Broken Patriot Window

A quick learner from New Jersey says:
Hello,
I have a Patriot window that will not stay open. Something broke inside where I cannot see. Also, the tab on one of the two mechanisms for releasing the window forward broke. Is there any way to fix these?

Thank you.
Profile picture of Mike
Mike from SWISCO responded:
I am sorry to hear you are having trouble with your windows. We would like to help. Is there anyway you are able to send us a photo of the hardware that you are looking to replace?
A home owner from NJ says:
Hi again...here are 2 pics. One of the left side opening mechanism and one of the left side window lock. This window tends not to sit very well making the lock hard to close. As far the MAIN problem goes, it's inside the left wall of the window. Whatever it is called, I do not know. Spring? I can't take a pic because I can't see it. I have no idea if it can be accessed either. That said, I really want to try to save this window. All my windows are original and I'm told that a replacement will not look the same on the inside or out. I've had several companies give me estimates for windows I wouldn't even really want. If I could get the same new Patriot window, that would be super. Do you know if they make them? THANK YOU!
Broken Patriot Window
Profile picture of Tom
Tom from SWISCO responded:
Thank you! See our 26-263 and 26-264 top tilt latches. I would just remove one to confirm the measurements all work. I would also recommend the 90-173 lock, but it would also depend on our dimensions.

As for the window not being able to stay open, that definitely sounds like a problem with the balances. I just can't make them out. I can somewhat see it in your first picture, but not all of it. See the videos on the right side of this page, I think these will help clarify how you can check.
A quick learner from NJ says:
Hi Tom...I can't even think about replacing the hardware until I know if the window is salvagable. I have been told it isn't but I'm not certain. Do you know if there are Patriot Windows still out there? If so, can older models be had? I will go take a look at the videos. Thanks!
A quick learner from NJ says:
WoW! Great video! The mystery of what's behind the sash has been unraveled. lol
The question is: are all windows able to be repaired? My sashes aren't like the ones in your video. Short and able to be popped out like magic. They are long and cover everything. I don't want to pull them out now as I don't have time today in case something goes wrong. Thanks!
Profile picture of Tom
Tom from SWISCO responded:
Sure thing! I'm glad the videos helped. I think your windows are totally salvageable, balances are typically pretty straight forward and easy to replace. Then again, it depends on the balance. Some are old and not made anymore, which can cause problems, but without seeing yours I can't say for sure. Either way, unless you have something ancient and very rare, I'm sure we can find a a solution. Let me know if you wish to look into this further and I'd be happy to help as best as I can.
A quick learner from NJ says:
Hi & yes! I'd love to be able to salvage (repair) my window. I've been thru hell already with a number of window companies & a handyman who - altho knows nothing about windows - says it can't be repaired. I almost bought a new one but the installer was honest in telling me that the window won't look the same on the inside or out. None will. Attached is a better picture. The window is 18 years old. It is a Patriot. As I said, if I can get a new window that is identical, I would do it considering all the things that are wrong. (balance, lock, and slide opener mechanism) But if I can't, I'd love to fix this one! Thanks!
Hardware
Profile picture of Tom
Tom from SWISCO responded:
Honestly, this looks like one of the easier balances to replace. You have what is known as a spiral balance, and they are exceptionally easy to repair and maintain. Unless there is some hidden detail I'm not seeing, I don't know what would make this impossible to fix.

Let's break it down. There are a couple steps to identifying the right spiral balance, and we're already halfway through them. The first is determining whether your window is tilt or non tilt, but thanks to your picture we can clearly see that it is in fact tilt. Easy. On to the next step.

Now we need to figure out what the diameter of the outer tube is. Based on your picture, I can't tell if the outer tube is white plastic, or if that's just a cover. I recommend watching the videos below to see how to remove and identify your balance, then taking it out to get the best measurement possible.
The great thing about tilt window spiral balances like this is that there are only two options to pick from: the Series 900 spiral balance, which has a 3/8" diameter outer tube, and then the Series 600 spiral balance, which has a 5/8" diameter outer tube (yours may be 9/16", but they're considered the same "size").

Once you have the Series down, you just need to determine the length and tip color. To get the length, you just measure the tube (don't count the spiral tip). As for the tip color, which represents the strength of the balance, you might have one on your old balance to use as a reference. If not, you'll need to weigh your sash on a scale. We have a handy chart on each of our spiral balance store pages that lets you know how much weight each option can support, so once you know how heavy your sash is you can just look over those.

