Abcleads.com BBB Business Review  NAHB member
Call us at
1-800-219-5332


All times are UTC - 5 hours




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 13 posts ] 
Author Message
 Post subject: Vinyl Window repair....cheaper alternatives to Swisco?
PostPosted: Sat Jun 30, 2012 1:07 pm 

Joined: Sun Jun 03, 2012 10:57 am
Posts: 10
Offline
I had the great misfortune lending out my very expensive pair of Swisco Vinyl Window jamb spreaders to what I thought was a intelligent homeowner in our neighborhood. Had I known he intended to replace his broken window pivot shoes on aluminum windows I would have refrained from doing so. Long story short the threads on my recently purchased Swisco jam spreaders are badly damaged. Since there is no warranty from Swisco on jam spreaders can anyone recommend viable alternatives to the Swisco branded jam spreaders? I hate to cough up another $150 for a replacement pair for my toolbag but I cannot find alternate jam spreaders which perform as nicely as Swisco. Attached pictures show a alternate competitive spreader along with the Swisco spreader but the alternate spreaders look real hokey and not designed well. I've never been a huge fan of cutting as common sense tells me when you make a cut out for easy removal of broken pivot shoes you compromise the integrity of the whole vinyl window frame.


Attachments:
JS2.JPG [29.25 KiB]
Downloaded 405 times
JS1.JPG [44.54 KiB]
Downloaded 352 times
Top
 
 
 Post subject: Re: Vinyl Window repair....cheaper alternatives to Swisco?
PostPosted: Sat Jun 30, 2012 6:31 pm 

Joined: Sun Dec 07, 2008 9:11 am
Posts: 8
Offline
In the past I used a simple heat gun to open the track to replace the shoes. Experiment on an old sample window and see how well it works. Just don't add too much heat. In the past I tried the jamb spreader and have broken frames but did not run into that problem with a little heat.


Top
 
 
 Post subject: Tried heatgun --> NG
PostPosted: Sun Jul 01, 2012 7:10 am 

Joined: Sun Jun 03, 2012 10:57 am
Posts: 10
Offline
DansWindow,
Read your suggestion which was mentioned on other forums however it's not viable for me. Biggest issue is as you heat up an area you still have to find a tool to actually spread the jamb sufficiently wide enough to remove the broken shoe. Exacerbating matters is the fact you also have to work quickly (lightspeed is the more appropriate word but I use "quickly" to detail your suggestion) since heated vinyl tends to cool down fast. Obviously opening the heated area with thick leather gloves is a huge no, no.....other suggestions?


Top
 
 
 Post subject: Re: Vinyl Window repair....cheaper alternatives to Swisco?
PostPosted: Sun Jul 01, 2012 8:54 am 

Joined: Sun Dec 07, 2008 9:11 am
Posts: 8
Offline
Swong,
I have done this many times using a heat gun and my fingers. You only heat up the material enough to where it is soft enough to bend. Yes, you do have to have everything ready for the repair and you will have to add some heat to close the opening again. But, I assure you this has worked in many situations for myself, my old manufacturing crew and our customers.


Top
 
 
 Post subject: Re: Vinyl Window repair....cheaper alternatives to Swisco?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2012 4:26 am 

Joined: Sun Jun 03, 2012 10:57 am
Posts: 10
Offline
DansWindow....tested your recommendation/idea using a heatgun and after making a good effort decided I will purchase another set of Swisco jamb spreaders. I a not disparaging your suggestion however the effort expended using the heat gun method took over 30 minutes trial and error....Swisco jam spreaders took less than a minute to complete the same replacement of the broken pivot shoe not to mention the vinyl jam was easily gouged and scratched up when the vinyl was heated. If anyone else has alternate tools or methods please continue to share as I would be interested how others "cost effectively" complete their pivot shoe replacements


Top
 
 
 Post subject: Re: Vinyl Window repair....cheaper alternatives to Swisco?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2012 6:10 am 
User avatar

Joined: Wed Apr 04, 2007 11:21 pm
Posts: 3679
Location: DC Metropolitan Area-Maryland/Virginia/DC
Offline
The heat gun works well and I have also used these a bunch of times an they are still in working order.

They get tossed in and out of my bag all the time.

http://www.jambstretcher.com/


Top
 
 
 Post subject: Re: Vinyl Window repair....cheaper alternatives to Swisco?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2012 4:59 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Tue Feb 16, 2010 6:14 pm
Posts: 1852
Location: Milwaukee, Madison areas
Offline
Swong wrote:
I've never been a huge fan of cutting as common sense tells me when you make a cut out for easy removal of broken pivot shoes you compromise the integrity of the whole vinyl window frame.

That would be incorrect Swong. Some manufacturers recommend this method, and others including Simonton actually have a notch pre-cut from the factory. The list of options in this thread (cutting, heating, or using a jamb spreader) are just about all of the options that you have. None of them are wrong, and all can be done effectively without any adverse effects (I done all three in various situations).
If you plan on having to do a bunch of these in the future, then perhaps the jamb spreader is a worthwhile investment.


Top
 
 
 Post subject: Re: Vinyl Window repair....cheaper alternatives to Swisco?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2012 5:26 pm 

Joined: Sun Jun 03, 2012 10:57 am
Posts: 10
Offline
Not wishing to start any heated debate but if removing a section of the jamb ...in this case making a cutout in a very stout section of vinyl frame was approved why haven't all vinyl window manufacturers notched (making cutouts) each and every manufacturered vinyl window before selling them to the public?...just asking for my own info.


