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Maytag Neptune MAH8700A - E3 Error Code


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#1 Adonys

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Posted 01 February 2011 - 11:57 PM

Maytag Neptune - 27" Front Load Washer
Model - MAH8700A
Serial - 184754AY716061X

Our Maytag Neptune washing machine purchased in around 2005 is currently having problems of giving random E3 error codes at various times during the cycle.

The machine can currently drain and spin and can make it through a load - sometimes. However more often than not, during the cycle it fails and gives the E3 error. Simply pushing the big wash button again to continue rarely, though sometimes, has worked on completing the cycle.

I have removed ALL clothes from the machine after getting an E3 code and the unit has sometimes not been able to spin on continuing the cycle. I have also noticed that usually when the machine E3 codes, it has a LOT of water in the machine - ie the clothes are fully soaked and wet and there is water in the bottom. This might aggravate the motor causing it not to spin. You can hear the motor trying to spin and the clicking/whine of the motor trying to spin but failing to start motion.

I have also removed the back cover and tried to manually turn the motor when the E3 codes came up. The wheel spins, but it is tough to spin due to the weight of the water soaked clothes.

Of note, we are normal Americans and have been guilty of probably overloading the washer on occaision. However, this problem can now occur on VERY light loads - think a few T-shirts and couple pairs of underwear.

I have tried the following trick to get to the daignostic code (Turn Off/On - Hold Chime & Extra Rinse for 3sec - Display diagnotic by pressing Rinse & Spin keys - Cleared by pressing Delay & Chime for 3sec). I have noticed the diagnostic code of "1295" after pressing the Chime button after getting the "d" mode.

Any assistance would be greatly appreciated.

If I am S.O.L. on this unit, I will probably end up getting a Whirlpool Duet WFW94HEX or a Maytag Maxima MHW6000X based on them being Consumer Reports recommended.

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#2 RegUS_PatOff

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Posted 02 February 2011 - 12:11 AM

from the 16026882 Tech Sheets:
E3
Machine control is attempting to drive the motor but is not seeing any tach response.
Visual check shows motor is not moving. (Locked, Hall Sensor fault).

Evaluate wire harness for loose or unhooked connections.
If machine has separate motor control, perform self diagnostic motor test.
See “Board Output Test”.

http://appliantology...in-tdl-0078a-b/


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#3 Adonys

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Posted 02 February 2011 - 01:09 AM

Additional info on the unit.

I performed the Board Output tests for the following with a good size load:
Fill with cold water - works
Drain Pump - works
Motor - Works

The motor was able to reach about 1080 RPM for the full 2 minute test with no problem. However, when attempting to run the same load as a normal load, the unit went to E3 within a couple minutes.

#4 Adonys

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Posted 02 February 2011 - 01:14 AM

Thank you for the Tech Spec. I will check out the electrical connections again having looked at the diagram.

#5 Adonys

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Posted 03 February 2011 - 12:36 AM

I disconnected all the electrical connections noted in the schematic. Initially it seemed to work, but half way through the first load it started up with the E3 error problems again.

I read somewhere that sometimes the computer control board can go bad... any idea of this is a possibility? It seems like it works just fine in Diagnostic mode for all features, so it is hard for me to think that could be the case.

I also heard that a count buffer (how many loads the machine has done) can fill up causing all sorts of issues. Any idea if this could be true and if so how would you dump the buffer?

Thank you again,
Adonys

#6 Samurai Appliance Repair Man

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Posted 03 February 2011 - 08:04 AM

There have been problems with the motor wire harness connector on these washers. The problems are either a loose or bent terminal in the molex connector.

Unplug the connector and tug on each wire. If a wire comes loose from the plug, bend the locking tab up. If a locking tab is not properly seated in the plug connector, the terminals will not fully engage as the connector is plugged into the motor.

Another manifestation of this problem is that one of the terminals may be bent. Inspect the terminals on the motor side of the connector. Straighten any bent terminals if they exist. Recheck the harness side of the terminal block if any bent terminals are found. Bent terminals can indicate a problem with the locking tab inside the plug.

#7 Adonys

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Posted 06 February 2011 - 09:27 PM

I just wanted to post my results after the additional input from the beloved Samurai.

