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Shutter Tension Screw Adjustment

Posted by Shutter Medic on 2/20/2014

There is nothing more aggravating when the louvers in your shutter panel do not maintain the position you leave them in.

 Upon closer examination or your shutter panel, you will notice a stick that runs down the center of the panel that is attached to all the louvers. This stick is called a tilt rod. All things being equal, the weight of this tilt rod and the force of gravity have a tendency to drag the louvers down in a closed position.

 To counteract this tendency, manufacturers will design some means of increasing the tension within the panel. The two most common ways of doing this is by a tension screw assembly or a tension spring assembly.

 If your panel has tension screws, they will be recessed into the shutter stile on the same edge that the hinges are attached to. The tension screw is used instead of a shutter pin to support the louver within the panel. When this screw is tightened, it draws the louver into the stile resulting in increased tension. Since every louver is attached to the tilt rod, tension is transferred to all the louvers. Over time, this tension screw has a tendency to back off requiring periodic re-tightening of the screw. If you find that the screw just turns and never tightens, it is likely that it has been over-tightened at some point, and is now stripped. Removing the screw and installing a longer screw should remedy this situation. By using a longer tension screw, you are working with new wood in the louver and giving the screw something to bite into. You will notice that these tension screws are simply regular drywall screws found at most general hardware stores.

If your panel does not have tension screws, it likely contains tension springs. These springs are not visible because they are located behind one or more louver pins in either the left or right stile, never both.  The tension spring pushes the louver towards the opposite stile creating tension.  Although not a steadfast rule, these springs are often times located on the second louver from both the top and bottom rails.

If your wood shutter panel does not have tension screws, and the louvers will not stay in the position you desire, we do provide a shutter tension kit.  We suggest that you watch the video on the order page for this kit prior to ordering.  Please note that this kit will not work on vinyl shutters that have either hollow parts.


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