Dryer only works on 3 prong cord

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  #1  
Old 09-12-18, 12:20 PM
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Dryer only works on 3 prong cord

Last week we moved from a house with a 3 prong dryer receptacle to one with a 4 prong. I swapped out the 3 prong cord for a 4 prong (switching the white interior wire from the ground screw to the middle screw on the terminal) but the dryer would not power up. I used a multimeter to test the outlet and only got 77 volts using the two straight slots.

We called an electrician who came out and put in a new receptacle. Dryer still would not power up, so he suggested we try a new power cord and he didn't have one. So we did that, and used the multimeter to confirm 240 volts in the receptacle and 240 volts at the terminal inside the dryer. Better, but the dryer still won't power up.

Now I'm thinking the dryer broke during the move. Just to verify, I took the dryer back to our old house and put the 3 prong cord back on (white interior wire to ground screw) and the dryer powered up just fine.

It's an LG dryer, about 5 yrs old.

Any ideas on what the problem could be?
 

Last edited by emitch; 09-12-18 at 12:24 PM. Reason: spelling
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  #2  
Old 09-12-18, 12:30 PM
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Assume you followed https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PluWghCtOG0

Measure between each of the straight slots to the L slot to verify 120 volts.
 
  #3  
Old 09-12-18, 12:31 PM
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Check voltage between one of the not and neutral.
It will be one of the straight slot and angled slot.
You should get 120V. If not, you don't have neutral and either the outlet or breaker is wired wrong or loose.

Most dryers require 120V and 240V not just 240V.
 
  #4  
Old 09-12-18, 01:36 PM
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Could you show us a picture inside the wiring compartment of the dryer? I'm thinking somebody might have unhooked the wrong side of the neutral wire jumper when they originally converted to 3 wire connection.
 
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Old 09-12-18, 02:56 PM
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Yes, I wired it just as the video shows.
 
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Old 09-12-18, 03:22 PM
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I wired it just as the video shows.
Doesn't mean the video was correct. https://www.doityourself.com/forum/e...-pictures.html
 
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Old 09-12-18, 03:22 PM
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Originally Posted by lambition View Post
Check voltage between one of the not and neutral.
It will be one of the straight slot and angled slot.
You should get 120V. If not, you don't have neutral and either the outlet or breaker is wired wrong or loose.

Most dryers require 120V and 240V not just 240V.
Can't verify it now, but I did measure both hot to neutral and they showed 124 or thereabouts (120 - 125). I can re-test that tonight. I also tested continuity in the cord for all 4 wires.
 
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Old 09-12-18, 03:26 PM
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Originally Posted by ibpooks View Post
Could you show us a picture inside the wiring compartment of the dryer? I'm thinking somebody might have unhooked the wrong side of the neutral wire jumper when they originally converted to 3 wire connection.
I can get pictures tonight
 
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Old 09-12-18, 09:46 PM
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Name:  3 prong cord.jpg
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Originally Posted by emitch View Post
I can get pictures tonight
This is the 3 prong hookup
 
  #10  
Old 09-12-18, 09:54 PM
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This is the 4 prong hookup
 
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Old 09-12-18, 09:57 PM
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I just went back to confirm my readings with the multimeter and they are bad again.
black/red 79
black/white 42
red/white 123
What does that mean?
 
  #12  
Old 09-12-18, 11:04 PM
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Check the voltage at the breaker.
 
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Old 09-13-18, 04:08 AM
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Bad leg on black to white. Try resetting breaker. Shut off all the way and turn it on. reread voltage at outlet first if still bad read at panel.
 
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Old 09-13-18, 06:35 AM
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As Ray2047 stated check the voltage at the two pole breaker to start with. But also be sure the wires are connected firmly in the breaker. You can only do this by taking off the face plate of the panel to gain access. Do you feel comfortable enough doing this?

If you do get the proper readings at the breaker and the wires are connected firmly in the breaker - do you know if there is a junction box between the breaker panel and the receptacle to the dryer. If there is check to be sure your connections are secured. Again, only after you have shut off the proper breaker.

Also, after making sure your breaker is off for the dryer check the wires in the receptacle that you plug the dryer into and make sure they are secure.
 
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Old 09-14-18, 02:47 AM
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Originally Posted by AFJES View Post
As Ray2047 stated check the voltage at the two pole breaker to start with. But also be sure the wires are connected firmly in the breaker. You can only do this by taking off the face plate of the panel to gain access. Do you feel comfortable enough doing this?

If you do get the proper readings at the breaker and the wires are connected firmly in the breaker - do you know if there is a junction box between the breaker panel and the receptacle to the dryer. If there is check to be sure your connections are secured. Again, only after you have shut off the proper breaker.

Also, after making sure your breaker is off for the dryer check the wires in the receptacle that you plug the dryer into and make sure they are secure.
Checked the wires at the breaker - 240
No junction boxes between that and the receptacle that I know of.
Checked the exposed wire feeding the receptacle - 240
Checked the receptacle - 240, with the receptacle pulled out from the box. Put the receptacle back in the box, secured and put the face plate back on. Tested receptacle again and couldn't get anything - just small readings between 2 and 15 or so. So I undid all that and pulled the receptacle back out. Tested again 240. Pushed the receptacle in about 1/3 of the way - 240. Two thirds of the way back in - 240. All the way back in - 240.
Checked the terminal block in the dryer - 240
Installed the dryer that came with the new house and it powered up but did not spin -same as when we moved in, so that seemed like good news. Previously, it wouldn't power up at all either. So, I went back to the old house and brought the dryer that's been working on 3 prong back and installed it. It powered up and started to spin. Waited a while and tried it again. Powered up and spun for about 2 seconds then completely shut off. Never powered up after that.

Because the receptacle was so flaky, seems likely the problem lies there. Of course, that's what we had the electrician do - install a new receptacle.

But its late so that will be a job for tomorrow.

Thanks for the help so far.
 
  #16  
Old 09-14-18, 07:39 AM
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You have to check voltage to neutral (white wire) as well.
The dryer does not run on 240V, but runs on both 120V and 240V. 240V is used for heater and the rest runs on 120V.
 
  #17  
Old 09-17-18, 07:59 AM
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Felt this was getting to be more than I could deal with, so we called a different electrician. He replaced the breaker and all seems well now. Probably if I had checked the hot and neutral at the breaker I would have found the same thing, but there's only so much I want to mess with in a breaker box.

Thanks for all the help though. It was all good.
 
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