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Double-Hung Windows Won't Close Right


beekrock's Avatar
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03-21-10, 06:01 PM   #1  
Double-Hung Windows Won't Close Right

I recently had 9 replacement double-hung vinyl windows installed in my home and 4 out of the 9 don't seem to close correctly. There is a vinyl groove on each sliding pane of the windows which are supposed to interlock, but some of the windows need to be pushed in hard and then pushed down in order for them to interlock. The window installer told me that "double-hung windows are supposed to be pushed in and then down in order to close", but only half of my windows require this.

Is the installer B.S.ing me, or is this truly the case with double-hung windows?

 
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03-21-10, 06:46 PM   #2  
I'm not quite sure what exactly you are describing, but a double hung window should just slide closed. Then the sash lock will pull the two sashes tight together for a weather tight seal.

 
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03-21-10, 06:50 PM   #3  
When you have this problem with the windows not interlocking in the middle, are you closing the windows by pushing down on the lift handle (bottom of front sash)? Or do you have both hands on top of the sash (one on each side of the lock) as you push down?

 
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03-21-10, 06:55 PM   #4  
Sorry for not explaining the scenario very well.

drooplug- That's how I thought they were supposed to shut and lock.

XSleepr- Both. It doesn't matter which way I slide the sash down. In either case the interlocking grooves don't interlock unless I push the sash in hard as I slide it shut.

 
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03-21-10, 07:12 PM   #5  
Beekrock, it made sense to me. What I've experienced with some vinyl windows is that if they were stored (such as in a warehouse) and they were leaning up against a wall at an angle, the sashes can warp ever so slightly, creating a bow in the window sash. What this means is that when the windows shut, they are supposed to interlock, but with a slight curve in one or both sashes, they can bind.

Sometimes if the windows stay shut and locked for a few weeks, they straighten themselves out on their own. Other times, they need a little help. One method I've tried is to tip the front sash in, and leave it hang. Then take a hair dryer set to heat, and warm up the vinyl interlock on the upper sash. Then slide a thick wood shim into the interlock and try to spread it slightly. Often it just takes a little bit of adjustment to get them to close properly. Sometimes the interlock on both sashes needs a little adjustment in this way. Vinyl can be funny sometimes- it has a memory so sometimes you need to stretch it more than you would think to get it to the final shape you want it to be. It could also be a pinched extrusion from the factory- vinyl sometimes will not keep its shape as it comes out of the extrusion, and if that's the case, the manufacturer should stand behind it.

One thing I've found when people have interlock problems is that sometimes it is related to how they open and shut the window- if you grasp the lower sash on top and push it shut, you could potentially create a problem by pushing the sash in (or out) which affects how the window interlocks... Sometimes the same window will shut just fine when you use the lift rail (on bottom) to close the window. But you mentioned it doesn't matter, so apparently that's not it.

If keeping the windows shut and locked doesn't help... and attempts to "fix" the interlock won't help, we simply order new sashes from the factory. You should definitely pursue a service call from a factory representative if your installer won't stand behind his work.

 
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03-21-10, 07:23 PM   #6  
Thanks a mil, XSleeper! I was actually thinking of having the installer come back out and take a heat gun to it like you described. I'd rather they take the risk of F'ing it up than me.

 
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03-21-10, 08:15 PM   #7  
ha ha, agreed!

I see you are in PA... they aren't Gorell windows, perchance?

 
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03-22-10, 04:23 PM   #8  
Nope. They're Pella.

[and for some reason this post is required to be 25 characters or more in length]

 
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03-22-10, 05:51 PM   #9  
Pella Vinyl? Hmm. The Thermastar brand with a Pella name on it.

 
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03-24-10, 09:41 AM   #10  
My mistake. They're ReliaBilt.

 
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09-19-11, 03:20 PM   #11  
Posted By: beekrock My mistake. They're ReliaBilt.
i know this is a year old but how do you like your reliabilt windows? i do have a great local company that put in other windows in my house but for my spare room it would be 1600 or more vs about 1100 for the lowes windows...ANYthing will be better than my aluminums and i think i wont be in the house long enough to save 500 bucks

 
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