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Whirlpool cabrio voltage at door screws, hinges

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My wife informed me that she has been suffering from the occasional electric shock when using the dryer. Upon testing

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Old 07-28-2014, 04:57 PM
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Default Whirlpool cabrio voltage at door screws, hinges
Model Number: WED5600xw0   Brand: Whirlpool   Age: 1 - 5 years   

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My wife informed me that she has been suffering from the occasional electric shock when using the dryer. Upon testing the door edge, exposed screws, and hinges, I find voltage being emitted. Checked continuity on cord and at terminal block. Cord appears fine; on terminal block there is limited continuity between L1 and neutral. Strangely, when first removing the wires from the terminal block and prior to refreshing my memory of the connection pattern, I could swear that the left hot wire was connected to the neutral on the block and the center wire to the left - this would have been how the delivery folks wired it up - and it has worked. Two-fold question is this last part possible and should there be continuity between L1 and Neutral? Any help is appreciated - hard enough to get the laundry done, especially when you are getting shocked...


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  #2 (permalink)  
Old 07-29-2014, 02:28 AM
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I could swear that the left hot wire was connected to the neutral on the block and the center wire to the left - this would have been how the delivery folks wired it up - and it has worked. Two-fold question is this last part possible
It should not run as you have a dead short from L1 to Neutral/ground so the breaker should trip.

and should there be continuity between L1 and Neutral?
Yes there can be.

Is it a 3 wire or a 4 wire hook up?

Go to the Whirlpool web site which is currently down and you should be able to find and download install info for this unit.

3 wire hook up requires that Neutral/white/center connection on the terminal strip have a ground strap from it to the machine frame re: Neutral and ground are the same.

4 wire hook up requires that the ground strap be removed or disconnected. Then Neutral from the line cord goes to the center terminal strip and the ground wire from the lone cord is connected to the machine frame re: Neutral and ground are separate.
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Old 07-29-2014, 03:55 AM
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Thanks for the information. It is a 3 wire hook up with the center wire on the neutral. As currently configured, the ground is not from neutral to the frame via strap but from another white wire to a green screw to the left of the block. I'll look at the website as soon as it is back up.
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Old 07-29-2014, 05:11 PM
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Default Cabrio voltage still present

Checked wiring of plug to terminal block per Whirlpool installation instructions and it was correct. Just to be on the safe side added ground strap between frame and neutral - no difference. Somewhere, somehow voltage is coming to the frame and out the exposed screws - any ideas are appreciated.
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Old 07-30-2014, 01:31 AM
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How did you check for the voltage at the hinges to start with.
One meter lead was on the hinge but where was the other meter lead (reference)?
Using the same reference check to the ground strap screw at the back of the unit.
Do you also see the voltage here?
What was the voltage you measured at the hinge?

If there is voltage at the ground strap screw and since the dryer hook up checks out OK next you have to check the wiring at the receptacle and then finally at the electrical box for the house.

You have to be missing a ground connection somewhere.
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Last edited by denman : 07-30-2014 at 01:55 AM.
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Old 08-01-2014, 11:41 AM
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I used the washing machine metal leg as a ground and checked it with a volt meter. 20v at the screws, hinges, and ground screw.
Receptacle is 240v from leg to leg and 120v from leg to neutral.
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Old 08-01-2014, 11:54 AM
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With luck you house has copper pipes.

Check from Neutral to the copper pipe.
It should be 0.
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Old 08-01-2014, 12:35 PM
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Unfortunately, no copper in laundry room - just pex.

Checked neutral on dryer at block and have 18v using rear leg of washer as ground.
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Old 08-01-2014, 03:50 PM
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Determined that if I remove the white wire emerging from the dryer from green screw attached to the metal back of control panel and designated external ground connector, then the voltage goes away. Based on the instructions for 3-wire installation, you are not supposed to remove the wire from this screw. Also, I attached a wire from neutral to this green screw and the current returned to the door hinges and screws. My instinct is to attach the white wire to the neutral, but have not done so because I can find nothing that supports such in a way that convinces me I am not creating the potential for problem. Help is appreciated.
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Old 08-02-2014, 01:06 AM
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Based on the instructions for 3-wire installation, you are not supposed to remove the wire from this screw.
Yes this is correct.
If the units case/frame is not grounded and a live wire should touch the case then it can become live which would be very dangerous.

Below is what I think is happening.
On the washer (120 volts) they use L1 or L2 and Neutral and earth ground.
On the washer the Neutral and earth ground are separate and they do not connect Neutral to the machines frame.
Earth ground is connected to the frame.
So when you measure from the washer leg which should be earth ground to the hinge you are actually measuring the dryer Neutral to earth ground.
It tells me that the Neutral of the dryer is actually floating and there is a problem with the electrical hook up either at the dryer receptacle or in the main breaker box.

If your meter prongs are long enough you should be able to check the 120 volt receptacle at the washer.
Ground prong to one of the vertical prongs should be 120 volts.
Ground prong to the other vertical prong should be 0 volts.

Probably time to call in an electrician!!!

I am off to the cabin for a couple days so will not be available.
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Last edited by denman : 08-02-2014 at 03:20 AM.
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