SWISCO - The Replacement Hardware Authority

Channel Balence questions

A home owner from Idaho says:
I need to replace the balance on two different size vinyl windows. Both existing balances have a stamp: 27C FG and the letters B.S.I. run perpindicular between the former alpha-numeric code. This would seem to be simple enough using the instructions on your website, but one window weighs 19# indicating 27C is appropriate, the other 23# indicating 27D. Perhaps the MFG of my windows was not as particular on the components as should be.

Please tell me:

1. The failed balances were due to the small plastic pulleys literally wearing through in the center, splitting in half, then allowing the cord to ride over the axle and wear out. This seems like a weak link in the balance. Do your balances have plastic pulleys or metal? Are there replacement pulleys for the balances?

2. Would I be OK to order all replacements as 27C so my parts are all interchangeable?

3. Since these two windows have lost the balance, the other windows in the house of the same two sizes may be near faulure. Are these balances going to be available in the for-seeable future, or would I be wise to purchase replacements for all the windows to insure I do not have to replace windows for the sake of an unavailable balance?
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Tom from SWISCO responded:
Thank you for posting! I'll answer your questions one at a time.

1) The pulley wheels on our balances are plastic. They are not able to be replaced or fixed; if they are broken, the whole balance has to be replaced.

2) No, it is highly recommended that you only get the balance option that supports that window sash weight precisely. If you go any lighter or heavier, then it will not function properly and will likely become damaged.

3) I'm not sure what Series you have, so I can't speak for the availability. But you're right, if some balances are starting to break then it may not be a bad idea to prepare for future repairs.
A quick learner from Idaho says:
Tom, Thanks for the reply.

The series 795 looks to be the same as mine except for the plastic on the balance bottom and I think I can either switch the the bottoms out or cut/break out the existing (because it is blockier than the image of the 795 and not removable, the existing must have been installed into the channel before assembly of the window) and it looks like the 795 bottom will twist-insert in to an existing window.

The question of availability goes to how common this 795 balance was/is in the construction of windows over the years and how long a person could reasonably be sure of obtaining replacements from you or other suppliers. A marketing decision/judgement call I know, but give me your opinion please.

Thanks, Mike
A quick learner from Idaho says:
Tom,

Thanks for your reply. The channels on my windows are well over 1 1/4" so I am sure the shoe that comes with the S795 will work.

Before I order balances, can you tell me how to judge the mesh size of your replacement screening as far as keeping out tiny insects? I need to replace all my screen material and have tried aluminum (for stability and strength on the patio doors) from the big box store but it let in the tiny insects. Is there any aluminum screening that has small enough mesh to keep them out?

Thanks for all your help.

Mike
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Tom from SWISCO responded:
Mike,

Please note, the Series 795 Channel Balance comes with the 15-195 balance shoe (1-1/4") wide for replacement windows, but you can order this with the 15-194 balance shoe for prime windows.

At this time, the balance is still popular with window manufacturers, so I would say at least another five years.

As for the mesh, there is no aluminum screen that has a tight enough mesh to keep out tiny insects like gnats. Even if you can find something small enough to prevent tiny insects from entering through your screen we always recommend keeping your lights low to prevent any attraction.
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