SWISCO - The Replacement Hardware Authority

MW Replacement Balance

A handy person from Middletown, CT says:
Hello, I have MW windows ( circa 1999 ) in our house. They have a spiral balance. We are looking to replace several of the balances. I contacted the manufacturer and they said they no longer offer the spiral balances, so I would need to change to their newer balance setup.

I saw the spiral balances at Swisco, and was wondering if I could just replace them with those.

My balance is 3/8" diameter. From the top of the sleeve to the bottom is 27". However, the spring is hanging an additional inch out of the bottom, so the top of the sleeve to the 'tip' is 28". I'm not sure which length is more accurate.

Also, the ones in our windows actually have yellow tips. I did not see a yellow tip spiral balance in the 3/8" diameter in those lengths.

The shoes appear to be OK, so could I simply keep the existing shoes?

Lastly, we've never been happy with the operation ( up / down ) of our windows. Is that an issue with spiral balances? Or could we just have had a bad version?

Thanks for any help you can provide.
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Paul from SWISCO responded:

Thanks for posting! I hope I can answer all your questions regarding your spiral balances.

First, you were right in your first measurement. The length of our spiral balances only encompass the tube, or sleeve, itself; the spiral protrusion and tip are not counted in this measurement. So your balance would be 27" long.

If your pivot shoes are undamaged, there shouldn't be any problem with reusing them. It wouldn't hurt to just give them a once-over to make sure nothing is broken, though.

You may have had trouble with the operation of your window because if your balances weren't charged enough. Have you tried charging your current balances? It's very possible that is all you may need to do. It's also possible that they are old, or even inoperable, in which case you would want to replace them, but try charging them first and see if that works.

If you let me know if you have a tilt or non-tilt window, I can recommend the appropriate charging tool to use.

Finally, for the tip color, can you give me the weight of your sash? If I have the weight, I can determine what the best tip color would be for your window balances.

A handy person from Middletown, CT says:
No we have not charged our current balances. We weren't aware of that until we started investigating the replacement parts. Some of the balances have broken so will surely need to be replaced. But maybe charging the others will help.

We have tilt windows.

The sash weighs roughly 18 lbs.

Thanks for the help.
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Paul from SWISCO responded:
Thanks for the info. Please take a look at our S900-27 spiral balance. Do you think this would work for you? It only comes with one tip color, red, and will support a sash weight range of 10 through 22 pounds. Do you think this would work for you?

Please keep in mind that balance weight capacity 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
A handy person from Middletown, CT says:
Looks good. We'll give it a try. Thanks for the help.
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