Replacing spiral window balance

A quick learner from Holbrook MA says:
Hello,

So glad I found your site... Almost all of my windows wont stay up and its very frustrating. These old spiral balances are so gone if I pull any tension on them the mechanism slips and the metal spiral easily pulls down.. Think its time to replace. I believe I need the 27" spiral 600 series with red cap. .Can you confirm off the pictures?

I had questions on what pivot shoe to order. I cant get my existing one out. Can you tell based off the color on what size to use?
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Kara from SWISCO responded:

Hi there- thanks for posting! 

To confirm that you have the Series 600 tilt window spiral balance, you'll just need to confirm that the diameter of the metal tube on your balance is indeed 5/8". The length is determined by the measurement of just the metal tube (not the colored end or spiral). If all of this information matches up then you should be good to go with the S600-27

In regards to the pivot shoe, we'll need to see some photos of the shoe removed from your window to be able to determine the best replacement option for you. If you could provide measurements as well that would be helpful as well! 

A quick learner from Holbrook MA says:
Hey Kara,

Ok I will work on removing a piviot shoe using the cut out technique you have on your website.. Also If I order the wring size, what is your return policy?

-JOe
A quick learner from Holbrook MA says:
Hello,

I removed the pivot shoe and it appears to be slightly bigger than 1/2" (more like 17/32). The funny thing is the main body appears to be 1/2" but there is a secondary part that adds about 1/32 to the thickness. Is this typical? Should I be concerned about this 1/32" difference provided by this shim?

Looks like dimensions are 2" X 1.25X 17/32
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Paul from SWISCO responded:

Hi there! What you have is our 15-046 pivot shoe that is used in many vinyl windows. The 1/32" isn't critical. Going back to your spiral balances though. If you have the charging tool, our 75-006, you can check the tension by removing the spiral from the pivot shoe and bring up the spiral up as close to the red bearing. Using the tool turn the spiral clockwise about three to four turns to see if the tension builds. If the tension doesn't build the balance is broken.


A quick learner from Holbrook MA says:
Hey Paul,

So I should buy the 1/2 size and not the step up even though the one I have has the extra 1/32" shim?

Also I tried to re-tension the spring but it slips and looses the tension.. I think they are broken.

Also how exact to I need to be on the length of the spring.. If I am off by 1 " will that effect the ability to open or close the window? If Im guessing on the size... should I over estimate and add an inch or under estimate and subtract and inch???

Thanks
-Joe
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Paul from SWISCO responded:

Hi Joe, yes, you'll be fine with the 15-046 pivot shoe. From your explanation on charging the balances and them not holding the charge, they are broken. 

Be exact, or you'll run into some problems. Measure the length of the balance tube and note the color of the nylon bearing. The 27" balance you show in your photo has a red bearing.

A quick learner from Holbrook MA says:
Thanks Paul... Will be placing my order soon.. Happy friday
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