double glazing

23 May 2012
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United Kingdom
Double glazing in my kitchen are showing signs of condensation between the panes after about ten years which I understand is the duration of the guarantee. Has anyone else encountered this costly anomaly? If sealed units fail at about this length of time from purchase, seems to me the glazing companies have ring fenced themselves into a canny money spinner as millions of such windows have [and still are] being fitted throughout the nation. A recent replacement window on my landing cost me over £50 so to replace the ones in my kitchen could well top the hundred mark. Sounds like a bad omen to me seeing we have over 40 double glazed windows in the house. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr. MatG
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Yes this is always cropping up on the forum very common.

The 10 year guarantee has nothing to do with how long dgu's will last, ask anybody in the trade worth their salt and they'll tell you the industry accepted life of a dgu is about 5 years regardless of what your IBG says.

Most IBG's if you take the time to read the small print are whats know as 10 5 1's, that being frames 10, glass 5 and handles, hinges and locks are 1 year, admittedly some dgu's can last 30 years yet some won't make the first year.
By what you say it sounds just like R.O.B. [which stands for Rip Off Britain]
from my experience it seems the old fashioned secondary glazing was just as effective and longer lasting. I have heard that the latest idea [which is said to be more efficient] is to fill the cavity between the panes of glass with some sort of gas. Time will tell if that too is just a gimmick to sell more units of if it longer lasting. Cheers Mat G
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....'Many moons ago I both manufactured and fitted double glazed windows'.....

Taken from another thread you commented on yet on this thread you come across as a double glazing novice or a DIYer, very strange! :eek:
..........hi.........doesn't say that because I was involved with assembling and installing D.G at different times that I know all there is to know about things like sealed unit & their durability. I was really was not involved in both activities very long, just long enough to pick up a few tips along the way.
Seems from what you say that millions of homes are destined for replacement double glazing on a regular basis. Frightening thought when one considers the cost of them. Cheers Mat G
Apologies then ;) , it just seemed odd that someone from the industry asked a sort of novice question.

There will be at least one thread a week started on here regarding blown units, why they blown, how long should they last and how much they cost, all 3 get answered by some knowledgable guys on here, there was a thread on here last year that dragged on and on and became pretty hilarious, the jist of it was the homeowner thought he could start a business drying dgu's out with the sun on the back lawn :D just because he'd done a few of his own after not accepting 99.9% of the responses on here that dgu's haven't got that much of a life span.

Try looking it up, you'll have a laugh.

PS, welcome to the board, hang around, its always good to get a fabricators view on things too :cool:
Thanks for the link Freddy, rather lengthy to say the least but many good points raised. Like printers, they have obviously been designed [I suspect] with obsolescence built in but for the deep thinker there could well be ways to avoid the expense of replacing sealed units. The one point that struck me as I read the thread was something Bob Hope once said of the UK; It's the only country he had been in where he experienced three climates in one day. What bothers me about taking out a sealed unit for the purpose of removing the silica gel from the four sides, drying the gap out with maybe a hair dryer & refilling with the gel granules, all depending on the weather staying dry & hot long enough, now that's a tall order. At least up here in the forgotten north.
What can anyone offer by way of facts regarding the latest idea of filling the gap with some sort of gas? I was under the impression that the gap was indeed a vacuum of some measure so there was no conductivity between the two panes!!! Thus no or little heat loss. Thanks again Mat G
As far as i'm aware dgu's have never had a vacuum, i believe its a myth.

As far as gas filled units go yes they exist, filled with argon and not really a new idea either, been around for years but recent changes in regs has bought them to the forefront again, something needed to achieve an 'A' rating
It matters not whether the void is a vacuum or filled with gas, it will leak eventually.

Out of interest I have designed and detailed a few 'shark walks' that go into aquariums. These are effectively huge double glazed units (think 4m x 2m and about 0.5m deep that you can walk on to allow you to look into an aquarium beneath your feet (the bottom panel sits below the water level). I don't profess to understand the science of the various properties of the various sealants etc available but to prevent condensation forming within the void they are either filled with nitrogen and valves fitted to enable periodic checking/topping up of the gas levels or are air conditioned and those solutions come from the professionals who do understand the science of the various properties of the various sealants etc.

Just saying tis all, its not as easy as you think to retain that seal.

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