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Ok we have a Maytag Performa and it stopped working a couple of weeks ago. I replaced the heating element

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Old 05-07-2010, 12:33 PM
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Default Dryer will not start
Model Number: PDET920AYW   Brand: Maytag   Age: 5 - 10 years   

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Ok we have a Maytag Performa and it stopped working a couple of weeks ago. I replaced the heating element (which was a big accomplishment for me) and it worked great again. Then all of the sudden we went to start it for a load and there was a pop noise, followed by a faint burnt smell. I checked the breaker for the house and it was tripped. I have taken it apart and checked the contiunity with a GE contiunity tester (from Walmart) I am no repair man and lack basic common knowledge on how these things work. I look online for the anwser and everything seemed to point to the thermal fuse I tried to bypass what I believe to be the thermal fuse but that did not work. I have checked the continuity on everything that I can think of but I am not sure if I am doing right or not. The light comes on so I assume that I am. I checked the wall outlet and it lit up as well with a outlet tester. The push start knob seems to be loose or bent, or wobbly (in short it doesn't feel like it used to) could this be it? Could I have messed something up when putting it back togather from replacing the heating element that would allow it to work for a while before messing it up? I am clueless but do not want to spend money on a new dryer as I just spent 45 for the heating element and $150 not even 2 years ago for the dryer. PLEASE HELP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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  #2 (permalink)  
Old 05-08-2010, 04:00 AM
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Here are your parts
Replacement parts for MAYTAG PDET920AYW Dryer - Ele | AppliancePartsPros.com

Here is the tech sheet
http://www.servicematters.com/maytag...s/16027535.pdf

And a manual
http://www.servicematters.com/maytag...s/16026315.pdf

I have taken it apart and checked the contiunity with a GE contiunity tester (from Walmart) I am no repair man and lack basic common knowledge on how these things work.

At one time none of us had basic knowledge so you are just a little behind us.
Once you get this fixed you will have some.
There are plenty of folks here to help you along.
Below is a good site with some basic info.
http://www.applianceaid.com/dryers.html
I am not a big fan of continuity checkers you are much better off with a multimeter, then you can see actual resistances and voltages.

I tried to bypass what I believe to be the thermal fuse but that did not work.

Thermal fuse is Item 6 in Section 1 of the parts.

I have checked the continuity on everything that I can think of but I am not sure if I am doing right or not. The light comes on so I assume that I am. I checked the wall outlet and it lit up as well with a outlet tester.
Did this check both sides of the line.
In case you do not know the 240 volts is made up of 2 120 volt (L1 to Neutral and L2 to Neutral) supplies that are 180 degrees out of phase. Basically when one supply is at negative 120, the other is at positive 120 so if you measure between the two you get 240 volts (L1 to L2). Only the heater uses this 240, the motor and timer use half the line (120 volts).
Try flipping the breaker off/on slowly a couple times, sometimes you can loose half the line without actually tripping the breaker.
If this does nothing, check the voltage at the plug
L1 to L2 should be 240 volts
L1 to Neutral and L2 to Neutral, both should be 120 volts.
If OK
Unplug the unit and check the wires at the terminal strip in the machine to make sure none are loose or burned out
If OK
You may want to not do the following as you are a newbee and it is dangerous.
Check the power at the terminal strip.
Be careful as 240 volts is lethal !!!


The push start knob seems to be loose or bent, or wobbly (in short it doesn't feel like it used to) could this be it?
It is a possibility.
Unplug the unit.
Unplug the wires from one side of the switch.
Check it with a meter, should be infinite ohms (open).
Then activate it, should go to ) ohms (closed).

Could I have messed something up when putting it back togather from replacing the heating element that would allow it to work for a while before messing it up?
Could be.
Check for signs of what the pop was re: burned off wire, soot spot or a weld mark.
Also check the heating coil sometimes the element can get hot, sag and touch the case.

Below is the circuit path for starting the unit:
N neutral , WH white wire , DOOR SWITCH closed contacts , YL/BK yellow/black wire , PUSH TO START SWITCH S/M , WH/BK white/black wire , DRIVE MOTOR note it is shown in the already running position , START and RUN motor windings , GY gray wire , THERMAL FUSE , timer contacts 3 , YL yellow wire , L1 line one.

If you do not own a meter, I would suggest you purchase a one. You can get a decent digital multimeter for under $20.00. You do not need fancy though it is nice if the leads are a couple feet long.
If it saves ordering one unnecessary part it has paid for itself and you end up owning a useful tool.

A couple things to watch when measuring ohms and continuity
1. Always remove power from the machine otherwise you could blow your meter.
2. Always disconnect at least one side of any device you are checking. This eliminates the possibility of measuring an alternate/parallel circuit path.
3. When checking for closed contacts and continuity use the lowest scale (Usually 200 ohms). Then try higher scales. This scale is 0 to 200 ohms so if the device you are measuring is 300 ohms this scale would show an open circuit which it is not, you are just measuring outside the scale's dynamic range.

It will also let you check the voltage.

There is a good STICKY at the start of this forum about it's use.
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Last edited by denman : 05-08-2010 at 04:02 AM.
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