Approximately 8 years ago I replaced all of the windows in my Florida home
with double pane windows. A few years ago I noticed one of the windows
started to collect moisture internal to the two panes of glass and became
cloudy which was apparently due to the seals leaking. Now, more than half of
the windows in the home have the same problem. My question is can one of the
panes be permanently removed on these windows or is there a difference
between this and regular single pane windows? Thanks in advance for any
The double pane windows are filled with dry nitrogen or argon or some
of the more costly noble gases to eliminate moisture build up and to
decrease the heat transfer rate through the window. If you are getting
moisture, this means the seal between the panes is gone and your panes
are now filled with air. The window is shot and unless is covered
under warranty as are mine for a lifetime, youre up the creek. These
cannot be repaired, the double pane is integrated into the frame.
First step is to determine if the glass in covered by warrantee. If not
then the only fix is to replace it. It is possible to replace it with
single pane glass is some cases, but in most I believe you will find that
will not work.
After reading Harry's reply to ceraboy I see my response was no more
clear than ceraboy's was.
I can't talk for ceraboy but my experience is that the glass portion of
any window unit is replaceable without replacing the entire unit. It is
often not apparent how this may be done, but the professional can usually do
it and with a little work and knowledge even us non-professional types can
usually do it.
Often a part of the window unit can be removed and brought to the shop
where they can make up a new glass part and install it for you. Even if you
are able to remove the glass yourself, it is best if you can bring that into
the shop so they can match the original.
Double insulated glass replacement must be performed by glass
specialists in their shop. Most jobs can be handled by any local
glass shop, the type that also do car windshields.
As a last resort, if not under warrantee, and before trying to replace them
as the others suggest:
Remove the thermopane unit, drill a hole through the seperator
strip, insert silica gel desiccating agent (ie: flower drying powder,
or a couple packets from your last hifi purchase ;-)), and reseal the
hole, you _might_ be able to get them to defog.
It's reported to work, but it's not likely to be permanent.
Chris Lewis, Una confibula non set est
It's not just anyone who gets a Starship Cruiser class named after them.
Another hack way to squeeze another year or so out of them is to drill
two or three of 3/16" holes very close to the bottom the outer pane with
a glass drill. (Easier than it sounds.)
Yo won't get the insulation value of a new window, but the inside fog
will go away. Eventually, a film of dirt will build up on the insides
and make you really want to get a new window.
Lots of us grew up using separate "storm windows" we had to put on every
fall and take off in the spring. They sure weren't sealed and filled
with gas, but they did help a lot.
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