Republic vinyl replacement window service

jacySeptember 29, 2013

I have Republic casement and double-hung vinyl replacement windows that are about 15 years old. The double-hungs were terrific for several years but of late have become nearly impossible to open and close. Because they originally worked, and tilt out with ease. I'm thinking the problem is with the balances and not with the window being out of square. Republic is out of business since 2008, but I've read that there are only a few spring manufacturers and it's possible I can find replacements? Is anyone familiar with Republic, and what balance this might be?

I checked in the track for a screw to adjust the opening and don't see any screws in the track whatsoever. The photos are of the balance spring, and also one of the bottom of the bottom sash, where there are screws to attach the sash to a little plastic (pivot?) block. I tried turning those a bit but it didn't seem to help the tension and I was afraid if I went too far the sash would come out of the pivot block and I wouldn't know how to get it back.

A couple of the casement windows were forced closed, while the lock latch was in the closed position, by someone of strength attempting to be helpful during a sudden rainstorm. I could use a couple of parts to get the windows working properly again. There's a horizontal brass (?) plate attached to the crank assembly, with a hole into which a matching peg on the window frame is seated. When the window was forced, it bent the brass plate to the degree the peg pops out unless I open and close the window verrrrry slooooowly. It was a trick even getting the peg reseated in the first place! Am I out of luck because Republic is out of business?

And yes, a good end-of-summer cleaning is in order but have done that in the past, to nearly-new condition, and no joy. Tried rubbing bar soap on the balance spring, too.

Bottom of bottom sash
Balance bottom
Balance top

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Appears to be to be an ordinary spiral balance with the the "teal" tip being the designator for the size/weight of the sash. A good glass shop or real lumberyard should be able to order those for you with no issues. Probably about $40 a set if memory serves me correctly.

    Bookmark   September 30, 2013 at 9:36AM
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Thanks for the reply. Unfortunately, I think that teal color is indicative of little... all of my windows have that same color cap on the balance, regardless of sash width or height.

What factors impact balance failure? Weight? Usage? Age? Reason I ask is because all of my windows seemed to have developed this difficulty at roughly the same time, so I'd have to guess relative age, perhaps mitigated slightly by use? One of the windows that I rarely open is now virtually impossible to move. It can't be dirt, as it's never open, and it can't be size, as it's in the middle of the pack as far as that goes. The tilt function is as easy to operate as any of the others, too.

I have two sashes in which the dessicant seems to have had its fill as well, as they're fogged and/or full of condensation.

In researching the subject I've run across numerous references putting the average lifespan of middle-line vinyl windows at about 15 years. These are right there. If I put $40-$50 into a pair of balances for each window (presuming I try one and that fixes the problem) how much longer am I extending the lifespan? At 10 windows, that's a total of +/- $500, and I still have 15 year-old vinyl windows.Does that buy me another 10 years, nothwithstanding the condensation/dessicant issue? One's in the bathroom and the glass is occluded anyway so who cares, and the other is in a guest bedroom that faces a nothing view, so that doesn't bother me much either. Just a question of how much dessicant remains in the others.

Other than the difficulty opening and closing, I see no cracks and they seem to be fine. Perfect, no (I never thought the capping an especially good job,) but imperfect enough to warrant spending money to replace them all? Not sure about that either.

Window replacement companies would be the LAST resource I'd check for an honest opinion about this.

Ideas, anyone?

    Bookmark   September 30, 2013 at 3:23PM
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Windows on Washington Ltd

Blaine window is your best place to source those parts.

Here is a link that might be useful: Blaine Window Hardware

    Bookmark   October 2, 2013 at 2:09PM
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