has a very small venturi in it is causes water to back up at that point. Water is forced trough the small hole This is the point we loose psi and flow, so if we open a much large hole (the ball valve) it will flow there easier. Water will back up at the injector which then helps to divert the flow to the larger opening. No need for the 2nd ball valve. Of course by shutting down the ball valve you force the water into the other line, cause the injector to work once again. This is only what I understand about liquid dynamics."

Whether this is correct or not I'm not sure, but this is the internet and a some "internet cowboy" out there would have by now surly corrected the statement.  As of today still no correction or interjection on said statement.

Most of the contractors that have tried them agree they are worth the cost and effort to build them. There are several variations on the unit no one's idea is wrong we all build and think differently. My bypass is built this way because these are the parts I had on the shelf to build it out of. You don't need hoses you can use hard lines you can use water pipe and fittings you don't need quick connects I used them to be able to move the unit for point to point and to use on other washes be them mine or another contractor we have worked with.
The picture of the adaptors are for use when placing the unit. While I tried to have all my connections the same it is enviable that you run in to a placement where things don't work the adaptors help to take care of that.

Cleaned by Pete
just a power / pressure washing company in Springfield Missouri

Friday, August 22, 2014

What's in the pocket?

What's in the pocket?

It use to be said you can tell alot about a person by what is in his pockets. Just finished up a cleaning / washing job this morning. TGI Fridays, It was mostly flat work, get home and sit here reading my e-mail. One of the guys I help with info was telling me how he likes the new nozzles I matched up and sent him. Had to laugh when he said what he liked so far with his new set-up. The new standard nozzles that he needed after the upgrade, an adjustable long range soap nozzle and the sweeper as he call it (I made it for him I call them mini brooms) set it up to power match his surface cleaner. For cutting in, touch up, working a tough spot or rinsing, have the same nozzles that the surface cleaner does so output matches the surface cleaner exactly.

So what is in my pocket now? The exact same thing.
Cleaned by Pete, 25*, 40* tips, mini broom, and the adjustable long range soap nozzle, these are my most used nozzles when doing cleaning and washing.

Cleaned by Pete: this is what I carry in my pocket while working and sometimes even when not working. A few of my favourite things.
I also had the keys to the service truck
Today's photo one hot water, one cold water power washers, five different surface cleaners, 275 foot of high pressure hose, soaps and cleaner, foam guns or cannons, brooms, oil & chemical socks (pigs) two gutter critters along with other items for Cleaned by Pete to wash and clean concrete in Springfield Missouri.

 and in my back pockets had a water key and a camera in the other, for getting photos of any existing damage and before photos. So if the old saying is right what does this say about me? I would guess it says, "Yes you're a power washer".

Cleaned by Pete
just a power washer
Springfield Missouri

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Guns & Whips: the power washing tools

Guns & Whips: the power washing tools

While at a lunch the other day with another washing company we were small taking. Things I take for granted are nuggets of information to the newer guys. Sometimes I forget what it was like starting out those many years ago. If you follow the blog you will know that my washing / cleaning career started in hood and kitchen cleaning, the exhaust systems working with my brother-in-law. Thinking back there were time I wish we had someone to ask, but most kept their trade secret just that secret. 

I thought I would blog about guns and whips. What is a whip? it is a short section of hose use off the reel, pump or the output and then at the end of the hose to connect the gun or ball valve or attachment. Why? There are two main points where your hoses or connections wear the most, where they are flexed. Up at the gun moving up and down side to side, you can see why it starts leaking there first. That tight bend where you first start rolling the hose is another place where this can happen. Why use your long hose and flex it in tight bends when you can use a smaller section of hose for the heavy wear areas. Cost a lot less for a short whip easier to replace and a one wire hose will bend and flex at the hose reel or the gun. What length should they be I was asked well I have whips form 2 foot to 12 foot depending on what I'm doing. Most are made form old hoses that have burst or have become worn. There are areas of older hoses that may just work for a whip. Use them save the longer hoses from flexing and bending and you will save money, in repairs.

Guns, the guys I was talking to did not know there were different styles of guns out there. They knew that several manufacturers made guns but never really looked into them. They had an employe that did not like to use the wand said it didn't fit him. I asked if he had tried another gun with a different angle or inlet. They said no there all the same What came with the "package". The "package" usually consist of the cheapest equipment that Northern can put together in my opinion. I gave them some pointers and ideas that may help their productivity just by getting a few different models.

Here are just a few pictured notice the angle of the handle to where the lance will go. Notice the placement of the inlet, the trigger itself is also important. The distance of the pull of the trigger is important to those with smaller hands. Lots of us have wives and girlfriends helping a gun is not just a gun. Most of these look very much alike but really evaluate them. What is your biggest dislike about your gun now? Look and see if there is a better fit. I have several guns. The one I like and use most is a 180* the inlet on the back then straight to the lance, as seen below in the pictures

no angle. This fits what I do and how I wash the best. Just changing a gun can speed up your cleaning and washing less arm pump and fatigue, in other words time saving.

These are but a few of the different models of guns from several different manufactures. Guns pictured are made by AR, Suttner, JE Adams, to a house brand. All do the same thing letting water flow. From easy pull triggers to the front entrance gun. 180* gun to those with all different angles, those with short trigger pulls all these things may make a big difference in your productivity. I did not list what each gun is or who made it the main idea of this blog is to show you there is a difference.

Cleaned by Pete
power, pressure & soft washing
serving the greater Springfield and Southwest Missouri area
cleaning up Springfield MO one home at a time.

