Replacing uPVC Window Handles and Locks
Over time and through regular use, as well as accidental and deliberate damage, uPVC window handles and locks can become impaired or succumb to wear and tear, rendering them less effective, and therefore less secure. Should you notice a problem with any of your window locks, it’s important to repair or replace them as soon as possible.
Of course, it can be tempting to simply replace the whole uPVC window unit, but that isn’t always necessary, and the cost of a simple replacement lock or handle could be all you need.
It’s important to find out just what type of lock and handle your uPVC window has, as this will determine the type of replacement you need. It’s also a good idea to make a note of which part of the window lock or handle is damaged or not working as it should, as this will determine which part is causing the need for replacement.
One of the most commonly used handles for uPVC windows is the espagnolette handle. This is a multipoint locking mechanism that provides extra security thanks to its shootbolt rods. It has a spindle that protrudes from the handle and into the lock gearbox. When the handle is turned, the spindle activates the gearbox which turns the locks in the mechanism and opens it.
Should the lock or handle be broken, this process will not happen, so either the lock or handle (or both, if necessary) will need to be replaced. Handle spindles can be of varying lengths, so measuring the length of the spindle is vital. It’s also important to measure the length of the locking mechanism to correctly identify the required length of the replacement, should it be needed. You should also make a note of the manufacturer’s name and any stamps or markings as it can help with identification and choosing a suitable replacement.
It is sometimes possible to replace the malfunctioning handle and lock with an exact match, so it’s always best to have the old one with you when looking for a replacement. Obviously, the lock and handle must be removed first, so make sure the window is closed, and the handle should just lift off. You should also be able to access the lock once the handle is removed.
To replace the handle, slide the square metal bar at the back of the handle through the hole in the window frame. Screw the handle back into the frame, replacing all screws, and, if needed, put the screw cover back on.
Should the handle not operate for any reason, or if it’s sticking, it’s a good idea to have a look and see what the problem may be and replace it where necessary. In order to remove the handle, remove the screw at the top of the handle base, revealing two more screws. These should be removed. Once this is done, put the handle into the open position and remove any other screws that are revealed. The handle should come off easily.
To replace the handle, line the new handle up with the old screw holes and screw into place. Once this is done, replace the screw cover (if necessary).
Of course, it is possible that, should you find that your window is difficult to open or close, the problem could be coming from the multipoint lock itself, whether from the gearbox or another part of the mechanism, rather than the handle, so it’s worth having a closer look. Even if this is the case, it’s possible to simply replace the lock itself, without having to replace the whole window unit.
There are a wide range of hints and tips to help you when it comes to replacing window locks and handles, and it’s often a case of simply following the instructions. However, it’s essential that, whatever type of lock and handle you’re replacing, the new lock you choose is best for your window and your requirements. The security of your property is vital, not just for your own peace of mind but also often for insurance purposes.