Ask Jeff: Fan Jets or Pencil Jets?

One of the most frequently asked questions I get at abc Window Cleaning Supply is, “What is the difference between pencil jets and fan jets?”

pencil jets

The simple answer is pencil jets are configured as a pass through tube-like stem where the pure water flows out in a stream and the fan jets are a one- or two-piece assembly with a nozzle on the end that constricts and redirects the water which causes it to spray out in a fan pattern, not unlike a zero degree pressure washer tip.

The generally accepted rule of thought in our profession is that pencil jets are the common application for most pure water window cleaning use, on normal hydrophilic glass, or glass where your rinse water is sheeting down the pane, which is exactly what you want it to do.

Fan jets are deployed when you run into hydrophobic glass, or glass where your rinse water is beading up on the glass, like a waxed car, or where a glass treatment may have been applied to the glass and the two (or more) pencil streams just cannot or will not allow for a good rinse coverage on the glass. The fan jet spray pattern will give you a more complete coverage of the glass, allowing for a better, faster rinse that translates to getting the job done more efficiently, and let’s face it – in this business – time is money.

pencil jets

Many window cleaners employ fan jets more often than not, utilizing the wider rinse method to accomplish the time savings gained on the job and minimizing time on each pane. This can carry risk with it, however. Fan jets can create more overspray, and especially on windy days, if you’re not careful, you may end up with spotting on the windows from overspray settling back on the glass. Careful use of the pole, diligent control of the brush head, and practice with the fan jets are the best way to ensure success whether you are going to use fan jets or pencil jets in your pure water window cleaning work.

Watch abc’s helpful video below (or on Youtube) demonstrating the difference between the two different jet types.

As always, for any questions relating to Waterfed® or other window cleaning issues feel free to give me a call at 303-641-0948, or call one of the friendly order-takers at our Denver or Charlotte locations (800-989-4003).

About the Author

Jeff Klass

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Jeff is a professional window cleaner and leading expert in pure water window cleaning. He runs First Klass Window Cleaning, and serves as abc's WaterFed guru.

Jeff KlassAsk Jeff: Fan Jets or Pencil Jets?

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