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Andersen Window Failure

Jeannine_Love's picture

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We have just experienced at our home a massive (100+) window failure. This involves Andersen HP windows manufactured in 1992. I understand failure has been a problem -spontaneous shattering and leakage - with the glass used in these windows during 1991 and 1992. The windows have a 20 year warranty on the glass and Andersen will replace them but there are naturally a number of related costs. Are there any other homeowners or contractors out there who have had a similaar problem with these windows and would be willing to share how they resolved the problem with Andersen?

(post #164987, reply #1 of 22)

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jeannine.. why didn't you answer the questions you were asked the last time you posted this?

http://webx.taunton.com/WebX?230@@.eeb6626

it's common courtesy to participate in a dialogue.....

(post #164987, reply #2 of 22)

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You have 100 + windows in your house ?

(post #164987, reply #3 of 22)

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What's your point ?

(post #164987, reply #4 of 22)

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Point ?

(post #164987, reply #5 of 22)

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Yes, point. You seem surprised at 100 windows (more likely 100 glazed units, most double-hungs would count for 2): do you think that's too low ? Maybe she lives in an extreme climate and they cut down on windows to save energy ? What insight were you leading to with your question ?

(post #164987, reply #6 of 22)

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Whoah !! Slow down there, Phil. There was no philosophy behind my post. No hidden agenda. Nothing leading to any sort of insights. (Or outsights, for that matter.) It was a simple question. You can put your white horse away, I was not 'distressing' the damsel.

I wish I had a hundred windows. I like the light.

(post #164987, reply #7 of 22)

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It wasn't a "distress" accusation; you just left it hanging there and I was encouraging you to fill in the void.

(post #164987, reply #8 of 22)

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Every large Andersen window/patio door in my home has either failed or is showing signs of failure. About half of my casements have had mechanism failure. When I went to Andersen without the recepts the local rep wouldn't do anything for me. Warrantee is up now and my solution will be to never buy the damn things again. Since I'm tearing down the old house and will order new windows I will get a little satisfaction when I place my order for Pella's. Plus I know that at least 20 house that had planned on using Andersens didn't aftertalking to me.

(post #164987, reply #9 of 22)

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Frenchy: The best casements I've put in were Peachtree. And the best thing I've bought for my current project is Kolbe and Kolbe.

(post #164987, reply #10 of 22)

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andersen replaced 3 patio doors more than 20 years old.. no receipts....just the stamp on the glass divider.. and 2 sash on double hungs.. 10 years old... (sash and all) just the numbers coded into the alum spacer...

they've also come out and adjusted the hinges and lock mechanism on a frenchwood french door...

replaced some finelight transoms that had the wrong factory configuration of the muntins..

replaced sash balances that failed...

as a matter of fact... they've taken care of every thing that was remotely connected to ((factory defect) that i've found in the last 10 years..

most of the stuff, i didn't buy... and the owner didn't know where it came from

.. i wish i could say the same for weathershield...

some of this must have to do with the dealer and the distributor..... i get nothing less than EXCELLENT service from andersen..

to the point where i spec. nothing else... unless demanded by the customer or the architect........

(post #164987, reply #11 of 22)

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Frenchy,
You may want to confirm possible service charges after any initial visits from your Pella distributor.... i.e. first visit free, additional $$$$. Some dealers will absorb the charges for you.
Jeannie,
Do you live in a area with an altitiude of over 4000ft or so? If so, windows are normally optioned with a special "weep tube" for higher altitudes to allow for the inert gas expansion in the glazings. I witnessed a Crestline patio door shatter one day on a loading dock at a lumberyard ... no one close to the unit. Sometimes just a little nick in the edge of the glass will cause a failure. I believe Andersen is one of the most liberal and accomodating window companies out there.

