How to Fix a Double-Hung Window that Falls Shut

Three double hung windows with black shutters

The windows in your home serve several important purposes. They allow light to enter, give you a view of the exterior, and allow you to ventilate the room. Double-hung windows are very popular with homeowners because both the top and bottom sashes open, offering flexible airflow options.

If you have a double-hung window that falls shut, you may find yourself propping it open with wooden dowels or sturdy books. While this is an acceptable short-term fix, it can’t be your long-term solution. Before you pay to have your windows replaced, follow this double-hung window repair guide from Glass Doctor®.

Diagnosing a Dropped Window

Sliding windows move horizontally. Awning and casement windows pivot outward. But single-and double-hung windows open vertically, which makes them uniquely susceptible to a condition called “dropped window.” This is when the sash keeps falling shut or refuses to stay open.

If this is the problem you’re having with your double-hung window, you can tackle the repair with a little information and the proper tools. All you need for this job is a flathead screwdriver. You don’t even need to remove the sash from the window frame to perform the repair!

Fixing a Double-Hung Window that Falls Shut

A dropped window is an indicator of a bad, disconnected, or misplaced balance shoe. Each double-hung window in your home has four balance cartridges, two per jamb liner. If one of the balance shoes inside isn’t working properly, the sash will slide down when you attempt to raise it.

To adjust a disconnected balance shoe, follow these steps:

  • Find the balance shoe in the casing of the window’s outer frame. In the case of dropped windows, the balance shoe is usually pushed to the bottom of the frame.
  • Locate the tilt pin at the bottom of the window sash. For the window to work correctly, the tilt pin must fit inside the balance shoe.
  • Examine the balance shoe. If it has a “U” shape within it, this means it’s in the locked position. However, you want the shoe to be in the unlocked position, so rotate it with a flathead screwdriver until it resembles a “C.”
  • Guide the shoe up the frame with your screwdriver until it’s within a few inches of the disconnected sash. Lock the shoe back into place.
  • Slide the sash back down and re-engage the tilt pin with the balance shoe.
  • For extra assurance, unlock the top of the sash and tilt it inward the way you would when cleaning the window. Knock on the area you just reconnected a few times, and then lock the sash back into its vertical position.
  • Slide the sash up and down a few times to test out your repair.

Schedule Double-Hung Window Repair with Glass Doctor

If you don’t have the time, skills, or patience to learn how to fix a double-hung window that falls shut, turn to Glass Doctor for the services you need. Not only do we repair broken glass and replace window panes, but we also repair damaged components, such as balance shoes in double-hung windows.

Contact Glass Doctor today for double-hung window repair and other home glass services.