Occasionally the plastic components of the pivot shoes on your windows will break. Although this is a rare occurrence, they do break from time to time and will need to be replaced with a new assembly. While the process for pivot shoe replacement varies from manufacturer to manufacturer, the following instructions provide a general overview for pivot shoe replacement on vinyl windows.
In many cases there is no easy way to remove the old pivot shoes and installing the new shoes without some minor alterations to the window assembly itself. The problem with repairing most vinyl windows is that the pivot shoes are installed into the frames at the factory before the vinyl components are fused together.
So before you begin the major surgery associated with pivot shoe replacement, you may want to double check that this is in fact the problem with your windows. To do so you need to remove the sashes from the window frame. Using the proper spiral balance tensioning tool, unhook the balance from the pivot shoe. Using a large slotted screwdriver, unlock the pivot shoe by turning the slot ¼ turn clockwise on the left hand side and counterclockwise on the right hand side.
Now that the pivot shoe is unlocked is should slide freely up and down the track. You may find that the track itself is dirty, in which case you need to clean it and apply a generous amount of silicone spray to the surfaces. Once the track is clean and lubricated, the shoe should move freely throughout the entire length of the track. If not, it’s time for a pivot shoe replacement.
In some cases you can simply remove the stop caps that snap into the top of the sash track and the pivot shoe can easily be removed. However in most cases you will need to trim some of the vinyl away so you can pry the pivot shoe out of the slot. Use a sharp utility knife to widen the open so that the pivot shoe can be removed with little effort. It’s okay to spread the vinyl apart slightly to make the opening wider temporarily while removing the shoe. Be careful not to mar the vinyl guide when prying, as this may prevent the new shoe from moving smoothly.
Carefully match your old shoes to a new pivot shoe replacement of the same manufacturer, dimensions, and design. Snap the new shoe into place through the oversized gap you just cut in the vinyl. Slide the new shoes about one third up the slot and lock them into place. Then you can reattach the balances. Replace the plastic stop can and then carefully reinsert the sash into the window frame.