How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask master appliance tech Your Own Question
master appliance tech
master appliance tech, Home Appliance Technician
Category: Appliance
Satisfied Customers: 1797
Experience:  6 years+ in home service own and operate my own in home appliance repair company
Type Your Appliance Question Here...
master appliance tech is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

Maytag dishwasher model MDB7100AWB Serial number 25168244ZB----

This answer was rated:

Maytag dishwasher model MDB7100AWB Serial number 25168244ZB---- automatic function test aborts and fault is "motor-low current". What is next diagnostic step?
check power going into the dishwasher it should be 110-120 Vac some houses have only 90 or the breaker is messing up and not sending the right current
Customer: replied 8 years ago.

Thanks for your suggestion. Pls consider this additional info

1) Output from breaker appears to be 115 v (as tested via analog mulitmeter--I say appears to be as I have never used a multimeter before but I have the ACV setting at 250 and when I read the "250" scale, I get a reading of ~115.) Hope I'm doing this correctly.
Other breakers in the panel give the same reading.

2) Dishwasher was professionally installed ~5 yrs ago and has operated without problem till now.

3) Dishwasher will start and run on wash cycle (say Light wash) but will hang up ~20 mins into the cycle---it stops and you can hear a series of clicks (trying to activate a relay or switch ???) as if it is attempting to move to the next process in the cycle but is being prevented from doing so.

4) Dishwasher will not drain---when drain function is invoked, the time LED goes to 2 mins, and flickers in sync with repetitive clicks as described above. This continues until the dishwasher is shut off.

5) When invoking a wash function (say light wash) the specific button LED and the "time count down numbers" LED flicker in sync for ~ 5 seconds, then stop flickering and remain solid. I can't recall this behavior before.

With this additional info, do you stlill consider the breaker to probable cause??

I could swap out the breaker with another like one in the panel but I wanted to get back to you first before I powered down the whole system.

Thanks again
well you need to check power at the dishwasher you need to see if the motor is broken check for power going to the motor.
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
OK I checked the power at the point that the wiring is connected to the dishwasher and that again gives me ~115 volts.

In order to "check the power at the motor" I need to know what feed to the motor I'm looking for as follows:

When the power is delivered to the dishwasher, it is connected to a black and white pair that is bundled up with about a dozen other wires headed for the control panel.

There is a 4 wire plug (blue,grey,red,yellow) that plugs into the side of the motor. Is that what I test to determine the "power going to the motor" or ????

here is a wiring diagram i think blue is neutral so check that against the rest of the colors when it should be on
Customer: replied 8 years ago.

I unpluged the 4 wire plug and set the machine for short wash---LEDs showed as normal---and tested the plug contacts with the multimeter---got no readings at all---none. The needle did not move. The multimeter is set at 250 as per prior tests.

Tested the multimeter in a receptacle and got 115 volts

Am I doing something wrong ???
nothing but you need to replace your control board :)
Customer: replied 8 years ago.

but if I can't get any readings on that plug---why in heck does the motor run.

the motor runs?
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Yep---that's why I thought I was messing up the readings on the plug---why no readings if the motor is obviously getting power---unlies there's something about the plug that prevents current from flowing when its not in it's socket---seems unlikely !!

Runs just like normal except that it hangs up about 20 mins into the cycle (possibly when it's supposed to be pumping the water out ??) and then just sits there and won't move on to the next phase. Same thing happens if you interrupt the cycle by opening the door---It sits there making the clicking noises (as if it's trying to restart or move to the next cycle) and it makes that noise until you shut it down.

Again---it won't pump out---just makes the same clicking noise repeatedly

check the motor winding for ohms
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
OK You need to tell me what it is I'm testing here---like what does it look like---are you talking about the 4 wire plug or ???
yes chec ohm on the motor with that motor pulg off test on the motor
Customer: replied 8 years ago.

I'm not sure I'm doing what you're asking---I set the multimeter to Ohms and touched the leads to each of the 4 tabs (male counterpart to the 4 wire plug) and got no readings at all.

Is this what I'm supposed to be doing???
Customer: replied 8 years ago.