Be sure to visit our Youtube channel 
and check us out at
join us on facebook and google+ just look for Cleaned by Pete

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Cleaned by Pete wood restoration and other add ideas "PWE"

Not every idea comes out like we want. You may hit that home run on the first try but it is unlikely. It took them at least 40 tries to get the formula to WD40 right WD1 - WD39 must have not worked out to well other wise they would have stopped. Making adds and trying to catch the attention of others maybe best left to the pros. Being a small business with some what a limited advertising budget (slim to none at times) I do what I can. So on with another hat we all wear being small business men and women, the advertising executive. Some are not so good and some are better. Here are some of the things I came up with.

Just letting you know we are your full service power, pressure and soft washing experts in the greater Springfield and Southwest Missouri area.

The other night I was working on an add for the local girls Roller Derby team I support and volunteer for. Their logo is a "skull and cross bones". I was looking for something to fit in and help appeal to this group and its' followers. I started and it warped into this the PWE Power Wash Enforcers or the PWE Pressure wash Enforcers.
Cleaned by Pete: the PWE Power Wash Enforcers clean concrete back ground.

Cleaned by Pete: the PWE Power Wash Enforcers clean concrete lightened back ground.

Cleaned by Pete: the PWE Pressure Wash Enforcers tribal skull and intense back ground.

Cleaned by Pete: the PWE Power Wash Enforcers a darker view of things.
Someone in the group wanted to see this combination of items together. So here it is the "PWE" Power Washing Enforcers

Not every thing comes out well or the way it was intended but if you do it yourself, you can only blame one person but the you don't waist a lot of cash on an add or layout that does not work well. I think if I can just keep plugging away I'll be like that hog that finds the acorn. Getting advice from others helping to improving on a good idea too. I have a problem remembering I'm not the sharpest crayon in the box. Some one else sees thing a bit different. This is why belonging to groups and communities of like minded business people is very important.


Monday, August 11, 2014

Variable or adjustable what ever you call them, what are they, & what do they do?

The Adjustable Nozzle:
Variable, adjustable or high-low what ever you wish to call them, what are they, & what do they do?

This topic was brought up to me the other day. I had a hard time explaining it but I think I got the point across. How they work why they work is not that important but I give it a try once again. 

The adjustable part is fairly straight forward, you once again have to match the nozzle to the out put of your machine. Once you have the correct size or orifice you have half the problem licked. The opening in the nozzle is for all practical prosperous a 0* nozzle matched to your machine. We all know what can happen with a 0* nozzle so be careful. What these "adjustable" nozzles now can do is change that 0* stream exiting the nozzle to a fan pattern. Below are a few of the nozzles I have and have them pictured closed and opened. When open they are equal to a 0*. Depending on the manufacturer when closed they can be up to an 80* fan pattern. By twisting it from side to side you are pushing the two stainless steel blades tighter together making a fan. The wider the fan the softer the pressure same as your fixed nozzles.

Adjustable nozzle in the open or 0* pattern.

Adjustable nozzle in the closed or 80* pattern.

This is a JE Adams adjustable nozzle in the open or 0* pattern.

This is a JE Adams adjustable nozzle in the closed or @ 40* pattern.

This is a soaping nozzle in the closed or 40* pattern the larger orifice makes this one for soaping or low pressure rinsing only.
This is a soaping nozzle in the open or 0* pattern the larger orifice makes this for long range soaping or low pressure rinsing only.

An adjustable nozzle in the open or 0* pattern.

 An adjustable nozzle in the closed or 40* pattern.
We can now see what make the fan and why it works. It is just a simple device that pushes and holds the blade in a position the tighter the blades the wider the fan.

There are several types and styles of these "adjustable or variable" nozzles each is different and each has a place in my tool box.
One of Cleaned by Pete's variable, adjustable or high-low nozzle.

One of Cleaned by Pete's variable, adjustable or high-low nozzle.

One of Cleaned by Pete's variable, adjustable or high-low nozzle.

One of Cleaned by Pete's variable, adjustable or high-low nozzle, this one has an injector for adding soap in to the nozzle also.
One of Cleaned by Pete's variable, adjustable or high-low nozzle, this one is a JE Adams brand.

One of Cleaned by Pete's variable, adjustable or high-low nozzle, this one happens to also be a turbo nozzle.

By truing the adjuster the water is forced out of the holes in the bottom of the bell reducing the pressure into the center. This nozzle can also be turned down low enough to draw soap from an injector.
Some of these nozzle are also able to change form low pressure to high pressure by pushing it forward for low pressure and pulling it back for high pressure usage. Sometimes called a push-pull nozzle. This is done by opening a low pressure zone behind or inside the nozzle causing it to now draw soap viva the injector at the pump or as pictured above at the nozzle itself.
This adjustable high-low push-pull is also called a M5-z-jet style of nozzle. Push it forwards will draw soap in a fan or twist is to shoot soap in a stream. Pull it back high pressure returns 80* fan to 0* stream.
If you need a custom fan to fit your work then you can use these nozzles to create that fan pattern. If you need to change it just twist. No need to have a pocket full of nozzles. I have a place and use these nozzles on jobs while I still use the quick change standard nozzles your green, yellow, and white I still have a need for this style of nozzle on certain jobs.

One last mention here is my adjustable water cannon while it is a gun it does the same thing by moving the handle forward it is a low pressure gun to draw soap pulling it backwards it becomes high pressure again and anywhere in between.
Cleaned by Pete's water cannon in high pressure setting.

Cleaned by Pete's water cannon in low pressure setting.
Cleaned by Pete power / pressure and soft washing
serving the greater Springfield MO area