SWISCO - The Replacement Hardware Authority

My balances are 1" short

A home owner from Newbury Park, CA says:
I want to replace some window balances, they have a stamp "14 2 HR CALDWELL". The length of the channel measure 15". but is about 1" too short, they don't reach the locking tabs. I'm figuring I need the 385 series 16". channels with the 1520 option. Does that sound about right?
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Paul from SWISCO responded:
I have a few questions. Are your current balances the same that came with the window originally? What do you mean when you say locking tabs? Do you mean the take out clip? It would look like our 16-002. Have your windows always had problems or is this only a recent thing? It's possible that the springs are worn and can't reach the tabs.
A home owner from Newbury Park, CA says:
I don't know if they are the original, on one of the windows I have two different size channels.
Yes I mean take out clip, the channels are way too short.
Yes, the windows never seem to operate smoothly.
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Paul from SWISCO responded:
Two different sized balances makes me think that someone repaired these in the past and used the wrong hardware. Instead of guessing, let's do this. Give me the height and width of the visible glass and the weight of the sash. With that information, we can suggest a balance with the appropriate size and spring strength.

It may be a good idea to stick with the Series 385 channel balance. Its shoe may be big for what you need, but you can always grind it down a bit if that's the case. It's easier to grind a larger shoe down than it is to try to build a smaller shoe up.
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