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Anderson window leakage

bri78's picture

I have Series 200 Anderson tilt double hung windows that are 5 years old and leak. During driving rains the water comes up through the seal where the two windows lock. (in each corner) Then runs down the sides onto my hardwood floors. Naturally Anderson wants to bank my problem on faulty installation. So i'll go through their check shortly (diagonal measuring) to rule out an installation screw-up. Has anyone ever had this problem with this series windows? Anderson claims that they haven't heard of this problem. So far 2 of my homes 27 windows I found leak. The other 20 windows would leak onto carpet, will now inspect closer.



(post #82753, reply #1 of 43)

I believe it is time for them to send out a representative!

(post #82753, reply #6 of 43)

Thanks for all replys. Anderson asked me to check the windows for plumb, put down 132$ on a card, then they'll send a rep. If it's my contractors fault then I'll get charged. If not, then they will not bill. Sounds fair. For me to contact the contractor after 5 years, I'll get better results blowing in the wind. thanks again.


(post #82753, reply #7 of 43)

The contractor comment is NOT always true, try, it may be worth the call.

(post #82753, reply #2 of 43)

My guess would be installation- the windows are not set plumb and square. Do you see more light at the sill on one side or the other when you gently push the sash down? Don't lock the sashes when you try this.

Andersen has a great service record, tho. If it is a problem with their window, they'll take care of it. The 200 series isn't their best, but they shouldn't be leaking, either.

(post #82753, reply #3 of 43)

After reading frammer's reply, I agree with him.

Do you know where the windows were purchased? If so, call them and ask for the local Andersen service rep to come and look.

(post #82753, reply #4 of 43)

If the windows are leaking at the check rail it should still run down the jamb to the sill then out.

If these are 200 tilts, they are bottom of the line for Andersen. There is nothing wrong with them but if they are not installed absolutely perfectly  there is no easy fix... other then remove and reinstall correctly. A common problem is called pickle barreled, where the center is bowed out leaving an incomplete seal where the sash meet. In extreme cases, with the sash unlocked, you can grab the lower sash and push it left or right and see outside.

Andersen did have an initial problem with 200's which they can/will upgrade but they would be able to determine if that was the problem over the phone. 

On the plus side they should be able to send a tech to your house to determine exactly what the problem is... the down side is, if it's installation they are gonna charge you.

(post #82753, reply #5 of 43)

 A common problem is called pickle barreled, where the center is bowed out leaving an incomplete seal where the sash meet.

I have seen people do this so many times I couldn't count.  Not pointing fingers at the OP, but there's a high probability that could be the problem.

Those windows should always be checked for a perfectly plumb and straight frame on the outside when they are installed.

(post #82753, reply #8 of 43)

I have some andersons, series 400? that have this pickle barreling, any ideas what causes it? I installed them years ago and re-installed (long story-had rotted framing).

All new windows I buy will be Marvin, even their Integrity line are superior to Andersons, just my opinion.



(post #82753, reply #9 of 43)

Poor installation causes it.

The best window ever made... If installed incorrectly... is no better then the worst window, installed well.

Somehow I think Marvin may not solve your problems.


(post #82753, reply #10 of 43)

It is very simple.  The jambs tend to bow out in the middle and the window must be carefully installed so that the side jambs are perfectly plumb and straight, with a consistent width measurement from top to bottom.

The easiest way to assure this is to use a level for checking plumb and also for use as a straight edge on the outside of the window when installing it.

When a window ends up with a pickle barrel shape after installation, it is solely the fault of the installer.  Most windows come from the factory with some amount of side jamb bowing and it must be corrected when installing the window.

Unfortunately, many hacks just grab a window and nail it in the opening without any regard whatsoever for this problem.

FWIW, I have had many more problems with Marvin windows than I have ever had with Andersens. 

(post #82753, reply #13 of 43)

I have been educated on your blog concerning window "pickle barrelling". My leaks come in the corners where the double hung windows lock. Speaking with an Anderson rep, his concern for my case was to take a diagonal measurement. And to let him know weather that measurement was whithin 1/8".  If my side jams were pickle barreled, the diagonal measurement could still be exact, correct? Assumeing that the side jams bowed alike. The Anderson rep also asked to check if the windows were level but never mentioned the fact that the side jams may be bowed, which could be checked with a straight edge. I'm on the road now, so I can't get much accomplished when I'm not by my windows.


(post #82753, reply #18 of 43)

Yes,  you could have a window with both of the side jambs bowed out considerably in the middle and still have the same diagonal measurements.

This problem is more common in double hungs, but happens with casements and other styles too.

(post #82753, reply #14 of 43)

Hey BoJangles, I have installed 1000's of windows, when the problem is in the corners it does not relate to installation.  Probably a factory jig that got out of shape.

As far as more problems with Marvins, at least their factory rep will come to the job and look at it!

(post #82753, reply #19 of 43)

I rarely have a problem with an Andersen window and if I do, it is taken care of immediately by the rep from the Andersen distributor.

I see comments like yours frequently and can't believe you get such poor service from the window distributor. The Andersen rep is at our supplier at least once a week.  If we have a problem with something, he is at the job and takes care of it pronto!  They will bend over backwards to provide good service.  It's been like this for the 30+ years I have been installing them.  I couldn't be happier with their service here.

I have no complaints about the Marvin rep either.  I just don't like their products.  Lots of problems with annoying hardware breakage etc.

(post #82753, reply #20 of 43)

Different reps, different parts of the country!

(post #82753, reply #26 of 43)

Plus some are AndersEns, some AndersOns. Are we even talking about the same company?

