Why would my 240 V dryer outlet show the proper voltage when nothing is plugged in, but when it’s plugged in, all 240 V go to one leg and 3 V on the other leg?
We had an old dryer that just stopped working last week. No electronics worked on the dryer. We bought a used dryer with a three-pronged cord and plugged it in. It also did not work. We had an appliance guy come out and tested continuity which appeared to check out. He said it was most likely an issue with the outlet or the breaker.
We tested the outlet and when nothing is plugged in, the hot-hot test at 240 V, hot-neutral both test at 120 V. However, when I plug in the dryer and test the cord, hot-hot still test at 240 V, one leg hot-neutral test at 3 V and the other hot-neutral test at 240 V.
I had an electrician check out the dryer and the connections (through text and my sending him pictures) and he says the issue is with the dryer. “The circuit board is throwing a short”. Here’s what I’ve done:
- I exchanged the old three-pronged outlet for a new three-pronged outlet
- Tested the breaker (no issues)
- The electrician had me test the plug whip itself (see pictures) and based on the readings here he determined that the issue is with the dryer.
Everything I’m reading and watching points to an issue with a disconnected or loose neutral…which is in fact the case. The outlet has four wires: two hots, one white neutral, and one green ground.
The two hots are connected to the hot legs, the green ground is connected to the neutral spot, and the neutral is loose in the back of the box. Why is that? Is that causing the issue? And if so, why now?