I have a 3 prong plug for my dryer. When I take a voltage reading between X and Y I am getting 320VAC. Between X and W or between y and W I am getting 160VAC, and my dryer has quit running. Can you give me an Idea what would cause the odd voltage?
The readings you are getting are entirely correct. The problem is that you are misinterpreting the results. When we speak of AC voltages there are several types of measurements that may be taken. Specifically of interest here are:
1) Peak voltage 2) RMS voltage
If you want to dig into the theory of this please see:
But the bottom line is that the relationship for a SINE WAVE is:
Vrms = Vpeak * 0.707
In your case you measured a PEAK value of 320V/160V. If we convert to RMS we get:
320 * 0.707 = 226V 160 * 0.707 = 113V
These values are slightly low but well within the "normal" range of AC mains voltages. The specification at the point of usage is 105%-90% of the 240/120 nominal which means that the H-H line should be above 216V and the H-N lines should be above 108V.
More on that here: