Internal Tilt Latch
Windows and sliding doors are an important part of a building, providing natural light and ventilation. The interior of a window or sliding door has several components that work together to create a functional product. One of the essential parts is the internal tilt latch, which is responsible for keeping the window or door locked and secured.
In this article, we will take an in-depth look at the internal tilt latch and its role in windows and sliding doors. We will also discuss its various types, how it works, and how it is installed. Moreover, we will also provide you with helpful tips on how to maintain your internal tilt latch to ensure longevity. Lastly, we’ll answer some commonly asked questions about this component.
What is an Internal Tilt Latch?
An internal tilt latch is an essential component of a window or sliding door’s interior. It is a small, movable part that is usually made of plastic or metal. It is attached to the sash, which is the frame holding the window or door panel, and it is responsible for locking the window or door.
Most tilt latches work using an interlocking mechanism that allows you to lock and unlock the window or door. The lock is engaged when you move the latch up, and it is unlocked by moving the latch down.
Types of Internal Tilt Latches
There are several different types of internal tilt latches available, each designed to work with a specific type of window or sliding door. Some of the most common types include:
1. Spring Loaded Internal Tilt Latches
Spring loaded internal tilt latches are the most popular type of latch for vinyl and aluminum windows. These latches are designed to click into place when you close the window or door, keeping it securely locked.
2. Cam-Action Internal Tilt Latches
Cam-action latches are commonly used in wood windows and work by turning a handle or knob to engage the locking mechanism. Compared to spring-loaded latches, cam-action latches provide a more secure lock, but they are also more expensive.
3. Plunger-Action Internal Tilt Latches
Plunger-action latches are similar to cam-action latches, but they use a spring-loaded plunger instead of a handle to engage the locking mechanism. These latches are common in wood windows and offer a secure lock at a lower price than cam-action latches.
How Does an Internal Tilt Latch Work?
Internal tilt latches work by engaging a locking mechanism in the window or door frame, keeping the window or door panel securely in place. Tilt latches are typically located on the top or bottom rail of the window sash or on the stile of a sliding door panel.
When the window or door panel is closed, the tilt latch clicks into place, engaging the locking mechanism. The latch will remain locked until you unlock it by moving the latch down.
How to Install an Internal Tilt Latch
Installing an internal tilt latch can be a bit tricky, but it’s a task that most homeowners can handle. Before you start, you’ll need to make sure you have the right tools for the job, including a screwdriver and a drill.
To install an internal tilt latch, follow these steps:
1. Remove the old tilt latch from the window sash or sliding door panel by unscrewing it from the frame.
2. Measure the dimensions of the tilt latch and compare them with the replacement tilt latch to ensure they are the same size.
3. Align the new tilt latch with the screw holes in the sash or panel.
4. Screw the new tilt latch into place using a screwdriver or drill.
5. Test the latch to ensure it’s properly installed and functioning.
Maintaining Your Internal Tilt Latch
Maintaining your internal tilt latch is essential to ensure it remains functional and secure. Over time, the latch may become dirty or worn, leading to problems with locking and unlocking the window or door.
To maintain your internal tilt latch, follow these tips:
1. Clean your internal tilt latch regularly with a soft, dry cloth to remove any dirt or debris that may have accumulated.
2. Apply a small amount of silicone lubricant to the internal tilt latch to keep it moving smoothly.
3. Inspect your internal tilt latch periodically for signs of wear or damage. If you notice any problems, replace the tilt latch as soon as possible.
1. Do all windows and sliding doors require internal tilt latches?
Not all windows and sliding doors require internal tilt latches, but they are an essential component for most modern windows and doors.
2. Can I replace an internal tilt latch myself?
Yes, you can replace an internal tilt latch yourself if you have some basic DIY skills and the right tools.
3. How do I know which type of internal tilt latch to use with my window or sliding door?
The type of internal tilt latch you need will depend on the type of window or sliding door you have. Consult your window or door manufacturer or a knowledgeable sales representative for advice on the right type of latch for your needs.
4. Can I use any kind of lubricant on my internal tilt latch?
No, you should only use a silicone lubricant on your internal tilt latch. Avoid using oil-based lubricants or grease, as they can attract dirt and grime.
5. How often should I clean my internal tilt latch?
You should clean your internal tilt latch at least once per year or more frequently if you notice any dirt or buildup on the latch.
6. Can I repair a broken internal tilt latch?
In most cases, a broken internal tilt latch will need to be replaced. Some latches may be repairable, but it depends on the type and extent of the damage.
7. What if I can’t find a replacement internal tilt latch that fits my window or sliding door?
If you can’t find a replacement internal tilt latch that fits your window or sliding door, you may need to contact a professional window or door repair specialist for assistance.
8. How long should an internal tilt latch last?
An internal tilt latch can last for several years or even decades with proper maintenance and care.
9. Can I use a different type of internal tilt latch than the original one?
It’s recommended that you use the same type of internal tilt latch as the original one, or you can consult a professional for the best replacement option.
10. How do I know if my internal tilt latch needs to be replaced?
If your internal tilt latch is not functioning properly, is visibly damaged or worn, or has become difficult to operate, it may need to be replaced.
An internal tilt latch is a small, but important component of modern windows and sliding doors. It provides a secure lock and helps ensure the window or door remains firmly in place. Understanding the different types of internal tilt latches, how they work and how to install and maintain them is important for homeowners and professionals alike. With proper maintenance and care, your internal tilt latch can provide you with years of reliable service.