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Old 02-19-2012, 07:53 PM   #1
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open neutral on dryer...dryer won't work


I installed a brand new stack unit washer dryer yesterday. Customer called and said dryer came on (lights only) but drum wouldn't turn, then lights went off and now doesn't work at all. I checked it out today and found the following: 4 wire cord was indeed installed correctly on machine. 4 wire outlet tested as having an "open neutral" but 4 wire outlet was wired properly (each conductor run to its respective screw on outlet). 30 amp dryer circuit appears to be wired correctly in panel box (both hot legs to circuit breaker and neutral and ground to each separte bar).

Question: Will dryer normally run if the outlet has an open neutral?
Any idea why the outlet would show an open ground when it appears to be wired properly at outlet and at circuit breaker?
Why would dryer lights come on but unit not work when it has a full 240 volts coming to it?

By the way, I tested the outlet by plugging in another brand new dryer today and it didn't work either, so it's definitely something to do with outlet, not the dryer.

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Old 02-19-2012, 08:03 PM   #2
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open neutral on dryer...dryer won't work


Are you sure the 30 amp dryer outlet was wired correctly? Make sure that the white neutral is installed to the correct terminal on the outlet. My first assumption is that the neutral is landed on the wrong terminal.

After you check, and if that's not the problem, start measuring the voltages at the outlet.

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Old 02-19-2012, 08:09 PM   #3
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open neutral on dryer...dryer won't work


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4 wire outlet tested as having an "open neutral" but 4 wire outlet was wired properly (each conductor run to its respective screw on outlet). 30 amp dryer circuit appears to be wired correctly in panel box (both hot legs to circuit breaker and neutral and ground to each separte bar).
Electronic dryers can do some really crazy stuff when missing the neutral. I hear it can ruin the appliance.
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Old 02-19-2012, 08:21 PM   #4
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open neutral on dryer...dryer won't work


Thanks Hawkeye,

I checked the outlet, and yes, the 2 hotlegs were run to each terminal screw behind the Hot leg plug slots, and the ground and neutral were each run to their respectiver terminals. All screws were tight. Homeowner also said the last dryer worked fine. I'm at a loss here.
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Old 02-19-2012, 08:24 PM   #5
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open neutral on dryer...dryer won't work


I would suggest they get an electrician to fix the open neutral. And possibly they need a new dryer because open neutrals and newer dryers seem to cause a lot of trouble.

Last edited by rrolleston; 02-19-2012 at 08:26 PM.
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Old 02-19-2012, 08:27 PM   #6
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open neutral on dryer...dryer won't work


Quote:
Originally Posted by inspectorman View Post
I installed a brand new stack unit washer dryer yesterday. Customer called and said dryer came on (lights only) but drum wouldn't turn, then lights went off and now doesn't work at all. I checked it out today and found the following: 4 wire cord was indeed installed correctly on machine. 4 wire outlet tested as having an "open neutral" but 4 wire outlet was wired properly (each conductor run to its respective screw on outlet). 30 amp dryer circuit appears to be wired correctly in panel box (both hot legs to circuit breaker and neutral and ground to each separte bar).

Question: Will dryer normally run if the outlet has an open neutral?
Any idea why the outlet would show an open ground when it appears to be wired properly at outlet and at circuit breaker?
Why would dryer lights come on but unit not work when it has a full 240 volts coming to it?

By the way, I tested the outlet by plugging in another brand new dryer today and it didn't work either, so it's definitely something to do with outlet, not the dryer.
Im guessing it has a 120v motor or controls
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Old 02-19-2012, 08:29 PM   #7
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open neutral on dryer...dryer won't work


Quote:
Originally Posted by inspectorman View Post
Thanks Hawkeye,

I checked the outlet, and yes, the 2 hotlegs were run to each terminal screw behind the Hot leg plug slots, and the ground and neutral were each run to their respectiver terminals. All screws were tight. Homeowner also said the last dryer worked fine. I'm at a loss here.
Are all your voltages correct?

L1-L2=240v

L1-N=120v

L2-N=120V

Same for (L1 or L2)-G=120v

N-G = 0 and continuity.

Both at panel and receptacle?
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Old 02-19-2012, 08:31 PM   #8
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open neutral on dryer...dryer won't work


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I would suggest they get an electrician to fix the open neutral. And possibly they need a new dryer because open neutrals and newer dryers seem to cause a lot of trouble.
Open neutrals cause problems everywhere...........
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Old 02-19-2012, 08:33 PM   #9
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open neutral on dryer...dryer won't work


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Im guessing it has a 120v motor or controls
I have seen them fry the board when missing a neutral.
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Old 02-19-2012, 08:36 PM   #10
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open neutral on dryer...dryer won't work


All I had with me today was a basic 240 volt plug in tester, so I couldn't measure the voltage. I install appliances for a major retailer, and just hadn't run into this before. They limit what I can do, but my curosity is killing me regarding this problem. My boss told them to get an electrician to check out the circuit, but I was hoping to gain some insight on this for future reference. My primary question is...can an appliance run on just the 240 volts without a closed neutral?
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Old 02-19-2012, 08:38 PM   #11
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open neutral on dryer...dryer won't work


One thing the original poster could try is using the dryer somewhere else. Maybe another house. And don't send them a new dryer till they get the outlet fixed. I like having a dryer outlet in my garage so I can test dryers and work on them.
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Old 02-19-2012, 08:39 PM   #12
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open neutral on dryer...dryer won't work


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My boss told them to get an electrician to check out the circuit, but I was hoping to gain some insight on this for future reference. My primary question is...can an appliance run on just the 240 volts without a closed neutral?
Lesson learned outlet not testing right don't plug it in.
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Old 02-19-2012, 08:54 PM   #13
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open neutral on dryer...dryer won't work


The motor and lights in a dryer are 120 volts so without neutral these will not work. The heater is the only thing that operates at 240 volts.

I assuming when you tested open neutral you meant your getting zero or near zero volts when testing from a hot leg to neutral?

If the outlet is wired correctly it should look like this
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Last edited by Stubbie; 02-19-2012 at 08:57 PM.
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Old 02-19-2012, 08:56 PM   #14
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open neutral on dryer...dryer won't work


The only thing that will operate on 240 V is the heating element. The electronics, motor, etc. need 120 via the neutral to operate.
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Old 02-19-2012, 08:59 PM   #15
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open neutral on dryer...dryer won't work


Quote:
Originally Posted by inspectorman View Post
All I had with me today was a basic 240 volt plug in tester, so I couldn't measure the voltage. I install appliances for a major retailer, and just hadn't run into this before. They limit what I can do, but my curosity is killing me regarding this problem. My boss told them to get an electrician to check out the circuit, but I was hoping to gain some insight on this for future reference. My primary question is...can an appliance run on just the 240 volts without a closed neutral?
It will only run on 240v if it has only 240v loads on it,120v loads will require a neutral to complete the circuit

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