I had to move around my dryer to do some work in my laundry room. When I plugged it back in, it wouldn't turn on at all. None of the buttons would even make the lights come on.

I unscrewed the end of the cord from the dryer and checked it with my multimeter. 120v (ish) between each hot and the neutral (3 conductor no ground) and 240v (ish) between the hots, as expected.

When I screw it back on to the dryer and check the voltage on the screws, however, I get 240 between one hot and the neutral as well as between the hots. When I check between the other hot and the neutral, I get 0v.

I can't fathom how this can happen without a hot being shorted to the neutral.. but the breaker isn't popping and nothing is getting hot.

What the heck is going on?

  • This doesn't make sense: moving a dryer has no effect on it's wiring connector, or shouldn't. Did you accidentally damage the connector? That's the only thing I can think of that could cause this.
    – getterdun
    Jun 24, 2014 at 2:34
  • I've traced it back to the logic board, I think. Once I plug in some wires to the logic board, the voltage gets all funky. Unplug them, I get the expected voltages. Plug it in, and they become what I was seeing before.
    – xaxxon
    Jun 24, 2014 at 5:30
  • Turned out the electrical wire had gotten partially cut and only caused a problem when a significant load was applied.
    – xaxxon
    Dec 12, 2015 at 10:58
  • Please provide and accept an answer to resolve it, or delete this post.
    – isherwood
    Feb 5, 2021 at 20:41

1 Answer 1


It sounds like the neutral connection is bad, but not totally open-circuit.

As I understand it american driers normally have the high-power stuff connected between the two hots and the control system connected between one hot and the Neutral.

With the dryer disconnected, the bad neutral is enough to give you correct voltage readings on your high-impedance multimeter, but when you connect the driers controls. it drags the neutral up to the same voltage as one of the two hots.

  • 1
    Yep, the cable turned out to be like 90% snipped, but not 100%. Would have saved me a lot of time if it had been completely cut.
    – xaxxon
    Feb 5, 2021 at 20:46

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