Garage doors are heavy and need something to counterbalance and control that weight as it opens and closes by the garage door motor. The garage door spring system is what controls that weight and helps keeps it open. Two major types of garage door spring systems that do this are torsion springs and Wayne Dalton Torquemaster springs. Both garage door spring systems will need repair at some point and plenty of houses here in the Houston area have both, so we want to dive into what are the differences between torsion springs and Wayne Dalton springs.
The Torsion Tube
First let’s discuss the most visible difference between the two systems, the torsion tube. Now the torsion spring and Wayne Dalton spring are both horizontally mounted in the center of the door opening above the door. The most visible difference is that you actually don’t see the Wayne Dalton Torquemaster spring. Wayne Dalton’s Torquemaster springs are stored in a hollow tube known as a torsion tube, so you can’t actually see them when looking at your garage.
One of the next biggest differences between a Wayne Dalton spring and a torsion spring is the size. The springs in a Wayne Dalton Torquemaster system are of a very small diameter and wire size and thus require more winds to provide the strength to counterbalance the weight of the garage door. The internal springs provide the force to counterbalance the weight of the garage door while the cables and drums do the lifting. Winding these springs to the proper tension involves using an electric drill, in older models, or a socket and socket wrench in newer models. The spring(s) are then wound a set number of times depending on the weight of the garage door. In the Wayne Dalton Torquemaster system if only one spring is used the spring winder will always be on the right side and on a two spring system there will be a spring winder on each end. Winding a torsion spring consists of using a winding bar that fits into the slots at the end of the spring and turning them.
Drums and Cables
The drums and cables on a Wayne Dalton spring are different than what you see on a torsion spring system. Wayne Dalton’s Torquemaster spring system has small plastic drums that are attached to the tube on each side. A torsion spring system uses metal drums. The cables that are used with the Wayne Dalton spring are thinner than its torsion spring system counterpart. These thinner cables wrap around these plastic drums and then attach to the bottom bracket located on the bottom of the bottom garage door panel on each side.
Which Garage Door Spring System is Better?
Of course, if you ask Wayne Dalton, they will tell you theirs is better. However, most garage door pros, including ourselves, would disagree. Here are a few reasons why we favor the torsion spring system over the Wayne Dalton spring system.
Visible Inspection and Repair
With a torsion spring system, you can visually inspect your garage door spring and see if it’s rusting or about to break or has broken. With a Wayne Dalton Torquemaster system, the spring is hidden, so you don’t know what’s going on up there until your garage door stops working properly. This means you have to wait until something goes wrong and have it taken apart to see if the spring as broken. An unbalanced garage door is the best sign of spring failure in this system. An unbalanced garage door will be heavy and difficult to open manually.
Easier for Spring to Fail
As we mentioned before, both the wire size and spring size of the Wayne Dalton spring is much smaller than a torsion spring. This makes them require more winds to provide the strength to counter-balance the garage door. These extra winds add more stress to the springs causing them to fail sooner than their torsion spring counterparts.
We mentioned that the Wayne Dalton system has thinner cables. This makes them prone to fraying and breaking faster than the ones used for a torsion spring.
Though Wayne Dalton had a good thought to have the spring not exposed so it would be protected from things like dust and dirt, there are many disadvantages to their system that just make it hard for us to ever recommend it to a homeowner. However, if a homeowner here in the Houston area has a Wayne Dalton Spring that has broken, we recommend converting it over to a torsion spring system. We have been converting Wayne Dalton springs since 2006, and can do it for you, oftentimes on the same day! Call us at 281-748-9542 to schedule your appointment!