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Different voltages on input terminal block

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My dryer is completely dead. I have checked the voltage at the terminal block and got the following voltages: L1

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Old 09-27-2013, 06:29 PM
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Default Different voltages on input terminal block
Model Number: DWSR483EG0WW   Brand: GE   Age: 5 - 10 years   

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My dryer is completely dead. I have checked the voltage at the terminal block and got the following voltages: L1 to L2 = 240v, L1 to N = 0v, L2 to N = 240v. I am fairly sure this is not correct voltages. First thing I checked was the outlet and the circuit breaker, both tested out correctly. I have checked all switches and thermostats, they all have continuity. I checked the heating elements and they tested about 19 ohms . I also replaced the motor believing the motor switch was the culprit. The only tests that seemed wrong were the terminal block voltages (mentioned above) and a measurement across the small terminals on the Control Inlet Thermostat. The schematic shows this should measure 9k ohms however it measured 18k ohms. Is this resistance a possible cause for the unit not functioning (directly or indirectly) and the voltage imbalance at the terminal block? The motor runs if I connect it to 110v directly, so I was leaning towards the problem being in the heating circuit somewhere, but don't know where to check from here. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.


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  #2 (permalink)  
Old 09-27-2013, 07:23 PM
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Try another voltmeter yours may have a weak or dying battery or the nuetral in your wall was change into a phase by misswiring or maybe you have a loose nuetral wire with backfeed from somethings else.......do a continuity test from the panel to your wall and make sure you have an isolated dryer circuit not sharing with anything else. Best bet buy a new battery for the voltmeter or use another voltmeter if that doesn't fix it call an electrician and as a result of these readings you may have fried your unit.
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Old 09-28-2013, 04:53 AM
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Unplug the unit.
Then check the neutral in the line cord using resistance, should be 0 ohms.

Just to be sure that you got the correct voltages at the wall receptacle..
They should be
L1 to Neutral 120 volts.
L2 to Neutral 120 volts.
L1 to L2 240 volts.
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Old 09-28-2013, 01:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HumboldtRepairMan View Post
Try another voltmeter yours may have a weak or dying battery or the nuetral in your wall was change into a phase by misswiring or maybe you have a loose nuetral wire with backfeed from somethings else.......do a continuity test from the panel to your wall and make sure you have an isolated dryer circuit not sharing with anything else. Best bet buy a new battery for the voltmeter or use another voltmeter if that doesn't fix it call an electrician and as a result of these readings you may have fried your unit.
Just put new batteries in voltmeter and tried another meter too, same results. This time I also noticed the meter reading about 10 volts on the neutral with the other probe not touching anything! Is there an easy way to test the neutral for the backfeed problem? The panel is on the opposite side of the house. I thought maybe I should just replace the breaker and see if it corrects the problem. This house has Aluminum wiring and the breaker is outside. It looks really crusty as well. Do you think this could cause a backfeed problem?
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Old 09-29-2013, 10:30 AM
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Can't tell you if you have a backfeed over an online site at a house i'm not at. Try replacing the breaker first possibly and use some nolax on your connection aluminum wiring in housing gets electrolysis and bad readings and problems sometimes especially if it's an old panel and wiring. Can't guarantee it'll solve your problem but if things look old maybe it's time for a new breaker or panel depending on your house usage and local codes. Once you get the electric supply issue fixed it'll narrow down if it's machine or feed.
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Old 09-29-2013, 04:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HumboldtRepairMan View Post
Can't tell you if you have a backfeed over an online site at a house i'm not at. Try replacing the breaker first possibly and use some nolax on your connection aluminum wiring in housing gets electrolysis and bad readings and problems sometimes especially if it's an old panel and wiring. Can't guarantee it'll solve your problem but if things look old maybe it's time for a new breaker or panel depending on your house usage and local codes. Once you get the electric supply issue fixed it'll narrow down if it's machine or feed.
I
Thanks again for your help, I replaced the circuit breaker, (it started falling apart in my hand when I removed it. so It was probably good to do anyway!). Unfortunately it didn't help the problem. The only other equipment that is 220v each have dedicated circuits (sprinkler pump and AC). I may be testing the voltage at the dryer terminal block wrong. This is how I checked it....with the dryer plugged in, I read the voltages as stated "L1-L2=240v, L1-N=0v, L2-N=240v". If I unplug the dryer the outlet tests correctly. The continuity checks out in the plug cable as well. This led me to think that something may be shorted in the unit, like a motor winding. The new motor runs, but I am to sure how to check if the centrifugal switch is functioning correctly. Mechanically I see it function, but could it be faulty electrically? Is there a specific resistance I should get across the motor terminals?
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Old 09-30-2013, 08:46 AM
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This led me to think that something may be shorted in the unit, like a motor winding.
I cannot see that something shorted would cause your problem.
If you had a short in the unit it should trip your circuit breaker.

