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 Spiral vs constant force balance

Author: Sharil (---.direcpc.com)
Date:   

I found info on a window called "Ultimate 2000" - not sure who manufactures it - that states it uses a spiral mechanism. On another website for the same brand, all other info about the product was exactly the same except instead of spiral it stated "constant force balance system" which I noticed other brands utilize. Due to info I've read here, I'm leary of brands that use the spiral system. How could I be sure that if a brand states "constant force" it is not the spiral type since the information on this particular window claims both?
Thanks for any insight...




 

 Re: Spiral vs constant force balance

Author: mjsremodel (---.nyc.untd.com)
Date:   

BEWARE, Spiral aluminum balances require frequent adjustment and lubrication. Windows become tougher to open over time.


 

 Re: Spiral vs constant force balance

Author: Window4U (IL) (---.client.insightBB.com)
Date:   

Constant force and spiral are two completely different balances so there should be no mix-up when ordering your windows. Make sure it is specified on the contract.
Some windows have recently switched to constant force, so there is a possibililty that older website info or literature may not be current on some brands.
My advice is to stay as far away from spiral as possible. There is a 100% chance of future service problems if you buy windows with spiral balances. It's just that simple.


 

 Re: Spiral vs constant force balance

Author: Sharil (---.direcpc.com)
Date:   

Pardon my ignorance, but can this be easily confirmed visually with unit intact or would it have to be dismantled to a degree in order to verify? I know it relates to the opening/closing of the window, but what exactly does the term "constant force balance" mean?
Appreciate your help!




 

 Re: Spiral vs constant force balance

Author: Window4U (IL) (---.client.insightBB.com)
Date:   

You can tell by just tilting the sash in as if you were going to clean it and looking at the side jamb.
The spiral balance has a spiral twisted rod coming out of a long round tube and will be on each side of the window in the jambs. It is attached to a "shoe" which is connected to the bottom of the sash.
The constant force balance will be encased in a 3" long plastic enclosure, be at the center of the window jamb on each side, and has a stainless steel band wound up like the inside of a tape measure or watch spring.


 

 Re: Spiral vs constant force balance

Author: Sharil (---.direcpc.com)
Date:   

Thanks for the timely response. I now feel I can make a more informed choice. I just wish I had known about this site and the importance of a quality window a few years ago when I added a sunroom with 12! windows - but my contractor took care of all those "details" and so far, so good.




 

 Re: Spiral vs constant force balance

Author: SUPERSONIC (---.proxy.aol.com)
Date:   

I beleive w4u usually gives good advise however to blanket spiral balances like that is unfair and iam sure he now realizes that. not all are made the same as not all windows are made the same some spiral balances from local manufacturers are very reliable and i have heard of no complaints in the 8.5 years that we have been using them. please be aware however that we design and manufacter our own and yes most are filled with grease and will at some point need adjusting.to make a blanket statement by w4u is very uncommon and i am sure he meant to closely examine them.


 

 Re: Spiral vs constant force balance

Author: Guy (---.chcgilgm.dynamic.covad.net)
Date:   

Supersonic, you must have done a great job on your spiral balance. I hope it keeps serving you well. I to am a huge fan of the Constant Force Balance syatem. Some Block & Tackle Sytems are also keeping a float. The biggest issues I see when servicing any Spiral Balance is the fastening screw strips out of the vinyl or wood on the frame. This is at the top of the balance. I would think there would be a design that would use a through bolt or flex nut. Any kind of reinforcement would be fabulous. I also see where it hooks to the sash as another place it fails. Depending on which type of connection point each manufacturer will use. They plastic or nylon connection seems to break or snap off.
In all fairness I've seen some issues with the constant force system and the Block & Tackle. Usually it's the person putting them in at the plants fault for being in a hurry. But in any case any type of system will have it's ups and downs. (Good Humor)

The Window To Success, Is Your Installer!!


 

 Re: Spiral vs constant force balance

Author: Window4U (IL) (---.client.insightBB.com)
Date:   

If your company is making a better spiral balance, then that is great, but I would have to see some type of specs that show some major improvement in design and see them proven over at least a 20 year time span to change my mind on spiral balances enough to ever use them again..
I spent a sizable portion of my career running service calls from 1975 to the mid 90's tightening and/or replacing spiral balances instead of doing what I should have been doing......replacing windows.
They have been the number one reason for service calls in the window business in the past, so my distaste for them is well founded and based on the time and money I have lost in my life because of them.
If your company is making a better one, then I'll have an open enough mind to consider changing my blanket statement about them, but I'd like to hear what is different about them before doing so.


 

 Re: Spiral vs constant force balance

Author: Clark (---.abbott.com)
Date:   

What about maintenance on the Constant Force systems? I hear there is none but what if something breaks? Can you get in and change out the Constant Force system with a new one?


 

 Re: Spiral vs constant force balance

Author: Window4U (IL) (---.client.insightBB.com)
Date:   

Yes, it would be very easy to do so.


 

 Re: Spiral vs constant force balance

Author: mss (---.fuse.net)
Date:   

sharil were are you located i may be able to help you write me mswank1@fuse.net


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