Problems with roller-type window shades may be caused by the spring inside the roller. An improperly adjusted spring may cause the shade to be difficult to pull down, or it may have the opposite effect and not rewind the shade properly. The roller shade works with a ratchet and pawl mechanism which is governed by a spring coiled inside the roller. The ratchet and pawl mechanism looks like a small arm that locks into a notch at one end of the roller as the shade winds and unwinds. It is found on the end of the roller with the flat pin end. The other roller end has a free-moving round pin that is not connected to the mechanism.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Small flathead screwdriver
- Vacuum cleaner
- Spray lubricant (WD-40)
- Soft cloth
Test the window shade action by pulling it down while it is mounted on the brackets. If the shade is difficult to pull down, or if it pulls down and does not stay down, the spring is too tight. A tight spring also causes the shade to snap up very quickly. If the shade hangs loose, or if it unrolls from the roller without being pulled, the spring is too loose. Remove the shade from the mounting brackets.
Pry off the end cap of the roller on the end with the flat pin tip. Use a small screwdriver to pry, if necessary.
Clean the ratchet and pawl mechanism. Vacuum out dust and dirt; then spray lubricant on the mechanism. Wipe away excess lubricant with a soft cloth. Replace the end cap and put the shade back into the brackets.
Test the shade to see if the problem has been solved. If the spring was too tight, lift the flat pin end out of the bracket, and unroll the shade by hand two or three turns. Replace the flat pin in the bracket and test it again. Repeat this step until the shade unrolls and rolls up smoothly. If the spring was too loose, test it by pulling the shade down about halfway. Lift the flat pin end out of the bracket, and roll up the shade by hand. Replace it in the bracket and test it again. Repeat this step until the shade operates properly.
Fixing a Faulty Spring
Tips and warnings
- If the spring inside the roller is completely uncoiled, the shade will hang unrolled. Use pliers to grab the flat end pin and turn the pin until you feel the spring tighten. Adjust the tension as described for tight or loose spring.
- If the spring is locked in the roller, use pliers to hold the flat end pin. Turn the pin to release the ratchet, and the spring should unwind. Adjust the tension as described for tight or loose spring.
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