It is an ironic habit of human beings to run faster when we have lost our way. --Rollo May

Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed.  --Herman Melville

(post #82753, reply #27 of 43)

Do we loose points for bad spelling?


(post #82753, reply #28 of 43)

I wasn't really taking either side of it.

Yes they did have bunch of bad glass  problems.

And yes, they did make good on the warranties, and even extended for those home that had windows from those runs.

Maybe it was put out on one of those consumer alert bulletins, I don't know. I just happened to have built my in-laws house, so I got an immediate call when the first window started to fog. I followed up with my supplier and they contacted Andersen.

I think it was like one of those automobile manufactures "silent recalls". Fix them if they fail and you get a complaint, fix them if they are in for routine work, but don't every make a public announcement about the problem.

Falls in a gray area. ethically, for me, but then maybe that is one of the reasons I wasn't a very good business person.

(post #82753, reply #29 of 43)

come on, are you perfect? I think not!

(post #82753, reply #21 of 43)

 "I have installed 1000's of windows, when the problem is in the corners it does not relate to installation.  Probably a factory jig that got out of shape."

I have seen plenty of factory problems but the nice thing about those is... they show up immediately, meaning... it is impossible to install the unit correctly, saving alot of wasted installion time. I have inspected 1000's of windows installed incorrectly.

(post #82753, reply #22 of 43)

Seen plenty myself, even done a few in my time.  Factory problems tend to show up quickly, but not alqawy.  I recall that Anderson had to replace a bunch of thermopane windows, fogging etc. showed up years later.

I know you used to rep for anderson, maybe when giving advice it would be best to disclose this.

(post #82753, reply #23 of 43)

My latest dealings with my Anderson windows. The rep wants measurements. Heck with that. I'll call Anderson in the morning to get someone to my place ASAP. Tonight during a driving rain storm at my place in Lower Mi. It looked as though a river was running on my hardwood floors. Soaked up 9 full size bath towels in 10 minutes from only 1 of the windows. Water wasn't just coming in from the lock area but also from the top seal, different from where I figured it to be from in my earlier investigation. I'm to the point where I don't care if the window was installed without glass, they shouldn't leak that bad. The weird part is, is that I've been in this newly built home for 3 years this September, and I just noticed that they leak, not more than a month ago. Tonight I know of 5 windows leaking from this driving west rain. 2 of them are protected under my porch roof. And honestly, during major snow blizzards during the winter, I never felt a draft. What the heck happened? 

Bad Night

(post #82753, reply #24 of 43)

I recall that Anderson had to replace a bunch of thermopane windows, fogging etc. showed up years later

Cica 1980-81.

They are still replacing them under a warrenty extension that they intiated themself.

FIL ahd three more fixed two years ago. So far they have done 14 of the 22 casement windows in the house. They runa thermalgram on all of them each time they come out.

(post #82753, reply #25 of 43)

I was trying to point out to the former Anderson rep, that his thinking is skewed.

Thank you for pointing out the truth!

(post #82753, reply #32 of 43)

I don't rep Andersen windows... It must be voices in your head.

I repair Andersen... and every other window, ever made by any manufacturer.

I specialize in the window repair biz... go figure I know something about bad installations.... Andersen actually calls me to solve problems because of poor installation and frequently they pay me just to keep their name good on jobs that installers had no clue....And what does a fogged piece of glass have even the slightest thing to do with a window installed not per instructions or anything else covered in this thread???


Now back to Bri. You'll notice there is a fin at the top of your 200 window that mates with the sash specifically to stop water. Unless you live somewhere that water travels uphill or you are experiencing  no gravity your problem seems to be outside the window. Chances are the installer didn't silicone and waterproof them during installation. My guess is water is running down the exterior wall till it hits the window then going the only place it can.... inside.

Edited 6/13/2008 5:41 pm ET by sledgehammer

(post #82753, reply #33 of 43)

It has to do with the fact that some bad products and factory problems do occur with anderson as well as most manufactorors.

Instalation is one thing, it sounds to me like the window may have other problems<G>

(post #82753, reply #34 of 43)

That's why we all have opinions... Sounds to me like there is nothing wrong with the window other then the installer thought he knew a better way then the manufacturer.... And the nice thing about Andersen they will inspect it and if they screwed up, they will fix it at no cost to the homeowner.

(post #82753, reply #35 of 43)


(post #82753, reply #36 of 43)

Here's the latest on my problem. The Anders(o)(e)n (not sure at this time weather an e or o but I'll leave it at that) rep. showed up thursday. He looked the whole place over thoroughly. He said that he doesn't see how the windows could leak. But he did say that the company has a new seal that he would order and shims for the locking area that would tighten up the locking area. When those parts come in he would then come over to install , then he wants me to put a water hose to the windows. If it was coming in above the window as you may think, wouldn't my drywall be wet somewhere besides at the bottom of the windows where the water has to run off of? That water would have to be in the studded walls, wouldn"t it? And then show up in alot more unexpected places than it has. I hope this rep has the fix. We are talking puddles of water on the floor, not drops. We are talking running water down the insides of the windows, not having to feel to find dampness. The 3 times this has happenen in the past 30 days, were all driving rain storms. Talking with 9 other homeowners in my neighborhood, all having various types of Andersen windows, I was the only one with leaks. Next step may be to use a power washer, something got to get solved soon.  

Andersen 200 windows (post #82753, reply #43 of 43)

Hi Sledgehammer

Where are you located?  We are having issues with 2 large windows and need them looked at. Built the house 3 years ago. 

Originally, thought it was seals....but I can look at the window and see the bowing in the middle.  these windows were in 3 sections (12 ft total)  and assembled by builder..

I dont know if I can go after builder at this point since its been 3 years.

we are north of Atlanta and really need this looked at.