Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Neptune 12002535 wax motor meltdown conclusion...

At this time, it seems like we should keep an close eye on the 12002535 wax motors located in the dispenser area. This is the first wax motor failure I am aware of in the dispenser module in the two years I have been providing wax motors and R11 & Q6 repair kits to Neptune owners. One day I will add up how much I have saved Neptune owners and post it on my blog. It has to be in the 10's of thousands already...

I have in the past received questions asking why the door latch wax motor fails but the other two wax motors don't? I thought at first it was maybe that the door latch wax motor is exposed to more moisture than the bleach & softener wax motors were. I don't think that is the case because the whole laundry room can be humid. The other theory is that if the door boot has a bad seal around the top maybe steam could escape and expose the wax motor to higher moisture levels?

Another theory is that it could be based on the actual operation time the wax motors are on. The door latch runs at a much higher duty cycle than the bleach & softener wax motors operate.

I guess for now I should caution you that if your machine trips the breaker beware that if you keep resetting the breaker you could have a wax motor meltdown! Let's use the power of the information superhighway to locate other folks who might of had Neptune wax motors fail in the dispenser area...

Have you or do you know anyone who has a neptune and has had a wax motor failure in the dispenser area?

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Potential Maytag wax motor meltdown?

Yesterday, I received an email from a customer asking:

"Jeff just curious why the wax motors on the door lock fail but the ones on the bleach and softner don’t (model 3000) ???"

I responded:

"Hi, I'm not sure why the door lock wax motors fail but the bleach / softener ones do not... I have not sold a WM to replace the bleach and softener WM's in the two years I have been supplying them except for yours. It could have something to do with the time the wax motors are activated. The door lock WM gets a lot more run time than the others. Jeff"

Then it dawned on me that maybe all of the Neptune wax motors should be replaced. If you did not see the picture of the wax motor meltdown please take a look at my last post.

This failed 12002535 wax motor was located in the detergent dispenser of a MAH3000 Neptune. I wondered if the door latch wax motor would melt down if it weren’t for the sacrificial Q6 triac. I believe it would meltdown as it did in the photo. The reason, when the Q6 triac on the machine control board shorts out internally and fails it severely limits the current to the wax motor. This allows the door latch wax motor to not draw enough current to really disintegrate where as the failed wax motor in the photo tripped the circuit breaker because it is fed directly by the timer contacts which can supply much more current than the Q6 triac can.

It is true the door lock wax motor gets more use than the bleach and softener wax motors do. So maybe it is a matter of time before the two wax motors in the dispenser go?

I don't believe the wax motor in the picture would have burned up so badly with the first breaker trip. But what concerns me is the multiple breaker trips and resets customers might apply to a failed wax motor simply trying to investigate what is tripping the breaker...

I will continue my thoughts on this post next time.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

12002535 Maytag Wax Motor Meltdown Pictures

As I forewarned... here is a graphic picture Mr. Chapman sent me of a Maytag Neptune wax motor that got a little too hot! Thank you Mr. Chapman!

This particular device was in the detergent dispenser section and when the machine was running it tripped the circuit breaker. The tripped circuit breaker was reset and then it tripped again. After a few breaker trips and resets there was a burning smell surrounding the Neptune. That is when Mr. Chapman dug in to the machine and discovered the wax motor meltdown.

1. What is a wax motor?

  • A wax motor is a low cost linear actuator device designed to push something to make it move. It takes the input voltage and produces heat. As the wax heats up it expands and pushes the actuator out.
2. An alternative device to a wax motor?
  • A solenoid. A solenoid uses a coil of wire to generate a magnetic field and causes a steel plunger to push out or it could pull in.

3. Wax motor verses solenoid?

  • The w.m. wins the lowest cost award. The big reason is that a solenoid has copper wire and steel in it which costs considerably more than a heating device and wax.
  • The w.m. wins the lowest weight award. Again, the copper and steel add up quickly in weight.
  • The w.m. wins the quiet award. The solenoids usually create a click when energizing and de-energizing.
  • The solenoid wins with the fastest speed. The w.m. takes ~45 seconds to extend fully where solenoids can take only milliseconds to actuate.

Can you think of anymore pros and cons of both the wax motors and solenoids? If so, please comment!

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Replace your Maytag Neptune door latch wax motor #12002535 continued

Today, we are going to talk about some of the modifications I read about folks doing due to the wax motor failures and if I recommend them.

