SWISCO - The Replacement Hardware Authority

Sash support replcement

A quick learner from Chantilly, Virginia says:
My house was built in 1981 by Pulte. The windows were provided by a local contractor (Barber & Ross) that went out of business years ago, we added storm windows later on. The windows are double hung, single pane, with a varying number of lights depending on the size of the window.

All sashes are difficult to raise/lower and most will not stay in place, they are jokingly referred to as guillotine windows in our development. I have a limited knowledge of window terminology, but the windows raise and lower in vinyl channels (jambliner??) and are held in position by springs in channels. The wood in all the windows is in good condition.

I want to fix them rather than replace them. I've watched some of your videos and believe you might be able to help me understand how the raising/lowering mechanism works, provide some advice on how to fix them, and tell me where I could locate parts. I've tried local window repair contractors but none seem to know how to fix the windows or where to get parts. I've contacted Blaine Hardware in Silver Spring, MD and am waiting to hear from them. However, I think they just supply parts and wouldn't be able to help with advice.

Thanks in advance, Richard
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Tom from SWISCO responded:
We can definitely help, Richard. The hardware you're looking to replace are known as balances. However, there are many kinds and I can't say for sure what you have. They are located in the jamb on either side of the sash, so to start out please take a few pictures of what you see there. They may be metal rectangular channels, metal or plastic tubes, coil springs, a naked spring, or any number of variations thereof. Once we see your pictures, we may have some more questions, but it will at least get us on the right track. Thank you!
A quick learner from Chantilly, VA says:
Tom, First photo shows upstairs window, the other upstairs windows are the same except they are single. Second photo shows the vinyl jambliner (is that the right terminology?) with the top sash lowered almost all the way and the bottom sash all the way down. Third photo shows the top of the lower sash and how it fits into the vinyl jambliner. As you can see there is paint on the vinyl from when the house was initially painted by the developer in 1981. Realize that could contribute to difficulty in raising and lowering the window but the main problem is with the balance springs...I think. Richard
User submitted photos of a window balance.
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Tom from SWISCO responded:
Ah, I was afraid of this. Unfortunately, we cannot replace this kind of balance. That's frustrating, this is one of the few balances we don't carry! You see, the spring itself is not available by itself. You will have to replace the whole side jamb, which has to be specially made to fit your window. If you remove one of the jambs and take it in to a local mill work that still makes wood windows, they should be able to make something for you. I am sorry we cannot be of more help.
A quick learner from Chantilly, Virginia says:

Thanks anyway. I'll look into local into a local source.

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