How do I adjust the opening & closing tension for vinyl windows?

Written by kenneth crawford
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How do I adjust the opening & closing tension for vinyl windows?
(Hemera Technologies/ Images)

Vinyl windows operate through a spring system to hold the sash open. When your sash slowly drifts down or gradually raises on its own, it is necessary to adjust the spring. Adjusting the opening and closing tension on your vinyl window requires removing the window sash. The sash spring hooks into the shoe inside the window frame. The shoe is a rectangular piece in the frame, and the lower sash pins hook into the shoe so that the spring can lift the weight of the sash. The shoe is accessible once the window sash is away from the window frame.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Needle nose pliers

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  1. 1

    Open the lower sash until the bottom of the sash is 3 inches from the window sill. Unlock the upper portion of the sash to tilt the sash inside the home as if you were cleaning the sash. There are usually slide locks on each end of the upper rail of the sash that you slide toward the centre of the window to unlock the sash.

  2. 2

    Lift one corner of the sash to release it from the shoe in the side of the window frame. Twist the sash to release the opposite side. Remove the sash from the window frame.

  3. 3

    Grasp the end of the spiral balance inside the shoe with a pair of needle nose pliers. The spiral balance has a stem with a t-hook that locks inside a notch in the shoe.

  4. 4

    Pull down on the spiral balance stem with the pliers and pull the stem away from the shoe. Do not let go of the stem.

  5. 5

    Turn the stem one complete turn clockwise with the needle nose pliers, to add tension. Turn the stem counterclockwise to decrease tension. Insert the stem back into the shoe. Repeat the process for the other side of the window frame.

  6. 6

    Place the bottom rail of the lower window sash back into the frame until the sash locks into the shoes. Raise the top of the lower sash into the frame until it snaps into position. Test the operation of your sash.

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