Unable to restore tension to shade

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Old 09-14-16, 01:31 AM
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Unhappy Unable to restore tension to shade

I have a bedroom shade that is inset into the window area. It is of the type that has the little rectangular projection on one side, and the sort of, um, breast-looking endpiece on the other side.

Recently, it has been losing tension. When trying to raise the shade, I had to keep my hand under the bottom to support it going up, and even then, it was mostly not going all the way up. It has been re-rolled and had the flap wrapped around a bunch of times, with only temporary and imperfect improvement.

Last night, I was slowly pulling the shade down, when it suddenly offered more resistance. I pulled a little bit harder, it made a loud CRACK, and unrolled the rest of the way, with all tension gone. No amount of re-rolling brought back any tension. I tried to do this procedure, found on this website:

"Remove the shade from the window entirely. Using pliers, turn the flat sided pin clockwise until you feel some resistance. Once you stop turning the latch will engage. Place the roller back into the window brackets"

The problem was, there WASN'T any resistance. I would turn it a little bit, and it would make a cracking sound, and I'd turn it more, and it would make another cracking sound, but it would never develop any resistance.

What do I do next?
 
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Old 09-14-16, 02:20 AM
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Sad to say it sounds as if the spring inside is broken. For the most part it is not repairable and will require replacement of the shade. Of course we don't know the brand nor the type from your description, as some may have a repair option, although it may be as expensive as making a replacement purchase.
 
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Old 09-14-16, 03:14 AM
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I don't know the brand or type either; I ordered it from Home Depot 2 decades ago. There are videos on YouTube showing the replacement of the spring inside a shade… is this not actually possible?
 
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Old 09-14-16, 03:31 AM
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If there are videos showing the replacement of the spring, then it is possible. 20 year old shade?? It may be EOL anyway, and will need replacing rather than fixing.
 
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Old 09-14-16, 04:14 AM
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This is an overpriced custom shade, so I'd like to exhaust all other options before considering the expense of replacement. Is there anyone here who would know about replacing the spring?
 
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Old 09-14-16, 05:34 AM
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How about buying a new shade, removing it's shade and installing the designer shade on the new roller. Shades are usually taped and/or stapled to the roller.
 
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Old 09-14-16, 05:46 AM
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There is a ratcheting mechanism that should catch as you turn the flat metal projection. Look at the end to see if the mechanism is broken. Sometimes the spring will spin things too fast and the ratchet won't catch. You should be able to see the ratchet engage as you turn it. Hold the shade in one hand and grab the metal projection with a pair of pliers. Turn the projection and watch the mechanism turn and a metal arm should engage the ratchet and keep the spring tension.
 
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Old 09-15-16, 02:07 AM
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This isn't a designer shade, it's a custom shade, made in a non-standard size to fit inside a large bedroom window. I can't just go to the store and buy a shade this size.

Using a YouTube video as a guide, we were able to open up the shade, and discovered that the spring IS broken. I assume our next stop is Home Depot?
 
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Old 09-15-16, 03:45 AM
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Go to a local store that sells custom window shades and they will be able to replace the shade roller.
 
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Old 09-15-16, 04:05 AM
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Home Depot would probably be the cheapest option, but if they don't have it, a custom window shade place would be a good next step, thanks!
 
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Old 09-15-16, 10:33 AM
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There are several spots where the failure could occur. All are internal and not consumer repairable.
Best bet is a custom shade shop. They will attach your material to a new roller. If you want to DIY it, you could cut the material from the old roller and attach it to a new one with double faced tape or a hot glue gun.
In the trade, the spring mechanism is referred to as the motor.
 
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Old 09-15-16, 09:19 PM
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Good to know, thanks!!

If you'll read above, you'll see that we opened up the roller and verified that the spring is what is broken. The internal mechanism is very easy to replace, as shown in YouTube videos; you just drop the new one in. The tricky part will be finding the right size.

My shade is a custom size. If I can't find the right size spring, would having a new customer roller made and the original material transferred at a specialty shop be significantly cheaper than just having a new custom shade made through Home Depot?
 
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Old 09-16-16, 05:46 AM
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I and a couple of others have suggested replacing the roller. Home Depot does not sell shade rollers so your only option is a local shade shop. If it is indeed a custom shade, it is cheaper to replace the roller than purchasing a new shade. The video that shows replacing the spring is for that particular type roller only.
 
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Old 07-17-17, 04:53 PM
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It turns out that it is totally possible, even simple, to replace the spring; it and the framework it is attached to pop right out the side, and a new one can be popped right in. Although no one in my large city sells these springs, you can purchase them on eBay… but in my case, it turns out that my custom shade had a custom-sized roller, and there are no springs made to fit it.

The next step was to purchase a roller in the closest size… but unfortunately, there is also no one in my large city who sells the rollers... so, I had to get an eBay seller to make a custom-cut one to fit inside my window.

The next step is to get the actual vinyl shade detached from the old roller and attached to the new one, in such a way that it is not crooked or otherwise messed up and so works properly. If there are any suggestions on how to do this, I would really appreciate it…
 
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