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Guest MrBump

Do gutter vacs actually work?

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Guest MrBump

I know what your saying bud but its not for me. My ladders aren't big enough and not getting another set and a roof rack (so many places I go my van only just fits under the barrier!). Plus since I can't straighten my elbow or twist it fully its just dodgy for me doing stuff up a ladder now. Can climb one fine but not up for faffing about up one, either can't hold on properly or can't stretch. Rather turn the jobs down. But don't want another window cleaner turning up to do gutter jobs for my custies and then trying to nick.my window work too. Its either buy a vac or turn them down.

 

Although people prefer ladders, it does seem that vacs 'can' do the job, just have some issues on some. I'll have to make some kind of scoop attachment to knock stuff out of the gutters on those and then clean up the mess off the floor I guess and hope the vac can do most of the work.

 

Like the look of the skyvac atom, only 1200w, but cheap, smaller, comes with cf poles and being a skyvac surely it should be able yo do the job, well you'd hope anyway?

 

How the hell are you getting internet in a barn in the middle of nowhere :rofl: Hope you brought your coat with you, apparently it might not rain wednesday... Your a far cry from the driest place in the uk now eh :laugh:

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Jake

Lol I know mate, wifi is so bad here!

 

Not gonna be posting much,

 

Got here about 6.30pm, rained all the way here!

 

 

Yeah just get a vac then mate, you'll soon get he hang of it and it'll still do most of the jobs...

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Guest MrBump

At least cheddar caves are 'under cover' so to speak :D

 

I'll probably get a vac. It will just be annoying if it can't actually suck all the crap out of a gutter. Oh well I guess theres always ebay to recoup some costs if it doesn't work ;)

 

Just need to decide skyvac atom or the guttersucker... If anyone has either either of these and they are good or bad, or have another one you'd recommend, please let me know.

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Utterly Gutterly

A flat nozzle may get into the gutter but wont always get the muck underneath the tile.

Vac wont always suck up pine needles. Twigs, acorns and any harder material can block your elbow, poles or tubes.

Of course you can lift the poles over internal brackets but it is very easy to leave little mounds of muck beneath each bracket.

If there is hard concrete dust I use a metal trowel from the top of a ladder to break it up.

I understand all your questions but the theory is never the same as in practice which you will only find out when you start clearing gutters. I now only use the vac in awkward situations where I can't use a ladder.

If you are only doing a few jobs is it really worth the investment in a vac and poles? Much cheaper to buy a ladder, roof rack and progutter tools?

UG

 

UG, that's not what I wanted to hear :P

 

So access is the main problem, but other than that it sucks up all leaves, moss and other cr@p? Do you have the flat nozzle? That looks like its made to get into tight gutters where the tiles overhang. Also with internal gutters can't you just lift it over each bracket, still a pain obviously. Also can you not attach a knife or something to break up compacted concrete dust? I would of thought a plastic gutter tool would struggle with the dust too? Lastly why not just attach a camera to the top while your working rather than get the ladders out each time to check?

 

Sorry for all the Q's. Just want to br certain a vac will be able to do the job before I blow hundreds on one! Personally for me it's either get a vac and it'll work or turn the jobs down. I'm the same as you, will only do a jon 100%. But at the same time I don't really want my customers to look elsewhere for a gutter cleaner incase they also do windows and end up under cutting me on that or something.

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Guest MrBump

Thanks UG. Yup totally get theory doesn't always work in practice! What does :D I have quotes enough to cover the cost of a vac, which I have found complete kit for under £600. Sounds like a nightmare though if everything except leaves can block it lol :eek:

 

Just found this http://www.progutter.co.uk/catalogue/4575763416/angle-adapter-***free-p-p***/5786570 which solves alot of the ladder problems. Only issue I can see is again getting under tiles, internal brackets and access over a conservatory would mean trying to scoop it out onto the connie roof and then brushing it off the roof I guess. Saves alot of money, but not sure if it would be quicker or easier or an actual replacement for a vac though. As I said before, can't get a roof rack and can't really work up a ladder since i broke my elbow as I can't twist or straighten it :doh: Thanks again for all the tips and advice and pics :D All useful stuff only experience can give.

