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Cantankerous centrifugal switch on new motor for Maytag DG212 Dryer

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7 replies to this topic

#1 sgamoran



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Posted 03 November 2007 - 09:37 PM

I am trying to replace the main tumbler motor on a 23 year old gas Maytag dryer model # DG212 Series 02 980356RC.  Since I live in Israel this is a 220V 50Hz. model.  The gas heating mechanism (converted to LP when we bought it) is working fine but the motor seized up and apparently the bearings are gone.

I was recently in New York for a weekend and I bought replacement parts for all the bearings, rollers, belt, etc. (from RepairClinic.com - have used them for years even though I'm new to the applianceguru forum).  I was going to buy the replacement motor from RepairClinic but I saw one offered on eBay at a price difference that I couldn't resist ($10 + $50 shipping vs. $200 + $80 shipping - the hefty shipping fee was two day DHL to New York where I was to pick up the package - no time for more leisurely shipping and I wouldn't dream of overseas shipipng, customs release, etc. - the motor came with me in a suitcase).  Anyway this motor is identical in appearance, part # to


except for the date of manufacture. 

(When I called RepairClinic to get a price quote for rapid shipping they told me that this is the part #).

I took the whole dryer apart and cleaned up 23 years worth of gunk and changed the motor.   When I put it back together I found that the dryer now starts as soon as I set the timer. It does not wait for me to press the start button. The door safety interlock does work. Sometimes only the gas flame starts and the motor "hums" unil I push the tumbler a bit.  Troubleshooting led me to the conclusion that the centrifugal switch is always in the "run" position.  I can manually pull the switch into the "start" position  and then the dryer starts correctly once but the switch remains in the "run" position.

Further experimentation (I've taken the dryer apart and the motor out four times) shows that the switch operation is dependent on the angle of the motor from horizontal.  If I tilt the front of the motor (blower wheel end) such that the motor shaft is about ten degrees upward then the switch operates as expected.  The switch rests in the "start" position and when the motor starts the spinning/blowe wheel pull it into the "run" position.  The problem is that with the motor at this angle I cannot assemble the dryer.  The motor is a perfect mechanical and electrical "fit" when mounted horizontally.

I've been looking for an adjustment for the switch.  I've taken the switch apart and found nothing useful.

At this point I see the following options:

1) Give up and replace the whole dryer.  It is 23 years old.  The problem is that a new large dryer, in Israel with full taxes, costs about $1500.  I got a tax break when we moved here from New York 23 years ago but there are no second chances on that.

2) Buy another replacement motor at full price.  The problem with this is that a new motor from RepairClinic is $200 + shipping + getting it to Israel.  I will probably travel myself in a few weeks but I just had surgery two weeks ago and won't be traveling just yet.  I also don't know if:
- the motor I have is simply defective and a new one will solve the problem (or is this the wrong motor?  The 220V 50Hz. motor would be a special order and not returnable.)
- is it worth spending that much more money on another motor for the old dryer.

3) Call a service tech here in Israel.  I already had someone look at it and he told me that the motor is bad (I know that!) and quoted me $550 + labor for a new motor.  Again, is this worthwhile for an old dryer?

4) Make a wiring change to the dryer.  I am an electrical engineer by training so I could bypass the centrifugal switch altogether and replace it and the push to start button with a three-position switch and some human smarts.  I could put in an off-start-run switch that I would manually sequence to start the dryer and flip back to off when the timer runs out.  Inexpensive enough and locally obtainable  but would I be bypassing some essential safety feature?

Thanks for any assistance.

Sam Gamoran
Hashmonaim Israel

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#2 appl.tech.29501



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Posted 04 November 2007 - 02:09 AM

if a new dryer is gonna cost ya $1500.00 :yikes: you should probably fix the one you have as long as everything else is mechanically sound. Those dryers are built very well. I would buy the new motor myself, but you could make your own switch system if you have a diagram, I couldn't find 1 for this machine. There isn't any safety features to my knowledge that would hinder you from this attempt. Good luck and keep us informed.

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#3 jambatt



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Posted 04 November 2007 - 03:14 AM

Can you post a picture of the switch?
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#4 sgamoran



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Posted 04 November 2007 - 03:21 PM

Too late to post a photo of the switch for now.  I've reasembled the dryer and I'm not taking it apart again all that soon.  Fully assembled the motor is pretty well hidden at the bottom.

#5 sgamoran



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Posted 04 November 2007 - 03:45 PM

I don't have a real diagram for this dryer either.  The one that came inside to the control panel was pretty much charcoal and dust after 23 years when I popped the control panel.

However, the DE312 dryer schematic already posted now on the Fixitnow site (http://fixitnow.com/...312diagram.html) is very similar to the DG212.

Major differences:

1) Being a gas dryer electric consumption is much lower.  Therefore it only uses single phase wiring, no L1, L2 on the wall plug.  What is shown as L2 is connected to neutral (N).  This is the same on a 110V or 220V (export) unit.

2) Being a gas dryer, the electric heating element (shown as a resistor) is replaced by the gas solenoid.  The high-temp, low-temp thermostats remain unchanged,

3) No end-of-cycle buzzer.  I guess this is a frill that you get when you go from a "212" model to a "312" model.

I know where I can probably find a real schematic for this dryer.  My mother-in-law has lived alone for the past 10 years and has the same dryer.  Her usage is much less than our family's and she's a neat freak so her machine is probably in pristine condition.  Maybe I'll go over there when she is away in New York and pop the top of her dryer, scan the schematic, and post it.

#6 sgamoran



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Posted 04 November 2007 - 04:05 PM

The plot thickens (sickens)...

I rewired the dryer replacing the push-to-start switch with a three-position Off-Start-Run switch (DPDT switch, center off, 15A rating).  I did it carefully so I can always go back to the original wiring.

I tested it before reassembling the dryer.  With the motor unloaded the motor would spin in either the "Start" or "Run" switch positions (also door switch closed, timer on). In "Start" position it ran faster and sounded like it had much more "oomh" than in the "Run" position.  This is as I woud expect and is my test that I wired things correctly.

After I reassembled the dryer and connected the blower wheel and tumbler belt the motor refuses to start in either the "Start" or "Run" switch positions.  It hums and overheats (more so in "Start" position) but does not budge unless I open the door, press the door switch with one hand and give the drum a turn with the other hand.  Then it runs.  I ran it in the "Run" switch position for 20 minutes with no obvious problems to the eye, ear, nose, or hand that felt for overheating.

It seems therefore, that the motor not only has a centrifugal switch that doesn't operate properly (but is not obviously broken) but is also underpowered.

Wrong motor part?

#7 Budget Appliance Repair

Budget Appliance Repair


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Posted 04 November 2007 - 09:11 PM

Do you know if the centrifical weights and springs inside the motor are ok, and just for some reason the switch itself is bad.

If so, Maytag is one of the few that will sell just the motor centrifical switch seperate from the motor: 3-3877
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CLICK on the above picture to see and/or order.
William Burk (Willie)
Willie's Budget Appliance Repair
Eureka, CA 95501

#8 sgamoran



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Posted 04 November 2007 - 10:32 PM

I think it is most likely that the weights or springs are bad.  I couldn't see anything wrong with the switch when I opened it.  It seemed a little stiff - pushing back on the lever that operates it but the contacts are working - if the motor slides on its shaft far enough.

Are there any adjustments possible to the weights?  Method to troubleshoot?

There is also the problem that the motor seems too weak to spin the drum without some help to get started - even when the start winding is energized. 

That's why I'm wondering if I have the wrong motor altogether for this dryer.  Anyone know or know how to find out?

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