Still seems to me that you are loosing Neutral somehow.
But I cannot explain why it seems to be there when the unit is not plugged in.
It till sounds like a house wiring problem to me and not a dryer problem.

Below is my reasoning.
L1 to L2 is real as you measure it no matter what the conditions.
Then when you check Neutral to L2 you also see 240
So I would say that the L2 and L1 are real but that the L1 voltage is feeding through a part in the dryer and showing up on the Neutral. Since this part needs L1 to Neutral voltage (120 volts) it does not run (no current path) so the L1 voltage is seen on both sides of the part.

When you measure the voltage at the wall receptacle are you using the actual Neutral connection in the receptacle or the receptacle case?

Is this a 3 wire or 4 wire hook up?
Is the receptacle Neutral properly grounded to the receptacle case if it is 3 wire?
Is the wire used from the box to the receptacle BX (metal shielded)?

Have you tried different things with the dryer.
Is the timer set to off?
Try measuring the voltages with the door open.
This should disconnect most parts that run from L1 to Neutral re: the motor and timer motor.
If the unit has a drum light that works you may have to remove the bulb to get proper readings.

You could do a jiggery pokery to remove the dryer as a possible cause.
If you decide to do this be very, very careful as 240 is lethal.
make yourself a test jig.
A 120 volt receptacle or a trouble light with a couple pig tails (wires) connected to it.
If you use a receptacle then plug a lamp etc. into it.
Flip the breaker off. Insert the wires into the wall receptacle (Neutral to L1)
Just make sure that nothing can short out.
Now flip the breaker on to see if the light actually turns on.
Do the same with Neutral to L2.
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Old 09-30-2013, 07:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by denman View Post
This led me to think that something may be shorted in the unit, like a motor winding.
I cannot see that something shorted would cause your problem.
If you had a short in the unit it should trip your circuit breaker.

Still seems to me that you are loosing Neutral somehow.
But I cannot explain why it seems to be there when the unit is not plugged in.
It till sounds like a house wiring problem to me and not a dryer problem.

Below is my reasoning.
L1 to L2 is real as you measure it no matter what the conditions.
Then when you check Neutral to L2 you also see 240
So I would say that the L2 and L1 are real but that the L1 voltage is feeding through a part in the dryer and showing up on the Neutral. Since this part needs L1 to Neutral voltage (120 volts) it does not run (no current path) so the L1 voltage is seen on both sides of the part.

When you measure the voltage at the wall receptacle are you using the actual Neutral connection in the receptacle or the receptacle case?
The Neutral connection.

Is this a 3 wire or 4 wire hook up? Yes

Is the receptacle Neutral properly grounded to the receptacle case if it is 3 wire? It is not grounded.
Is the wire used from the box to the receptacle BX (metal shielded)? No

Have you tried different things with the dryer.
Is the timer set to off? Tried both on and off.
Try measuring the voltages with the door open. Have not had the chance to do this.
This should disconnect most parts that run from L1 to Neutral re: the motor and timer motor.
If the unit has a drum light that works you may have to remove the bulb to get proper readings.

You could do a jiggery pokery to remove the dryer as a possible cause.
If you decide to do this be very, very careful as 240 is lethal.
make yourself a test jig.
A 120 volt receptacle or a trouble light with a couple pig tails (wires) connected to it.
If you use a receptacle then plug a lamp etc. into it.
Flip the breaker off. Insert the wires into the wall receptacle (Neutral to L1)
Just make sure that nothing can short out.
Now flip the breaker on to see if the light actually turns on.
Do the same with Neutral to L2.
I did the "jiggery pokery" (great new technical term for me). It looks like the problem is in the wiring as you and HumboldtRepairMan suspected. I connected a worklight with pigtails to the legs as you described. The Light did not work on either leg. Then I checked the light in a regular receptacle (just to make sure it worked), it did. So it looks like tomorrow I am calling the electrician. Thanks for all the help you guys have given me, I'll post the result of the electricians findings. Hopefully once I get the house wiring straightened out, I'll have a working dryer. If not, I'll be back!
Well after some digging around in the debris at the bottom of the breaker box, the electrician touched the right neutral wire and it fell apart. Denman you were correct. In the process of troubleshooting, we noticed turning the timer knob actually changed the voltage reading on the terminal block. So the voltage must have been feeding thru there. Bottom line, it all works now and there was never anything actually wrong with the dryer. What a learning experience.
Thank-you guys again.

Last edited by Rdwngs00 : 10-01-2013 at 08:09 PM. Reason: Update:
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Old 10-01-2013, 08:48 PM
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You're very welcome
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Old 08-07-2014, 05:06 PM
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I am having a very similar problem. Why would the voltmeter give correct readings at the outlet but a light plugged in doesn't work? Also, all of my electrical is less than 3 years old, unlike the OP.
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