How to Fix a Double-Hung Window

Double-hung windows are extremely popular for the dual mobility of their sashes, elevated energy efficiency and ease of maintenance. (They look great, too!) Their popularity has led to double-hung installations in homes all over the world. Naturally, more windows mean more opportunities for homeowners to accidentally dismantle them. One of the common hiccups that homeowners may experience is unknowingly setting the window out of frame, resulting in dropping windows, a.k.a. sashes that won’t stay open.

This particular window woe most often occurs when, after cleaning the window, the window sash tilt pins disconnect with the balance shoe that runs along the window’s tracks. Unaware of the disconnect, the homeowner will pull the sash all the way down and click it into place to lock after cleaning. The window is properly locked, but this action has pushed the balance shoe to the very bottom of the track. When reopening the window, the sash may not be able to stay open due to the position of the balance shoe. This is easily fixed without a call to your local window company. All you’ll need is a flathead screwdriver, a steady hand and about two minutes of your time.

  • First, slide the bottom sash about halfway up and then insert the screwdriver into the balance shoe. (If your sash won’t stay open on its own, use something sturdy to support it.)
  • With the screwdriver, carefully give the shoe about a quarter turn to the left. The shoe will now move up on its own accord.
  • Keeping the screwdriver in place, allow the shoe to guide you up to within a few inches of the sash tilt pin and then hold the window in place.
  • Now reset the balance shoe to its vertical position with the screwdriver. This will lock it in place.
  • Slide the window sash back down to meet the balance shoe and then open the sash as if to clean it. (Release the top catches and then tilt the sash inwards towards you.)
  • With the sash at 90 degrees, hold it firmly in the middle and give a few Sash Window Repairs Kent good taps on each side near the tilt pin. This ensures that the tilt pin really re-engages with the balance shoe.
  • Tilt the sash back up and click it into place. Slide it up a few inches to check that the balance shoe and pin are engaged properly. (Hint: the tracks below your window will be empty.)
  • You’re finished! Simply move the bottom sash back down into place and you can lock your window. (These same steps can be used to get your top sash back on track as well.)

There you have it! No house calls, no repairmen, nada! Your double-hung window is back in place. If you’ve somehow managed to do something that isn’t fixed by this how-to, call your local window company for further instructions. Now, Windex off all of those fresh fingerprints and congratulate yourself on a job well done!

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