Window spring replacement made easy! How?
You go to open your window, and it doesn’t stay. Why? Most likely, your window spring needs replacement.
A common occurrence, window springs tend to need repairing every once in a while. Why do window springs need replacing? Windows utilize spring balances to help you lower and raise the window sash and keep it in an elevated position.
When the sash no longer stays open without the help of a support prop, one or even both of the spring balances could potentially have a broken spring or cord.
Replacement is needed in order to repair the window and get it to work as good. Unless you have a very complicated or large window that could require another set of hands, repairing a window spring balance does not require any special tools, and you can accomplish this task on your own.
What is a window balance?
A window balance is an apparatus that allows windows to open and close smoothly and efficiently. The window balance opposes the force of gravity and holds the sash of the window unit perfectly in place.
Window balances are only found in windows that shift up and down. They are referred to as either single or double-hung windows. The balance mechanism on these windows lets you open your windows vertically.
You wouldn’t find window balances in horizontal slider windows because this type of window moves on a horizontal track, sliding both left or right to open. Casement and awning windows don’t need balances because they work on hinges and are pushed out to open.
What is the difference between the two types of window balances?
What is the difference between the two types of window balances, a single-hung window and a double-hung window balance? The main difference is how the windows operate. A single-hung window has an immovable top sash and an operable bottom sash that shifts vertically.
On the contrary, in a double-hung window, both the top and bottom sashes are operable. Since both sashes can be moved on a double-hung window, you can just open the top sash by itself, in the case that you want fresh air that does not blow directly on you while sleeping, for example.
Broken window spring
Fixing a broken window spring is virtually impossible. If this is the case with your window balance, you will have to replace the spring balance, and it wouldn’t be a bad idea to replace both balances so that they are both new. It would only make sense to attempt to replace the balance if the rest of the window is in perfect shape. If the window is old or not efficient, it’s probably best to replace the entire window unit.
Things you will need
To complete a window spring replacement, you will need a flat-head screwdriver, a tape measure, and a second pair of hands if needed.
Window spring replacement process
First, take a look along the top of the window, inside the window frame for stops or screws. Older windows can have screws instead of clips. These plastic stops snap into the frame to keep the window sash from rising too far inside the frame.
If your window has these plastic stops, grip them with your fingers and tug them from the frame. Pull the bottom of the takeout clips out inside the window frame. These clips snap in about 6 to 8 inches above the sash. Glide a flat-head screwdriver below the bottom of the clip when you cannot tug the bottom of the clip out of the frame with your fingers.
If your window has screws instead of stops, rotate the screws counterclockwise once or twice to move them out of the frame a little. Do not remove the screws completely.
Raise the window sash. As you raise it, you will begin to feel the weight of it in your hands while the spring balances show up underneath the sides of the window. Lift it until you can tug one side of the sash from the frame to let it go. Carefully place the window sash away.
Next, push down on the upper part of the spring balance to let it go from the clip. The springs hold a lot of tension, and the larger the window, the more pressure the spring will hold. Make sure you keep a firm grip on the spring.
Then, lower the top of the spring toward the opposite side of the frame as you slowly raise the bottom of the spring balance. Continue to lift underneath the spring until you release all the tension within, and you are able to unfasten the spring from the slot holding it in the window frame.
Measure across the back of the channel on the balance to obtain the width. Measure the channel height next. Make sure not to include any of the plastic attachments at the top or bottom of the channel. You will want to purchase a channel that matches your exact measurements. Check also to match the old spring balance’s top and bottom plastic attachments when buying a replacement.
Push it down
Next, place the hook that is attached at the bottom of the replacement spring balance into the slot cut in the window frame. Increase the tension as you insert the hook by pushing down and swinging the top of the spring toward the window frame.
Continue to push down on the spring balance until you can catch the top of the balance beneath the clip or screw in the frame. Engage one-half of the sash into the top of the window frame. Push the sash until you can connect the opposite half of the sash in the frame.
Bring down the sash until it connects with the bottom of the replacement spring balances. Maneuver the bottom of the takeout clips into the window frame or stiffen the screws, so they are level with the frame. Lift and lower the sash three or four times to check that the window is operating correctly.
Replacing a window spring can be a little difficult, but you should be set for success if you follow these steps.
If you need a little extra help, consulting a window expert like Climate Seal will ensure your windows will work perfectly.