 

I might try the easiest job with the bent gutter tool kit but I will probably need a vac for the awkward access job or two I guess. Infact come to think of it ones right next to a river so ladders are defo out on that one :D But can reach from a bridge with poles. Will let everyone know how it all goes over the next couple of weeks :thumbsup:

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Jake

Yeah maybe just give it a go mate,

 

If your not comfortable on ladders then pretty much your only option is a vac and the elbow adaptor,

 

By the way the pro gutter tools don't get caught on the brackets as there designed to perfectly fit past them, also they do a half round one which is nice and small for those overlapping tiles...

 

You'll be ok with a vac mate, you just might go a bit mad :mad:

 

But if it doesn't work, you can always eBay it like you say!

 

Defo try the pro gutter angle adaptor though mate, I'm sure it'll work from the ground very well, you can always strap a camera to the pole after to see how clear it is...:thumbsup:

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Utterly Gutterly

Progutter won't go past internal brackets, Jake. See pic.:thumbsup:

 

5915ca598b6b9_IMG_10621.jpg.9061e7460aa339feb12d228d4e02fe98.jpg

 

By the way the pro gutter tools don't get caught on the brackets as there designed to perfectly fit past them,

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Trev81

Once skilled with a gutter vac it's miles faster than messing about on a ladder with a small tool on the end of a harris pole, I started off my business doing just gutters and invested in a vac, carbon poles and inspection pole with camera etc etc, and I made sure I advertised it correctly, picked up plenty of work using it, I found many customers loved the idea and didn't mind paying a higher rate to have this machine clear their gutters (perhaps using the machine to charge a premium but so be it) using the customers power has never been a issue, many trades need customers power it's not even a consideration to them. However it did take some getting used to using it right, you can vac and think it's all out only to pop up the camera to find plenty missed, but with the various end tools you kinda get the grips with what works best for each type of guttering. I sell up on the service when doing F/S/G cleans and the mention of the vac system generally has the customer wanting it done while cleaning them so its like a double up on the initial job. Also a good thing to offer year round when other services dry up and no gutter under 40 feet for me is not doable. I doubt I could charge my rates using just a B&Q tool either, so think of it as a investment to charge a little extra on that service too.

 

the only time I ever use ladders is when guttering has little room between the roof tile or if there is a deep blockage in a down pipe, but many times I pull it out with the vac if you work at it enough! Always go after heavy rain if poss :)

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Jake
Progutter won't go past internal brackets, Jake. See pic.:thumbsup:

 

[ATTACH=full]7629[/ATTACH]

 

 

Ah yes! I was confusing them with the brackets that slightly lap over the gutter!

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Guest MrBump

You angel trev81, that's just what i wanted to hear :thumbs: Looks like I will be getting one over the next week :D

 

What gutter vac do you use? Just want to get an idea of what will work, don't want to waste money on a super duper vac machine of a little one will do just fine :thumbsup:

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Jake

I'll take on trev in a gutter clerking race, hands down ladders will win 9 out of 10 times :cool:

 

But yeah, let us know which one you get mate, I'm sure it'll be great

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Guest MrBump

You have internet! Haha. Been past your way today and had no reception from here to lands end! :eek:

 

Don't race, rushing around on ladders is a risk and you could slip whereas trev will be safe and sound on the ground :laugh:

 

I'm leaning towards the skyvac atom as its not bad value for all the cf poles, adapters and vac for under 500+vat, but the vac is only 1200w, not sure how much difference actual wattage makes though. If not then the guttersuckers the next cheapest at around 800+ and more powerful. Unless anyone can recommend a tried and tested quality vac? ;)

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Tuffers
You have internet! Haha. Been past your way today and had no reception from here to lands end! :eek:

 

Don't race, rushing around on ladders is a risk and you could slip whereas trev will be safe and sound on the ground :laugh:

 

I'm leaning towards the skyvac atom as its not bad value for all the cf poles, adapters and vac for under 500+vat, but the vac is only 1200w, not sure how much difference actual wattage makes though. If not then the guttersuckers the next cheapest at around 800+ and more powerful. Unless anyone can recommend a tried and tested quality vac? ;)

 

A 3000w vac struggles to lift some imbedded grass and the like, so a 1200w will struggle more. Save up and buy the best if you're serious about buying one. Trev made a good point when he said that it makes you look more professional using a vac. A JCB digging your drive up or a gang wielding pick axes? Hmm....

