How to Repair a Window Spring Balanceby Alexander Poirier
The old method of cast-iron weights used to counterbalance the weight of the window sash have long been replaced by the simpler spring balance method of keeping a window secure. These spring balances are not immune to damage, however, and must sometimes be repaired. Because spring balances are self-contained systems, it is necessary to replace them when a repair is necessary. Luckily, replacing the spring balance on a window can be done in a few simple steps.
Locate the window's stop bead. It should be mounted against the window jamb on the left or right side of the window. Unscrew the screws located at the top, bottom and center of the stop bead. Score the paint between the stop bead and the window jamb and peel the stop bead away from the window. Set it aside to remount later.
Grip the left spring balance tape and manually pull out some slack on it. A spring balance works like a tape measure, letting out and taking in slack when the window is lowered and raised, respectively. Grip the connecting hoop on the end of the left spring balance tape and lift it up and over the hook on the side of the window sash to disconnect it. Repeat for the right spring balance tape.
Grip the window sash with the spring balances disconnected and slide it out of the window frame through the side with the stop bead removed. The bead stops the window sash from coming out of the frame, so with the stop bead removed the sash should slide out easily.
Unscrew and remove the old spring balances from the window jamb. Be careful when unscrewing and removing the spring balances because you will use the same holes to mount the new spring balances.
Place the new left spring balance over the old spring's mounting location. Insert the screws that came with the new spring balances through the mounting holes on its top and bottom edges. The screws should be attached to the old holes in the window frame. Tighten the screws to secure it. Repeat for the right-side spring balance.
Position the window sash in front of the window frame. Pull out some slack on the left spring balance tape and hook the connecting loop on its end over the hook on the left side of the window sash. Repeat for the right spring balance. Lift and slide the window sash back into the window frame through the side with the stop bead removed.
Place the stop bead back into position against the window frame, making sure that the mounting holes on the stop bead line up with the mounting holes on the window frame. Place the screws you removed in step 1 into the stop bead's mounting holes to reinstall it onto the frame. Apply a fresh coat of paint to seal the stop bead to the frame and finish the repair job.
Items you will need
- Flat-head screwdriver
- Utility knife
- Replacement spring balance
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