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What to do - IG failing like an Epidemic

Posted by gordonr (My Page) on
Wed, Mar 7, 07 at 0:47

Our 14 year old house in the northeast has 61 windows with IG and 3 french door with IG. The windows are mostly double hung with some casements as well. The wood windows and doors are from Pozzi which is now part of Jeld-Wen. Within the 10 year warranty period on the glass, Pozzi replaced 3 or 4 IG units which had failed. Now at year 14 I notice 14 more IGU's which are fogged or have huge amounts of condensation within the IGU.

Pozzi has provided very good customer service to date in spite of our problems. For example, one of our windows rotted out, after the warranty period. The field person Pozzi sent really couldn't figure out a root cause for the failure. Pozzi sold and shipped a new window at a 50% discount.

Now they are offering the same deal on glass replacements for our failed IGU's (excluding labor). They agree that the failure rate we are seeing is way above their average for windows of that vintage. I expect we haven't seen the last of these types of failures either.

What is a reasonable expectation for IGU failure rates? Other than the IGU failures, the windows are otherwise in pretty good shape (new weatherstipping is probably in order at this point as well). I do notice that the one new Pozzi window we have does seal tighter and have better glass performance than our older units. Is replacing the glass the right thing to do, or would it make more sense to take more drastic action?

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: What to do - IG failing like an Epidemic

The IGU system that Pozzi currently uses is substantially better than the system that they used when your windows were originally manufactured.

Whereas the previous system had failure rates as high as 8 to 10% (or even higher in some cases, unfortunately) the system that they are now using has documented failures of less than .1% at 20 years. A very substantial improvement.

If everything else in the windows is performing, then an IGU change would likely be the best (and likely least expensive) route to take.

Make sure that the new units have LowE2 coating and argon fill for optimum performance (which may be standard for Pozzi anyway - I can't remember off the top-of-my-head).

The new IGU's should come with a 20 year warranty.

RE: What to do - IG failing like an Epidemic

Question about determining whether an IGU has failed...

Some of our windows have failed without question. Huge amounts of water drops and fogging resides within the IGU. Another class of windows show fogging, usually a smallish area near the bottom of the window, but you don't see the major nearly full obstruction of view of the first class. These windows seem to have a problem without question, but they are much less dramatic and can be somewhat temperature sensitive in that the fogging reduces or goes away as the outdoor temp rises. The third class of windows I suspect really only show signs of trouble when the temperature is very cold in the 0F to 10F range. These windows only show slight signs of fogging in these very cold temperatures. With these am I essentially seeing early signs of failure or can this be a normal behavior of IGUs when it gets real cold? Since it's been real cold I've photographed all the windows showing any sign of trouble. I'm sure by the time a Pozzi field person gets here it will be *much* warmer.

RE: What to do - IG failing like an Epidemic

I have an entire wall if Pozzi insulated windows, made up of eight separate window units, with 12 glass panels in total. All the glass seals have failed in the ten years since they were installed. Some of the larger panels have failed more than once. The seal breakage started about three years after installation. I had to fight to get the replacements covered by warranty (I was told that the labor wasn't included, but I read my warranty carefully, challenged them, and proved them wrong). I've had some wood rot as well, but Pozzi/JW will take no responsibility for that. They did admit at one point that they had changed glass manufacturers (implying that they knew there was a problem with the old glass), but now I have a strange failure in a panel that was produced by the newer manufacturer. It looks like caulk has leaked into the space between the glass panels -- as if someone has squirted caulk in there straight out of the tube. The customer service rep at Pozzi/JW knew exactly what I was talking about when I described it, so it can't be unusual. Has anyone else experienced this? I have found posts about lawsuits against the company, but the threads are always closed down.

RE: What to do - IG failing like an Epidemic

Just because they changed glass manufacturers does not necessarily mean there was a problem with the previous glass units. It may be that they got better pricing or that the glass they switch to had some other advantage such as a change from hard coat LoE to soft coat when it came out. Could have been a switch from a box aluminum spacer to a newer more advanced on like Super Spacer or Duralite.

RE: What to do - IG failing like an Epidemic

I have an entire house of Pozzi windows. All the seals on all the window failed. So Pozzi (Jeld Wen) did supply replacment windows. And I paid to have them painted and installed. Now the replacement window seals are failing. Jeld Wen will send the windows but I keep having (over and over) to pay to have the replacement windows painted and installed. The most recent labor cost is $3500 to paint and install replacements for 7 windows and 4 french doors that are not even 6 years old. What remedies do I have? I live in San Diego.

RE: What to do - IG failing like an Epidemic

Short of hiring a lawyer, I'd say you are stuck. Sorry, wish I had better advice for you.

I really have trouble understanding how companies like Jeld-Wen stay in business. It's an even bigger mystery why consumers continue to buy their garbage.

Good luck, I hope you are able to come to an agreeable resolution.

RE: What to do - IG failing like an Epidemic

"It's an even bigger mystery why consumers continue to buy their garbage. "

The vast majority of consumers look only at acquisition cost.

With most of the savings unverifiable it comes down to the proverbial 'liars contest' and initial cost is the real driver.

RE: What to do - IG failing like an Epidemic

Yep, that's entirely correct. Whoever can lie the best. Jeld-Wyn sucks, as do a lot of window companies out there. Look at Champion, with there warranty that covers everything forever, which is impossible considering their hack installations and crap window. Seems like the desperate lies are worse in a bad economy.

It's a shame for the consumer, who can't tell the difference between one or the other.

Anyway, back to the thread. You have to work with what you've got to work with at this point. I'm hearing more and more stories of failed IG units all over the place. I would like to know what kind of units they are, what kind of spacers they have, and who assembled them.

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