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The handle on one of my uPVC windows won't turn to keep the window shut. The window doesn't form a seal against the frame so it is getting cold in here! I've noticed that there's a small metal pin sticking out of the handle fitting. On another (working) window in the house, this metal pin is flush with the handle fitting. Here are some links to pics for comparison:

Bad window

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Good window

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What is this metal pin? Is it kind of safety catch? If so, how do I release it?

If the pin isn't the problem, how can I get this window to close properly? There are no screws to undo the handle. The locking mechanism seems to be via two sliding bolts on the bottom edge of the window.

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    WD40 on the moving parts hasn't helped. Can anyone at least advise me how to seal the gap between the window and the frame to keep the heat in? – Macrod Feb 10 '13 at 18:51
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The pin you see is the part that secures the handle to a shaft that sticks out of the window latch assembly.

To get the handle working you are going to have to carefully observe how the moving parts of the good window work and then compare that to what you see going on with the bad window. This may include activating the handle back and forth while the window is open. Look from below, outside and the edge end of the window. Doing this you may notice that something has blocked the mechanism and is keeping the latch from working.

It is possible that the latch mechanism is just flat broken in which case either it or the window would need replacement. Many times these latch mechanisms have nylon or pot-metal parts inside which break if forced too hard.

For a temporary fix till you can get the actual window and/or the latch replaced there are number of things you can do cut down on the cold draft through the crack. The simplest may be to simply apply some blue painters tape over the cracks to cut off the air flow. Duct tape of "gorilla" tape are other possibilities too but will take a lot more work to clean up after the tape is no longer needed. There is also a stretchable clear plastic product available that you can stretch over the entire window opening that acts as an inside window seal that can be used in the cold season. This method has been recently discussed here on DIY.

  • The latch may be perfectly fine. It's possible the reason it doesn't operate is because the window isn't fully closed, so the lock bolts cannot engage into their usual recesses. You will need to inspect perimeter of the window carefully to identify what is preventing the window from closing properly. – bcworkz Feb 11 '13 at 1:17
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Temporary fix for a few days or couple of weeks - tie length of rope/ cord around the window handle. Pull it taut and secure it to a weight on the room floor eg piece of paving slab, brick or weight as used by weightlifter on a bar bell. This will keep window shut/ secure. Handle may need replacing - see yellow pages for new upvc locks/ handles

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