How To Fix A Stuck Or Inoperative Vinyl Window Sash And Properly Remove It To Prevent Problems

Vinyl windows from a place like Beissel Window & Siding are usually affordable, attractive and easy-to-maintain, especially those that contain swing-out sashes. However, improper operation of the swing-out sash feature can lead to problems with the window not functioning correctly or not working at all. If you have a vinyl window with a swing-out sash, and it isn't opening all the way or is completely stuck in the closed position, then keep reading to see how you can fix this problem and prevent it from occurring in the future:

Understand the operation of swing-out sash vinyl windows

All windows contain some type of balancing mechanism, including those with swing-out sashes. This mechanism is essential to keeping the sash in-place during operation; otherwise, the sash would drop and possibly break the glass if the fall is too hard.

In most vinyl windows, the balancing mechanism is contained inside the side rails of the window frame, also known as jambs. The sash contains "feet" on each side of the window that fit into "shoes" that are, in turn, connected to the balancing mechanism. The feet are designed to be removed from the shoes during the sash removal process, but failing to follow proper procedures can lead to problems.

What you should do if the sash won't open or if it keeps dropping inside the frame

If the sash isn't opening or if the sash drops when raised, then it is likely due to improper removal and reinsertion of the sash; that's why it is important to follow the procedure outlined below to remove the sash in order to prevent any problems.

In many cases, not lifting the bottom of the sash above the frame is a specific cause of failure. Pulling the sash away from the frame before raising it a few inches can cause the shoes to separate prematurely. Thus, reinserting the sash into the frame without accounting for the proper fit between the feet and shoes will immobilize the sash or make it imbalanced.

Look inside the tracks on both sides of the frame to see if you can visualize the shoes; if so, then use a screwdriver to pull them upward inside the frame so they are a few inches above the bottom of the frame. Push the sash into the frame while aligning the feet with the shoes. This motion will cause the feet to snap into the shoes and restore the proper fit between the two components.

How to properly remove and reinsert window sashes from vinyl windows

Whenever you wish to remove swing-out sashes, it's important to follow the proper procedure to prevent the problems discussed above. Below is a step-by-step procedure to removing them from the frame:

    1. Raise the sash so that it clears the lip of the bottom of the window frame.

    2. Grasp the top right and top left corners of the window sash with your fingers.

    3. Slide the sash release inward while supporting the sash with your thumbs.

    4. Swing the top of the sash inward while continuing to provide support.

    5. Continue to pull the top of the sash inward until it lies completely horizontal.

    6. Grasp both sides of the sash and twist one side of the sash upward until the feet of the sash "pop" out of their shoes.

    7. Carefully remove and reinsert the sash from the window frame.

    8. To reinsert the sash, align the feet of the sash with the shoes and push the sash into the frame; if performed properly, the sash will lock into the shoes.

    9. Swing the top of the sash upward until it locks into the tracks on the jambs.

  10. The window should now function properly.