SWISCO - The Replacement Hardware Authority

Replacement balances

A home owner from USA says:

I have some Wenco single hung wooden windows purchased about 1990. The sash is currently hung with spring balances on the sides that lift the sash using a small plastic foot that inserts under the sash frame. The springs are 3/8" diameter and fit behind a plastic moulding that also provides a vertical sliding channel for the sash. The sash weighs about 20 lbs. Pictures attached.
Could I use something like your "3/8" Series 306 Spiral Balance" as a replacement for the springs and foot? Could you provide a counterpart for the end clip that would attach to the sash frame? Is it something I could customize? Or is there a better approach?
Thanks, Ron
User submitted photos of a window balance.
A home owner from USA says:
Looking more closely at your stock selection, I think the Series 307 Spiral Balance is the most similar to mine. How does the sash fit to these 307 balances at the bottom? Is there a hardware clip I could install?
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Paul from SWISCO responded:
Hey, Ron. We may have an option for substitution. I think you should consider our Series 400 spiral balance with a 3/8" diameter tube. I also recommend our 17-031 clip, which you would screw on the bottom of the sash. Determining the height of the balance will be a little trickier. Usually, we measure the height of the visible glass and then add 3". What do you think?
A quick learner says:
Thanks you for your reply. I attach another picture showing how the existing foot and spring fit into the slide channel. The foot has a very narrow profile where it come through the slit in the channel, so I am concerned that the 17-031 clip will not be accommodated. Which is why I was considering the 307 Balance as it also has this narrow profile that would fit the slide channel. Is there a clip style that works with the 307?
The height of the sash is 29", glass is 27", full height of the window is 58".
User submitted a photo of a window balance.
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Paul from SWISCO responded:
I do not believe the Series 307 shoe will work for you. It does not resemble your picture at all. We also do not have any shoe that looks like what you have, which is why I think a flat bracket would be a possible solution. The 17-031 in particular works on the same principle as your balance foot.

You mention a narrow profile. What measurement is this, exactly? And where?
A quick learner says:
I attach two more pictures. One is a closeup of the foot looking straight down. The narrow vertical section is 1/8" and travels up and down inside the channel. The second picture shows how the channel spreads slightly to accomodate the vertical section of the foot as it moves up and down.
The end of the 17-031 clip is square shaped, not round, and I doubt will slide smoothly inside the channel. Also it looks too wide where it would protrude from the channel, and I doubt the channel would spread enough to accomodate it.
The Series 307 shoe is 3/8" round - a good fit for my channel. The hook shape also seems to have a narrow profile where it would protrude from the channel. What is the thickness of the hook at its base? If the profile fits, I would just need a clip that would work with the hook, or make a mortise and catch in the frame to receive it. How does it hook to the sash in it's normal application?
Ron


User submitted photos of window hardware.
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Paul from SWISCO responded:
The width of the hook on our Series 307 is 1/4" wide. This shoe doesn't have a bracket. It was designed to fit in a hole on the sash.

I did find one bracket that fits it, our 15-110, but you will need to do some filing on the hook to fully engage the hook and cut off the bottom of the shoe to make it flush to the wood sash. Would that work?
A quick learner says:
Thank you. I think this solution will work. One question, what is the width of the 117-031 clip at the narrowest point where the notches are? If it is 1/4" or less, then perhaps either option you suggested would work, but the 3/8" round shoe of the Series 307 may travel better in my channel.
The height of My sash is 29", glass is 27", full height of the window is 58". Would the 29" length be my best choice? Ron
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Paul from SWISCO responded:
The notch on the 17-031 is 1/4". If you are going to use the 17-031 bracket, then I recommend our S400-29 balance. If you are going with The Series 307 though, then get a 27" balance since the inside spiral is 29".
A quick learner says:
Thank you. One question. I am debating if the square end shape of the 17-031 will travel smoothly in my channel, as that foot would not require any modifications to install. The inside of my channel fits 3/8" diameter round but will expand some as the foot travels through it. The width of the foot end part is shown as 5/16" Is the length of the foot's end part also 5/16"? What is the diagonal measurement?
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Paul from SWISCO responded:
The fork is 5/16" wide, as is the screw on plate. You can file down the neck to make adjustments to slide in the vinyl track.

That said, I can't say if the 17-031 will travel smoothly. When replacing balances with hardware that is not exactly the same, there is always the risk of running into complications. It's very hard to predict what will happen on custom projects. The only thing I can recommend is to consider our suggestions and use your best judgement
A quick learner says:
My sash weighs about 20 lbs. With the S400-29 balance should I pick the green or the red tip? Which charging tool do you recommend?
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Tom from SWISCO responded:
For a 20 pound sash, I recommend our Red Tip. Our 75-005 charging tool is used for non-tilt window balances, as well.
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