UPVC Conservatory Window Seized Shut - Help

Discussion in 'Windows and Doors' started by Skezza, 15 Dec 2021.

  1. Skezza

    Skezza

    Joined:
    15 Dec 2021
    Messages:
    12
    Thanks Received:
    1
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    I have a sunroom-style conservatory on the back of the house I just bought. One thing I didn't check was the state of the door handles.

    Unfortunately, the right hand side window is seized shut, the shootbolt from the right is totally jammed in place. The left hand side is very funny, at best.

    I can still open the left hand side window, and it appears to use like a 'droplock' in the centre, with two shootbolts that come protrude from the side. As a system, I'm amazed this was ever adopted because you would expect something like this to happen. I found this other thread. They appear to have had the same problem, with the same system but have been able to get their window open, I haven't succeeded so far :(

    https://www.diynot.com/diy/threads/upvc-window-stuck-shut-on-one-side.247150/#post-1784062

    Here are some photos:

    Seized window:
    94221ffc-39e8-4972-82a0-99d7b7852f0f.jpg
    d9b23443-8332-4e7c-a78a-21bb908eb318.jpg

    The not seized window open including the shootbolt:

    1652ed81-cdcc-4f7e-ab60-d176a1414b3a.jpg
    734a5829-7e87-4d58-94b9-c7370de8aba0.jpg


    First thing I need to do is try and get it open so I can utterly bin this hateful mechanism. Does anyone have any tips to getting this window open? I've tried prying it and it just appears to be damaging the UPVC.

    Secondly, are there any mechanisms that are less fraught with peril? I know robbers exist but they cannot access the inside of the home from the sunroom so the most they can steal is a single TV.
     
  2. Sponsored Links
  3. RandomGrinch

    RandomGrinch

    Joined:
    15 Jun 2021
    Messages:
    1,961
    Thanks Received:
    452
    Location:
    Wales
    Country:
    United Kingdom
  4. Skezza

    Skezza

    Joined:
    15 Dec 2021
    Messages:
    12
    Thanks Received:
    1
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    I don't think that the allen key trick will work here because the bolt protrudes out of the side of the window rather than up and down like in those. If it did so, I'd be able to open this thing significantly easier :(
     
  5. RandomGrinch

    RandomGrinch

    Joined:
    15 Jun 2021
    Messages:
    1,961
    Thanks Received:
    452
    Location:
    Wales
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    Ahhhhh, I see :(

    My next suggestion was to try and remove the sealed unit; allowing the frame to flex with some applied force!
    However, your beading looks to be external? That may not be so simple.

    And you've definitely tried your hardest to jiggle the mechanism with the handle spindle?

    The only other (quite destructive!) suggestion I can think of, is to drill some larger holes at the bottom of the window (or from above if you can removed the sealed unit!), just past the locking mechanism.
    If they are big enough, some long nose pliers could be inserted to release the bars?
    The holes could then be covered with blind grommets.

    Sorry! :(

    ...wait around before attempting anything so destructive! I'm sure there will be some better suggestions around soon! :)
     
    Last edited: 15 Dec 2021
  6. ronniecabers

    ronniecabers

    Joined:
    14 Nov 2014
    Messages:
    989
    Thanks Received:
    196
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    Deglaze window , prise out the side that opens so it clears the frame , then wedge the stuck side over towards the side you have prised out , should pop free. Usually the gearbox is at fault and its slipped its ' serrated ' mechanism. If you wish to do awya with that ' shootbolt ' style of lock , then look at Espagnolettes , you will also need the ' keeps ' for an espagnolette lock
     
    • Like Like x 1
  7. Skezza

    Skezza

    Joined:
    15 Dec 2021
    Messages:
    12
    Thanks Received:
    1
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    On a scale of 1-10, how hard is that likely to be? I'm relatively handy but I've never done anything with windows and id be afraid of shattering them.

    I've got another photo. Is there anything in that right hole I can adjust?
     

