We just bought a ranch-style home built in 1965, and the windows need some love — in the whole house, there is only one window with a semi-functioning sash balance. They have some kind of spring-based balancing system, but in all my looking, I haven't seen anything quite like them.

It looks like they're just tension springs that somehow clip into the sides of the sash and run up to... somewhere... in the frame. It looks like there's some kind of clip or something that fastens to the sides of the sash, and that's come detached (or broken, I can't tell) on most of the windows. I don't think there's any cable like I'd expect to see in a block-and-tackle balance, and the channel balances I've seen on the internet look different. Pictures (as best as I can get them) below.

So! A few questions:

  • Does this setup look familiar? What's it called?
  • Can I find replacement parts?
  • How can I get this apart to start making it better?


Attached sash spring Detached sash spring Window frame

  • You may have to take the face molding off to get to the mechanism. In any event they do come apart. There are several on-line company's that make custom springs. You can just send them one of the broken springs and they will quote you on a replacement. – Paul Logan Dec 1 '17 at 8:29
  • Have all the ballasts released them selves from the sashes? Do the liners that have the springs in them, are the plastic or metal? The notches in the sash and the raised portion of the jamb liner are not that large, can the liners be compressed to a degree to allow the window sash to slip by if one tried hard? The screws in the liners will either release the jamb liner for removal or compress it to allow the sash removal, then remove the screw after that to remove the liner. – Jack Dec 1 '17 at 21:23
  • In the house, there's still one ballast attached to a sash; the first picture is the attached one with the spring extended. – Nate Dec 2 '17 at 3:39
  • The liners are plastic; I'm a little leery of trying to compress them too much in case they decide to shatter instead of bending; no idea where I'd find a replacement for those. Also, the spring is in that channel so it would need to get in there somehow... I'm not sure how that would happen without the liner and sash going in at the same time somehow. I'm not gonna risk breaking it until spring. – Nate Dec 2 '17 at 3:45

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