Again, I don't know if there's anything unique about your balance that would render this hardware incompatible, but I can see nothing at first glance. Let me know if you run into any problems or inconsistencies and I'd be happy to help.
A quick learner from NJ says:
What about that shoe piece (if that's the correct term)? Both of mine look cracked. Don't they have to be intact? Did you look up close on that pic I sent? Or do you need better photos?

Thank you for this! I feel confident about fixing the window. The handy man that said it couldn't be done is now saying it could be but that the parts are impossible to find. Ugh.
Profile picture of Tom
Tom from SWISCO responded:
Ah, if your shoes are cracked then you will definitely want new ones. I'm afraid I can't make out what yours is based on your photo. There are dozens of different types, which you can see here. You will need to remove one and carefully measure its width and thickness to confirm the best match.

The parts aren't impossible to find at all. They're actually pretty common. I am certain one of our shoes will work, specifically the ones near the top of the page to which I just linked. It just depends on its size.
A quick learner from NJ says:
I tried to take better pics of the shoes. Each side. What I notice is that the slot at the very back is breached. The small, triangular piece of plastic (back side of the slot) is broken away from the rest of the slot. Is that the slot where the spiral balance sits? Also, how do I know it's my spiral balances that are bad? They seem to swirl up and down with ease. Could it just be the shoes? Should I start there first? I don't want to spend money on parts I don't need. While I await your response, I will measure the shoes. Thanks!
Pivot shoe
Profile picture of Paul
Paul from SWISCO responded:
When you measure your shoe, compare its size to our 15-046. Just eyeballing yours, I think this is a match.

It's actually a little tricky to determine if it's the balances that are bad, but there is a way. You can use a tool like our 75-006 to give the spiral three or four clockwise turns. You should feel the tension building in the balance. If so the balance is not broken. If no tension builds, then they will need to be replaced as it likely means the springs are shot. See the guide below for more detailed information on charging spiral balances.
A quick learner from NJ says:
Can I use a wrench to grab the spiral balance? I'll buy your tool if I have to replace them. But to buy it just to check means buying the tool, paying shipping, and perhaps finding out the spiral balances ae good. If they aren't, I will buy the tool, the shoes, the balances, the locks, and the tilt mechanism. If they are, well, it saves me a few bucks & some time. ;) Thank you!
Profile picture of Paul
Paul from SWISCO responded:
Do what's convenient for you. You can try needle-nose locking pliers, if you need something to grab the spiral.
A quick learner from NJ says:
Thanks! Will take a look as soon as I am able...
A quick learner from NJ says:
Hi again...

Ok, so my spiral balances appear to be fine. At least to the best of my knowledge. They both have tension but one has a broken cap (that red piece). Does that really matter? My balances are 28" long, 9/16th wide, with red end caps.

Once I determine whether the red cap matters, I will place my order.

My shoes are 2" by 1/2 by 1 1/4. They appear to be the ones you linked last time. Is there more than one shoe with that dimension?

Thanks much!

A quick learner from NJ says:
Hi...I sent a message back a few days ago with measurements/questions...would like to move forward with this. Should I call? This is taking too long. Thanks much...Teresa
Profile picture of Paul
Paul from SWISCO responded:
Patriot windows tend to use our 15-046 pivot shoe. If the Series 600 balance still works with the red cap then you can continue use it, but be aware it will fail sooner or later.
A quick learner from NJ says:
Hi there...
I'm in need of a response to my final question from Sept 1 re: the red tip on the spiral balance. If the tip is broken/cracked off, is the balance rendered useless? Or will it still function properly? It feels like it has the tension it's supposed to, but I don't want to leave it in place if you think it needs replacement.
Thank you!
Profile picture of Paul
Paul from SWISCO responded:
Looks like I responded back on the 1st. If the tip breaks, then the balance may not be far behind. If your balance still works with the tips broken, then you can probably continue use it, but it will fail eventually.
A quick learner from NJ says:
Sorry! Thanks. I mustn't have interpreted it as you intended. I called today...placed my order. You guys were great! A big help! Saved me a fortune...:)
Reply to Thread
Use this form to ask a follow-up question or to share your experience regarding this subject.
(your email address will be kept private and is only used to inform you when a response has been made)