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Fiberglass windows- hard to open or close


wagman's Avatar
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10-24-15, 05:21 PM   #1  
Fiberglass windows- hard to open or close

I have fiberglass, double pane, single hung windows in my house. I have a couple that are very hard to raise and extra hard to completely close. Can someone guide me along to repair them? We had a repair guy many years ago repair some and the bill threw us for a loop. I know I can do it myself, but I've never been inside a window before.

 
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10-24-15, 06:08 PM   #2  
The problem may have something to do with the type of balance used or possibly the pivot shoes. Can't help without more info though. Being 1500 miles away on the internet just ain't the best way to diagnose a window problem. You need to give us more to go on. Is something broke? Tip a window down to clean and give us some pics of the balance that is attached to the window pivots.

 
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10-25-15, 04:30 AM   #3  
http://www.doityourself.com/forum/el...your-post.html


retired painter/contractor avid DIYer

 
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10-25-15, 07:35 AM   #4  
Thanks XSleeper, I thought it was more basic than that. Shows how much I don't know about windows. My old house had windows with clips to tip the window down to clean the outside. We had this house built in 2004, and these are the windows the contractor installed. I see no way to tip the window down. I see no way to get the window out. It's a "NUAIR" window. I hope these photos help. If not, tell me what you would like to see.
I followed the "how to" post to post photos. I don't see them here.

 
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10-25-15, 07:45 AM   #5  
You probably have to click on my computer to show the site where the picture is that you woukd like to upload. While you work on getting the pics up... I found this. https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&sour...M_XdLSuYXTT9hg

Your windows look to be sideloads, with a block and tackle channel balance. If they are broken, they would not want to stay up... or might tip and be hard to lift if broken on one side only. The balance shoes might also be tight on the frame making them hard to operate. Only way to know for sure is to take a sash out.

But you have to be very skilled and careful about doing this... those balances are spring loaded and can be like an arrow shot out of a wrist rocket! I've seen people break them or the window frame when they shot out unexpectedly. Just giving you fair warning.

 
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10-25-15, 08:14 AM   #6  
Grab the sash and try to move it from side to side.
It should be able to be moved a tiny bit.
If not it may have been over shimmed, or they used to much expanding foam and and it's to tight.
To fix that the casing would have to come off to see what's happening, before removing make sure to cut the paint and caulking line or you'll peel the paint off the wall.

 
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10-25-15, 09:38 AM   #7  
there is about 3/16" play at the top and bottom of the window

 
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10-25-15, 09:49 AM   #8  
Thanks again XSleeper. I clicked the link you supplied and got the window out very easily. The last line on the website says to contact Nuair for further assistance.

 
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10-25-15, 10:41 AM   #9  
Ok, that's good you got them out. If you peek behind the balance and the strings behind the spring loaded balances aren't broken, and they have spring tension that is holding them up against the clips, don't mess with them- they are fine... next thing you might do is examine the shoes at the bottom for any broken parts or for abnormal wear. Compare the shoes (plastic piece on the bottom of the balance) on each side... see if they look the same or if any small pieces (guides) on the back side of that shoe are snapped off. Single hungs don't normally get pinched like Joe mentioned, but it's a possibility. You could just check the measurement across the frame where the window slides... if it's tighter across the middle than at the meeting rail or sill then its hour-glassed, like he mentioned. When a sideload is pinched you will usually see wear marks on the jamb behind the balances that indicate the back side of the balance is rubbing hard on the jamb. (these rub marks start out light near the sill, but get markedly heavier toward the middle where it's pinched). I've used a rasp and file on the shoes to ease the rubbing if it isn't too bad.

When you put the window back in, please notice if the sash is locked down fully over the shoes. (if the window is not engaged over the balances, that might create the play you mentioned). You might need to push one finger up each side (put your finger on the bottom of each balance shoe and push upward) as you push the sash down off the clips... sometimes you will feel the balance slide up slightly, which means it wasn't getting locked into the sash fully without a little help.

You could also clean and lubricate the jambs with some silicone spray lubricant, then wipe it clean. You can do the same thing to the weatherstripping, along with a toothbrush.... spray, scrub, spray, wipe dry. Sometimes dirt will clog the weatherstrip and make it tight, when it needs to be loose and fluffy.

Hope some of this helps.

 
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10-25-15, 12:37 PM   #10  
Thank you very much. The strings behind the balances aren't broken, and they have spring tension. All plastic parts seem to be in good condition. So, I checked out the track. From inside all looked good. From outside, I see excessive wear down to bare metal on one side where the plastic part slides. From the middle of the track to the top. It's where the plastic part on the upper right hand side of the sash rides inside the track. I filed that plastic piece down and lubed and cleaned the track and and weatherstripping. The window works great. You've been an enormous help and I'm very thankful. Not to mention, I have a whole new understanding of how these windows work than when I woke up this morning.

 
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10-25-15, 03:20 PM   #11  
Well nice job! Yeah it definitely sounds like the balance wasn't correctly seated and that it must have been a little twisted as the window slid up and down. A little maintenance now and then with the silicone spray doesn't hurt either. Glad you got it fixed!

 
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