Opening jammed uPVC windows

22 Oct 2006
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United Kingdom
We have uPVC window and two of the sashes won't open. The rack & pinion mechanisms inside have stiffened/jammed/broken/disintegrated to the point where the square shafts on the handles have broken off in the window frame.

Inserting another square shaft into the square hole and applying brute force results in no rotation, so these two sashes seem to be permanently stuck shut. OK, we thought, we'll get one of these 'window doctors' in to fix it. No joy. Window Doctor states he cannot repair as he cannot get the sashes open and besides, they have an obsolete rack and pinion mechanism that he cannot get. (He knows this by looking at the rack and pinions on other sashes that still work.)

My gut feeling is that he is being feeble, but I may be wrong. Has anyone else had this problem? How do window professionals open sashes with jammed racks? Will I have to have a new window made and fitted?!

All advice much appreciated.

Cheers, Mike
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Right, a bit more information.

The locking mechanisms are not rack and pinion like on other windows I have fitted in the past. These are "Saracen High Security" mechanisms which cause round bolts to emerge top and bottom from the sash and engage in the frame when the handle is turned, and a further rectangular bolt emerges from the side of the sash next to the handle. Most of the mechanism is concealed inside the uPVC sash frame extrusion.

I'm not surprised the repair bloke bailed out. I can't think of a way of opening these without damaging the sashes beyond repair. Is there a way?

Cheers, Mike

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