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Maytag neptune electric dryer won't start

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Dryer worked fine until we moved. Now when I press start it flashes a and kind of clicks and the

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Old 07-08-2010, 12:22 PM
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Default Maytag neptune electric dryer won't start
Brand: Maytag   Age: 1 - 5 years   

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Dryer worked fine until we moved. Now when I press start it flashes a and kind of clicks and the says PF on the digital screen. I have a 3 wire plug that worked fine in the other house. I have 120 volts on each side of the dryer cord and it doesn't change when I press start. I've tried 2 different 220v 30 amp circuits and it does the same thing on each one. Any ideas? I initially thought it could be that I wired the 3 prong plug wrong but I checked and the center wire that is grounded to the dryer is connected to my bare copper ground in the wall receptacle, checked continuity on all 3 wires from plug to the block on the back of the dryer and they are fine.

Should I just install a new control board for $150 and take a chance? It would cost probably $300 to have a repairman come out and replace the same part.

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Old 07-09-2010, 04:45 AM
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A Model number may help others help you.

I initially thought it could be that I wired the 3 prong plug wrong but I checked and the center wire that is grounded to the dryer is connected to my bare copper ground in the wall receptacle, checked continuity on all 3 wires from plug to the block on the back of the dryer and they are fine.
The above seems to indicate that the power cord was removed when you moved.
Is this correct?
Was the unit hooked up to a 3 wire hook-up at the old house?
Is the ground strap from the unit's terminal strip to the unit's frame connected?
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Old 07-09-2010, 04:59 AM
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Model MDE5500AYW. Yes is was alwys a 3 wire and there is a ground strap on the middle terminal. I never removed the cord just the recep because I knew it fit. I've also ohmed everything out and connections all seem solid amd no shorts anywhere. Thanks!
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Old 07-09-2010, 05:37 AM
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Here is a manual which may help.
http://www.servicematters.com/maytag...s/16023110.pdf

Also a service bulletin which may apply to your unit.
http://www.servicematters.com/maytag...TDL-0036-S.pdf

Try running the diagnostics.
Perhaps running them and then exiting will clear the error.

Since you have done a lot of troubleshooting you should be able to order a board from AppliancePartsPros and return it if it does not fix your problem.
See their return policy.
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Old 07-09-2010, 06:07 AM
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Thanks. In reading the manual, does it matter that I do not have a neutral? I only have a ground and two hots. The manual states that the dryer is grounded to the neutral conductor at the terminal block. I don't fully understand some of this electrical stuff..
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Old 07-09-2010, 06:40 AM
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In reading the manual, does it matter that I do not have a neutral? I only have a ground and two hots.
In a 3 wire hook up the Neutral is used as a ground.
That is why most places have gone to 4 wire as an extra safety precaution.
Then the unit has a separate earth ground, so in the unlikely event that you loose Neutral and a hot wire shorts to the frame, the units body cannot go live as it is still connected to earth ground and will blow the breaker.
Hope that makes sense.

The manual states that the dryer is grounded to the neutral conductor at the terminal block.
Yes that is what the ground strap from the center connector (Neutral) on the unit's terminal strip to the machine's frame is doing.

Your statement that "connected to my bare copper ground in the wall receptacle" did concern me some when I read it but do not know your local electrical code. Around here a bare conductor can only be used as a ground.
3 wire cable for dryers has an insulated white wire for the Neutral.

The following may help explain this better
http://www.applianceaid.com/general.html#3to4
See the bottom the page.

One other thing in your first post you said you had then two 120 volt sides but did you check to see if you have 240 volts from the red to the black.
The 240 is two 120 volt AC supplies that are 180 degrees out of phase. Basically when one side is positive 120 volts the other is negative 120 volts so measuring between them you get 240 volts.
When you just measure the 120 sides you cannot tell if you actually are getting both sides of the line as there are conditions where you will see the same side on both black and red.
I doubt this is really a problem as you have tried 2 different circuits.
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Old 07-09-2010, 07:18 AM
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Yes I checked and I get a full 242v even when I press start, it drops maybe half a volt.

But my dryer wire is just a 2 wire (2 hots and a bare copper). that is exactly how the old house had it and the bare copper was just connected to the metal box. That house did not have a modern grounded system though. This new house has the bare copper ground all the way back to the panel. That was my question, I don't know the difference between the neutral and the ground really. But I think that the dryer should work even if the ground were not even connected (or netural) becasue the old house was not grounded and it still worked. Not safe I know but that's how they are were I guess. I'm just making sure that could not be my problem, that I don't have a neutral and just have the center wire hooked to ground.
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Old 07-09-2010, 08:33 AM
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This new house has the bare copper ground all the way back to the panel. That was my question, I don't know the difference between the neutral and the ground really.
Neutral is a return line for power.
Ground is earth ground re: connected to the ground rod pounded into the ground near the service entrance.

But I think that the dryer should work even if the ground were not even connected (or netural) becasue the old house was not grounded and it still worked.

No you need a return line as you timer and motor run off of half the line (120 volts)

Not safe I know but that's how they are were I guess.
Well it is still safe just 4 wire is considered safer. Again you would have to loose Neutral and have a live wire short to the unit's frame for there to be a hazard.

I'm just making sure that could not be my problem, that I don't have a neutral and just have the center wire hooked to ground.

I am not sure how the unit actually senses a PF condition.
I can only go by the electrical code in my area but if it ran at the old place it should run here, I think.
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Old 07-09-2010, 08:44 AM
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Ok, now I understand better. I have heard people talk that stuff like hot water heaters, etc don't need a neutral and AC units, etc. But now that you say the motor and timers run on 120v does that mean I have to have a return (neutral)? Could the dryer be trying to return voltage through my ground? That could be dangerous.. But I'll probably never understand beacuse it did work before w/o a return (that I know of). And maybe it still should work and I just damaged the board transporting the dryer down my bumpy gravel road and drive..

Should I have my electrician connect a neutral into the box and hook that up at the center wire? But if I read the manual right that means I need to unhook the ground strap and then ground the unit w/ a 4th wire (the bare copper). That's just not how it was before.

thanks for all the help. Maybe I will just order the board and see if that fixes things. Or I will try first to reset it like you mentioned earlier.
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Old 07-09-2010, 09:59 AM
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But now that you say the motor and timers run on 120v does that mean I have to have a return (neutral)?
You have this it is the bare copper wire

Could the dryer be trying to return voltage through my ground?
Yes that is what it is doing.

That could be dangerous..
That I cannot comment on as it seems your electrical code is different than mine and I am not an electrician.
As I said in my neck of the woods we use an insulated white wire on a 3 wire hook up this is then connected to the Neutral at the electrical box.
It may well be that your bare copper wire is connected to the Neutral at the service panel box. Once you get to the box the Neutral and earth ground is basically the same thing.

But I'll probably never understand beacuse it did work before w/o a return (that I know of).
No I think you understand it you are just making it more complicated that it is.
Also my explanations are probably not the best.

Should I have my electrician connect a neutral into the box and hook that up at the center wire?
There are millions of homes that use a 3 wire hook up so the dryer should run.
4 wire is relatively new, in the last 25 years or so.

But if I read the manual right that means I need to unhook the ground strap and then ground the unit w/ a 4th wire (the bare copper). That's just not how it was before.
No but that is the way a 4 wire hook up works. The neutral (power return) is seperate from earth ground (the unit's frame).
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