window balances

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  #1  
Old 06-27-12, 08:39 PM
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Question window balances

First off, let me start by saying that I know little about windows. I've watched a few videos and noted that my windows don't tilt in or have release clips. I can't even remove the storm windows or screens to clean. Yuck. If this wasn't an apartment, I'd consider replacements as they are not the best.

The problem I have is that several of them won't stay up unless forced all the way open. I've on occasion been startled by a window closing on its own. Luckily the windows didn't break. Rather than get several dowels to keep the windows open, I'd like to learn to replace the balances myself. I figure this might be an inexpensive way to learn and after doing so, I might be able to talk the landlord into springing for the cost of the replacement parts.

Let me explain the design of the windows so you might understand. I am going to attach a zip of some pics to assist my details.

1. The windows are wood
2. The windows ride up and down in aluminum tracks.
3. The tracks loop out and into the side of the window.
4. The track is hollow and open on the back.
5. The balance hides in the open area inside the track.
6. On the back left back bottom corner is a foot that the window sits on.
Pics:
http://www.beavermjr.info/win/1.jpg - a window
http://www.beavermjr.info/win/2.jpg - aluminum track
http://www.beavermjr.info/win/3.jpg - #3 & #6 above


What do I need to do to get the balance out and replace it?
 
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  #2  
Old 06-27-12, 08:46 PM
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I can't say for sure, but I don't believe your windows have "balances", per se. They may have springs, but even that is just a guess. I think what you need to do is loosen the screws slightly (as shown in picture #2). There are likely 3 screws on that side. I am guessing that there are springs behind those screws and that by loosening the screws a turn or two, it will increase the spring tension on the window, thus making it tighter.
 
  #3  
Old 06-28-12, 07:23 AM
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I checked and it looks like the screws you refer to... one at the bottom and one at the top of the aluminum track #2 do nothing more than afix the window to the frame. on 2 of the windows the screws have nothing to grip into and just sit in the screw hole.
 
  #4  
Old 06-28-12, 07:33 AM
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Press really hard on the aluminum piece that has the screws in it. (right side, I'm guessing?) Is it spring loaded? If it is, the screw head will start to protrude as you push the springs back.

Edit: maybe I have it backwards... try pushing on the left side, pictured in photo #3. Do those tracks seem spring loaded?
 

Last edited by XSleeper; 06-28-12 at 08:09 AM.
  #5  
Old 06-28-12, 09:36 AM
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The aluminum frame seems tight against the frame of the window opening.

I checked and there is a spring on both sides of the window. it sits in the aluminum track and hooks under the window. Using a mirror, I was able to get a picture of the spring.

http://www.beavermjr.info/win/4.jpg

Does this help identify what I have?
 
  #6  
Old 06-28-12, 11:43 AM
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The thing that has me confused is that your pictures make it look like there is an aluminum track on only one side.

I don't quite understand why your windows are falling down if the springs are still connected to the sashes. On the windows that are falling down, have the springs somehow become disconnected from the sash? That would be a problem. Sometimes the little hook at the bottom will break. And those really aren't something they make parts for anymore, I don't believe.

Maybe gunguy will chime in, he's found some pretty good parts resources for older windows.
 
  #7  
Old 06-28-12, 12:25 PM
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I'll check when i get home to see if the springs have come disconnected. Hopefully that is all that is wrong and as such should be easy to fix. if they are still connected, I'll have to see if your expert can source the parts. i'm still unsure how i would go about swapping springs.

hopefully i wont need the asistance of a window expert.
 
  #8  
Old 06-28-12, 12:28 PM
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There are definatly aluminum tracks on both sides. each side has a track that the window slides up and down on. Both tracks.have springs. 2 tracks and 2 springs per window
 
  #9  
Old 06-28-12, 01:56 PM
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Great News...

I checked the window that falls down the most and both springs have disconnected from the window. I'll see about reattaching it. after looking at the springs, there are no feet to reattach.

It looks like I'd need new springs...if I can even get them.
 
  #10  
Old 06-28-12, 04:05 PM
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You might be able to get by if you could figure out a way to nail the eye of the spring to the bottom of the window sash with a staple or horseshoe nail. I'm sure the "foot" (#6 in your illustration) is actually a nail-on clip for the spring... maybe you can make something similar with a paperclip or _______ ??? Time to get creative.
 
  #11  
Old 06-28-12, 04:17 PM
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I'll have to try that and see if I can get it to work. thanks for the suggestion.
 
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