Sash windows are popular. They look great, can be opened wide to allow air and light in, but they are also heavy and somewhat cumbersome. To enable you to open the window without having to take the whole weight yourself, sash windows use a series of weights, pulleys, and springs. If you’re having problems opening and closing a sash window, there is a good chance that a damaged or broken balance spring is the cause of the problem.

Fortunately, with the help of a willing assistant, and the use of a few basic tools, as well as the 8 steps we have outlined below, it is possible to fix or replace one of these window springs and have your sash window operating as normal once again.

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Tools

As with most jobs, having the right tools is important. Sash windows really are heavy, hence the need for balance springs and weights. If you are holding the window, only to find that you don’t have the right tool to hand, it can lead to injury and possible damage to the window.

You don’t need many tools for this job, but you should have them ready before you start the work.

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How To Fix A Window Balance Spring (8 Steps)

1. Remove the Stops

Stops are used to literally that: they stop the sash from rising too far. Made from plastic, they are usually on the inside of the frame and up near the top of the window. Use a bit of force and you should be able to remove these quite easily. Don’t lose them.


2. Remove the Clips

Just above the sash, you will find clips that keep the balance weights in place. Use a flat head screwdriver, if you’re unable to remove them manually by hand. Try to leave the clips in a little while ensuring that they are removed enough that you can comfortably remove the sash.


3. Remove the Sash From the Frame

With the help of an assistant, lift the sash up on one side while they hold the other. Once one side is out, the other side will follow easily. Put the window down somewhere safe.


4. Release the Spring Balances

Hold the springs while push the top of the spring balances to remove them. You will have to lift the balance until it can be unhooked from the spring. Don’t let the spring fire back once you’re done, firmly let it back.

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5. Get Replacement Springs

If you don’t already have replacement springs, now is the time to get them. Ensure that they are the appropriate size for your requirements. Measure the width of the balance and the height of the channel where the spring runs.


6. Attach the Spring

There will be a gap in the frame to take the balance. Push the top of the balance down into the frame until it is under the screw and attach the hook at the bottom of the spring to the balance.


7. Replace the Sash

Getting the sash back into the frame is going to be the toughest job and will require two people. You need to lift the sash right to the top of the frame and then push one side into position. Gently lower the sash down and you will feel it meet the resistance of the spring balance. If the weight of the window doesn’t get lighter, you have done something wrong and need to start again.


8. Reinsert the Clips

Put the clips and stops back in and you should be done, but you may want to check that the window opens, closes, and sits exactly as expected.

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Conclusion

Sash windows are attractive and offer a lot of air and light. They are the second most common type of window after casement windows. They are also heavy and rely on balances and balance springs to take some of the load and enable you to open and close them without having to lift the whole weight of the window. If your sash window is not opening and closing properly, and it feels much heavier than it once did, it is likely to be the spring that needs replacing, which can be done by following the steps above.


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