(post #164987, reply #12 of 22)

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I live not too far from the Andersen plant in Minnesota & I've checked and when the windows were still in the warrantee (according to the little etching in the corner) they wouldn't do anything for me. The rep was nice enough, just wouldn't help at all. I wound up going to their outlet to buy new crank mechanisms and the price quoted for new glass was almost enough to go get the windows at Home Depot. Every time I see the rep, I tell my tale of woe, but now they are past the 20 year point, They are polite and shake their head in sympathy. They started to fail when they were about 8-12 years old and the story I got at first was that because the big one (8ft. wide) had such large glass "they were all doing that" when a few years later 2 of the 6 footers started to leak, he came out and said my trouble was because they were probably installed wrong. (but he couldn't tell me what was wrong) now when I try to look out on my lake I have to go to the windows that haven't yet fogged over ,yet..... Others I've spoken to tell me that if you are a contracter they are pretty decent about warrantee. Doesn't matter to me, I don't buy anything because of the warrantee. I don't want to deal with failure. I buy what is a good value and has a reasonable chance of never needing repairs. I'm smart enough to know there is no free lunch, so if I need to spend more then the lowest price ones I don't hesitate. BUT... if I pay a premium for a product and it fails, I feel compelled to warn others about it. Heck, I know evan Rolls Royce has a service dept. However, repeated failures should not be tolerated.

(post #164987, reply #13 of 22)

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you're absoluely right frenchy...

..i can't understand why you get lousy service and we get excellent serrvice....but we do..

to the point i stated.. they are the number one at standing behind me and backing me up... while other window companies have embarrassed me.. andersen has made me look good..

do they have an ombudsman at andersen ?..

(post #164987, reply #14 of 22)

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Don't know, but that might be worth a try. Next time I'm over by the plant, I'll sit down with them and see if they can do anything for me. The secrataries there are kind of high handed but once past them, whenever I've talked to their engineers or the workers in the plant they are a real decent bunch of people. Gotta say they are working fools there and I'm sure the union will never get in there 'cause the company pays it's employees fantasic. Big bonuses for working hard and they listen for every suggestion the employees have. If it works out, they get an award based on projected savings or productivity gain.
Some production workers make more then bank presidents.

(post #164987, reply #15 of 22)

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Frenchy,
One thing still kind of puzzles me about Andersen warranty problems. I am almost ceertain that Andersen did'nt implement a written warranty per-se until just in the recent few years. They had a "replacement policy" in affect for years in which the distributor and Andersen territory rep made the decision about the window repair. I'm not defending Andersen but many, if not most all window companies at that time only gave a 5 year warranty. Some of your big name brands to this day only give 10 to 15 years on glazings. If the "AW" logo is acid etched in the glass you may have the older welded glass they used at the time ... was only about 3/8 thick if I remember correctly. You are sure right about the replacement glass costing almost as much as the complete windows. Tends to make a fella really careful where windows are stood up on a jobsite awaiting installation. [August 1988] ;)

(post #164987, reply #16 of 22)

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One more question......100 windows??? Jeff

(post #164987, reply #17 of 22)

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who knows , jeff..

jeannine doesn't seem to want to share......

(post #164987, reply #18 of 22)

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Sorry Mike, didn't mean to offend. I'm new to the internet and to this site (including just how it works) but not new to FH magazine or home remodeling and repair. My family was in the construction business. Anyway, what I was hoping to find was a body of information from other builders or homeowners about their window failures and how Andersen dealt with it. I can't be the only one. Does this get me off the hook?

(post #164987, reply #19 of 22)

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Sorry that Andersen wouldn't help you out with your window problems. I understand they will warrantee the glass for 20 years and the frame for only 10. Simply put, Andersen must bew aware of manufacturing problems with certain runs, but why don't they have to notify purchasers of the potential as car and others must do. Sure, its not lifethreatening, but its potentially very expensive if they don't cover 100% of the cost. We had 40 year old Andersens in another house with nary a problem. Good luck with your project.

(post #164987, reply #20 of 22)

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Scott:
No high elevations in Ohio so that can't be the cause. Thanks for the thought.

(post #164987, reply #21 of 22)

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Jeff ;

Yep -- 100, and a few more if you count each individual unit. I think the problem is the heart of the issue, not the number. No homeowner out there is going to be happy to see their windows shatter and fog regardless of the count.

(post #164987, reply #22 of 22)

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We have just experienced at our home a massive (100+) window failure. This involves Andersen HP windows manufactured in 1992. I understand failure has been a problem -spontaneous shattering and leakage - with the glass used in these windows during 1991 and 1992. The windows have a 20 year warranty on the glass and Andersen will replace them but there are naturally a number of related costs. Are there any other homeowners or contractors out there who have had a similaar problem with these windows and would be willing to share how they resolved the problem with Andersen?