How to Adjust a Double-Hung Window Spiral Spring

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Vinyl double-hung windows use a spiral spring to keep the window sash in place when you open the window. When the sash slowly creeps back down or suddenly raises, the spiral spring requires adjustment. Home improvement centers carry a tool specifically designed for the adjustment of spiral springs. Removing the lower sash is necessary when adjusting the spiral springs. The spiral spring only requires adjustments in small increments. This prevent overadjusting the spring and possible damage to the spring or the window sash.

Things You'll Need

  • Flat-head screwdriver
  • Spiral spring adjustment tool
  • Locking needle-nose pliers

Raise the lower sash three inches from the bottom of the window sill. Lower the wash clips on each side of the window frame down to the top of the lower sash. Press the wash clips in place to unlock the top of the lower sash. Tilt the upper part of the sash into the house as if you were cleaning the window. Some double-sash windows use two stationary locking clips on the top of the sash that you simply press in with your fingers to disengage the top of the sash.

Hold the window sash as you disengage the bottom of the window sash from the opening, with assistance from a helper. Place the tip of a flat-head screwdriver into the shoe clip on one side of the window frame near the bottom corner of the sash. Press in on the clip while raising the corner of the sash above the clip. Repeat for the other side, and remove the window sash from the window.

Remove the balance cover from each side of the window frame. There is a seam on the inside of the window frame near the front track. Pry the seam with a flat-head screwdriver to remove the balance cover. The end of the spiral spring is inside a square mechanism. This square mechanism is the clutch. The end of the spiral spring has a T that hooks into the clutch.

Grasp the end of the spiral spring with the adjustment tool. If you do not have an adjustment tool, use a pair of locking needle-nose pliers. Pull down on the end of the spiral spring, and pull out to release the end from the clutch. Do not let go of the end of the spiral spring.

Turn the spiral spring clockwise one full turn if the sash is not staying where you want it. Allow the spiral spring to turn counterclockwise one full turn if the sash is raising on its own. Pull down on the spiral spring and insert it back into the clutch. Repeat for the spiral spring on the opposite side.

Place the balance cover back over the inside of the window frame and press the covers in until they snap into place. Insert the bottom of the lower sash back into the shoes on each side of the window frame until the sash engages in the shoe. Lift the top portion of the shaft back into the window frame and disengage the wash clips.

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