SWISCO - The Replacement Hardware Authority

sizing the balances

A handy person from santa rosa, california says:
I have a vinyl window that is over a sink. They are about 5-6yo. It's challenging to lift the sash myself, muchness my 73yo mother. The existing channels look to be in good shape. The window ways 16.4# The channels are stamped 1350. Is There an issue using the next channel for a slightly heavier window to help lift it easier? If so, what would that be? And, also, your stamps are 1600 series and the existing are 1350 so not sure what to get.
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Tom from SWISCO responded:
There are issues with going with stronger balances, actually. if the balance is too strong, it will become hard to close, and may even drift up once you close it. It's important to get the balance whose spring strength matches your sash weight; no more, no less. Think of it like Goldilock's porridge. If your old balances are hard to open, it's likely because they are old and the springs are shot. Most channel balances have a lifespan of 5-10 years, but this can be shortened if the windows are opened and closed frequently.
A handy person from santa rosa, california says:
ok, thanks. So I can determine the shoes and length of the channel, but not sure what stamp to use since it was stamped 1350. The window weighs 16.4#.
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Tom from SWISCO responded:
With a stamp of 1350, your balance should have been 14" long, not 17". Can you confirm the length of the metal channel? Don't worry about what's stamped on the window, only what's stamped on the balance itself. Usually markings on the window have no bearing on the balance used.
A handy person from santa rosa ca says:
The channels are 14". The window weighs 16.4lbs.
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Tom from SWISCO responded:
Thanks for confirming! I thought it might be 14" long. We can custom make two S385-14 balances for you with a special 1360 option. This can carry a sash weight of 15 through 18 pounds, which should be perfect for your sash. 1350 is definitely too weak. I will email you a custom order form for 2 of these balances, including a price quote.
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