SWISCO - The Replacement Hardware Authority

removing old S180 coil balance

A handy person says:
The metal coil broke on both sides of the lower of a double hung window. I can figure out the part I need on your site (series 180, 6lb coil)but I can't see how to remove the bottom part of the mechanism (the rest of the coil encased in plastic) from the side channel of the frame. Any suggestions? Thanks, Terri
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Paul from SWISCO responded:
Sorry for the delay, I was trying to figure out if we had a procedure written down regarding the replacement of the S180 coil housing. We do not have any formal instructions so I will try to walk you through it here, let me know if you get stuck at any point. View a diagram of the S180 balance system below.
  1. Remove the window sash from the window frame.
  2. Unscrew the mounting bracket (the mounting bracket may be hidden by some sort of cover).
  3. Unhook the spring from the mounting bracket you unscrewed.
  4. After you unhook the spring you can take the housing apart to replace the coil balance
Series 180 Diagram
A quick learner says:
Paul - thanks for the reply. But I'm still stuck. It's the coil housing pivot that I can't figure out how to remove. It's in the side channel of the frame and I can't see any way to pry it out without damaging the frame. Terri
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Donna from SWISCO responded:
Hi Terri,
First have the window sash removed and the mounting bracket removed with the coil unhooked.
Next, turn the cam in the coil pivot housing (part that the pivot bar goes into) so it becomes loose in the track. Slide the housing up and out at the top of the track (for the inner/lower sash). Normally there is a cut out at the top of the track, sometimes it is behind a window stop, if there is a window stop, remove it to get the coil housing out, and replace it later.
If there is not a cut out at the top of the track, use jamb spreaders to spread the track and slip the balance and pivot shoe out. If you do not want to purchase jamb spreaders. Carefully cut a groove about 2-1/2 to 3 inches at the TOP (for the inner sash) where the track covers are located, then slide the pivot shoe and coil up and out. They will be easier to handle and replace outside of the track, then reverse the process for re-installation.
A quick learner says:
That seems to be the answer! Thank you, Terri
A quick learner says:
One more question. We calculated the weight of the coil we need and it came to about 7lbs. On the broken coil, there is a big 6 followed by a smaller 4ou Should we just get a 6 lb coil?

Thanks again, Terri
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Paul from SWISCO responded:
Terri, it appears the S180-6 6 lb. Coil Balance may be a good fit.
A quick learner says:
Oh boy. I got all the coils and was set to fix the windows. . . We needed to slide the housing up to the top for removal but found a screw tip sticking out of the frame just below the mounting bracket. There's a slot on the end for a flat screwdriver but you can only screw it so far in or so far out, so you can't get it flush to move the housing beyond it. If you go too far in, it starts to separate the frame from the wall. The top windows have the same screw, but it is flush to the frame. Both lower windows have it sticking out about 1/4 inch.

My vote is to cut it off with a dremel. my dad thinks that would be a mistake. It's his house so we didn't cut it.

Any ideas? Thanks again, Terri
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Paul from SWISCO responded:
Instead of cutting it off, try removing the slide housing and reinstalling the screw.
A quick learner says:
I'm not sure what you mean by "slide housing" but I think I didn't explain myself well. The screw is sticking out of the track that the coil housing is sliding up and down. It will only move a few turns in or a few turns out so I can't get it all the way out or all the way flush with the frame, so the coil housing can only go up to that point in the track instead of all the way to the top where I could remove it.

Sorry to keep bugging you. . .
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Paul from SWISCO responded:
Sorry for the confusion. I was referring to the screw you mentioned earlier. Is it an installation screw or is it located half way up the window? If so, is it a window adjustment screw? If you're not certain, take a few quick photos of the screw and upload them so we can take a look.
A quick learner says:
Yes, the screw is halfway up the track. I bet it's the adjustment screw you mentioned. How bad would it be to cut it out? On one side it is very wobbly anyway. I can push it in without even screwing it but something still prevents it from going all way the in or out.

I'd love to take a picture but it's my parents' house and I live out of state. I forgot the digital camera when I was home last weekend to work on the window again. If we still don't have it figured out, I'll be sure to have the camera on my next trip!
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Paul from SWISCO responded:
The side that is wobbly means the adjusting screw is not working. To fix this, remove the side wood interior trim (so you can remove the screw and use wood shims to tighten the side rail). You can repeat this on the other side.
A quick learner says:
Do you the fact that the adjustment screws aren't working could have contributed to the coils breaking? What do they adjust anyway?
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Paul from SWISCO responded:
The adjusting screw is to tighten the sides of the window frame. This will prevent air from passing through the sides of the sashes, and also prevent the sashes from unhooking from the pivot shoes.
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