AKA: My introduction to Window blind repair
It started with our exchange students not understanding the complexities of working a US generic window blind. I will admit to a part of this being conjecture, but here is how it goes…. For some reason, the blind would not go level for them. They may or may not have known how to operate the blind and how to “unlock” the blind so it could be lowered. Whatever did occur on our blinds (they are wood blinds, so “generic” is probably not a completely accurate description), three plastic clip on the bottom of the blinds has been removed. Underneath the clip, was a knot that ran the whole length of the blind–it allowed the blind to move up and down the window. It is our guess the locking function (the hand motion where you take the height adjustment string to the left or right at a high angle and lock the blind height in place) was not working to their expectations. They were trying to solve the problem without getting us involved. (All of this information was news to me UNTIL I started trying to fix the blind today. Prior to me really looking at the blind, I thought the blind “chose” to take some time off RATHER than being giving an unexpected vacation due to receiving some inappropriate therapy.)
As I went into the room today to begin my task, I grabbed a very similar blind from the other room. Although the strings were not in the identical position, I felt its presence would give me a visual aid if I ever got stumped. As I followed the strings and tried to figure out where they were and where they needed to be, I started to see I was not dealing with an accident. When the window blinds first received their “therapy”, I am sure the goal was just to make the blind function better. As I saw parts removed and knots undone, it began to look more like sabotage than saving. (If I would have been entrusting my life to this window blind just after the knots were removed, I would not be writing this now.) Their therapeutic adjustment may only have been minor ones, but they did eventually go very bad.
And, after over 2 hours, help from my spouse (some parts are hard to do by yourself while balancing) and a couple redos because I did not realize how the “locking” mechanism for the blinds worked, I had blinds that functioned again. (Note the “cheat” they implemented to keep the blinds from dragging on the window seal. It didn’t work perfectly, but it did keep me from having to drop everything and try and figure the problem out.)
Fixing the blind was easy when compared to what we tried to do so we don’t have to do this repair again. (I am glad I am a self proclaimed window blind repairman. I am very content to NEVER use my skills again.) Before our exchange students went up to their room after school, we asked them to not try to fix their blinds by themselves again. (We got push back–“I do not think we broke them.” [please see above]) After they had a little time to settle in their rooms, my wife went up to their rooms and asked them to show her they knew how to operate the blinds. (It took a few tries, but they did.) Now, it is our hope our window blinds will work just as well as they did after we moved in.
If you don’t know how to use something, trying to fix it yourself might be just fine. But, when knots are untied and parts are removed, you have probably moved into an area where you are at risk of breaking something. Regardless of age or perceived smarts or urgency, it is probably better to ask “how does it work?” than “can you please fix it?”.