We bought a vacation rental in 2006. It was lakeside, with views of the lake through an almost wall to wall set of windows and doors in the main living area. I bought custom vertical blinds to cover that window and installed them so that they could be opened to completely showcase the huge view.
Vertical blinds are (as I now know) prone to mechanical failure. We have been having problems with ours for several years, but hope to keep this set at least a few more months.
In searching for help in fixing vertical blinds, most sites were less than helpful for someone like me. After hiring someone to fix the blinds several times, I finally took the time to deconstruct them, understand how they work and figure out what the fixes for our current problems were.
This post addresses the following problems:
Problem 1: The cord will not pull the slats closed
Problem 2: The first and second slat pull together instead of the first slat mechanism pulling the second one.
Problem 3: The chain is hard to pull and won't pull in both directions to open and close the slats
Here are the steps I used to fix these problems.
1. Remove valence
The L shaped valence piece just slides into 2 or 3 plastic holders clipped to the head rail. To remove, just slide the valence out of the L shaped piece.
2. Remove the slats.
The Bali support site shows how to remove the slats and the headrail.
3. Take head rail down.
The above link describes how to remove the head rail, it just rotates out of the holders attached to the wall, but parts of the head rail are hard to rotate.
4. Look at how the end caps are attached and observe the way the cord is positioned so you can put it back the same way.
5. Remove end caps from both ends using a Phillips head screwdriver
When the end cap by the cord and chain comes off, the chain will stay with the end cap and the cord with the rail.
6. Slide the working mechanism out of the head rail bars.
7. Turn the mechanism so that the slat holders are turned down so you can see the bottom
8. There are plastic spacers about 2 inches long which hook into each other. They slide into a u shaped plastic holder piece on the individual slat mechanism. The reason the slats won't pull closed is probably because one or more of the spacers has worked its way out of the u shaped holder like this:
9. Insert the loose spacer back into place. It should look like this when done:
Inspect all of the spacers to make sure they are all inserted properly.
10. If the two end slats pull together instead of the first one pulling the second - You can either leave them that way unless they make it hard to pull or you can adjust them. One reason I found that causes the second to pull with the first is that the cords are tied through a hole in the second slat mechanism instead of through the first slat mechanism.
10 a. On the end of the rail away from the cord you should see that there are two knots in the cord
10b. Untie the knot on the string that pulls the blinds closed and pull it through the first mechanism and retie it.
10c. Test it by pulling the cords to see if the first slat mechanism pulls the second one or if they pull together.
If working properly, it is time to put the head rail back together.
11. Carefully pull the cord so that the slat mechanisms are next to each other (this makes it easier to get them back into the head rail holder.
12. Lay the other end of the rail inside the head rail holder, keeping the cord positioned so it is not crossed or tangled.
Also make sure the semi transparent plastic piece is positioned correctly. It goes under the rails with the holes closets to the unopen end of the head rail holder.
12. Slide the remaining slat mechanism pieces into the head rail holder, being careful to position each one so that the piece looks like this (partially sitting on top of the rail:
As you slide these in, sometimes the plastic spacers hang up on the outside of the head rail holder and prevent you from sliding more of the mechanisms in.
13. Before continuing, you might want lubricate the head rail pole with heavy duty silicone lubricant.
14. Make sure the rod is in the hole at the end of the head rail holder and re-attach the rail to the holder at the end away from the cord and chain.
NOW try it again to make sure that the cord pulls the mechanisms across the head rail properly.
15. Insert the end piece with the chain on the other end making sure that the cords are positioned properly.
Things to check as you put the head rail back together.
1. The pole has a tendency to come out of the hole at the other end of the one you are working on. If you can't get the end cap on, check to make sure the pole is in the hole ok.
2. Make sure the cord is untangled and not crossed.
3. The pole needs to align with the ridges in the hole so that it can turn the individual slats.
4. The chain tangles every time you touch it - think about wrapping the end around something while you are working with it.
5. The white caps on the ends of the pole need to be there. If you removed them for some reason (by pulling them off), make sure they are back in position.
The semi transparent piece needs to be positioned inside the holder as described previously.
16. Once everything is back in the head rail holder ok, it is time to put it back on the wall and reattach the slats and valence. Just reverse the process you used to remove them.
17. Using the chain open and close the slats several times. If they are not aligned properly they won't rotate easily. They should rotate either way you pull the chain. If there are issues, check out this link to see how to fix them.
Have fun doing it yourself!
Not only will you save money, but you will gain a wonderful sense of achievement too!