Sliding windows defect

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Old 12-27-10, 02:54 PM
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Sliding windows defect

I had a set of US WINDOW FACTORY sliding windows replace my old windows in 11/10/2009 and because the weather is getting cold I've noticed they are not air tight. The reason seems to be that the windows don't lock in the middle . Is this a permanent defect or something that can be fixed. What would you do?
 
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Old 12-27-10, 03:12 PM
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They have locks, but don't lock? If they don't lock they probably aren't closed all the way. Many people don't have the strength to close sliders completely because of the dual weatherstripping. Try to ensure they are completely closed, so that the lock lines up with it's keeper. they they should lock just fine.

Also ensure that the lock isn't turned to "lock" when you try to shut them. This would prevent the sashes from closing completely.
 
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Old 12-28-10, 12:37 PM
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Thanks XSleeper.

You are right that the two parts of the lock don't line up. There's a gap as shown in the pictures. Two of us (man and woman)pushed as hard as possible to align them but it wouldn't happen. They did close during the summer time, could the contraction brought on by winter be the reason? Should I have locked them before the onset of cold? I don't have this problem with my double hung windows. These windows indeed have the double weather stripping on them. What do I do next?

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Old 12-28-10, 12:42 PM
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You may have a buildup of ice in the interlock. Slide the front sash to the middle, lift it up so that it comes out of the sill. Set it on the floor. Examine the interlocking rail and see if there is any obstruction that would prevent the two halves from coming together completely. Half of the interlock is on the outer sash, the other half is on the inner sash. Examine both halves for ice.

I am imagining a wad of ice at the bottom of the interlock, since the windows have been unlocked (and partially open) during the winter.
 
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Old 12-28-10, 12:56 PM
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There was no ice but we cleaned it off anyway. There is no visible obstruction whatsoever. Everything works and slides perfectly except for the window not being able to be aligned to lock it.
 
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Old 12-28-10, 01:15 PM
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thank you very much--is there anything else I might do?
 
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Old 12-28-10, 01:29 PM
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Are there two locks? And do both locks miss the keeper equally? Or is one closer to locking than the other?

Next thing to try: Open each sash slightly (so that you can just start to see light past the sash), and then observe whether or not the gap between the sash and master frame is straight from top to bottom.

So if you slide the left sash to the right, and open it 1/8", the gap on the left side of the sash should be 1/8" wide from top to bottom... it should not be wider at the top or bottom. And if you slide the right sash to the left, and open it 1/8", the gap on the right side of the sash should also be even.

If your sashes appear crooked, then the window may be out of square, which can cause problems with the locks lining up.

If everything is straight, then it's likely that the master frame has shrunk, making locking impossible. Most companies allow a little "play" in the sashes so that this doesn't happen.

Do your windows also have a bulb seal on the left and right ends of the sash? Those bulb seals can get stiff in the winter.

I'd like to try and figure out if this is an interlock problem or not. Open the left sash and slide the right one closed as tight as possible. Put a pencil line on it where it goes into the frame. Now open the right sash and push the left sash closed as tight as possible. Again, put a pencil line on the left sash where it goes into the frame. Now close both sashes, and tell me whether or not both pencil lines are still back as far as they were before. If the pencil line on one or both sashes has moved away from the frame and is showing, I would suspect a problem with the interlock.
 
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Old 12-28-10, 02:23 PM
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There are 3 locks--upper, middle and lower--I have 6 windows like this --they all measure 46wx58h. All 3 locks don't close. They do not have a bulb seal. When opened 1/8" the bottom part of the window is only slightly narrower (we only checked 2) not enough to effect locking. Consistent with this observation, the lower lock appears slightly less misaligned than the other two.

We did the pencil test with one window and yes both sash lines are showing--it moved by a fraction of an inch. Overall, however, it appears to me that the master frame (wood) has shrunk, perhaps only slightly more at the bottom than at the top. If confirmed, it's a little bit disquieting that the contractor did not foresee this by allowing a little play in the sashes, as you hint at.

Thanks anyway, and if you have another thought, please share it.
 
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Old 12-28-10, 03:38 PM
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The contractor doesn't have any control over the way the windows are made, sorry to say. If the mfg doesn't make the total width of the sashes slightly smaller than the overall master frame of the window width (which is also likely made of vinyl, not wood) any expansion or contraction that takes place in either the sashes or the frame of the window can result in such a problem.

But there is still something else you can check. I would suggest you check the straightness of the bottom of the master frame by removing both sashes, and place a straightedge or level on them, and check the window to ensure that the bottom of the window frame (the part the window sashes sit on) is neither bowed UP or bowed DOWN, which would also affect the alignment of the sash locks. If the bottom of a slider isn't absolutely straight- especially on a tall narrow slider- the sashes will sit crooked on each side of that hump in the middle.
 
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Old 12-29-10, 08:02 AM
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I didn't get the windows through a contractor--the company was US Window Factory located here in NYC. The windows are vinyl and custom made. Unfortunately I don't own a straightedge/level to check the bottom frame but I saw them using it when it was being installed and it was perfectly even then (13 mos ago).
 
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Old 12-29-10, 05:46 PM
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Sliding window

Toni
First your replacement windows should still be under warrantee. Contact Them.
From the looks of it if all else is straight, top to bottom with the sash opened just a touch the gap should be close. Then open both sahes a bit to see if the center meeting rails are even. Bet there not. Which means the sash frames are bowed . That should be under warrantee.
I have been in the replacement window business for 25 years.
Before you try to fix it, which can be done by hitting the center of each sash with a block of wood. Call US window factory and insist they fix your problem.
Good luck. Don't take no for an answer
 
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Old 12-30-10, 08:19 AM
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Thanks--that just what I'll do
 
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