SWISCO - The Replacement Hardware Authority

pivot shoe, spiral tube balance replacement

A quick learner from Media PA says:
I need 8 of these (see photo). I think they are called "Pivot Shoes", as well as two jam spreaders. Can you identify them?

I also need 8 spiral tube balance with double pins, (see photo).
User submitted photos of a window balance.
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Tom from SWISCO responded:
Thanks for posting! I'd be happy to help you find replacement hardware, but I'll need to know more information before I can decide on anything. For the pivot shoes, can you give me the thickness and width? You might find it easier to remove the pivot shoe from the window to get these dimensions accurately. See the video below for details on how to do that.

As for the spiral balance, take a look at our Tilt Window Spiral Balance Home Page and follow the steps shown in order to determine what you have!
A home owner from Maryland says:
Loved your video. Inspired some confidence to try to make window repair ourselves! We have very cheaply made tilt in replacement windows at least 15 years old. Alas, we do not know name of manufacturer

Anyway, while tilting in upper sash for cleaning, upper portion of plastic shoe to which spiral balance attaches, snapped into pieces. Worse still, window sash pin disengaged from bottom of shoe so that window violently falls down unless locked!
Five quick questions:

1. We do not have any cutouts on the frames. Can't I just cut the frame in two places slightly larger than the height of the shoe so that I can remove the old broken shoe rather than use the expensive jam spreader?? I am concerned that jam spreader may damage integrity of frame. (based on your video, it makes sense to cut near bottom of frame since I am trying to remove shoe for upper sash, right?)

2., When the upper sash became disengaged from the shoe, the pin that sticks out from the edge of the sash and that locks into the shoe receded back into the edge of the sash so that it is no longer protruding. How do I pull it out from the edge and get it to stay sticking out so that I can reset it in the new shoe I buy from your company?

3. Is it possible to remove the upper sash from the frame for this repair without entirely removing the bottom lower sash from the frame (obviously I know I need to at least tilt in the lower sash to be able to remove the upper sash!) The sashes are quite large (roughly 37 x 28 & 1/4). I ask because one contractor tried to justify high labor cost estimate for repair by saying that it is very hard to get sashes back into the frames)

4/do you recommend replacing spiral balances on both sides in addition to just replacing the broken shoe?

5/if I mail in the parts I need to replace to you so I can be sure I am buying replacement parts that fit, do you have any bright ideas as to how I can reinstall the upper sash and secure it in the meantime (with no shoes at all on both sides ) so I didn’t have a gaping hole in the wall while awaiting replacement parts
Thanks in advance for the help
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Tom from SWISCO responded:
Thanks for getting back to us. I'll go through your questions one at a time.

1) Yes, you can make a cutout in the jamb, however you have to be careful. It can be tricky.

2) I am not sure why your pivot bar receded into the sash. Is it spring loaded? Maybe seeing a few pictures of it will help us determine what it is and how you can get it working properly again.

3) You will have to remove the bottom sash before you remove the top sash, yes. Unfortunately that is the only way for this type of window.

4) This part is up to you. It can't hurt to replace some old balances, but if they're operating well then I don't see any reason why you'd have to.

5) You can send samples, but it might be faster and easier just to send us pictures with dimensions. Without shoes to rest on, I don't see any way you can keep the upper sash in the frame. Mailing in samples would only mean that the hole in your window would be there even longer. All we need to identify your pivot shoe is its width and thickness and a quick shot of it removed from the jamb.
A home owner from Maryland says:
Thanks for your response. Here are two pictures of other windows in our house which I assume were manufactured by same company which made the window I am writing about. The first picture is of an adjoining window with the same dimensions as the one I am writing about. Hopefully it will help you identify the shoe.

Anyway, you responded my first question by saying "Yes, you can make a cutout in the jamb, however you have to be careful. It can be tricky." Can you explain what you mean about why its tricky and what I need to be careful about?. Or is it easier if I just call you?

As to question two, I think the pin at the bottom edge of the sash that is supposed to fit into the bottom of the shoe receeded all the back into the edge of the sash because I might have inadvetently pushed it into thee frame trying to reinstall the window when the shoe snapped.

As to the dimensions of the shoe, I suppose if I measure the thickness of the window sash, that will more or less match the width of the jamb and the shoe, correct? What is the other dimension you need? the depth of the jamb opening or the height of the shoe or both? Again, I'm a bit reluctant to remove the damaged sash at present (in order to be able to measure the damaged shoe) because it is the top sash and I'm not sure I'm going to be able to get it back in.

Just how hard is to get the pin back into the shoe?

Lastly, can you please recommend a spiral balance charger that will work with my spiral balances in the pictures?