I will start with:

1. Adding a small (250 milliamp) fuse in the wax motor 120 VAC circuit.
Response: I don't recommend adding a fuse or any other machine control board modifications because it is a documented fact that the original Neptune 12002535 wax motors were defective and will fail eventually. I've sold the new wax motors for over two years and have had no failures in the field or defective wax motors from Maytag. The new wax motor has the black actuator pin.

2. Replacing R11 with a flame resistant resistor.
Response: Replacing R11 with a flame resistant resistor is OK but not really necessary, again, because Maytag has corrected the wax motor failures and R11 should never burn again.

3. Replacing R11 with a larger wattage resistor.
Response: I don't recommend increasing the replacement R11 wattage size for a couple of reasons. First, a 3 watt 3.9K resistor would burn up if you put 120 volts across it. You would need around an 8 watt resistor to have some safety margin for power dissipation. Second, physical space on the board is also limited as the R11 connects directly across Pins 1 and 2 on the Q6 triac. This may create some mounting difficulties...

These three items are the most common modifications I read about folks performing. I would recommend that you tell everyone you know that owns a Maytag Neptune front loader about this important door latch wax motor issue. You can save them a lot of money and washer down time if they replace it before it fails by ordering it from www.neptunewaxmotor.com.

In the next post I will explain more about this 12002535 wax motor and I will show you some photos of a wax motor that got a little too hot and melted down...

Friday, January 4, 2008

Replace your Maytag Neptune door latch wax motor #12002535

Let's start this blog off right and dig into some of the Neptune's issues that need to be addressed asap!

The famous door latch wax motor is the number one issue you need to deal with now if you have the Maytag 2000 Stacker, MAH3000, MAH4000 or the MAH5500A series Neptunes. The MAH5500B is exempt from the wax motor issue because it uses a real solenoid to lock the door instead of the wax motor.

Below is a picture of the replacement 12002535 wax motor. Note the black actuator pin. This is the version you want installed. If you have the actuator pin that matches the body color then you need to replace it asap!

Below is the new wax motor installed in a MAH4000 door latch assembly.

For photos on how to take your machine apart see http://www.neptunewaxmotor.com/. Click on "Neptune Washer Disassembly Pics" link along the left side.

Note: I presently don't have photos for the 2000 Stacker disassembly... if someone would take some I will post them on my website with their credit to help Stacker owners as well.

What happens is that over time the wax motor draws more and more current and this causes the machine control board to get overloaded. The electronic component that controls the wax motor is called a triac, part number 'Q6', and as it overheats it will eventually short out internally. When this happens the center lead of the triac will receive 120 VAC which in turn burns the 'R11' resistor. The R11 resistor burnt on the machine control board is the tell tale sign that the wax motor has failed.

I developed the STAGE 1 kit with wax motor for folks to try and repair the machine control board. You have to replace the original wax motor or the Q6/R11 failure will happen again.

There's more... some control boards sustain more damage than others. For example, on some boards after the Q6 and R11 is replaced the timer will not work or it rotates super fast. For these cases I developed the exclusive STAGE 2 kit. On a very few boards, the water valves will not work anymore. These control boards have to be replaced, unfortunately. I have not developed a repair kit to fix these boards as it is believed that the microprocessor, part number U1, gets damaged.

If you replace your wax motor before the failure then you will prevent the Q6 / R11 burnout. Most Neptune owners don't know about this issue until it is too late that is mainly why I started this blog. To try and reach the Neptune owners that don't know about the wax motor issue.

If your wax motor has failed then more than likely your machine will not spin anymore because the door locked light will not come on and the machine control board never receives the spin enable switch signal to start spinning due to the wax motor not actuating.

I've had a few cases where the R11 did not burn but just the Q6 opened up instead of shorting out. This is the best case failure because you don't run the risk of the 120 VAC back feeding that can damage the timer and/or valve circuitry. You simply replace Q6 and the wax motor and your all set.

If you have any questions about the wax motor issue, please ask me! If you know anyone who owns one of the above mentioned Neptunes please aim them to this blog so they can prevent the wax motor failure plus learn about other Neptune quirks, too.

In my next post, I will address some control board / Neptune wiring modifications some folks are making and why they are not necessary.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Welcome to my Maytag Neptune blog!


I wanted to say thank you for checking out my Maytag Neptune front loader washer blog.

I hope to convey my experiences working with this machine to you so you can get more reliability out of your Neptune and attempt to answer any questions you may have. Check back often for new and interesting Neptune information.

Again, welcome to my blog!