Dryer used to work fine until one day it stopped powering up. In checking the outlet, here are the findings (A - Live1, B - Live2, C - Neutral, D - Ground):

AB - 240V as expected

AC - 240V (should be 120)

BC - 0?

AD - 120V

BD - 0V

CD - 120V

I'm stumped as to how it would work before since nothing changed..

  • 1
    What do you get for D ground?
    – crip659
    Oct 15, 2022 at 23:56
  • 1
    AD 120V, BD 0V, CD 120V Oct 16, 2022 at 0:12
  • Some how B or C is broken and connected to each other. Turn off the breaker and start checking from the receptacle to breaker. Really start at the dryer connections back.
    – crip659
    Oct 16, 2022 at 0:16

1 Answer 1


Assuming you are testing the outlet with the drier unplugged, I would suspect a combination of two factors.

  1. Someone tapped a 120V load off the drier circuit (or even just tapped it's neutral for a 120V load that is fed from another circuit........).
  2. The neutral wire is broken.

When a neutral wire breaks, if there is a load conencted then the load will pull the neutral up to line voltage.

Testing voltages relative to ground should confirm whether or not this is the case.

  • The 120V load on the dryer outlet probably is the dryer. It has internal 120V devices- in fact the whole dryer except for the heating element. Because youtu.be/jMmUoZh3Hq4?t=744 ... but yeah, I agree with your Lost Neutral assessment and I think you have the answer covered. Oct 16, 2022 at 6:29
  • I would expect someone testing a socket to have unplugged the load from that socket first, which is why I suspected a tapped off load rather than the drier itself. Oct 17, 2022 at 0:22

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