    Attached Files:

  8. RandomGrinch

    RandomGrinch

    Joined:
    15 Jun 2021
    Messages:
    1,961
    Thanks Received:
    452
    Location:
    Wales
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    Try grabbing onto anything you can through the hole, with some needle nosed pliers or similar.... and try jiggling!
    There's no guarantee it will help, but I think the next step will have to be deglazing.
    It's usually not too difficult :confused:
     
    Last edited: 18 Dec 2021
  9. ronniecabers

    ronniecabers

    Joined:
    14 Nov 2014
    Messages:
    989
    Thanks Received:
    196
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    Unlikely that doing anything in the ' hole' will open it ..especially if the problem is what I think it is but its certainly worth a go lol. It is beaded on the outside and looks like it's security tape ( glorified double sided foam tape ), which means you'll need to wedge the glass out with a scraper and there is a real potential for it to break BUT sometimes they can come out easily as some adhesives on some tapes weren't very good! Remove the beading and give the glass a gentle lever, if it moves then the job is easier and remove the pane of glass and then continue as per my description earlier. Being a conservatory 8t might be toughened glass ( will have a mark etched in one of the corners) , now toughened will actually bend a bit, so should come off the foam tape with gentle force...use something between the pvc and the foam , ideally plastic or wooden for greater protection of the glass. ( work on bottom edge and ideally have some one stopping it from falling out on the floor!). If toughened it may bend enough to wedge the free corner out past the frame eithout deglazing it BUT it does carry the obvious risk, without being there to test movement and amount if pressure I couldn't guarantee that the unit wouldn't break. If you are in any doubt I really suggest getting a Double Glazing repair person to look at it, as then all the risk is theirs
     
    • Like Like x 1
  10. Sponsored Links
  11. Skezza

    Skezza

    Joined:
    15 Dec 2021
    Messages:
    12
    Thanks Received:
    1
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    So I had a go at the 'hole', as it were with a flathead screwdriver. After wiggling various bits, mainly in the right hand hole, various pushing and nudging, something slipped and it appears the shootbolt returned ever so slightly, which was just enough to get the window open with a bit of brute force! :D Thanks for the advice on this. I tapped both shootbolts back in with the handle of the screwdriver, so the window should be fine until I install a new lock, although without a handle I can't easily close it!! No big deal though.

    Speaking of which, the main lock mechanism doesn't appear to have survived me messing around with it

    78107e49-c0a0-4f43-bcf2-f05bcf04e680.jpg
    f0608c7b-e39c-4f25-bf50-9daf4e1d8dfb.jpg

    The right hand shootbolt before tapping.
    889470d7-6fe2-4a08-b775-25aafba30570.jpg

    I assume a super simple fix for this, can't involve just taking the shootbolts and using the the lock without the shootbolts?

    I am looking into Espagnolettes, and whatever the keeps are, and update as I progress :) Any tips on which one to buy?.. fair to say I'm a noob at this :D
     
    Last edited: 21 Dec 2021
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  12. ronniecabers

    ronniecabers

    Joined:
    14 Nov 2014
    Messages:
    989
    Thanks Received:
    196
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    Congrats, will admit I didn't think it would open it that way but good result !
    You can use the centre lock on its on, you could even use the left shootbolt too but not sure how well that centre lock will work looking at that pic.
    Espagnolettes... you will want an ' inline ' espagnolette if you existing centre lock ' gearbox ' is taking up the whole width of the rail, if it only takes one side of the rail width , then you will need an ' offset ' espagonette. Measure the length of your window sash and then deduct 100mm off it and get the closest espagnolette to that size BUT NO LONGER. You will.also need to know the backset, which is the distance from the centre of where the spindle goes through , to the front face of the rail, normally 20 , 22 or 25mm. When ordering if you get an espagnolette with ' mushroom ' cams then you can get universal ' keeps that will fit any manufacturer of espagnolette. The amount of cams is dictated by the length of espagnolette so don't worry about that bit. Nico are a fairly good make but they all are to be fair
     
    • Like Like x 1
  13. Skezza

    Skezza

    Joined:
    15 Dec 2021
    Messages:
    12
    Thanks Received:
    1
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    Thanks, I was surprised myself, I must admit :D Much preferred to a company though of course. I'll do some measuring and start weighing up my options, be a post-Christmas job. Apologies for the mess in some of my photos, I bought this house as a bit of a fixer upper.