Initially, I unplugged and replugged the large plastic terminal block (6 wires) and the grounding wire as well as the water pump controller, with no luck, still lots of E3 errors. All wires were connected (not loose or damaged) and all of the terminals looked just fine (no bending or damage of any sort).

Since all modes/features worked just fine in diagnostic mode, I was fairly sure it had to be an electrical issue that kept causing the E3 fault.

So I took a small flat head screw driver and stuck it into each plug hole with a wire and gently "re-crimped" them (all 6). Just enough to see the crimp pressed a little tighter.

Viola! No more E3 codes after a few loads. So when the Samurai said looked for loose wires, he meant it. Get in there and show those crimps a little bit of rough love.
*** Warning - dont be a dumba$$ - unplug/disconnect any electrical system before working on it. It is always worth the extra time to be safe. ****

Hopefully, this will help someone else fix their machine.
Adonys

#8 Adonys

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Posted 06 February 2011 - 11:01 PM

It seems I declared victory too soon. I am again having the E3 error code problems after a few more loads.

I have noticed that it seems to occur when there is maximum water in the machine and it is trying to spin. More specifically, there is water (and soap) several inches inside the tumbler. This makes the clothes as saturated as possible and even small loads end up being very heavy.

Part of me is now thinking the motor might be dying or dead.

Any ideas on what else to check? There simply is not much left to do for electrical connections.

Adonys

#9 Adonys

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Posted 06 February 2011 - 11:09 PM

I found a little more detail that might help. So with my E3 error code that I got again after doing all the wire/electrical checks, I noticed the motor trying to spin the load with no success. The load was ONE pair of jeans and one piece of underwear - ie a very light load. Hitting the continue button did not work at all - instant E3.

Once I took the clothes out of the machine and tried to have it continue, it had no problem spinning the drum and everything. I stopped the load, put the clothes back in... E3 code... motor clicks and the drum does doesnt turn.

This really seems like the motor is now too weak to spin even a small load and can handle only an empty load.

Any ideas?

#10 Samurai Appliance Repair Man

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Posted 06 February 2011 - 11:14 PM

Does seem that way. The only thing that gives me pause is that you were able to get it running normally after tightening the connections. But this may have been due to coincidental normal operation of the motor. Might be worthwhile to fiddle with the wires some more. If you buy the motor here and that doesn't fix it, you can return the motor for a refund, less shipping.

#11 kdog

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Posted 06 February 2011 - 11:53 PM

The load was ONE pair of jeans and one piece of underwear -


This could be at the root of your problem, too small a load such as this will simply ball up on one side of the tub and create a "catapult" effect, the motor only sees sharp thrusts of tourque and interprets it as an off balance situation, stops spinning and logs an error. Loads should be full loads of similar type materials
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#12 Adonys

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Posted 13 March 2011 - 04:56 PM

I just received the motor and installed it. The first four loads or so went pretty good. There was ONE error code - again the E3, but after hitting the knob to continue, it did not come up again.

Then it all started to happen again.... the sticking E3 error code ALL the time. Now it error codes with Full Loads, Half Loads, NO load. I tried to retighten the harness in the back without any luck.

I still instantly error code to E3 now.

Any ideas on this? I am so mad at Maytag right now. A five your old washer should not be this poor for a "High" quality brand.

#13 john63

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Posted 13 March 2011 - 05:19 PM

<<<I am so mad at Maytag right now.>>>

********

This washer is built by Samsung for Maytag (very short production run--something like 2 years).
It is identical to Samsung-branded washers built before 2008.

********

<<<Any ideas on this?>>>

********

Whenever I encounter an "E3" error---I run a MAIN BOARD test. This can be done following the instructions on the Tech Sheet provided inside the appliance.
If the MAIN BOARD test fails for **any** reason (ie.,will not advance to the next step) replace the MAIN BOARD Part number: AP4044326

Part number: AP4044326



If the MAIN BOARD test "passes"---then it's necessary to test:

Wiring/Plugs

Hall Effect Sensor/Motor


To eliminate:

Musty odor

L-O-N-G cycle times

Dingy/yellowing whites

Suds error message

Slow spin speeds

Intermittent water leaks (from rear of washer)

And other annoying symptoms which vary brand-to brand.

Read below:

The *correct* amount of HE (High Efficiency) detergent that should be used in any front load or agitatorless top load washer with tub sizes 3.0 cu ft and larger is as follows:

HE: (2) Tablespoons Per Wash Load

HE 2X: (1) Tablespoon

HE 3X: (1) Teaspoon

Perform a TUB CLEAN CYCLE every (4) months.

