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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    8

    Default condensation ring on window

    I have a new house with all Pella windows including (2) 6x6 picture windows. On only one of these windows I get a circle of condensation in the middle of the window about 18 in diameter every day. It is on the inside and not between the panes . It is very strange because it comes in the exact middle of the window and is a circle or sometimes an oval. It does not matter if the shade is left down or up and it occurs independent of the heat being on or off. Any ideas on what may because this? I understand condensation and what causes it but the fact that is a circle in the middle of the window has me stumped. is it possible the window is defective in some way? see attached pic
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
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    1

    Default Re: condensation ring on window

    On January 13th, we had a new picture window installed in our home. It is made by Arcor and the center pane is approximately 6x6. We have the exact same issue (identical as yours with a very distinct round circle condensing on the inside, not in between the panes). We live in Canada and it is cold now but we monitor our humidty and it sits around 41% which should not leave any significant condensation on the windows. None of our other windows in the home have any condensation issues at all nor did the window we had replaced with this new one. We are waiting to hear from Arcor's service department.

    I am very interested to hear how you resolved it. Please see the picture below.

    Thanks
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Pacific Northwet
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    1,886

    Default Re: condensation ring on window

    I've seen similar patterns where the installer has used their suction cup "handles" to hold onto the window while installing it. It leaves behind oils from the rubber. Also, as a previous poster mentioned, there can still be adhesive residue left behind from the manufacturer's sticker, even though it's not obvious and you've cleaned the glass.

    First, try to find a product called De-Solv-It. It's the best citrus solvent I've found, and it does an excellent job of removing oils and adhesives where other products fail. It will leave it's own oily film behind, but you can easily clean that off with some other cleaning product. It's kind of expensive and hard to find: around $8 for a 12 oz. bottle. WalMart used to carry it, but the last place I found it was the local Ace Hardware store.

    Try some vinegar. Sometimes a little bit of acid helps to break down stubborn residues, especially if it's minerals bonded to the glass.

    If that doesn't work, try a mild abrasive designed for removing water spots off of glass. You can usually find this at auto parts stores.
    The "Senior Member" designation under my name doesn't mean I know a lot, it just means I talk a lot.I've been a DIYer since I was 12 (thanks, Dad!). I have read several books on various home improvement topics. I do not have any current code books I can refer to. I was an apprentice plumber for two years.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Eden, NC
    Posts
    285

    Wink Re: condensation ring on window

    Captjackny, The problem, more than likely, is that the glass inside is touching the outside piece, that is why you are getting the circle of condensation. The transference of cold is causing the moisture. This is not uncommon in a large piece of glass like the one you have. You need to call the warranty people from Pella and tell them you have a glass failure. They will either "pump up" the piece of glass you have, to get the two pieces away from each other or replace the glass completely. If you bought the windows with gas in them make sure they pump it up with gas or demand a replacement. I spent 37 years in the window industry and this is usually the cause in this situation. If it were moisture from the house you would have condensation all over the window.

    Calcats

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Pacific Northwet
    Posts
    1,886

    Default Re: condensation ring on window

    calcats' assessment makes some sense. You should be able to check this yourself: put a piece of masking tape on the outside, then go inside and see how far it is between the inner and outer surfaces.

    When the weather warms up, the gas will expand and the gap will widen, so you'll want to check it out on a cold day.

    Besides, on second look, the pattern is too large for my suction cup theory. Phooey.
    The "Senior Member" designation under my name doesn't mean I know a lot, it just means I talk a lot.I've been a DIYer since I was 12 (thanks, Dad!). I have read several books on various home improvement topics. I do not have any current code books I can refer to. I was an apprentice plumber for two years.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    731

    Default Re: condensation ring on window

    Normally the warmest part of a window unit in mid temperature ranges is the center point of the glass. I expect you are experiencing some temperature and humidity extremes.

    A picture unit flanked by operable units you describe a large single area of glazing.

    This article might help some in understanding the energy efficiency of windows.
    You might also want to download the attached and blow it up so you can read it - a chart showing relative humidity indoors temperature outdoors on the various types of window construction/glazing layers.

    Article: http://www.swissshade.com/energy_crisis.htm
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  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    8

    Default Re: condensation ring on window

    Thanks for the advice. there is nothing on the window as I have cleaned and sc****d them. today with outside temp at 5 deg, the condensation ring actually turned to ice.

    I am going to file a warranty claim with Pella and see if they will fix this. the window is really not very usable as this ring sticks around most of the day and also drips tons of water on the sill and often I get a 1/8 " puddle there.

    I have 2 of these windows in the house and I get the same thing on the 2nd window although not as often and not as large. the 2nd window is under a covered porch and does'nt get exposed as much as the first.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    1

    Default Re: condensation ring on window

    Thought I'd throw my $.02 in, as I just had an Andersen rep at my home to assess the same problem.

    I've had the same oval condensation problems on Andersen windows in my primary and vacation homes. The windows in both homes were installed in the early 1990's. I finally decided to call Andersen after I saw they warranty glass for 20 years, sure enough they sent out an Andersen authorized service person to check the problem.

    The problem occurs when some of the argon gas that was between the panes of glass leaked out, causing a slight vacuum. The resulting "negative pressure" causes the two panes of glass to touch, which means the insulating properties of the window are compromised. Even though I only saw condensation on three or four windows, the rep said that Andersen wanted him to check ALL the windows in our house. He actually found a total of 13 windows that are defective.

    Andersen offered two possibilities: repair of the problem, or replacement of the defective sashes. BTW, I have both casements and double hungs, and the problem is in both types of windows.

    The repair consists of the tech taking off the closing hardware, and drilling a small hole in the frame of the window to let the pressures equalize. Then they seal the hold with silicone caulk and put the hardware back on.

    The second alternative is to replace the entire sash; Andersen supplies the sash at no charge, but labor to install is not covered. In my area, the service company charges $35 per casement sash and $40 per double hung sash.

    If you have the repair done, the warranty is still in effect and if the repair fails, you can still opt to have the sash replaced.

    The tech told me that Andersen had been routinely replacing the sashes when the problems started (parts and labor covered), but now they offer the free repair and parts only for replacement. Apparently they were getting killed with the costs.

    I'm still researching what the result will be if the repair is done. Will I still have an energy efficient window? There was some info on GardenWeb under "negative pressure window" that seems to indicate the repair is OK.

    Hope this helps you in getting your issue taken care of. Good luck!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    The Great White North
    Posts
    4,045

    Default Re: condensation ring on window

    I don't think if there were a seal failure allowing the Argon to leak would cause a " negative pressure" and allowing the glass to touch.
    Since a gas used like Argon is more dense than air you would thing any breach in the seal that would allow that dense gas to escape would certainly allow less dense air to enter.
    Also spacing between panes with gas filled windows can be between 5/8 to 3/4 inch it would be obvious if the 2 panes of glass were touching.

    It could be an issue of some gas has escaped and there is moving currents within the gas space .... which reduces the insulating performance .... depending on the distance of the gap spacing between panes may be more affected toward the center.
    "" an ounce of perception -- a pound of obscure "
    - Rush

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Posts
    1

    Default Re: condensation ring on window

    I have the same issue on two separate windows on a bank of 12 windows. I don't know where to look on the windows to find the manufacturer. There are some codes but no names.

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