SWISCO - The Replacement Hardware Authority

windows won't stay up

A home owner from Lisle, IL says:
We have tilt windows that were installed 4 years ago just before we bought this house. We know that they were installed by a "handy man" and not a window company. Many of the spiral balances have pulled apart, and the windows will not stay up unless we lift them and lock them. The spiral balances have been stripped out of the 9/16 rod. I think these are 600=series rods, 32" long. Windows weigh 15-20 lbs.

a) Can we re-insert the spiral balances into the 9/16 rods? How is this done?
b) Why did the spiral balance come out? I believe they were installed too high in the window frame.
c) Do we have the correct balances for the weight of our windows? Would a heavier balance help?
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Tom from SWISCO responded:
Thanks for posting! I'll answer your questions one at a time:

a) No, if your balances are broken as you've described then there is no repairing them. They have to be replaced entirely. Watch the video below to see how to properly replace this hardware.
b) It sounds like the balances were wound up too much upon installation. You should only require two or three turns. This is covered in the video above.

c) You may want to get a more precise weight for your sash, 15 to 20 pounds is vague. Remove it and place it on a scale to know for sure what kind of weight it is you're working with.

Assuming the weight does fall within that range, and assuming your original balances had Red Tips then yes, they were the appropriate strength. You should not try to go for a heavier balance! That will not make the window operate more smoothly. In fact, you may even run into the same problem. These are delicate systems and you need a balance strength that is perfect for your sash weight; no more, no less. Two S600-32 spiral balances with Red Tips can carry a window sash weight of 7 through 29 pounds, which is perfect for your sash.
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