BY ROBERT BROOME, OWNER
Many folks are going to find this blog post because they have an issue with their garage door or opener. You may have found the Wayne Dalton name on your door and headed to the web to look for answers. You may find them here, but then again, you may just find me belly aching over a product line that I’m not particularly impressed with. In the garage door industry, the woods are full of garage door manufacturers that produce a quality product. The best door for one user may not be great for someone else. It’s all about application. However, I’ve yet to run across a Wayne Dalton Door that was manufactured in recent years that I would install on my home. I will say however that our commercial department has repaired many Wayne Dalton Commercial products that seemed pretty decent.
Many garage doors that we repair were installed by national home builders. These builders generally worry about cost first and foremost. That’s why these large home builders set up national deals with companies like Wayne Dalton. It’s all about the dollar, and not so much about user experience or product life. In defense of Wayne Dalton, when asked to cut margins to make deals, you must produce a product that is still profitable. You get what you pay for. When the homes are built, many homeowners care most about the look of the home. Lighting, bath fixtures, landscaping, etc are the biggest areas of concern. The garage doors are an afterthought. That is, until things start to go wrong!
The Torquemaster is a spring assembly designed by Wayne Dalton that employs the use of a small tube that covers very small torsion springs. This is somewhat like a commercial rolling steel door. However, the use of plastic and extremely low gauge steel springs has made the system a real miss for many homeowners. That aside, here’s the kicker. When a customer has a standard torsion spring on their door they can choose to fix a broken spring or cables themselves. If not, they can call pretty much any garage door company that they choose. This allows customers to shop for the best deal, and in many cases, they have to find someone in a hurry. When it’s time for work, your spring is broken and the car is stuck in the garage, you need service now. However, when you have a Wayne Dalton Torquemaster spring assembly you are at their mercy. You can only buy replacement parts from Wayne Dalton. I’ve personally waited for 3 weeks for a replacement spring to arrive for one of our customers. That was the last time that I ever ordered a spring from them. Our company, and may others, have now built packages around the conversion of these spring systems. The conversions can be configured to provide a lifespan up to 5 times the life of a standard 10k cycle Torquemaster spring. The best part is that the cost difference is minimal, if any at all.
When the I-Drive was released, it was seen by many as being very innovative. The opener could be used used in many applications that a standard garage door opener just won’t work. However, not long after the release we began to get a lot of service calls to repair these I-Drives. To date, the I-Drive has been discontinued by Wayne Dalton. Our local branches in the Charlotte, NC or Raleigh area does not carry replacement parts. Luckily, in recent years, Liftmaster has released an opener that fills the gap nicely. The Liftmaster 8500 will give a customer a great alternative to the I-Drive. The catch is that if you have a Torquemaster spring assembly the 8500 is not dice. The 8500 is only compatable with a torsion spring assembly. There is another great opener made by Sommer that can be used in place of the I-Drive no matter the existing spring assembly. However, you will have to obtain a conversion kit to install the opener on the top of your horizontal track. These openers are super quiet, and have a lifetime warranty out of the box.
I’m sure that many local areas have Wayne Dalton dealerships with wonderful staff that will treat you well. Our local area Wayne Dalton has a nice group of quality people. If you have an eye on a Wayne Dalton door, I can personally put you in touch with the right person in their office. I would just advise that you stay away from their builder grade models. You’ll thank me later if you buy a door that is at least 1-3/8” thick. I would also recommend that you buy a door that is at least 25 gauge or thicker. Be advised that a nominal 25 gauge door is really a 26 gauge door, and a 26 gauge door is paper thin and flimsy. I’ve run across their builder grade doors that I could easily puncture and others that were falling apart in my hands.
There is no reason to replace a door or opener only in need of minor repairs. I would highly recommend that you shop with local dealers to convert your torquemaster assembly to a standard high cycle torsion system. Companies like ours do so with a lifetime spring warranty. It’s pretty much the same cost as replacing one of your Torquemaster springs. If you have an I-Drive on the fritz, I would call a local dealer that sells Liftmaster or Sommer openers. They will be able to provide you an opener that will nicely replace a broken down I-Drive.
In North and South Carolina, our company provides garage door installation and repairs. We also provide parts and repair services. However, our blog is mostly frequented by those not located in our service area. Leave a comment below, and I will be glad to help assist you with a referral to someone that can provide parts for your Wayne Dalton repairs if that is what you need.