In order to know how to replace a sash cord you need to understand the basics of a double hung window. A double hung window has two sashes one on top and one on bottom. A sash is the framework that holds the glass. The sashes slide up and down within a window frame. The side frames are the jambs. Heavy metal sash weights connect to sashes with a rope-and-pulley system hidden behind the jambs. The weights provide a counterbalance that makes the sash easy to open.
A series of stops are attached to the jambs to provide grooves in which the sashes can slide. The stops that keep the frames separated and the inside stops can be pried off to remove a sash.
To begin this project, gather the materials and tools you will need to replace a broken sash cord. This includes new sash cord, a putty knife, a utility knife, finishing nails, a hammer, putty, paintbrushes and paint for possible touch-ups.
Take the stops on each side of the lower sash off. Using your putty knife, place it close to each nail that is securing the stops and pry it gently away from the frame. The wood splits easily so take extra care to work patiently.
With the stops removed, the frame should come out easily. Remove the damaged sash cord from its slot. Most sash windows have an access panel to get to the weight. The access panel will need to be removed; if there no access panel then the side window casing has to be taken out to get to the weight.
Sometimes these panels have layers of paint on them, you will need to chip the paint away to locate the screws that are keeping the panel secure. Once the panel is out, cut off any remaining cord. Feed the new sash cord over the pulley and down into the cavity that holds the weight until you can see it in the access panel. The new cord should be tied to the weight with a strong knot but not too bulky as it can bind in the window frame. Put the weight back in the cavity and put a knot in the other end of the cord allowing the weight to hang three inches above the windowsill when the window is in a fully raised position.
Now you are ready to put the framework back into place. Use the finishing nails to secure the moldings. If there are any gaps, you can use the putty to fill them. If any paint chipped away during this process, repaint it. You are done with your project and should have a totally functioning window. As a do-it-yourself homeowner, you can master how to replace a sash cord in your double hung window with the right information.
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