 

People see that you have invested heavily in tools for the job like vacs and are impressed, but IMO vacs don't always cut it and using the progutter tools is quicker.

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Tuffers

I picked up a gutter job tonight and I'll use the ladders, no more than an hours work and quoted £70, got it and got their windows for £15 at 8 weekly. I'd take half an hour longer pi55ing about with the vac on that job.

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Guest MrBump

Well the best it would seem would be a full blown skyvac industrial 85 with 3000w and 150" lift, but at £2,000+ I'm not that serious about it :laugh: I have a good 4/5 people asking me for quotes already which I'm 99% I will get all of them at my min. price of £100, for any less its not really worth all the hassle. So say 2hrs per job, hourly rate seems worth all the pissing about for me. Not quite as good as your £70 hourly rate though :D And one job will be double as its huge, I prefer dawdling from one job to the next :rofl: So they will pay for the vac (if I get a more reasonably priced one) for a days work and then any others from then on will be profit.

 

I'll get the progutter tools too and stick them on a hooked pole so if I have to I can scoop and slide from the ground with them to assist the vac.

 

My ladders not big enough and my elbows spanked so vacs my only viable option. Just need to make sure I get one that'll do the job. From what I gather theres alot they can do, just maybe harder/slower and the few they can't I guess I will just have to improvise. I'll have a look around for some more powerful vacs within my budget (preferably under £800, max a grand but cheaper the better).

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norm

i would advice you to have a set of ladders long enough with you to reach any gutters your cleaning as back up until you are as skilled as @Trev81 using a vac as he even needs them occasionally

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Guest MrBump

Cheers Norm but I have no room for them. I'll just have to practice alot and learn fast :rock:

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Guest neil fearnley

I agree with trev once you get the hang of it,its a doddle

I've done hundreds of vac jobs and never once been up a ladder

My vac is only 1400w and its fine

I recently sold my 3000w vac coz it was a nightmare to move around

I made all my own attachments for limited space and clearing elbows

Don't buy a kit,get on eBay and buy the bits separate

As for removing large embedded sods I made some hooks and lift/flick them out

 

I don't use a camera anymore what I do is go along removing as much as I can,then I change the angle and go back,then change it and go back the other way

I find this method removes everything a vac will

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Diwrnach

I love my gutter vac! I have done some massive houses that would of been impossible off ladders.

 

Now, a really easy access semi will be a toss up which is faster, but anything even remotely difficult access vac is far and away better, the only time I get the ladder off is if downpipes are blocked badly or stuff is growing under the tiles and needs yanking out.

 

As for stuff getting stuck under the tile, its hard to explain but you wiggle the pole forwards and backwards making the end point under the tiles, if that makes sense? not sure how else to describe it, this will get the shit under the tile.

 

For tiles overlapping the gutter a lot I have an end which is crushed pretty narrow, if that doesn't fir then pro gutter tools most certainly wont so you would be reduced to doing it all by hand, but I am yet to get a gutter my vac hasn't fitted in, if they overlapped more then they wouldn't be working anyway.

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Guest MrBump

Thanks Neil and diwrnach, these are just the kind of confidence invoking replies I was looking for :D Now I'm actually excited to get one and start using it! I will definatley be back visiting this thread a few times to remind myself of all the great advice on here.

 

Neil, glad to hear no ladders required a hook will clear any tough bits :thumbsup:

 

Diwrnach what vac do you use out of interest?

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