Roller Shades Won't Stay Down


We ordered some roller shades for the inlaws, and finally got around to installing them this weekend. The installation seems simple enough, I held up the blind to find out where the brackets should be mounted on each side, screwed them to the wall, and slipped the shades in place. We installed four other blinds the same way and they work great. Unfortunately, these three blinds won't stay down.
I've tried tightening and loosening the spring tension by rolling or unrolling the shade by hand, but it doesn't seem to have any effect on whether the shade "catches" when we pull it down. It rolls up and down fine (other than occasionally winding crooked), it just won't stay where we want it.
I personally hate roller shades, I had nothing but problems with them growing up, but they're what my in-laws wanted. Unfortunately, we ordered them months ago but weren't able to install them till now. I've contacted the company about exchanging them, but it's probably unlikely after so much time has passed.
So, are these shades defective, or am I just missing something really simple?
Stumped by the simplest of things... :)
Anthony
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HerHusband wrote:

Tied reversing the roll on the roller?
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You cn look at the locking mechanism if you take them down, the mechanism is at one end or the other.
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The little gear that controls the locking is located on the end of the shade that has the rectangle pin. There are several things to look at: Are the brackets a little tight on this blind preventing the gear from working? Sticky part? Add a little silicone to free the movement. The height of the window is such that you are trying to stop at a point where the gear can not engage. Excess tension will sometimes cause this problem. Why I still don't know.
Winding crooked usually says that the a) shade is not level, adjust one of your brackets; b) the shade is not attached properly to the roller, defective, return to vendor. Most of the better made ones have a defects policy. Wal-Mart shade throw it away and buy a new one.
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Colbyt
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Hi Colby,

Yes, I have examined the locking end and can't see anything wrong. I may take some lubricant the next time we visit the in-laws and try spraying a little in the end.

I don't think so. I changed the spacing of the brackets and it didn't make any difference.

It's the same five foot height the other windows in the house are. The other blinds are narrower or wider and seem to work fine. But for some reason all three of the blinds that are this middle width (about 36" wide) won't lock in place.

I tried increasing and decreasing the tension (to the point that it wouldn't wind back up all the way), but it still wouldn't stay where we stopped it.

I'm fairly sure the shade is level, as it's mounted equal distance from the top trim on each side. Of course, there's a chance the window itself is not level, but I didn't have a level with me last week to verify. I will check it next time we visit.
I tried the "tape shim" suggested in the instructions, but it didn't seem to help.
Worse yet, it seems to wind differently depending on where you hold it. Grab the lift bar on the left and it winds OK, grab it on the right and it veers to the left.

I bought these shades online from JC Penney. Unfortunately, my in-laws are more concerned with "pretty" and "cheap" than they are with quality. :) So with those limits, I had to buy the lowest end shades available.
I have contacted JC Penney about it, but considering we bought the blinds 6 months ago, I'm not expecting they'll do much about it.
They are both in poor health, and I honestly think they're going to have a hard time fighting with these spring loaded shades. I'm thinking of switching to roller shades that have the adjuster chain instead. I've never used these before, but I would think it would be easier to sit in their chair and slowly raise or lower the shade as needed. Do you know how this type of lift mechanism compares with the spring loaded type as far as ease of use and longevity are concerned?
Thanks,
Anthony
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There are a couple of different mechanisms out there for roll up shades. I doubt you will find any in the bargain brands but I will tell you about them anyway.
The clutch wind with a control chain is a very nice one and the other newer one is a no chain type of clutch system with all the mechanics built into the headrail. The chain is a continuous loop with stops that are added during install to control the maximum up and down. The no chain model you simply pull down or gently raise with you hand. Older folks with arthritis in the hands may find the no chain one easier to use.
You can stop either of these at any point in the travel so shade can be adjusted exactly the way you want.
Pennys may sell one or both in their custom department. I also suspect they can be purchased at HD or Lowes.
At the high end of the scale there are remote controlled battery operated motors to raise and lower shades/blinds.
The chain models are quite durable. They are used in TGI Fridays, Starbucks and some of the other chains. Those commercial installs are using the heavy duty version which looks a little "commercial". The only callback I ever had was due to the stop button coming off the chain. I suspect that was installer error. The other is too new for me to have an opinion about as I have not installed that many of them.
At one time Pennys had a decent quality ready-made pleated shade; maybe they still do. It was a good value for the money. Those raise and lower like a metal blind using a cord and can stop at any point in the travel. Lightweight some even old folks could handle a 36" wide one with no problems.
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Colbyt
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Colby,

Thanks for the info, I appreciate it!
If Penny's will take the shades back after all this time, I will probably go with the clutch type with the chain. It's what I wanted to go with from the beginning, but my wife and inlaws pushed the spring loaded type. Now we're having the exact problems I expected to have... :)
Anthony
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