SWISCO - The Replacement Hardware Authority

Spiral Balance Size Issue

A home owner from St Louis says:
I made the mistake of measuring my balances without removing the vinyl covering first, and it led me to believe that I needed 29" instead of 30" replacement balances. Needless to say, I ran into issues when I tried to install them. I ordered "S900-29 29" Series 900 Spiral Balance" with the green tip option, as I thought that was the closest I could get to the existing blue tip option.

When I got the new S900-29's, they fit fine in the window, but as you can see from the first two pictures the replacement balances are not made for the same foot size as my existing balances. I have a couple of questions:

1. Is it possible to use the 29" balances instead of the correct ones?
2. Will I need to replace the feet on the windows as well? If so, is the 15-045 the correct replacement?
3. Do you also sell the replacement vinyl covers for the balances?

Thanks in advance for the help.
user submitted photo of spiral balances
Profile picture of Paul
Paul from SWISCO responded:
  1. It may be possible. Lower the installation hole about 1" in the track, that may work for you. You should also lower your sash stop so you don't raise the sash up too far and damage the balance(s).
  2. Since both Series balances are tilt balances, the 15-045 Pivot Shoe shoe should work. *EDIT: it is better to replace your existing pivot shoe with the exact replacement
  3. Unfortunately we do not sell balance covers.
Profile picture of Donna
Donna from SWISCO responded:
If your existing pivot shoes are in good shape you do not need to replace them. If you do decide to replace your old pivot shoes, remove them from the window and take a couple pictures and submit them here. We will be able to tell you exactly what shoe you will need.

Here is a discussion on how to remove and install a new pivot lock shoe.

Also, it may just be the angle of your picture but your original balance looks thicker than the replacement ones you ordered. You should measure the diameter of you original balance and choose either S900 or the S600. See this page on the difference between the two diameters of these balance series.
A home owner from STL says:
Thanks Donna and Paul.

The existing shoes on the windows do not have sufficient clearance for the rod to be inserted into locking position. As you can see from the first picture, the distance from the bottom of the rod to the second rivet is about 1/8" longer on the replacement balance, and it won't fit. I'll upload an image of the original shoe this evening.

On the diameter - the original balance has a spiral spring around the outside of the 3/8" tube. I wasn't aware of this until I pulled off the vinyl covering, and that led me to order the 3/8" balances. I've included another picture showing this more clearly. Given this, should I have ordered the 5/8" balances?

Thanks again for the help.
user submitted spiral balance photos
Profile picture of Paul
Paul from SWISCO responded:
It does appear you may need the Series 600 Spiral Balance, which has a 5/8" diameter. The product shown is a 29" Series 600; the 29" measurement is the length of the tube portion only. Be sure you have correctly measured the tube portion of the balance before considering the S600-29 as a replacement.

As for the pivot shoe, there are several different styles you may have. Once you upload a couple photos of the pivot shoe (with dimensions) we'll have a better idea of what will work as a replacement.
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