Monday, 30 August 2010

How to Change your Tris (Shutters) in Israel - a Practical Photographic Guide

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and may not be used without written permission from the writer

Our previous post about Trisim spoke about the ins and outs of Israeli shutters, and how the Tris works. This post details with photographs – step by step, the exact procedure necessary to actually fix the Tris.

Here's how to do it:

1.  Get yourself a ladder. They cost some 150-300 shekels and are a great investment! You'll find a variety of needs for it once you start living in an apartment. The sooner you get one, the better! Otherwise, you'll need to borrow one from your neighbour – if you're lucky enough to find someone willing to help.

2.  Get yourself a new strap (see picture above) – cost about 4 shekels! Tell the store owner you need a Retzua for the Tris and tell him if you need it for a door (to the balcony) or just a window. This will change the length of the strap. A window needs a 4 metre strap.

3.  Get yourself a tiny screw (See pic above) to be inserted in a very small hole that you'll see which holds the strap inside a wheel that holds the Tris up (see pictures below.)

4. Puncture your strap with the screwdriver. (Pic above.)

5. Insert small screw inside hole (Pic above.) This screw will be inserted in the pulley wheel. See later.

6. Go back to your Tris. Locate the offending menace! You'll see a very sad looking broken strap (Pic above. Notice the tears of this pathetic thing as they cry for desperate help!)

7. Take a look directly above. You'll see a box with the previous strap (right bottom of pic above) still hanging "strongly". The 4 black rubber strips around the box are easily removable by simply pulling them off with your hands. WATCH OUT! Don't let the "very well made" board fall on you as you remove the rubbers. These things are standard in every apartment, and nobody has put much time into making sure everything works safely!

8. Check what's going on inside this unbelievable machine! What a master system (Pic above, in case you're wondering.) You'll see two pulleys designed to work together. As you pull the strap they move about pulling the shutters up or lowering them gently. Or (once the strap breaks) lowering them with a THUD!

9. The pic above shows the tremendous craftsmanship of the Israeli shutter and how they manage to get them to hold so steadfastly!

10. Notice in the pic above at the pulley system and how the straps fit through two tiny thin holes to get through and hang downwards. You'll best use tweezers to pull the straps through these holes!

You'll see the inside of how the Tris actually works. You'll probably find that there are two wheels which allow for the raising and lowering of the Tris. The strap moves onto the one wheel and then the other as it is raised and lowered.

11.  The bottom wheel is a spring (that also breaks quite often and must be replaced in its entirety - costing just a "few bob" every time) and it makes sure that everything holds strong (until it breaks of course!)

12.  Pay attention to how the straps are currently set up and remember the order for when you replace it. You'll see that they ultimately go from the wheels through tiny slits at the bottom area of the box which then allows for the straps to hang securely until the area (about 1.5 metres) where there are another two loops to thread the straps through and back up again to the top. (See pic below.)

13. The pic above shows the unit designed to loop the straps through on the bottom of the window area. You'll be inserting the strap in the back side, then wind it around the front, and then straight up through those pathetically thin holes we spoke about above.

14. You may need some force (as with many Israeli things) to pull out the old broken strap. Do it!

15. Notice in the pic above how the strap is forced onto the spike to hold it in place. You'll have to pull the old strap off that spike first before replacing it. WARNING! That unit is actually a spring. When you pull the strap off, KEEP YOUR FINGERS AWAY! It will spin around. If your finger is there, it will get a nasty cut!

16. Now, wind that spring wheel up some 10 or 15 rotations so that it's holding strong! Don't let it go! You'll notice the sharp pin standing up. You need to use a screwdriver or the like to make a whole at the top of one end of the strap. That hole will now go over the sharp pin.

17.  GENTLY start letting go of the spring. As you do so, it will begin winding the strap around itself. GREAT… it's working!

18.  Feed the strap through the tiny slit leading towards the bottom looped ring (1.5 metres down) and loop it under and through as you now pull the string upwards and back to the big box where you've just been busy in.

19.  Feed the strap through the slit leading into the box.

20.  You'll see that it's now only the bigger wheel (not the spring wheel) that is empty. (See pic above.) Here you'll notice that the original "craftsmen" forced the strap into an open area on the bigger wheel in the hope of holding it. In this case, they did such a good job, that it was practically impossible to remove the strap completely! In fact there is still a piece hanging there to this day. There was no need to force it in there! There is a tiny hole (see pic below) where the screw is screwed in to hold the strap in place. There was no need for such unwanted force!

21.  Start rolling up the actual Tris until it's holding right at the very top. Your window will now be open and you will be holding it like this until you finish attaching the remainder of the strap to hold itself.

22.  If you've done this correctly, when you've rolled the entire Tris upwards, you should see that on the bigger wheel, there will be a very very small hole in front of you (see pic above where the screw is already in place.) If you now pierce the other side of your strap and stick the screw through it – and then stick this into that hole (with the strap now holding securely) that your Tris will be holding itself up – by the tiny screw!

23. You're good to go.

Your loop should be secure on the bottom, and holding strongly on to the two pulleys above.

You can now replace the main board and stick the rubber strips back into place again. They fit in easily and you're all done!

Incidentally, if you're wondering why they couldn't manage to design an assembly a little easier and more stable to work with – you've asked a great question. One which many others have asked. Don't get yourself down over it though. Most people will simply welcome you to the way things are made in Israel. It will work and keep itself okay – for another 6 months or so. Then be prepared to repeat these actions again.

Oh, if you are fortunate enough to have more than one window in your apartment, do remember, you'll need to do this on *all* your windows – at least once every six months or so. So don't get rid of the ladder, keep a good stock of tiny screws, and have at least one screwdriver available.

Remember this: If you haven't yet been able to find a job in Israel – though you're a qualified brain surgeon with over 20 years experience, you can always fix shutters (and end up making much more money too!)

This article is copyright
and may not be used without written permission from the writer


  1. hi im not a subscriber to this site i was looking for some info on google and your site came up so i gave it a look. by the way these shutters look great-up to date-(mine are older than israel itself i think) thus the reason for my search-i wanted to know the process of taking out the shutters completly and replacing them with a frame/screens/and storm window? ive contracted a professional worker to come in(my first renovation)and i just want to know the process to know that its being done right and i wont be unhappy with the results-its being done on my porch area(where my washing machine is)so if you can give me any info i would appreciate it greatly-i have a week to find out everything i can before he comes-thank you! anonymouos in Tsefat



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