Spiral Balance Window Replacement Parts

A quick learner from Baltimore says:
Hello,

I have some pretty old windows (installed in '89) and I'm looking to replace the spiral balance and pivot shoes. The balances themselves have this coil wrapped around them but the metal tube itself is 3/8". I'm assuming I would go with th3 3/8" spiral balance but then I didn't see any with a blue tip. Is would any of the balances you have match mine with a blue tip? Additionally, the pivot shoes are breaking easily and I wanted to replace them as well. Do I need to measure to the outer clips or just the body itself? I'm unsure of which pivot shoe I would actually need. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you!
Max
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Casey from SWISCO responded:

Hello,

Take a look at our S900 spiral balance. Once you determine the length of the tube, you can follow the chart under the product description to choose the correct tip color based on the weight of the sash. Some colored tips are outdated and no longer correlate to the correct strength option, which may be the case with your balances.

As for your pivot shoe, we'd be happy to research your replacement options but we would need to see an undamaged shoe removed from the window, as well as the width and thickness of the shoe itself. You are welcome to look through our selection of pivot shoes here for reference on how we take our measurements. Thank you!

A quick learner from Baltimore says:
The tube itself measures 26 1/2". In that case would I go with the 26" or the 27"?
A quick learner from Baltimore says:
And here are a few more pictures of the pivot shoe. It looks like I'm just under 3/4" for the depth including the little tabs. The cam slot is 3/8" wide by 1/4" tall. Is there a pivot shoe you have that would fit that?
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Paul from SWISCO responded:

Hello,

I suspect that your tilt balance is actually 9/16" if you count the plastic covering that is missing on your balance. If so, you would need the S600-27 spiral balance with a blue tip option. The only 1-1/4" wide by 3/4" thick pivot shoe would be our 15-119. The center cam is 1/2" wide x 5/16" high. Take a look and see how they compare. 

Lastly, what is the width and height of your pivot bar? 

A quick learner from Baltimore says:
Thank you both for the answers.

The current pivot bar is 3/16" x 5/16" but the part inserted into the window sash is actually 1/2" x 5/16". What I think I'll do is order the pivot shoe you recommended and replace my pivot bars to be 1/2" x 5/16" all the way to the center cam. I'm guessing that would make for a stronger connection anyways.

That actually makes a lot more sense when I measure including the plastic balance cover. It does measure 5/8" and 27" exactly in length.

I have about 10 windows I'm working on so I'm wondering, how can you tell if a spiral balance has actually gone bad? Are there any visual indicators? Or can I try just cleaning up the balances with some WD-40 and re-greasing them and try to tighten as best as possible?
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Paul from SWISCO responded:

In some cases, you can clean, lubricate and give a bit more charge to an older balance to give it a bit of extra life. If you do this and the window sash is still not being supported, it's time for replacements. The balances will sometimes show signs of damage but if the issue is lack of tension, there won't necessarily be any visible signs or wear but if the window is not being supported, they still need to be replaced. 

A quick learner from Baltimore says:
Thanks for the help you guys. Just repaired my first sash and used the 3/4" pivot shoe you recommended and ended up buying new pivot bars to match the center cam. Cleaned up and tightened the balances and the window works like a charm! Only 17 sashes to go :)
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Paul from SWISCO responded:

We're happy to hear it! Let us know if you run into any other bumps in the road during the next seventeen repairs. 

15-119 : Pivot Shoe, 3/4
Pivot Shoe, 3/4" Thick
15-119
$2.30
VIEW >
75-006 : Spiral Balance Charging Tool for Tilt Windows
Spiral Balance Charging Tool for Tilt Windows
75-006
$7.70
VIEW >
S600-27 : 27
27" Series 600 Spiral Tilt Window Balance
S600-27
$7.87
VIEW >
How to replace a tilt window spiral balance.
How to replace a tilt window spiral balance.
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How to Remove a Pivot Shoe (Cutout Method)
How to Remove a Pivot Shoe (Cutout Method)
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How to remove window pivot shoes
How to remove window pivot shoes
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Anatomy of a tilt window
Anatomy of a tilt window
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How to Identify a Replacement Spiral Balance
How to Identify a Replacement Spiral Balance
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How to adjust a spiral balance on a tilt window
How to adjust a spiral balance on a tilt window
GUIDE
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How To Choose the Proper Spiral Balance Tip Color
How To Choose the Proper Spiral Balance Tip Color
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