    So I've just taken a closer look from the outside and like sherlock holmes (or more like scooby bloody do), detective Skezz has this groovy mystery solved... the centre lock is completely sheered in half. No wonder the shootbolt wasn't firing. I suspect I just finished it off with the screwdriver.

    98c1e7b1-609e-4e3a-89e6-4b7e1da17b7c.jpg

    901d7900-652e-46d9-b9fe-83b33e311d5c.jpg

    0682f0d2-df04-4b59-a9d5-902f1706be63.jpg
    It doesn't look as though the shootbolt has suffered any damage whatsoever, so I'm somewhat working out my options are :

    1. Install an Espag, I would need a kit and to install the keeps here, drill and screw in the keeps here I'm guessing?:

    9a99c478-30a3-46af-8dc1-f368a7f5ab9e.jpg

    2. Buy a new lock mech and reconnect the existing shootbolts but run the risk of this happening again.

    3. Buy a new lock mech and remove the shootbolts. I assume the only real risk here is that there's an increased chance of someone being able to enter the window, if they tried? Am I right in thinking that there's nothing else the shootbolts actually do, as such?
     
    • Like Like x 1
  14. ronniecabers

    ronniecabers

    Joined:
    14 Nov 2014
    Messages:
    989
    Thanks Received:
    196
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    You will need to remove that existing lock anyway , as thats either a pushfit shootbolt , or a screw in .. saracen made two types BUT the gearbox should be readily available if memory serves me correct
     
  15. Skezza

    Skezza

    Joined:
    15 Dec 2021
    Messages:
    12
    Thanks Received:
    1
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    Hi Ronnie, it's a push fit. Twist and push.

    I measured it, 20cm backset and 11.5m latch, so I've ordered one per those specs. I'll try it with the shootbolts installed and without. I assume the shootbolts fail due to the added mechanism friction. If I think it's too much, I'll just leave the shootbolts off :)
     
    • Like Like x 1
  16. Skezza

    Skezza

    Joined:
    15 Dec 2021
    Messages:
    12
    Thanks Received:
    1
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    So, I'm back.

    I thought I had ordered the wrong mech as I couldn't get it to line up, but I think I was just installing it wrong with the shootbolts connected. I couldn't get it to line up with the frame for the screws. I went and had another go and one of the shootbolts dropped out of the frame, so I removed the other. Mech went in fine and looks great with a new handle. To be fair, I don't think the shootbolts add a whole lot other than security and perhaps a tiny amount of draft reduction. There's a tiny gap between the seal in the left corner that's not present on the right, but I can't imagine it's that much better with the shootbolts. I could have a look I suppose. I'll measure over the next few weeks if the room remains as cold as it has been due to the window being partially open.

    However, two things I did notice:
    The shootbolts aren't set to the same length. One is slightly shorter than the other, so perhaps a bad measurement when these were installed.

    The new mech latch bolt is definitely 'interfering' a bit with the keep in the window + frame itself, which you can visibly see the window 'pull-in' flush with the frame, although the video i've taken is not brilliant. Something feels as though it's flex'ing ever so slightly. Is this normal as this is something I've noticed the same on the other frame as well and I put down to the shootbolts but I'm not so sure now. It doesn't feel hard to open and close as such, but I can imagine it increases the wear factor on the gearbox.



    Weirdly, the handle also spins 360 degrees if you keep your finger on the button which might get annoying but we'll see.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  17. RandomGrinch

    RandomGrinch

    Joined:
    15 Jun 2021
    Messages:
    1,961
    Thanks Received:
    452
    Location:
    Wales
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    Without the shootbolts, the mechanism has the opportunity to spin 360 degrees. The handles are also a universal fitting that can work left or right handed.
    Personally, I prefer to use a handle with a positive stop; something like:
    https://www.screwfix.com/p/fab-fix-rh-connoisseur-espagnolette-offset-window-handle-white/7791p

    My (almost) OCD couldn't cope with handles resting at an angle that's slightly off! :D

    Well done (y)
     
    Last edited: 31 Dec 2021
Loading...

Share This Page