Home>Discussions>DOORS & WINDOWS>Sash Spring balance replacement
23 posts / 0 new
Last post
a2j812
Sash Spring balance replacement

I live in a 100+ year old factory building that was renovated in the late 70's to early 80's and turned into condos.
My windows have all run into the same problem. I hear a snap and the twang of a spring, and they no longer want to stay up.
The windows are wooden double hung sash. There is no readily visible manufacturer label on them. After a few ups and down a sash cord of some sort has appeared, but the system itself is contained and not visible without disassembling the window. Possibly contained in the vinyl track.
Does anybody have ANY advice for me as to how I should approach this problem? Where do I begin to take the window apart? I'll try to take some pictures and post them later for clarification.

Thanks everybody!

a2j812
Re: Sash Spring balance replacement

The only label I could see on the window says:
"Peachtree Allclass-A
G3489 Type A"

Any thoughts?

NEC
Re: Sash Spring balance replacement
Tony
Re: Sash Spring balance replacement

I would first call peachtree and give them the information you have and they should be able to help you. In the middle of the jamb you appear to have a vinyl strip, if you remove that you probably will find your balance system. After you heard the "twang" did you see a spiral rod drift down? If so, you have a spiral balancing system that was very popular around the dates you mentioned. I could go into how the whole system works but peachtree can explain it to you. If they want you to do the repair yourself, and you have spiral balances ask them to send you a "balance crank", it will make life easier. Let us know what peachtree says, I was in the window industry for 35 years and still have a contact or two that can help.

calcats ;)

a2j812
Re: Sash Spring balance replacement

This is all great advice, and I will certainly follow up on it, but I thought I would still use all you wonderful folks here as well. Upon further inspection, I started to take the sash apart when I found some screws on the top of it. The wood on the window is a false front. I removed two screws from the top of the window, and I removed the handles on the bottom of the sash, and found that the wood comes right off. Now I know that the sash is constructed of metal, and I think I know how to remove it. Plus I think the counter balance system is contained in the sash itself.
I can't wait to see the warmer weather so I can remove this thing and get a closer look, but I'd still like any input that you all may have.

Thanks again everybody!

Moon Over My Hammy
Re: Sash Spring balance replacement
a2j812 wrote:

This is all great advice, and I will certainly follow up on it, but I thought I would still use all you wonderful folks here as well. Upon further inspection, I started to take the sash apart when I found some screws on the top of it. The wood on the window is a false front. I removed two screws from the top of the window, and I removed the handles on the bottom of the sash, and found that the wood comes right off. Now I know that the sash is constructed of metal, and I think I know how to remove it. Plus I think the counter balance system is contained in the sash itself.
I can't wait to see the warmer weather so I can remove this thing and get a closer look, but I'd still like any input that you all may have.

Thanks again everybody!

FYI if they're not tilt in windows you have a block & tackle balance system with cords.

You should only remove balancer screws on one side at a time. You then bring the sash in to you swinging it like a door not tilting it. you got to secure the cords (clamp) or they can hit you.

Your window cords probably jumped the roller or got misaligned or broke because you weren't pushing down on the lower sash before you tried to lift it. You got to do that otherwise things get misaligned. Maybe a guide button or a roller got lose or broke or the clip broke.

I have the diagram and instructions for getting to and removing and reinstalling the balancers (dated October 1988) I copied the instructions at the end but can't post the diagram here.

Your windows were discontinued in the early 90s so you can't get parts from Peachtree anymore but I have a list of three places that sometimes have parts like the sash clips and springs, the button spacers, and stuff, and a diagram and instructions on how to do it if yours like mine were made in the Gainsville plant back in 1989 (which I think they were because the code is similar just a different week of manufacture G is for Gainsville Georgia Plant 34 is the week number and 89 is the year of manufacture; A is for annealed glass and Type A is Aerial):).

If you need the actual 1988 balancer instructions and diagram Private Message me, I'll share. Can't post the PDF document here I think.

The instructions Peachtree has on their web site (FAQs under service) is a little different and you can get into trouble if you're confused about what they mean, especially without the original instructions and the balancer diagram (at least I did).

http://www.peachtreedoor.com/service/faq_mq_replacesash.asp

They don't tell you that you need shorter #8 screw flat head on the top to attach the balancer and a longer pan head #8 screw for the bottom of the balancer.

I don't recall if they warn you on their web site FAQ that you MUST mush or push the sash down first before you ever attempt to move it up EVERY TIME, or else you can get the cord misaligned and it can jump the roller or twist.

This document also helps a little to follow the other one its a glossary with a little diagram but you are going to want the diagram of how the balancer assembly is supposed to look.

http://www.peachtreedoor.com/products/windows_glossary.asp

These are the three sources where you can sometimes get parts:

parts from
http://www.pwdservice.net
mark wallace 412-242-0404

pickens window service, inc.
http://www.pickenswindowparts.com
cincinnati, oh 513-931-4432

strybuc industries
http://www.strybuc.com
sharon hill PA 610-534-3200

This is what the original instructions say about removing and replacing the vintage balancers:

  1. Unscrew sash liners by two screws at the top. Loosen lift handle(s).
  2. Remove guide bar (either left or right but NOT both!) slide up and out.
  3. Rotate sash toward you (like a door, swing it to you) then pull out (toward you).
  4. Clamp off string (be sure to do this because it may snap back and hit you!).
  5. Unscrew balance plug.
  6. Detach old balance.
  7. Replace balance per instructions.
  8. Pull balance cord out and clamp off.
  9. Set sash in opening, insert balance plug into jamb and replace screw. Do this to both sides.
  10. Let sash hang on balance cords; while holding sash, remove clamps.
  11. Reinsert sash and reinstall guide bar.
  12. Always push sash downward before trying to raise window. This will realign balance cord on rollers.
Moon Over My Hammy
Re: Sash Spring balance replacement

Got the PM, sent you a reply.:)

Strybuc is your best bet. Let me know if you need more. Glad to help out.:D

a2j812
Re: Sash Spring balance replacement

ON another note...

I took the sash out and I know what parts I need to repair the windows, but as I had the window out, I noticed that the seal that holds the window to the spacer has broken. So basically, my glass is "falling out."

I know that double pane windows usually have some kind of inert gas to help with the insulation factor, but at his point I just want to reseal the window to the spacer. I feel confident that I can remove the glass, clean the parts and place it all back together, but what do I use to do the actual resealing? I'm not sure what the actual spacer is made of. Will any type of silicone or caulk do?

And while I'm begging for advice, is it advisable to lubricate the run channel when I get the sash back in the frame? What should I use?

Thanks again!

woody58
Re: Sash Spring balance replacement

I am having a similar issue with balances in my house. I am second owner. Built c.1992 with Peachtree doublehung nontilt. I haven't started to disassemble to see exactly what's broken. Heard the spring sprung and had a hard time closing the window the last 1/2 inch to latch. Would be interested in how you make out. Thanks!

a2j812
Re: Sash Spring balance replacement

*****UPDATE*****

I just wanted to thank you all for your wonderful help. I got the replacement parts I needed and installed them in all my windows yesterday. Things went great and now I have windows that will open and close with complete ease.

Thanks again everyone!!!

Moon Over My Hammy
Re: Sash Spring balance replacement

Woody58

I got your PM and sent you the same info I sent the OP as per your request.

You need to find your window code information. Peachtree has more than one factory. Might not be the same hardware for your windows.

Good luck.

Pages

Sponsored Stories

TV Listings

Find TV listings for This Old House and Ask This Old House in your area.