Ok what do you get when you put a master gear turned by a wand onto a shaft gear touching straight gears connected to round gears with clips attached to the bottom? Well if you slip long thin sheets of plastic in the clips you’ve got yourself some vertical blinds.
Some types of vertical blinds are easy to repair and some are not. I prefer the kind with parts that snap in and out of place with general pressure, having end caps attached with philips screws and the shaft gear set directly in the center of the end caps and head rail.
Other kinds have metal locking tabs on the end that can be quite tricky to take off and reset for repairs. Whole blind sets are not too expensive to replace if need be but there are some general repairs you can make to save time and money.
Vertical blinds should always open so that the blinds stack up on the stationary portion of any sliding doors or windows. The curved end of the blinds should always be to the back. The wand should always be on the side of the window or slider that opens for ease of use. If corded the cords and chains should be short enough that children and pets can't reach them and the cord should be on the stationary portion of the slider or windows.
Blinds having cords are rapidly being replaced with blinds with wands due to the choking hazards. Some corded blinds can be converted. If the shaft gear is in the center of the end clips and head rail then the blinds can be converted.
To convert blinds loosen the screws that hold the end caps on and slip them off. Next pull the center gear shaft and end gear box out of the head rail a bit on the side of the window or slider that opens. Next take your new master gear box it will have a piece of a gear box minus the gears screwed to it with two philips screws unscrew these screws and remove the piece of gear box. Slip the master gear over the center shaft then screw the existing end gear into your new master head gearbox. On the other end cut the cord and remove all cord remnants. Then take the gears out of the chain gear box so they won’t stop your new gear box from turning the blinds and remove the chain. Next slide the center gear shaft and new master head gear box back into the head rail and reset the end clips. You may need to trim the head rail or the center gear shaft a tiny bit with tin snips or a hacksaw in order to secure the end clips. Now attach your wand to the master control and you’re all set. You have successfully converted a corded blind to a wand control.
If the blinds cannot be converted then the cord and chains should be shortened. To shorten the chain rotate the blinds open and closed to determine the best portion to trim and trim so that the blinds still have full rotation. To shorten the cord you will find the end of the cord knotted or clipped just behind the farthest end gearbox from the chain. Pull it thru the cord channel and you should see the cord loop raise up as you pull it thru. Pull it thru till the loop is as short as you want it to be. Cut the cord where you have been pulling it and tie a new double knot or clip a new clip on to seat behind the end gear as it was before. You have successfully shortened the chain and cord.
One of the most common problems with blinds is when one of the blind slats is out of kilter and causes the blinds to bind up when you try to rotate them this is the first thing to check if the blinds won't turn.
Check to see that all slats are layered the same way and adjust any that are not. (A pointed finger jab at the required top corner of the blind slat at fault usually does the trick) If one slat is turned so that it rotates out of step with the others you can pop it over by grasping the blind stem with your fingers or a pair of pliers and turn it, popping it into step with the others. (Yes, sometimes this causes damage, but the solution follows.)
If a gear won’t turn at all or rotates freely then the stem gear may be stripped or the straight gear may be broken. To check or repair it hold the side of the gear box with one finger. Take extra care here as the inside of head rails is unfinished metal and is very sharp. I have donated blood a few times in this procedure so be very careful. Hold the side of the gearbox with one finger and then press on the clip portion of the stem gear popping it out of the gear box with moderate pressure.
Behind the round portion of the stem gear is the straight gear which often falls out when you pop out the stem clip gear. Examine the gears for broken teeth and replace as needed.
Resetting the straight gear can be a little tricky. One method is to place it against your stem gear and hold them together then pop them into place at the same time. Another method is to set the straight gear into place with needle nose pliers and then clip the stem gear into place. Be patient as it may take a few attempts to get it right. Also you may need to pop the stem gear into step with the others after resetting it.
Broken slats are easy to replace. Of course you will want them to be the proper length and they can be trimmed with scissors if needed. . . .