Top
 
 
 Post subject: Re: Vinyl Window repair....cheaper alternatives to Swisco?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2012 5:38 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Tue Feb 16, 2010 6:14 pm
Posts: 1852
Location: Milwaukee, Madison areas
Offline
Swong, I can't speak for the design of your specific window, but on most products, there is a small, thin lip that shrouds the balance channel. Removing a couple inches (length-wise)
Attachment:
jamb cutout resize.jpg [50.03 KiB]
Downloaded 376 times
of that lip on each side would not be considered "removing a very stout section of vinyl frame" on most products. See the attached pic of the Simonton window... I'd imagine that all manufacturers do not do this primarily for cost considerations, and many use block and tackle balance systems as well.


Top
 
 
 Post subject: Re: Vinyl Window repair....cheaper alternatives to Swisco?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2012 8:18 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Wed Apr 04, 2007 11:21 pm
Posts: 3679
Location: DC Metropolitan Area-Maryland/Virginia/DC
Offline
+1

The cut out of the jamb does not change the structural integrity of the window in the least.

Most companies skip it to save money and avoid the jamb cover necessity.


Top
 
 
 Post subject: Re: Vinyl Window repair....cheaper alternatives to Swisco?
PostPosted: Sat Jul 07, 2012 12:24 am 

Joined: Fri Jul 06, 2012 11:21 pm
Posts: 1
Offline
Guys,

I'm in the process of getting estimates to have rusted pivot bars broken off in the shoes replaced in some Danvid Vinyl windows who is out of business. I have been told there is a vinyl that you can't spread, he said see its hard and I thought it better be. He wants to notch up top where the balancer cover will hide the cuts. I have 6 windows in this condition and with him lubricating many of the other balancers too; I ask how long and he said a day. I'm thinking $$$... I should buy the Swisco jamb spreaders (save on time) and insist that he uses them. He claimed to have thrown some away after breaking a frame. I forgot to ask what lubricate he would use on the balancers. I'm afraid that he will need to drill out the old rusted bars. Thirty+ yrs., some in vinyl window manufacturing and should know what to do. Any suggestions are welcomed and appreciated by this widow. Thanks much, :(


Top
 
 
 Post subject: Re: Vinyl Window repair....cheaper alternatives to Swisco?
PostPosted: Sat Jul 07, 2012 4:04 am 

Joined: Sun Jun 03, 2012 10:57 am
Posts: 10
Offline
Mathew... Like yourself I talso had reservations about spreading the jamb using the Swisco Jamb Spreader but my concerns were unfounded. FYI, all my vinyl windows were installed in 1986 and like many other vinyl window owners pivot bars, pivot shoes, and the ocassional spiral balance needed repair/replacement. My biggest concern was vinyl tends to get slightly brittle with age and might crack as you spread the jamb. Long story short, complete your repairs when it's a warm day (to minimize the possibility of cracking the jamb), remove both sashes and replace broken pivot shoes in the middle of the jamb so as to spread the stress evenly, and lube the jamb tracks with a film of candle wax. Do not use any oil or other lubricants as they will attract dirt which tends to clog up spiral balances. All my pivot shoes after 25 years of use were in pretty good shape only needed 4 shoes to be replaced out of 22 windows . Simple fix when you have the right tools.....Swisco.com has decent pictorials of their selection of available parts along with dimensions and specs. Strybuk has a even better collection of hard to find items in their online catalog however dimensions are lacking. My recommendation is for you to take pictures and upload it to Mike or Tom to Swisco with your concerns....they are very responsive, have a decent selection of how-to's in video and parts are cheap...did I also mention Swisco delivers in 48 hours or less if you place your order before 10am (Swisco located in south Jersey!). No, I do not work for Swisco but am a very, very satisfied customer of Swisco. Last suggestion from me is to also purchase a spiral balance charging tool as you will need it to pre-tension your balance...BTW, my pivot bars were held on by only one philips head screw. Try and use stainless steel screws on your pivot bar repairs...less prone to rusting and easier for maintenance down the road. I saved a fortune completing these repairs myself but more importantly now stock a few extra pivot bars and shoes if and when they all eventually break especially when you tilt windows in to wash. In NYC where I reside calling in a outside repair person usually costs in excess of $200 just for them to "walk in the door" and this is even before they identify what needs repair, items required then the labor (ugh!). I was in shock after completing my first pivot shoe replacement...completed task took less than 10 minutes but I did have the Swisco jamb spreader and charging tool in hand. Jam spreader initial cost is very cost prohibitive especially when you have just 1 or 2 windows needing maintenance. It's when you have a boatload of troublesome windows needing maintenaance then the jamb spreader justifies it's cost


Top
 
 
 Post subject: Re: Vinyl Window repair....cheaper alternatives to Swisco?
PostPosted: Sat Jul 07, 2012 8:18 am 
User avatar

Joined: Wed Apr 04, 2007 11:21 pm
Posts: 3679
Location: DC Metropolitan Area-Maryland/Virginia/DC
Offline
+1

Don't attempt these repairs in the dead of winter and you should be fine.


Top
 
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 13 posts ] 

All times are UTC - 5 hours


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot], Yahoo [Bot] and 9 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group