Many Spanish houses have persianas (roller blinds) fitted to their windows. These roll up and down and are operated by a pull cord (actually a broad strap) which reels itself away into the receptacle at the bottom of the window. The persianas will last for years, but when they go wrong they can be fiddly to fix. If you don’t want to go to the expense of getting a “blind man” in to fix a broken pull cord, here is how you do it.

First remove the cover from the top of the blinds. This is usually held in place by a number of screws. Either remove all the screws and lift off the cover, or in some cases they have a hinge and swing up out of the way.

You will need to roll the shutters all the way up by hand or by pulling on what is left of the cord. Once the shutters are all the way up, jam them open with a screwdriver or have someone else hold them in place. You can now get at the pulley which holds the pull cord (pictured above). The cord itself passes through a slot on the pulley and is fixed with a knot. Cut the old cord close to the pulley and fish the end of the old cord out of the pulley.

Next slot your new cord into the slot and pull the end out of the side of the pulley. Tie a big enough knot to stop the cord from slipping out of the slot and pull the knot back inside the pulley. Test that it is strong enough to not slip through the slot and then slowly lower the shutters, reeling the new cord onto the pulley.

Once the shutters are all the way down, the next task is to attach the cord to the lower reel. Remove the screws that hold the lower reel to the wall and remove it from the wall. There will be a screw or nut holding the old cord to the pulley – remove this and take the old cord off. Next you will have to cut the new cord to length. Make sure you allow enough extra cord to work with.

The new cord goes through the slot in the lower pulley assembly and is attached to the pulley with the screw or nut. Don’t forget to put the cord through the top cover and screw it back on the wall before you attach it to the lower pulley.

The lower pulley has a spring in it so that the cord is reeled onto the pulley as the blinds are raised (i.e. as you pull down on the cord, the lower pulley pulls the cord into the wall). You will have to wind the pulley against the spring before attaching the new cord, so that as the spring unwinds, it reels the new cord onto the pulley. Think carefully about which way the pulley has to be wound so that it will wind the new cord onto it as it is being pulled down. This may take a few attempts if you find it difficult to visualise what will happen. You might also need to make more than one attempt if you don’t pre-wind the spring enough – this will leave the cord slack before you have fully raised the blind.

Once you have attached the new cord to the pre-wound pulley, fit the pulley back in the wall and screw into place. The blind should now be ready to be tried out. Occasionally the lower pulley will need replacing as well, if the spring has broken or no longer will wind the cord in fully.

The youtube video below, although in Spanish, shows you how to replace the cord.


Blinds/shutters – Persianas
Cord – Cinta
Lower pulley – Recogedor

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