SWISCO - The Replacement Hardware Authority

Different weight spiral balance replacements

A quick learner from Walnut Creek, California says:
I have a 28" x 21¾" single hung, double pane, tilt out sash with dual red tipped spiral balances. Both are broken. (Not the same size! !?!!). One sash balance is 27", the other 28". Which ones should I order? The guide to choosing a replacement, references coil balance springs. It doesn't help for spiral balance replacement choices. Also, The reference to tip colors for spring forces in spiral balances references blue, green & black tips are for "heavy" sash weights. What is meant by "heavy"? How would anyone know to order blue, green or black sash balances if they have to guess what is meant by "heavy"?
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Donna from SWISCO responded:
If your balances are original to the window and the manufacturer had installed two different sizes, it is best to replace as two different sizes. If you believe they are not originally intended to be two different sizes try going with the one that is closest to the visible glass height.

For the color tip you should match up to the original, if you are having trouble determining the proper tip color please remove the window sash and place it on a scale. We need the balance series, tube length, and sash weight in pounds to determine the color tip.
A quick learner from Walnut Creek, California says:
Ok. I am not sure if this is original from the manufacture or not, however, I doubt it. It looks like someone may have used something available from his truck rather than another trip to the store or parts supplier. I have taken apart another identical window to check its tubular sash balances. They are equal at 28" with red plastic spiral guide / spring winder tips. The lower sash is the only movable part which weighs 11-12 lbs. It matches your photographs of the 600 series. For the sake of improvement of the website, if there were a spring weight, better information or something else to determine if the blue, green or black spiral guide / spring winder tips is an appropriate selection. There is probably more to it than just weight, but by using the term "heavy" for all three gives no clue what is proper. Return policies & restocking fees due to an ambiguous definition does not appeal to many customers in my mind. Thanks in advance for any other information you can provide which will assist in my purchase decision.
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Donna from SWISCO responded:
S600-28 with Red tip will carry a window sash weight range of 7 through 29 pounds.

This information is based on 2 balances per sash. Balances are designed assuming friction in the jamb weather-strip will carry a portion of the sash weight. Suggested sash weights are approximate.
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