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How to Repair a Window Counterweight

Cleveland Van Cecil

Old double-hung windows have cords running along the side of the frame. These cords are attached to a counterweight system that keeps the window up when it is lifted. Over time, the counterweight system may get dirty or wear out. The window will not stay in place or may get stuck when this occurs. Replacing the counterweight system is an inexpensive project. You can get new counterweight pieces from the window manufacturer or your local hardware store. If replacements are not available, check with a window repair specialist to find parts.

Older double-hung windows have a counterweight system.
  1. Cut any paint applied over the interior stops with a utility knife. Stick a stiff putty knife between the stops and the outer frame and pry the stops off.

  2. Lift the window up to expose the metal track on each side. Pry the metal track off with a putty knife.

  3. Remove the window from the frame.

  4. Pry off the parting strip -- a thin piece of wood or vinyl -- on each side of the window with the putty knife.

  5. Remove the weight pocket cover. Pull out the weight and remove the weight from the sash cord.

  6. Measure the old sash cord and cut a new piece the same length. Slide the new cord into the pulley and attach the new counterweight to the cord. Replace the window.