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Wayne Dalton idrive for Torsion Springs - Pitfall #2: Garage Door Must Be Balanced

Ever since I moved into the new house, I've had different run in with garage door specialists. Every time I get them to come over to make adjustments and balance the door, they blame the poor operation on the springs, the opener, or some other irrelevant parts. They want me to replace this and that. After replacing the springs twice, dealing with four different garage door specialists, and pulling my hair out because I can't find anyone who would just come over to balance the door, I decided that it's time for some DIY.

Once again, this past week, the iDrive garage door opener operated sluggishly. It got stuck a few times in the past week. I pull the quick-release handle and played with the door a bit. It's obvious that it's bottom heavy. I have an extremely thick, insulated garage door that is ultra heavy. Balancing this garage door has became an art-form for all the garage door specialists. It won't stay still even if I opened the door 60% to 70%. It exhibited the same symptom as six months to a year ago.

The last time that happened, I hired a local garage door specialist out to adjust and re-balance the door. The young twenty-years old, sent by the useless home warranty folks, looked at the door once and said it's the wrong springs. He won't even adjust it and charged me $50 for coming out! The springs were brand new, replaced by a different specialist a year ago and had worked flawlessly for an entire year.

Finally, I hired a Wayne Dalton specialist, who was a lot more helpful. But he played off the recommendation made by the twenty-years old specialist as well by replacing the springs. Good thing is that he has also replaced my iDrive garage door opener under warranty. The new set-up worked flawlessly for about the same period as the previous spring replacement.

Now the same symptom showed up again. Being an engineer, it's obvious to me that there is nothing wrong with the door, the springs, nor the iDrive garage door opener. The system just needs a seasonal adjustment. And I'll be damned if I have to shell out another $250 for "spring replacement", etc.

So I decided to shell out $20 for a pair of spring winding rods. Fortunately for me, I've already bought two 1/2" metal rods from Home Depot several weeks earlier for a different project that never occurred. I used these two metal bars as spring cone winding rods. Adjusted the spring tension tighter by 1/4" of a turn on both springs. Now the garage door works flawlessly again.

After this experience it's obvious to me what is happening. Every six month to a year or so, the garage door must be re-balanced, especially if the garage door is a heavy, insulated door. New springs may have settled over the year, or the characteristics have changed in the summer/winter temperatures. If the garage door system has worked for any length of time, then saying a component of the system is the wrong one for the system is most-likely a lie. A component could be broken, damaged, or worn-out, but it's hard to believe it's the wrong one when it's been working.

I now have two winding bars to make adjustment anytime I like. I don't have to make an appointment for a garage door specialist to come over and tell me to replace this and that for $50. And I found that, although people claim garage door maintenance is dangerous, it's actually quite easy and safe if you learn about what you are doing first, being careful when you are doing it, and follows instructions.

Chieh Cheng
Tue, 26 Jun 2007 14:35:35 -0700

Torsion springs are an item that get slightly weaker over time. I suggest you reprofile your idrive every couple of months so it always is keeping up with consistantly weaking springs.

Do you know how to reprofile??

Ken D
Wed, 19 Sep 2007 02:20:48 +0000

That's not a bad idea.
Hold down the "Profile" button for 5 seconds to re-profile, right?

Chieh Cheng
Wed, 19 Sep 2007 07:27:19 +0000

Ken D, I think you are right. Based on this "Mounted Garage Door Opener features Force and Limit Profiling" article, the Wayne Dalton iDrive does remember the force and limit during a profile sequence. So if the force and limit changes over time, the best thing to do is to re-profile the door.

Chieh Cheng
Mon, 11 Aug 2008 08:16:12 +0000

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