SWISCO - The Replacement Hardware Authority

Red or blue balances?

A landlord from Philadelphia says:
Hi there - I have 3 windows in a unit that won't stay up because the 27", 5/8 blue spiral balances have no strength left.

A friend of mine happened to locate a new 27" spiral balance, but with a red end. It works fine, and the sash now now stays up when you put it there.

So - for the other two windows, should I order four red or four blue? I'm guessing that either would be fine, but I wasn't sure if red was weaker or might deteriorate over time.

Thanks - Conrad
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Tom from SWISCO responded:
Thanks for posting, Conrad! The color tips are indicative of your spiral balance's strength, so whether you should get blue or red tips for your other window balances depends entirely on the weight of those window sashes.

Are the balances in the other windows the same size and Series as the ones you recently replaced? If not, I will need to know the lengths and diameters of their metal tubes. I will also need to know if the windows are tilt, or non-tilt.

In either event, I will also need to know the weight of each window sash in order to determine the best possible tip color option for their balances.
A landlord says:
The other balances are same size: tilt, 27", 5/8", blue blue, series 600.

I don't know the exact weight of the sashes - but I just wanted to know if it is possible that a blue and red tip would give similar performance, and if so, it is matters which is stronger or not.

thanks for the quick reply. I'm very impressed. Conrad
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Tom from SWISCO responded:
Thanks, Conrad! The S600-27 has three different color tip options, each with varying weight capacities. Let me give you each one, and you can decide which would be best for your balances.

-The red tip can carry a window sash weight range of 7 through, and including, 29 pounds.
-The blue tip can carry 12 through, and including, 31 pounds.
-Finally, the black tip can carry 31 through, and including, 40 pounds.

Please keep in mind that the weight range 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.

If both of your balances have blue tips, it might be safe to go with blue tips again. Your balances simply may have just been too old to support the weight of the window. Alternatively, they could just need to be charged. Sometimes older balances simply need to be wound up a little to add tension. Our 75-006 spiral balance charging tool for tilt-windows would be the tool for that job.

One last thing: you might want to check out our tutorial video on how to replace a tilt-window spiral balance. This sheds a lot of insight on the best method for replacing this hardware, as well as general information on how they work.
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