I have two ropes apparently attached to weights inside the wall that come down on pulleys and they are attached to a window in my house on both sides.

I cannot close the window. I hear the weights when I try and plaster and old paint fall down when I attempt to close it.

Other previous owners have attempted to close the window and have apparently had success as there are small bits of glass missing from said window, which must have resulted from taking a hard swing downward and a big slam at the bottom.

This is the dumbest invention I have ever seen and I don’t understand the purpose of such a window apparatus.

I’m told that in the event that you have two Sache Weight Windows together, that they can even share a weight betwixt them; but mine only has one Window.

It seems that the one pulley turns while the other does nothing at all. The one rope moves and the pulley turns but the other is stuck fast.

  • 1
    I hate these windows almost as much as the OS that bearith it’s name.
    – leeand00
    Commented Jul 30, 2019 at 2:13
  • 2
    Sash is the normal spelling. A sash being a part of a window, and the weight being designed to counterweight the sash so it can be raised and lowered easily, when working correctly. They are often ruined by careless application of paint, though there are other possible problems.
    – Ecnerwal
    Commented Jul 30, 2019 at 3:02
  • I figured it out. The pulley had some painted over screws, above and below it. When I took those out I was able to dislodge the pulley from the paint, and by playing back in my head how it got stuck in the first place and using a second pair of hands from my wife we were able to get it working again by pulling the rope out of the axis of the pulley. Now that the rope is on the pulley again it works.
    – leeand00
    Commented Jul 30, 2019 at 3:36
  • Still can’t say I’m happy with it, the Sash works against gravity and so want the window to come down on my air conditioner. I had to screw it to the window to hold the window down over the air conditioner.
    – leeand00
    Commented Jul 30, 2019 at 3:37
  • 1
    You really do need to screw the window down when it's holding an AC in place anyway to prevent the sash rising under vibration (or someone lifting it thoughtlessly),many AC units come with a little right angle bracket you can attach, or there are holes in the tops of the gap-filling wings or top bracket for screws. The weight of the counterbalance is selected to more or less offset the weight of the sash, but there are often windows of different sizes in a building that all have the same weight counterbalance, so sometimes the smaller windows to tend to rise up - I have one like that.
    – Phil G
    Commented Jul 30, 2019 at 15:50

1 Answer 1


Your windows are very old and things have worn out, warped, etc. The sash weights are there to counterbalance the weight of the window. When the tracks (guides on each side of the frame) are clear and the pulleys are not frozen, these windows move quite smoothly. Unless some major incorrect repair was done on the window, it'll stop fully open, fully closed, or anywhere in between because it's in balance with the weights.

If one pulley & rope is not moving, then of course there'll be slack somewhere and the counterbalancing sash weight doesn't come into play.

That said, they are infamous for not sealing well. That's the price of having a wooden guide with a wooden runner. At some point someone will have to cough up installing new energy-efficient windows and frames.

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