Refurbishing my double hung non-tilting wooden window

A handy person from Timberlake OH says:

I'm glad I found your website!

I have a 64 yearly home with I have owned for the last 39 years, my one and only home I bought. Within a few years I did some work on my dining room window which measures 44-1/4 " wide by 64" high and I wasn't happy with the original spiral balance system. I don't remember why wasn't happy with them but I was raised in a home that had the ropes and weights which my dad expertly maintained. As his #1 helper I was very familiar with window maintenance but not familiar with the spiral balance system so I replaced it and threw it out. That was probably 35 years ago. The replacement system was a simple plastic channel that included an integral parting bead. It worked OK for many years but has since warn out and the windows don't hold in position.

I want to go back to the spiral balance system or if there is another product I should consider? The rest of the windows in my house that I didn't mess up are spiral balanced and measure 9/16" diameter with the metal strip at the bottom.

One issue is when I removed the original parting bead I discarded that as well. Where can I get a replacement for those?

Profile picture of Tom
Tom from SWISCO responded:
If your windows originally used spiral balances, it's probably best to stick with them. If you have older wood windows, I think our Series 500 is a safe bet. Our company has been using these on old wood windows for the better part of a century. You would also need a clip on the end like the 17-007 or 17-012. See what you think!

As for the parting bead, I don't know what to recommend. You could have about anything, and without a sample to go off of there would be no way to know for sure.
A quick learner from Timberlake OH says:
Hello Tom,

I bought a new parting bead a my lumberyard. So thats taken care of.

My sash is 28" high and weighs 13.2 lbs (red). What length spiral balance should I select?

I like the 17-012 clip end.

Is the spiral balance used for the top and bottom sash match? The sash is the same size and weight.

Thank you
Profile picture of Tom
Tom from SWISCO responded:
The overall sash height isn't the best method to determine length. The rule of thumb is to get the height of the visible glass and then add 1" for the top sash and 3" for the bottom sash. For example, if the height of the visible glass on the bottom sash is 20", you want a 21" long balance; if it's the top sash, you'd want a 23" long balance. If it's not an even inch, round up.
A quick learner says:
I have finally got my window all put together and it is working perfectly! The information you gave helped me order the correct parts to put my windows back to their original good working condition.

I especially liked the "How to adjust a spiral balance on a non-tilt window" guide that includes the installation instructions for the spiral balance. It was simple to do and I saved quite a bit of money repairing this window instead of having it replaced.

I spent more money refinishing the wood and replacing the glass than on the balance hardware!

Swisco is a great on-line site.

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)