Help me keep the sun out!
June 19, 2013 9:21 AM   Subscribe

My living room window 1" horizontal blinds have suddenly stopped closing fully when rotated upwards. The movement of the rod that rotates them seems to have become stiffer, with some "humps" that were not there before. Is there anything I can do to restore them to their previous non-problematic functionality?

I can close them fully in the downward position, but I really would like to be able to close them fully in the upward position, as I get morning sun that I need to keep out. The blinds are closing less than 2/3 of the way in the upward position. I am reluctant to try forcing them to close further in case this might break the mechanism. (The blinds are about twenty years old; have they simply reached the end of their life cycle?)
posted by tenderly to Home & Garden (4 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
You may have accidentally double twisted them. Try forcing them (a bit, not too much, you definitely don't want to break the little twisty mechanism) to turn too much in the "rotated down" position, and then go back and try again.
posted by phunniemee at 9:22 AM on June 19, 2013

Are these custom made blinds? If not then just go buy a replacement.

Seriously, it's not worth it. I spent months "suffering" the same torture as you, then on a whim when I was in Home Depot I bought a replacement. A cheap one can cost all of $3.
posted by eatcake at 10:11 AM on June 19, 2013

All of the mechanism is inside the 1"x1" bar at the top; take a look and see if you can tell what the problem is. In most cases, there are brackets at the side of the window that hold it up, so just use the draw-cord to raise all the slats into a bundle, and take the whole thing down. In most cases, that bar will be open at the top, and you can see in.

Twist the slat-turner rod and watch the way the strings pull. Are there any knots or snarls that are in the way? Look at the range of motion; when the mechanism is in the center of its range, where are the slats? Can you adjust the way the strings/axles/gears sit, to change that range of motion?
posted by aimedwander at 10:21 AM on June 19, 2013

Response by poster: Thought I'd post a follow-up for those with a similar problem looking here for possible solutions in the future.

First, I went to Home Depot, and found that a replacement would cost at least $75, perhaps more. Motivated even further by that to find a way to fix them, I then found a video on youtube that showed how to repair the tilting functionality just using some string. I took down the blinds and found that mine looked rather different "inside" (at the top) than what I'd seen in the video, and I didn't see how I could easily apply the string method of repair to them.

Having taken them down, I didn't feel like putting them back up without trying something, so I brought out the 3-in-1 oil and applied a few drops to the mechanism inside. After putting them back up, I tried tilting them up, and without much effort was able to get them into a closed position (not as solidly closed as they may have been before, but I don't want to force them too far beyond what feels like their safe limit). If I want fully closed blinds at times other than midday when the sun streams in, I can tilt them down all the way, but I think their restored ability to close with an upward tilt should be sufficient to keep the sun out.
posted by tenderly at 8:45 PM on June 25, 2013

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