Repairing Roller Shades
Although roller shades are inexpensive, if the shade itself is in good condition but you find the tension spring part not operating correctly, you can fix it. Unfortunately, many people believe the entire shade has to be thrown out and a new one purchased. However, if you have a little bit of time and can handle a few common household tools, you do not have to spend any additional money.
Roller shades operate on a spring that uses a special hollow tube along with a coiled spring located on the inside. Of course, depending on the exact shade you have, the material of this tube, as well as size will vary. The way this type of shade works is that once you stop pulling on it, a ratchet and pin are designed to keep tension on the spring, which is on one of the shade's ends. Then on the other side of the tube, you would find a free-turning pin, which mounts into the shade's bracket.
One of the more common problems experienced with a roller shade is that the spring loosens, becoming uncoiled. This could occur from use, age, defect, or during shipping. In any case, the roller shade will not operate, as it should if the spring is not working. Therefore, by making small adjustments with the spring or even replacing the spring usually takes care of the problem.
If you find that the spring tension needs to be tightened, this can be done as well. Simply pull the shade to the halfway point, removing it from the brackets. Then, roll the shade up by hand, making sure it ends up even on the rolled tube. The roller would be replaced in the brackets. The result should be a tighter spring. While this usually works exceptionally well, you may need to repeat the process two or three times to get it perfect.
If you have the opposite problem where the spring needs to be loosened, you would roll the shade up and remove it from the brackets. Then, unroll the shade, only about halfway. Place it back into the brackets. Typically, the spring's tension will loosen but again, you may need to repeat this process a couple of times to get it right. For a fully uncoiled spring, the roller would be taken off the brackets and unrolled halfway. Then with standard pliers, turn the pin on the spring side of the shade but just enough so you feel a little tension. At this point, you want to back off the latch, which is what permits just one-way movement, hooking onto the ratchet. The spring's tension would then be loosened or tightened, depending on what you need.
Finally, if the spring in the coil needs to be released, the shade should be removed from the brackets and pliers used to grab hold of the pin. With this, the pin would be twisted so the latch or pawl is freed. Just make sure you release it quickly, which helps to unwind the coil. Again, you would loosen or tighten the spring's tension depending on what you need.