Spiral window balance shoe

A home owner from Charleston, SC says:
I have some very old aluminum windows, and I need to replace a few of the spiral window balances. I am having difficulty finding replacement shoes for them on your website, however. Perhaps some expertise is needed.

Thanks!
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Paul from SWISCO responded:

Many thanks for your correspondence. Your balance system was made by the Unique balance company. They discontinued this particular balance before they went out of business in the last century. If you are handy, you can use our  Series 500, 5/8" thick Spiral Balances with a 17-012 Screw-On Bracket at the bottom of the sash. If you are game, we will need the length of the balance tube, as well as the length of the spiral within the tube length and spiral length. Then we can instruct you on installation.

A home owner from Charleston, SC says:
Thank you for your research. I am definitely interested in giving this replacement a go. I have a couple size windows that I am looking for replacements for, but I'll start off with the easiest and if it goes well I'll scale up from there. The tube length I'm looking to start on is 21.5" long, measuring only the metal (plastic in my case) portion. Do you think I should go with the 21" or 22" spiral balance?

Also, I notice that the recommended pair has no "shoe", per my understanding. I just wanted to make sure that this was not a problem considering the original configuration did have a plastic shoe that slide up and down with the window.

Thanks!
A home owner from Charleston, SC says:
I forgot to include the measurements specifically for the spiral length.

The entire metal spiral is 22.5" in length, with just under 1" inside the shoe.

Let me know if I came up short in answering any of the needed information.
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Paul from SWISCO responded:

Okay. Since your old balance is 21-1/2" long with a 22.5" spiral, it looks like you can use our S500-22 Spiral Balance. This is 5/8" thick with a 22-1/2" spiral. You will also need the 17-012 bracket. To compensate for the nylon shoe, you will need to add two nylon face guides, the 67-002, on each side of the sash to prevent the sash from rocking when operating.

To summarize what you'll need to do, and the parts you'll need:

1. For your sash, you will need our S500-22 red tip balances with 17-012 balance brackets. These brackets hook on the balance spiral. To install these balances, you would drop them from the top on the side of the sash. Use 33-017 screws to attach the balance tubes at the top.

2. Now raise the sash and have someone hold it up while you attach the bottom bracket 17-012 with a 33-073 screw while the U-shape opening corrals the spiral. With your finger bring up the spiral to the bracket and attach the 75-005 tool and turn the spiral clockwise three turns and hook it to the fork of the bracket. Repeat the other side and try the sash. If sash creeps down, raise and hold up the sash and give the balances another turn or two. 

3. Finally, you will need to install the 67-002 face guide. Slide the lip between the window track and sash and screw the face guide with a 33-071 screw to the sash. 

A home owner from Charleston, SC says:
Alright, Paul. I'm going to give this a shot.

Thanks for all your help.
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Paul from SWISCO responded:

You are welcome. Let us know how it goes, and do not hesitate to ask if you have further questions.

A home owner from Charleston, SC says:
I followed your instructions, and everything went pretty well. I just needed to put in a few holes in the bottom of the sash to screw the bottom brackets on to.

I did find it to be pretty difficult to get the spiral tool detached from the spiral after attaching it into the hook of the bottom bracket. My window sash simply does not provide the space to easily get the tool back out.

It is possible to work around this issue, though, and it is a minor one. My window works pretty well now for being so old. So, I've ordered few more sets to fix some of my other windows suffering from similar circumstances.

Thanks again for all of your help.
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Paul from SWISCO responded:

Awesome, glad to hear you got it working! We're happy to help, of course, and we're very thankful for your business. if you ever need anything else, you know where to find us. 

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