User submitted photos of a window balance.
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Tom from SWISCO responded:
Cutting out a hole in the jamb is tricky just because you're using a bladed tool. The procedure is straight forward enough: you have to cut out a square shape in the jamb large enough to get the pivot shoe out. You just have to make sure you don't cut yourself or damage the jamb by being as careful as possible. Safety first!

The dimensions I need for the pivot shoe are its thickness and width. The height of the shoe doesn't matter, just the thickness and width. I cannot identify what you need without those dimensions.

Putting the pin back in the shoe usually isn't hard, but I'm not sure what's going on with yours or why it's receded into the sash. I would have to see a clear picture of the bottom of the sash to know what the problem is. Check out the video below to see how to remove a sash for this kind of window.
As for the charging tool, check out our 75-006.
A home owner from Maryland says:
Thanks for your response. If you don’t mind, I have some follow up questions I’d like to ask before I try to remove the upper sash to take the picture you want me to take of the bottom edge of the upper sash where the pin is not sticking out so you can figure out what is wrong.

1/I understand you recommend purchasing the 75-006 balance charger to use to reattach the spiral balances to the shoe. When I clicked on the link, I saw you also sell a charger with a handle --part #75-033. Would that also work with the spiral balance I have in the picture?

2/If so, would the 75-033 be easier to use because of the handle? Which charger do you recommend for someone who has never had to replace the shoe and then reattach the spiral balances before?

3/In the picture of the spiral balances that I took of an adjoining window, you’ll see that there actually appear to be three places in which the bottom of the spiral balance can be seated in the shoe. In the picture, the bottom of the spiral balance is sitting in the middle “receptor”, but I looked at some of my other windows, and the balances in those windows are sometimes sitting in the receptor closest to the inside edge of the jamb. Does it matter where I reattach the bottom of the spiral balance for the upper sash? Is always supposed to be in the middle receptor of the shoe?

4/In your response to my questions about making a cutout rather than using the jamb spreaders, you said I should cut out a square shape in the jamb large enough to get the pivot shoe out. I assume that since the shoe I am trying to replace is the shoe for the upper sash, I should cut the square opening near the bottom of the jamb (rather than the top of the jamb), correct?

5/If so, should the bottom of the square opening I cut be at the very bottom of the jamb, or is it better to cut it somewhere above the very bottom of the jamb (and if that is what you recommend, how many inches off the bottom of the jamb do you recommend?)

6/When I cut the jamb, I assume I want to cut the outermost edge of the jamb (ie the edge closest to the screen in the picture, correct? (ie not the other edge of jamb where the rear sash rides up and down)

7/How much extra of an opening should I cut than the height of the shoe? (1/4 inch; 1/2 inch? Or should the cutout be exactly the height of the shoe and no more?

8/As I mentioned, the left side of the upper sash is already disengaged from the broken shoe (and the sash pin is no longer protruding from the left edge of the sash.)Do I need to turn to turn the part of the shoe that rotates horizontal to lower the shoe to the bottom of the jamb cutout that I will make or will I be able to lower it with it in the vertical position?

9/After I order the replacement shoe from you, before I put it in the cutout I have made so I can get it back in the jamb, should the part that rotates be in the vertical or horizontal position?

10/If the replacement shoe gets put the bottom of jamb with the part in the horizontal position, once I raise it in the jamb to the position where I will try to attach the sash pin to it, do I turn the part that rotates so it is in the vertical position?--do all sashes--regardless of the mfg--re-engage in the shoe only when the part that rotates is in the vertical position?

11/ After the sash pin is reengaged in the shoe, do I then reattach the spiral balance to the shoe or do I have it backwards--which do I do first--reattach the sash to the shoe or attach the spiral balance to the shoe? I assume I attach the spiral balance last because that way there will be no spiral balance blocking me when I try to reinstall the sash pin into the shoe.

Thanks in advance for all the help and your patience

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Tom from SWISCO responded:
1/2) Yes, the 75-033 and 75-006 perform the same task. They are both pretty easy to use, so it's a matter of preference.

3) The spiral balance can sit in either the left or right receptor. It doesn't matter which one.

4/5) As long as the pivot shoe won't slip out of the cut-out when operating the window, that spot will be fine. That's the main thing you have to be concerned about. You would just have to use your best judgement, as I'm not sure how that top sash moves.

6) If that is the channel that holds the pivot shoe you want to replace, then yes.

7) The cut out should be a comfortable length. It doesn't have to be exact, but it should be enough so that it comes out without hassle. Again, use your best judgement.

8) Are you referring to the cam? If so, then yes. In order to unlock the pivot shoe so that it can slide freely in the jamb, you will have to use a flat-head screwdriver to turn the cam.

9/10/11) The cam should be vertical when you put it back into the jamb so that the pivot bars on the sash can fit into them, and the spiral balance should be reattached first. You can see both of these things in the second video I posted.
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