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I had someone recently tell me that if you use breather tubes in your windows that any gas fill will be lost. I know it is industry standard without breather tubes to lose 1% of argon a year. But with breather tubes is that percentage more?

After doing a google search it seems that Anderson is getting sued for putting argon gas in their IG and using breather tubes. Lawsuit stated that "the use of capillary tubes or breather tubes causes the loss of inert gas, therefore the reduction capability attributed to the use of such gas."

Not like this is just a problem with Anderson IG's (guessing using Cardinal glass like everyone else), just wondering if anyone else has any information or facts about this. (Oberon, any thoughts?)
 

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I'll say it.....

What's a breather tube? exprain prease
 
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slave driver
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Capillary tubes are very small hollow tubes that allow a very small amount of air into and or out of a insulating unit,they are used to give equilibrium to a unit during shipment as transporting sealed glass units up and over the mountains can cause the lack of atmospheric pressure on the outside of the unit to possibly crack or break.
Once unit has reached its final destination, the installer is supposed to allow unit to acclimate( breathe air in or out) then after a certain time he or she pinches off breather tube and seals unit
 

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solar guy
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If the IG unit is installed in a sash how would one seal off the tube Particularly on an andersen unit that for the most part cannot be reglazed.
It only stands to reason that a capillary tube would allow Argon to escape by osmosis
 

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By strictest definition, breather tubes and capillary tubes are different animals.

Cap tubes are long, very narrow, stainless steel, and remain open even when the window is installed, while breather tubes are short, with a wider opening, generally aluminum, and they are closed once the IG acclimates to the installation location.

If a unit is going to be installed at higher elevations, either cap tubes or breather tubes can be used. If the IG manufacturer uses cap tubes they will never be sealed. If they use breather tubes, then see the previous paragraph.

One thing common to both is that no one (that I am aware of) fills a unit with argon and then uses cap or breather tubes. It is self defeating. Argon is going to be gone pretty quickly if the airspace is open to outside air.
 
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