Use: "Tide Washing Machine Cleaner"

#14 Adonys

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Posted 14 March 2011 - 08:20 PM

Here is the update:

I performed the recommended tests and obtained the following results. This was done immediately after obtaining an E3 error code during a normal cycle. The E3 error code equals a "2E" diagnostic code for the Motor Drive failure (Locked, Hall sensor fault)

Board Input Test
Everything matched what it should be and seems OK.
Door Position - CL (Closed)
Lock State - LO (Locked)
High Water Level - -0 (below water level)
Medium Water Level - -1 (above water level)
Low Water Level - -1 (above water level)
Water Temp in C - 12 degrees
Tub Balance - UC (Balanced)
Water Tempt in F - 53 degrees

Board Output Test
Most everything matched what is should be as noted below.
Main relay - On/Off (I heard the switch click for both directions)
Hot Water Valve - worked
Cold Water Valve - worked
Bleach Valve - worked
Pre Wash Valve - worked
Drain Pump - worked
Motor - worked - The load turned just fine without any problems for some time.
Door Unlock - states 1 attempt to Unlock if safe to do so. Since the load was mid-cycle, it did not unlock. I think this should still be ok and can double check with an empty load to verify.
Door Lock - no change since the door was already locked
Bleach and Cold Water Valve - worked

I went to the Display Diagnostic Codes and found it was a "2E" error as described above. This causes the "E3" error displayed during the normal cycle.

So having tested all the board input/output features successfully, we attempted to continue the cycle from the stopping point and instantly got the E3 error again.

Next we started the load over on "Rinse and Spin" only. This also resulted in the same error message E3 almost immediately when it tried to spin.

We decided to check out the back of the unit while we pressed the continue knob/button and found the following:
The motor drive shaft would attempt to spin and not do anything more than twitch. It did the twitch a few times with no movement of the belt (or drum) and then again went to the error code E3. When it was doing this, you could hear the whine of the motor trying to spin. I put my finger on the motor shaft end (so if it did spin it would not pinch my finger, but I could feel if it was trying to turn) and felt that it was twitching in a manner that seemded like it wanted to turn but couldn't. I also felt a very, very mild electrical shock. I am not sure if the motor shaft is supposed to be grounded, but it certainly was not.

After waiting a few more minutes, we turned the unit off, and then on, and retried the "Rinse and Spin" cycle and it seems to be working just fine. Then two minutes later it faulted out again with the E3 code.
This makes me think WTF!

So here is what I know:
The motor was just replaced with a brand new unit and appears to be working just fine MOST of the time.
The control panel appears to have all input/output functions fully operational.
The belt looks undamaged.
The wiring harness was checked as much as possible without getting my multimeter or destroying the unit to look at the internal connections.

So now my suspicions are mainly on the electrical system, specifically the wiring harness. I do not know how to check that the wires are properly connected to the harness plug without destroying it in the process.

I have also verified that the motor pins (1/2/3) all have an approximate 3 Ohm resistance between them as listed in the manual. In fact, the OLD motor also has the same 3 Ohm resistance, which makes me wonder if I "fixed" the wrong part.

Any thoughts on what to do next?

#15 Adonys

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Posted 14 March 2011 - 09:03 PM

Additional electrical information from my long post directly above:

I tested the wiring harness and obtained the following readings with the unit plugged in and not running (since the wiring harness is unplugged to measure)
3P Motor Power (Blue) - Motor Sensor Ground (Orange) = 14.63v
3P Motor Power (Red) - Motor Sensor Ground (Orange) = 14.63v
3P Motor Power (White) - Motor Sensor Ground (Orange) = 14.63v

Motor Sensor Vcc (Pink) - Motor Sensor Ground (Orange) = 4.94v
Motor Sensor Signal (Blue) - Motor Sensor Ground (Orange) = 3.64v
Motor Sensor Vcc (Pink) - Motor Sensor Signal (Blue) = 1.30v

I do not have an expected results table to check, but I figured I would post what I found. There still could be a loose wire connection when the wiring harness is actually installed.

#16 john63

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Posted 14 March 2011 - 09:04 PM

I've been in your situation---very frustrating.

