SWISCO - The Replacement Hardware Authority

Confirming balance to purchase

A home owner from Florida says:
Have 20 Florida Extruder Milestone 1000 single hung windows. Replaced the channel balances in several windows within the first two years under warranty and over the last 4+ years an additional 9 windows are now no longer working. Some of the now broken balances are windows opened rarely and others in windows opened daily during the winter.

Balance is labeled 28D. Have been told by a neighbor that they ordered S380-29 series. Have question as one of the shoe measurements does not match your specs.

For the shoe, our depth is ~ 7/8" and does not appear to be worn down. Swisco part# 15-005 indicates 1" depth of shoe on the S380-29.

Any thoughts on the difference? Plan to replace balances in pairs and want to ensure I am ordering correct parts since I need so many. Neighbor also indicated 18-180 to replace cracked top sash guides. Thanks.
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Paul from SWISCO responded:
Thanks for posting! I think you should be okay with the 15-005 shoe. If you aren't certain though, you can always post a picture of it here for us to eyeball. It's possible you have an odd custom balance that has an entirely different bottom shoe than what is usually seen in the houses in your area.
A home owner from Florida says:
Thank you for your response. I've attached two photos of the shoe, the first with a ruler included. I've also attached a photo of the clip as we might order a couple of clips just in case. Would this be part# 16-002?

I'm planning to order some top sash guides to replace ones that are currently cracked. Any other parts you would suggest as a precaution?

Also, my husband is concerned about the quality of the components like the rivets and plastic pulleys in our current channel balancers since they have not been reliable. Do you have any data or some idea of the life expectancy of the balancers that you sell?

Thanks for your help.
User submitted photos of a window balance.
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Tom from SWISCO responded:
Hey, thanks for getting back to us. I've seen this shoe before. It is a little small, but I agree with Paul--I think our 15-005 will work. It is, at least, the closest match that we have.

That clip is, indeed, our 16-002. I think this, along with the top sash guide, should be enough hardware for now. It may not hurt to take a cursory glance around your window to see what else is worn down, though. You should also check out our tutorial video on how to replace these balances--that will show you all the hardware involved in the operation of this hardware. I'll post it below.

As for these balance's life expectancy, it's hard to say. I don't have any hard data as it varies for everyone. It really depends on how often the window is used and how it's handled. Typically, these kind of balances can last for several years.
A home owner from Florida says:
I ordered a trial pair of the S380-29 balancers to test before ordering quantity. We installed the new pair. The window moves up and down and will stay up, however, the window has a lot of unusual play in side to side movement and you have to put more pressure on one side to keep the window level and prevent a kind of scraping and screeching noises as you raise and lower.

We noticed later that on one side the bottom of the balancer shoe is flush with the bottom of the window and on the other side the bottom of the shoe is maybe an 1" or so up into the window frame. We will try to take out and reinstall but wondered if you know what might be causing this? Thanks
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Paul from SWISCO responded:
Hmmm. It sounds like the balances are not engaged properly. I guess the shoes were too big after all.

Thankfully, it's a simple solution. Since shoes of your original size are not made anymore, you will have to file down the shoes until they are an appropriate size.
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