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My uPVC window won't open

Updated on July 23, 2013

A pvc window that won't open is something that can happen to almost any window and in most case's it is only something simple and can be fixed very easy. Below are some of the main cause's for this problem and what you can do to fix them.

Cause No. 1 Gasket is stuck to frame.

In some of the older pvc windows the rubber weather gasket which keeps the draughts out, can sometimes melt slightly and cause the sash and frame to stick together. This can happen if the window is left closed for long periods of time during hot weather.

You can fix this by using a credit card or a flat blunt knife. Just slide the knife between the frame and sash to separate the two. Do not just force the window open because this will just tear the gasket apart and you will only get draught in your window than.

Cause No. 2 Hinges

Hinges are the most common problem with windows. If you live next to a busy road and leave your window open slightly for long periods of time. You will get a build up of dust and grit on the hinges which will make it seem like your window is totally jammed. To fix this just spray some oil or grease spray onto the hinges and within a few minutes your window will be opening and closing like new.

But in some cases your hinge may be broken. If this is the case you will need a new pair of hinges fitted.

Cause No. 3 Handle spindle

This is when the spindle inside your handle is after wearing down and is not turning the lock mechanism. How to tell if this is the cause. First when you go to open your window and turn the handle but the window is still locked. But to be sure this is the reason it is better to take a handle of another window and try it on the broken window. If it turns out to be just the handle than it won't cost much for a new handle.

The only thing you have to watch out for when you are putting a new handle on is make sure that the new handle is in the same position as the one you take of. For example if the lock on the window is in the locked position than make sure the handle is also in the locked position when you put it on. Otherwise the gearing in the lock won't line up with the handle and your window still won't open.

Cause No. 4 Lock is broken.

This is the most hardest thing to get sorted. If you are after trying the handles as mentioned above and your window still won't open. Than more than likely it is the lock that is busted. Unless you know how locks are fitted to your window and how they operate you would be better of leaving this for someone who knows what they are doing to fix. The trouble with these locks is they are designed to keep people out so to minimize the damage to your window you need someone who knows what they are doing.


The methods described above are to fix a uPVC casement window with the espage locking system fitted plus a uPVC Tilt / Turn window. In most cases pvc windows will operate for years without given trouble, But when something does go wrong it should not cost a whole lot to fix it. Mainly because pvc windows are so popular now and the parts for them are readily available every where.

Info & Maintenance Tips

Most people think that when they get new pvc windows fitted that they will last a lifetime trouble free. But the fact is the only part that is guaranteed to last is the plastic and this is usually only guaranteed for about ten to fifteen years from discolouring and warping. The double glazing can be guaranteed from five to seven years from fogging up on the inside. The new glazing can have a twenty year guarantee but you should always check first. Locks - Handles - Hinges more or less anything that move's will only have a two year guarantee. Some will last for years longer depending on how much use they get. But to get the most out of your moving parts make sure you grease them once a year. This will reduce the wear and tear on them and make them last for years. Also if you live near the sea you should get a tin of the spray grease and give your hinges and lock a spray all over this will keep the salt air of the metal and stop any corrosion happening to them.

Note : If you do need to call someone to come and fix your windows it is best to get a few quote as prices will vary by big amounts. So the time it takes you to make a few phone calls can save you a good bit of money

If you have any questions or want to add some information just add them to the comments below

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Pvc window showing weather sealPvc window egress hingeespage pvc window handleespage window handlepvc window hinges
Pvc window showing weather seal
Pvc window showing weather seal
Pvc window egress hinge
Pvc window egress hinge
espage pvc window handle
espage pvc window handle
espage window handle
espage window handle
pvc window hinges
pvc window hinges

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A rated upvc window
A rated upvc window

When is your window past repairs

With some of the older pvc window it may not be worth spending money on them to get repaired. For example if your window is ten or more years old. It may work out cheaper to just buy a new windows. Mainly because once a window gets to this age the double glazing is also getting old and if you have to replace this just after spending money on new handles and hinges. than the over all price can some times work out more expensive than a new window

How do you tell if your window is worth repairing. First before you spend money on hinges and handles check your double glazing and see is there any sign of dampness or any type of water on the inside of the double glazing. If there is than this means your double glazing seal is gone and this can not be fixed. Than over the next few months you will notice this dampness will get worst and in the end you won't be able to see out your window. So if this is the case you would be better of to get a new window rather than spend money on something this old. Also before you spend money on repairing your windows have a look at the security of your windows as some of the older windows are not to good at keeping people out. So it may be time to look at getting some good advise from some one who know what they are talking about.

If you are still not sure if you should buy a new window or repair the old one just think of what you will get with your new window. Better insulating - Better security - Better energy efficient

But at the end of the day only you can tell if you need a new window or get the old one repaired. You also have to remember that some of the first pvc windows went in about forty years ago and they are still working perfect today. So before you do make up your mind try to get quotes and advise from at least two different company's because price can vary by great deals in the window trade.

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    • Martin-ddp profile image

      Martin 3 years ago from Ireland

      -To above Read the hub - Only replace windows IF your old pvc window is working out more expensive to upgrade. As some people upgrade there double glazing and repair some hinges. BUT sometimes the cost of new glazing & hinges and paying someone to do this work can work out more expensive than a new window. Plus new windows now come with an energy rating the same as fridges. So a new window will more than likely be an A rated window. BUT if you upgrade your old window you still CAN NOT get an energy rating on it. AND if you could the highest it more than likely would be is a D or C rated window because the old pvc frames have steel reinforcement which draws in Cold. So if you are thinking of upgrading glass or getting repairs done. It might be worth your while to get a price on a new window.

    • profile image

      What... 3 years ago

      What??? after 10 0r more years you are advising to "replace old uPVC windows" ??? why!!

      that windows should least min 20-30 years when are well maintained.

      Most of the UK uPVC windows aren't intalled correctly and that is huge Issues.

      huge holes between wall and window frame, wthout expanding foam.

    • profile image

      Linda 4 years ago

      Great info about fixing windows