Vinyl window won't stay up

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  #1  
Old 04-14-13, 09:25 AM
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Vinyl window won't stay up

Hello All,
My window won't stay up anymore.
I have searched the internet as to what the problem might be and how to solve it but there seems to be many vinyl window types and I am not sure which mine is.

I have posted some images of my window and hope someone can recognize the type it is and share advise as how to fix it.

Thanks.

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  #2  
Old 04-14-13, 06:06 PM
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Usually, there is a tension rod on each side the sash behind a plastic cover. Tilt the sash outwards & remove the cover. There is a special tool to adjust the tension. I can't remember any of the correct terms to describe the parts.
 
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Old 04-14-13, 06:19 PM
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When I checked a working window of the same type in the house, they don't seem to have that metal looking "O" piece that you see in the last two pictures I posted.
I did some more internet searching and could not find any good DIY instructions on how to fix this.
 
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Old 04-14-13, 06:59 PM
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As you can see in the pictures, these windows have a constant force balance, which is a "tape reel" sort of balance, not a spiral (tube) balance. Unfortunately, I have never had to replace any of these, since they are usually pretty maintenance free.

The "tape" (your "O" piece) is usually wound up inside the plastic part in picture #1, with the phillips screw in it. The tape then runs down inside the jamb track and attaches to the pivot shoe, which is what the sash pivot bars sit in. If the spring is wound up in the bottom of the window jamb track, then it's probably broken out of it's housing, and needs to be replaced.

I am just guessing, but the windows look kind of like Gorell 5100 series windows. However, a lot of vinyl windows look similar to one another. Open the top sash and see if there is any sort of sticker in the head of the window, that might identify the manufacturer. Sometimes that sticker is hidden behind a piece that snaps into the top of the window. If I recall, this piece can be removed by opening the top window and then pulling down on the lip that seals against the top of that sash. On a Gorell DH, that piece just snaps into place and can be removed by pulling it out. I can't remember if they hide their sticker inside there or not.

Contacting the mfg might be best in this situation. But if you can remove the sash, (take it out of the pivot shoes) and see if one or both constant force balances are broken... then remove the broken one by removing the phillips screw... and post a picture of it, along with some exact dimensions, we might be able to find a match for you online.

You might even find that if nothing is "broken" that there is a way to reattach the tape inside the plastic housing (the part with the phillips screw in it). The vinyl piece in front of it can easily be peeled away and snapped back in if it is in the way. After removing the screw, that housing will need to pivot out of the jamb, which is what that "cut away" section is for... to insert and remove the constant force balance housing. That's about all I can tell you at this point.
 
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Old 04-15-13, 08:54 AM
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Thanks for the detailed response. So the "Tape Reel" has to be wound around the the plastic part with the screw. Correct?
And in order to know what went wrong I need to remove the plastic part with the phillips screw in it. Will the part just slip out once I unscrew it?

I did not take the plastic part off yet because I was not sure if there was any type of warranty.

I did not find any sticker but did notice a name Alliance on the window lock. Would that be the manufacture, window type or something else?

Thanks.


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Old 04-15-13, 04:42 PM
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Their website is alliancewindows dot com. They seem to have a "contact us" link, and one dealer in Chicago, IL. They also have an email listed for that company.
 
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Old 04-16-13, 07:06 PM
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Thanks for the link.
I sent them an email along with some of the photos I posted here.
They responded very fast and asked for the "sticker" information located under the sash.
I sent it and they said they would send me a replacement "balance assembly" and instructions on how to install it.
Will keep you posted on how it goes.

Thanks again.
 
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Old 05-05-13, 12:53 PM
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Alliance Windows sent the replacement pieces and instructions on how to make the replacement. I am having difficulty though removing the original piece and am assuming having the same difficulty inserting the new one. The slot seems too small. Can I cut a bit more out on the other side or will this compromise the window in some way? The photo is showing the original spring thing that needs to be removed.

Thanks.

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Old 05-05-13, 03:03 PM
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No, I would not notch the opposite side. If anything, I would make the existing notch longer (lower). Once the notch is the right length, the old piece should simply snap out, and the new one will snap in.
 
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Old 05-05-13, 03:32 PM
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I will try to make the longer but it seems that the spring thing is too wide. Is there a way to pry open the plastic or some trick to getting the piece out?
 
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Old 05-05-13, 07:14 PM
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Why don't you scan the instructions, and post them here like a picture, so that I can have a look at them. Also include a picture of the replacement pieces they sent.

Usually the vinyl is flexible enough that you can just pry behind the part (on the notched right side of the frame) and the vinyl is flexible enough to "give" and let the pivot shoe "hinge" on the left un-notched side of the frame and come out. The notch just needs to be tall enough to make that happen. (as tall as the replacement piece is). A very tiny prybar might be the right tool for this job. (like the small mini-prybar in this picture)

You would also need to "unlock" the pivot shoe so that it's free to slide up and down. It won't budge if it's in the "locked" position. Use a flat screwdriver to turn the pivot shoe pivot 90, if needed. It should be horizontal, as you have it pictured in that last picture.
 
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Old 05-13-13, 08:55 AM
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Sorry for the late response, had scanner issues.
Here is the coil and the instructions:
Is it possible there is a special tool (a spreader or something) they used when they initially installed the window?


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  #13  
Old 05-13-13, 08:23 PM
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Step #2 should probably read #2 FLAT screwdriver.
Step #3 is where the #2 phillips is used.

So I think you probably need to unlock and lower the pivot brake shoe about 1/2" so that you can follow the instructions in #4 and remove the spring. Once the spring is out, unlock the pivot brake shoe so that it can slide up and down freely... then try to pry it out. If prying behind (mainly on the right side) doesn't get it, you might need to insert a flat screwdriver on the right side of the pivot brake shoe, and try to pry it out that way. The vinyl is probably just not as flexible as it was when the window was brand new.

Hopefully this helps. I've worked on windows for over 20 yrs and have done this a few times with standard spiral balance pivot brake shoes, and it's not exactly easy, but it's pretty much done the way that I've been trying to explain. If you pry hard enough, it will come out. I don't think that a little silicone spray would hurt to lubricate the track and make it slippery. Wipe the excess off with a clean rag.

Many double hungs used to have that knockout notch way up top behind a snap-on cap (sash stop) Dunno if your windows have something similar, but if you needed to notch both sides to get that pivot brake shoe out, the snap on cap will usually cover most of that hole, if you notch it at the top, and center the notch on the snap on cap.
 
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Old 05-20-13, 06:51 PM
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Thanks for the advice. I tried a few times over the past few days to remove the pivot shoe brake with no success. A few times I came close but became concerned b/c if I have this much trouble removing a broken part I might "brake" the new one I need to install.

I think I might need to enlarge the knockout notch. I see two options, the first one suggested by XSleeper is to make a new notch way up at the top. I don't have a snap-on-cap so it will be noticeable, though the window will not pass it while being opened and closed. The second option is to enlarge the current notch, making it a bit taller AND notching a bit off the second side. The window will cover this notch so it will not be noticeable. Will making it a bit larger and cutting the second side effect the window performance as it is being opened and closed?

Thanks.
 

Last edited by muffin8; 05-20-13 at 07:42 PM.
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