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Windows Balance System

mdayanim's picture


We are in the process of replacing 14 of our windows in our home. We got different offers from different companies. In general, all windows shared similar properties except for the balance systems. While some companies use the Block & Tackle balance system, others use the Constant Force (Coil) balance system. Naturally, each company is proud of its product and the system it uses, while bashing the other methods.
We would love to hear some professional, experienced and unbiased opinions from FHB users, so we can come to a final decision.


(post #87160, reply #1 of 5)


I haven't looked at windows so this is just an overview of how they work. And I'm no expert.

Springs have an inherent problem in that they get tighter or looser in the distance they have to stretch.

So when you go to close the window the spring will have to stretch to it's limit and the last few inches you might have to push down on it.

But then when you want to lift the window all the way the spring will be at the other side of it's limits. So you might lift it all the way to have it slip down a bit.

One way to cover up or hide this problem is to add friction. This isn't all that bad as it is usually in the form of seals.

When they attach the spring to a "block and tackle" system the spring doesn't have to travel as far so the tension on the spring stays more consistent though it's travel.

But they usually shorten up the spring when they use a block and tackle system.

The spring that will have the most capacity will have more length or more girth. More wire. But there are limits to the size it can be.

Maybe look at the size of the spring and block and tackle. Block and tackle with a large spring.

Block and tackle works but there are more parts. Parts break after a while form use and if they face the sun the plastic gets pretty hot day after day.

I've had to fix windows with all this stuff in them and it can be hard to find parts down the road 20-30 years.

All those plastic parts are specific to that window at that time frame. But that is 20-30 years down the road.

Hope this helps.

"There are three kinds of men: The one that learns by reading, the few who learn by observation and the rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves."
Will Rogers
______________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________ There are three kinds of men: The one that learns by reading, the few who learn by observation and the rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves. Will Rogers

(post #87160, reply #2 of 5)

I have been fixin windows for 15 years. I've replaces thousands of block and tackle and only a couple constant force.


Maybe it's because they don't break???? Maybe not as many used????

I don't know for sure.

(post #87160, reply #3 of 5)

I quit fixing them. I have been installing barrel bolts and drilling holes in the stop at 3 different heights to hold them up.

(post #87160, reply #4 of 5)

I have about ten windows in my house that have constant force-type balances; I don't know the brand but they've been in place since 1914 and they still seem to work pretty well.

(post #87160, reply #5 of 5)

Where do you live? Do you actually intend to open and close the windows?

I know a lot of people who have never opened their windows at all.

Is anybody out there?