SWISCO - The Replacement Hardware Authority

29" Alcoa Window Balance Replacements

A quick learner says:
We need to replace some Alcoa window balances that measure 29" long, with a blue tip. The question we have is in measuring the diameter of the balance. Currently, these have a plastic covering connected to them. Without the covering, the balance measures 7/16. With the covering, it measures 9/16. How do we know which measurment to use? Please advise which parts we should order. Pictures attached.

Thank you!
A user submited photo of tilt window spiral attachment
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Paul from SWISCO responded:
Thanks for posting. In this case, I believe you should measure including the plastic covering. 9/16", in the industry, is considered a 5/8" diameter. If that seems right to you, please take a look at our S600-29. Does that look like it might work for you?
A quick learner says:
In looking closer at the slot of the window frame that the balance would fit into, it only measures 7/16 wide and the current plastic covering needs to be "squuezed" a bit in order for the balance to fit into place. Given this information, I think the 9/16 would be too wide. Are there any options to get the 7/16 with a plastic covering?
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Paul from SWISCO responded:
Unfortunately, the only spiral balance diameters available are 3/8" and 5/8" (actual 9/16"). Is there an undamaged balance you can measure? That may give you a more accurate dimension.
A quick learner says:
Our existing balances are 3/8" with a sleeve that brings the width to 5/8". The window slot these go into won't allow the solid metal balances to go into them since the current platic models had to be squeezed in the 1/2" window side slot.

So we are looking to get the 3/8" model at 29" with the blue tip. We could only find Red and Green check boxes on your website. Do you have the 3/8" x 29" x Blue Tip models in inventory?

We're lookig to buy 6 of these we need to make sure we get the right model.

We'll also need to get an inexpensive charging tool.

Thanks.
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Paul from SWISCO responded:
Thanks for getting back to us. For spiral balances with the plastic sleeve, we consider the diameter to include the sleeve. Our replacement balances just have a metal casing versus the cheaper balances with the plastic casing. I do not believe a 3/8" balance will work with you. It may be too weak, and could snap when you try to use it.

How much do you have to squeeze to get the balance into the jamb? Can you get them in there without squeezing? Is it possible that the original balances you have were not replaced correctly to begin with?
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