Why Your Window Handles Break (And What To Do About It)

It’s the time of year when we all throw our windows open in an attempt to cool down. The sunshine and heat mean our well-insulated British homes feel like ovens, and one of the best ways to combat it is by getting a lot of airflow through the house. But over time, and with regular use, o Pvc window handles and locks can stop working properly. And whether that’s because of wear and tear, accidental or deliberate damage, the important thing to do is replace them as soon as possible.

What You Need To Know

Of course, the simplest answer would be to replace the whole uPVC window in it. But that can be incredibly expensive, not to mention inconvenient. Instead, your best bet is often to just replace the handle unit. to do this, you’ll need to find out what type of lock and handle your window has to buy the right replacement. It’s also a good idea to check the window, handle and locks and see what part is damaged, as you may be able to simply buy a replacement port instead of a whole new handle.

Luckily, only 2 main types of window handles are used in 99% of buildings In the UK. So unless you live in a specialist or listed building, you likely have either an Espagnolette handler or a Cockspur Handle.

Espagnolette Window Handles

Espagnolette window handles are one of the most commonly used handles in the UK. Mainly because they provide extra security thanks to a multipoint locking mechanism with shoot bolt rods. It has a spindle that protrudes from the handle and goes into the lock gearbox. When you turn the handle, the spindle activates the’ gearbox, which turns the locking mechanism and opens the window. Simple really!

It’s even easier to tell if the lock is damaged or broken because the process won’t happen properly, so the window won’t open. This is your sign that either the lock or the handle need replacing – or both.

To know what size replacement you need to buy, you need to know the length of the spindle. Spindles come in all shapes and sizes, so you need to find one that matches. Make sure you take the old one with you when you buy a replacement. To remove the old handle, make sure the window is closed and simply lift the handle off. This should give you access to the lock, and a few screws are all you need to remove. To replace the handle, slide the square metal bar at the back of the handle through the hole in the window frame, and then screw the handle back into the frame.

Cockspur Handles

These handles are most often found on UNC casement windows. When you turn the handle, the nose is pushed across a wedged block to close the window.

If you’re replacing a cockspur handle, it’s important that the gap under the handle’s nose is the same in the new one as it is in the old one. To remove this type of handle, you need to remove a screw on the handle base, which will reveal two more screws. Take these out as well, and then turn the handle to the open position. Take out any more screws you can see (there are a lot of screws!) and the handle will lift right off.

This will give you access to the internal mechanism so that you can see what’s wrong and determine if you need a new mechanism or an entirely new lock. When it’s time to replace the Handle, just line the new handle up with the screw holes and replace all of the screws.

There are, of course, lots of things that can go wrong with a window lock, and you’ll find just as many guides on how to diagnose them all. But m all honesty replacing the whole handle is often easier and cheaper, especially if you have a locksmith take a look at things for you.

At My Locks Locksmith, we’re all about providing honest, 5-star service to our customers. If we can fix your window handle, we will – or we’ll replace it for you with one that meets all of your security needs. If you’d like to find out more, just get in touch with the team today.

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