[b]Are there any well-known problems with cordless curtain tracks?[/b]
I am trying to put up a cordless track in a bay window. I bought the track from B&Q. It is heavyweight plastic, 4 metres long (though I trimmed about 18" off). The packaging says it's suitable for bay windows and all weights of curtain.
It looks ok when up, and it works if no curtains are hung. But when I hang the curtains, pulling the cord is hard work and only moves them part of the way, then they jam.
The curtains are quite heavy but not exceptionally so. I am wondering whether the problem is that I did not put brackets up at the recommended 33cm interval. This was because I couldn't fix the brackets directly to the plaster. Instead I used some wooden blocks already fixed to the plaster for the curtain rail that was previously there but they were more than 33 cm apart.
Before I try and put up more blocks for more brackets I thought I'd ask if there are any well known problems with corded tracks. Thanks.
The most common problem with corded tracks usually occurs as a result of shortening it. When the end pulley is fitted back onto the rail after shortening, many people are unaware that they may have twisted the cord so instead of a complete loop going from end to end, they have created a figure of eight, or, even a tangled effect with the cord inside the rail.
This is bound to reduce the efficiency of the track and make the pulley difficult to pull. When the weight of the curtains is added it exagerates the problem and, depending where the crossover of the cord lies, the curtains may stagger, or maybe not travel very far.
Another problem affecting the performance of the track is the position of the brackets. A bracket should be located near the end of the rail (depending on manufacturers instructions for individual products) to support it where the cord is being pulled from and were the most pressure is being applied.
Brackets should also be fitted near corners to support the bends (but not so close that the curtain rail will not bend enough to meet it!)
To fit brackets located as indicated will reduce/eliminate the rail wobbling at the corners and the ends. Movement in the rail makes it inefficient, and puts stress on components which should not be there. It will inevitably make the rail more difficult to operate and could lead to component failure. Therefore the space between brackets should be fairly evenly distributed. The flimsier or more pliable a rail is, the more important this becomes.
This is especially so when a rail is fitted into a bay where some rails perform less efficiently than when straight. This is due to the cord becoming tight on the bends inside the rail and makes the cord stiffer to pull with the weight of the curtains on board.
Cheaper products may also suffer from component failure e.g. the pulley housing at each end of the rail where the cord drops down to pull the curtains, might be weak and break down early in the life of the rail.
Another component failure on cheaper products is the master carrier and overlap arms (the part that the leading edge of the curtainhooks into and pulls the curtain).
The way the curtains are fitted also affect the efficiency of the rail.
The amount of hooks/gliders used can also cause problems. I recommend no more than 4 x hooks/gliders per foot. Too many just clog up the rail and it functions less efficiently. It also means that you will get better folds on the curtains and that the bunching will be less.
DIY how to tutorial projects and guides - Did you know we have a DIY Projects section? Well, if no, then we certainly do! Within this area of our site have literally hundreds of how-to guides and tutorials that cover a huge range of home improvement tasks. Each page also comes with pictures and a video to make completing those jobs even easier!