SWISCO - The Replacement Hardware Authority

Need to adjust or replace spiral balance

A quick learner from Dallas, TX says:
This site has provided a lot of useful information about windows maintaiance and repairment.

After reading posts in this site, there are still several question about replacing the spiral balance of the window shown in the picture. The spiral shoe is a J like hook attached to the end of the spiral. It is difficult to take it out of clip. Questions are

1). do I need to remove weather strip (the black part)?

2). Do I need to bent the hook down to separate the shoe from clip?

3. If yes to 2), is there a good tool or procedure to do so?

Thanks for your attention.
User submitted a photo of window hardware.
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Paul from SWISCO responded:
You don't need to remove the black bottom seal, however you will need our 75-005 tool. You'll have to hook it in the hole at the bottom of the balance spiral to detach it from the sash. I suggest having someone hold up the sash while you do this. Now, with the balance unhooked from sash, give the spiral two turns (usually clockwise) to add tension. If this doesn't work, you will need to replace the balance. Let me know if that's the case and we can work from there.
A quick learner from Texas says:
Thank you very much for your reply. Had been busy and have no time to visit till now.

It seems the clip is very tight to pull down. I ended up by using a hook to pry the clip while using the charging tool to help pull the spiral down.

Now, I noticed it is very hard to take the whole balance out sine the clip keeps me guessing its orientation. Since the spring is totally gone, I decided to pull the spiral from bottom, then pull the steel tube from top.

To put the new spiral back is another challenge. The new one drops down easily, and keeps turning. Eventually, I made a poor man's version of fish tape to thread the thing.

Then, charging is another story. How do I know if I need to turn the spiral clock or counter-clock wise? Could I determine this by looking at the winding direction of the spiral?

In short, three questions
1. best practice to retrieve the old clip-on balance out?
2. best way to insert new clip-on balance
3. ballpark number of turns to charge the balance. That is number vs weight of window?

Also, how to maintain this thing periodically if such maintenance is recommended?

Appreciate your expert advise.
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Paul from SWISCO responded:
I'll try to answer your questions one at a time.

1) Normally someone should hold the sash up while you pull down the balance with the tool to disengage the clip. Then you lower the sash, unscrew the balance, and pull the balance up and out.

2) To install a new balance, drop the balance down from the top of the sash and screw in the balance. Raise the sash and bring the spiral up just a few inches to it while the sash is up. Insert the charging tool and turn the spiral clockwise about three to four times. You will feel the tension increase. Hook the clip into the sash and repeat for the other side. Now try the sash. If it's not staying up, give the balance another turn or two.

3)Normally three to four clockwise turns.

4) The balances come lubricated and don't need grease for five to ten years. You can periodically spray the window tracks with a silicone spray for smoother movement between the sash and track.
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