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Double Hung Windows with Aluminum Tracks - broken springs?

Double Hung Windows with Aluminum Tracks - broken springs?

Old 09-24-12, 06:09 PM
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Double Hung Windows with Aluminum Tracks - broken springs?

I live in a 1921 building with original wood double-hung windows. The top sash won't stay up and slides down quickly like a guillotine. The pulley system was replaced with aluminum tracks and springs in the 80s. The tracks are one large piece for both top and bottom sash (see pics).

I can't figure out how to remove the sashes since the grooves on either side are inside the tracks. I've removed the side and top stops and attempted to pull the tracks and sash out together but they seem to be stuck.

Is there a different way to remove the sashes?

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Old 09-24-12, 07:11 PM
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What exactly do you plan to do once you get the sashes out? Is the spring broken, or is it just the hook on the sash that has come out?

In general, the only way to remove those sashes is to remove any interior stop that has been placed around the interior of the aluminum jamb track, then remove any fasteners that are holding the aluminum jamb track to the sides of the wood jamb. Open both sashes slightly, then pull in on the top sash until the top half of the aluminum jamb track starts to come out. At this point, quit pulling on the top sash- move your hands around to the outside of the aluminum jamb track and continue to tip the aluminum jamb track and the sashes into the room. Once you tip it down far enough that you can grasp BOTH sashes with each hand (right in the middle of the window where they overlap) then pick the entire assembly up and lift it out of the window jamb.

Keep a tight grip on the aluminum jamb tracks since they are spring loaded. Lay them down and with the help of an assistant, slowly let the aluminum jambs release their spring tension and slide up. You will then need to examine how they are assembled and how the springs connect, because once you get this far, all bets are off. It takes a lot of skill to hook those springs back up, reassemble them and get them back into the opening in one piece.

Once I get the windows to that point, I toss them in the dumpster. Windows that old are not fit to be repaired, IMO. So after that, you're on your own. Hope this helps.

The only shortcut you might try (without removing the sashes, as above) would be to try and remove the aluminum "cap" that covers the springs. (top picture, left side) If you can remove that cap, you might be able to unhook the spring on top (remove flat screwdriver screw to release the spring) tie a string around the top of the spring, and let the bottom of the spring drop down below the sash and rehook it. Then pull the string up and put the screw back in, hooking the spring back up again. This will only work if the spring and hook can still be salvaged.

If this is a rental unit and you are a renter, keep in mind that the landlord is in charge of all repairs.
Old 09-25-12, 07:29 PM
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Welcome to the forums!

When I hear
I live in a 1921 building with original wood double-hung windows,
I see a multi-family structure. Is your home a single-family dwelling, a row house, or a unit in a multi-story building? Do you own or rent it?

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