Two things to try:

1) Add *electrically conductive grease* to the MOTOR PLUG connector (avail @ Home depot/Lowes).

***Not Dielectric grease***

2) If that fails to resolve the fault---replace the MAIN BOARD.  Part number: AP4044326

Part number: AP4044326


RepairClinic allows returning the MAIN BOARD if need be.

When all other "avenues" have been tested/exhausted---that usually leaves the MAIN BOARD as the culprit of the E3 nightmare on older Samsung-built washers.

On other posts I had recommended using Dielectric grease. This type of grease is more for *preventing* corrosion on exposed electrical components and is NOT *conductive*. <<sigh>>.


To eliminate:

Musty odor

L-O-N-G cycle times

Dingy/yellowing whites

Suds error message

Slow spin speeds

Intermittent water leaks (from rear of washer)

And other annoying symptoms which vary brand-to brand.

Read below:

The *correct* amount of HE (High Efficiency) detergent that should be used in any front load or agitatorless top load washer with tub sizes 3.0 cu ft and larger is as follows:

HE: (2) Tablespoons Per Wash Load

HE 2X: (1) Tablespoon

HE 3X: (1) Teaspoon

Perform a TUB CLEAN CYCLE every (4) months.

Use: "Tide Washing Machine Cleaner"

#17 Adonys

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Posted 25 May 2011 - 09:59 PM

Well, I am still getting the occaisional E3 error, so I know it is not the motor after having replaced it.

Additionally, when I get the E3 error and restart the machine, if I give the console by the circuit board a good slap it seems to work more times than not. And it isnt a loose wire from what I can tell since I recontacted every one to the circuit board.

So now that I am going to order a new board, I found 2 on the www.repairclinic.com

Central Control Unit - Item # 1185470 (Main electronic control board)
Control Board - Item # 1185471 (Control board assembly)
Both are priced at $273.40 so it seems clear that they are the same general item. Is the ***71 a newer model, like a Rev A/Rev B?

Thank you for your assistance,
Lee

#18 Adonys

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Posted 19 June 2011 - 03:52 PM

I just received the new controller board Part number: AP4044326

Part number: AP4044326

 

 

The first thing I noticed is that it has a new Motion Sensor part that was not on the old board. The equipment swap was REALLY easy. Take the top lid off (2 screws). Take off the 4 front screws for the board. Unplug the wires and install them on the new board. Install the new motion sensor (2 screws) and plug it in. Close it all back up and I was done in about 5-10 minutes (including a few distractions).

The first load is going great with no errors included the dreaded E3.

My final step is to swap the motor back to the old unit to verify that it still works. I think there is a good chance I will be able to return the new motor, since the old one never really was the problem.

All told, I spent right around $300 including shipping and what I expect it will cost me to return the motor for a refund. That is MUCH cheaper than getting a new washing machine after 5 years.

Thank you again too all the Samurai assistance!

I will try to remember to post an update after swapping back to the original motor, but it seems highly likely that the problem was fixed by swapping the Main Control Board.

Best of luck to anyone else with E3 errors,
Adonys



#19 Samurai Appliance Repair Man

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Posted 19 June 2011 - 06:15 PM

Domo for posting the update! This topic will be a great help to others struggling with this problem.

#20 Adonys

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Posted 26 July 2011 - 08:17 PM

Final Update

The Main Control Board replacement a month ago has been a complete success. Not one more E3 error code!

The Repair Clinic gave me a full refund on the motor replacement that I ended up not needing. No hassle. Quick payment refund (a couple days).

The ONE downside to the return is that you should not expect to pay the same shipping fee as the Repair Clinic. UPS charged me around $25 to return it (yes it was a heavy motor), while it was around $10 to ship it to me according to the shipping label. While this is in no way the fault of the Repair Clinic, I figured I would post it so you would not be surprised. UPS did give me the sad story of Fuel Surchages, Bulk Shipping Discount, and Commercial Business discounts. I wished I could surcharge UPS for my gas and time to drive to their store (/smirk).

In the end, $25 is MUCH cheaper than paying someone to repair it or buying a new appliance... not to mention all the amazing FREE technical support on this website.

I am pretty much now a loyal Repair Clinic customer after 3 transactions. I will only shop there for my future appliance/yard repair part needs.

Best of repair project wishes,
Adonys






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