When you’re considering replacement windows in San Jose, CA, one of the things that you’ll need to take a look at is the windows balance system. Window balances determine how the window moves. For example, on double hung replacement windows and sliding windows, the sash of the window moves to open and close the window. Replacement window balance systems control whether the sashes move, how well they move, and how much they move.
There are a few things that are critical when choosing the right balance system on a replacement window. The first, and most important, is how easy the window is to operate. The second is how easy the replacement window balance system is to repair or replace if something goes wrong. And the third thing is the life expectancy of the replacement window balance system.
One type of replacement window balance system is a spiral balance. This system operates using a spiral piece of metal that slides in and out of a round tube that has an oiled spring inside it. Many older wood windows have a spiral balance. If you’ve ever tried to shut a wood window and it won’t shut all the way, but bounces back up slightly, then it has a spiral balance.
Spiral balance can be repaired when it’s not working correctly by a professional windows company. Repair requires a very specialized tool. Spiral balances can also be replaced if they cannot be repaired, but this requires more extensive work.
The life expectancy of a spiral balance is relatively short at approximately 5,000 cycles. A cycle is defined as opening and closing a replacement window sash one time.
Another type of replacement window balance system is a constant force coil balance. Almost all vinyl replacement windows use this kind of balance system. A constant force coil balance uncoils when the window sash is opened and recoils when the window sash is closed. Because constant force coil balances are made in one size, larger replacement windows require more than one coil. A potential limitation to this balance system is how far the sash can actually be moved.
If a constant force coil balance goes bad and needs to be replaced, this can be problematic. Because the constant force coil balance is not attached to the window itself, the coil has to be removed by heating up the vinyl and removing the shoe that the coil sits in. When the new coil is installed, the vinyl has to be reheated. The alternative to this is to cut the track of the window to remove and replace the coil.
The life expectancy of a constant force coil balance is more than double that of a spiral balance, coming in at approximately 12,000 cycles.
The final type of replacement window balance system is a self-tensioning block and tackle. The design of a self-tensioning block and tackle includes a sturdy stainless steel spring, a pulley system, and a parachute cord. These work together to open and close the window sash.
If a self-tensioning block and tackle goes bad, it is incredibly easy to replace, because it attaches to the interior window assembly.
The life expectancy of a self-tensioning block and tackle far exceeds either of the other two windows balance systems. With an average lifespan of 48,000 cycles, a self-tensioning block and tackle balance system lasts almost 10 times longer than the spiral balance and four times longer than the constant force coil balance.
It will stop at the top of the frame preventing the sash from opening to have a full view.
Here are the following steps that will help you.
When trying to open old windows, the sash may be locked in place. To unlock it lift the window at least four inches and engage tilt-sashes by tilting them inward. Grab onto a side of the frame with one hand while lifting up on both sides of that same section until each corner pops out from its slot.
Once the pivot shoe is unlocked, raise it to meet with your balance assembly. Now use a screwdriver and place it under the raised heel so you can turn its screws into an unlocked position.
When removing the jamb liner and sash stop, it is important that you take caution to not damage any woodwork.
When taking out your window’s components like its frame or trim pieces, there are some necessary steps to follow in order for things to go smoothly without having anything damaged. Firstly, remove the part of your windows called a “jamb liner”, which is basically a thin piece of wood inside between where two walls meet at their corners; this should come off easily with no issues since all you have to do is pull on one side while pushing down from above until it comes loose enough so that can be removed completely by sliding back-and-forth slightly if needed before pulling hard towards yourself just once more if doing both sides.
With the screwdriver, detach the balance system from the jamb. Run it up to notch and out of the jam.
You will have a new balance that you can slip into the jamb. The notch on top of the jam should be facing up so it is easier to slide down and line up with where your old balance was before removing it from its position. Screwing this replacement piece back on securely needs to happen next, followed by lowering pivot shoe until about opposite side of other has been reached for both sides. Make sure the open part (side not attached) faces upwards because the rod/latch system attaches here as well!
To install the sash stops, simply pop them into place on either side of your window’s top frame. Lift up the bottom edge and slide in the liner to secure it from within with a few screws.
To put together your jamb liners, lift one end at an angle while sliding it under tension across towards its corresponding stop before popping into place as well.
The sash is put into the jamb and shoe in one corner at a time. The bottom two corners are placed into the shoe, which causes it to tilt up as it gets pushed back into the frame where you would want your window operated like designed.
So your window sash came crashing down and you’re wondering how to get it fixed? You don’t have a spare balance sitting around so you’ll need to replace the old one with a new one. Here’s what we recommend: First, remove the interior components that might be in your way – like locks or stops. Then unlock all of them before removing any screws from the frame (you want everything unscrewed). Next, figure out which side is holding up because there are two balances on each other (on either end) but not really attached at this point; then unhinge both sides by loosening their springs together using pliers for leverage while pulling back towards yourself until they break free from their original spot and can be pulled.
Window balance repair costs vary depending on whether the homeowner fixes them themselves or hires someone else to do it. On average, if you fix them yourself then they cost about $20 at your local hardware store; whereas if you hire a pro then their fee is doubled due to labor expenses.
A window constant force balance is a mechanism that allows windows to open and close smoothly. It does so without using a prop, allowing it to remain open at any angle. This type of device uses similar technology as a tape measure when raising or lowering its sash between two brackets on either side.
Coil balances, also known as constant force balances, are coiled pieces of metal that operate on the principle of tension. The balance springs uncoil when a window is closed and recoil to provide the necessary energy for ease in opening/closing windows.
To learn more about different balance systems in replacement windows, you can talk with our expert team at California Custom Creations. We are San Jose’s top-rated window replacement and installation company with over 20+ years of experience helping homeowners in the Bay area. You can call us at (408) 316-6293 to make an appointment for a free in-home consultation.