I'm not sure I'm doing what you're asking---I set the multimeter to Ohms and touched the leads to each of the 4 tabs (male counterpart to the 4 wire plug) and got no readings at all.

Is this what I'm supposed to be doing???

your meeter is messed up ther should be a reading
Customer: replied 8 years ago.

Should I go out to Radio Shack and get another one ???

I assume you need this reading to keep diagnosing the problem Correct??
well it could be that you do not know how to use the multimeter in that case a new meter wont work. but if you do know how to use it and are sure your right then maybe a new meter will help.
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Well if I'm setting the meter to ohms and touching the probes to the tabs---there's not a lot that can be "operator error" is there. Is it any more complex than that ???

How long will you be on line today ??
for a wile longer. what happens when you touch the leeds together?
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Nothing the needle does not move at all
so you setting it wrong it should show continuity
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Well there's only one "ohms" setting on the meter so there's not much room to "set it wrong". Does that confirm that the meter is not functioning ???
ya get a new meter get a digital one
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
I'll do that. It will take me about 35-40 mins to get back here.

If you're not still online, how do I keep continuity troubleshooting this issue. I don't want to start from square one with somebody else.

What do you suggest?
i should be here but all you have to do is put the dishwasher in drain test for power going to the motor there if not power your board is bad or you have a broken wire. if you have power then you need to change the motor.
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Don't understand "put the dishwasher in drain test for power going to the motor"

What is "drain test ?? Is this related to the ohms reading I can't give you?

If you're not online when I get back, how do I reconnect with the file---is there a file reference number or something ??

i dont need toe ohm now your meter is broken so i need to know now if your getting power to the motor durn drain
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
OK how do we do that ??

Do I set the diswhasher to the drain function and then measure try to measure the power flow at the motor plug??

ya the dishwasher need to be set to drain and look for power going into the motor
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
OK Did that and as with the same test with the wash function activated---there were no readings obtained
replace the board or look for a broken wire ( i think you should call a service tech out to know 100% im not convinced you are testing right dont blame me if you get a wrong part. )
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
I don't have time for Blame my friend--just trying to fix this thing !

Readings with new digital MM set at 200V---with black probe on Blue readings are
Green 16.3, Red 21.5, Yellow 117.5.

Does that make more sense ???
during drain? yes that is a good test
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Nope that was during the wash cycle
well we know wash works right? i need you to test when it should be draining and I'm not 100% sure blue is neutral so check the terminals to ground.
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
OK with the black probe grounded and the plug pulled in the middle of the drain cycle, the readings are Grey 4.3, Red 3.7 Blue 120.0 and Yellow 0.1

In the previous wash cycle readings I gave you, "Green" should have read Grey.
is the motor doing any thing in drain any hum? or just nothing?
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
For the readings I just gave you, the drain function was invoked by pushing the drain button and it sounded and ran normally.

Previously (like yesterday when we were working on this problem) pushing the "drain" button would result in a series of clicks every 2 seconds that were coming from the control panel area and it would just keep dlicking until you shut the system off. The motor would not run during this time.

This morning, I ran a number of test wash cycles to see if there was any difference in behavior between cycles.

The "rinse only" cycle ran perfectly including pumping out at the end.

The "normal" wash cycle ran from 97 mins to 90 mins and then just stopped including the countdown timer LEDs---it just froze at 90 mins until I shut it down after ~10 mins.

Just now, I ran a light wash cycle and it ran perfectly including pumping out at the end.

So the thing is behaving INCONSISTENTLY ! Sometimes it works fine and sometimes it doesn't.

Is there the possibility that there is a loose wire at the control panel that would cause this type of behavior??

yes it could be a lose wire but it could just be your control board is going out

what we know now

the motor will drain so the motor is ok

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Yep the motor appears to be fine if it's getting power. Were those "drain" voltage readings OK ??

When control boards "go out" do they go gradually rather than all at once ??
the reading to the motor was good yes

control boards can out out many ways they can just go blank, they can lose one function. maybe a relay on the board goes out or some times they can go out intermittently
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Will it be useful if I take the door apart to inspect the contorl panel??

I'm thinking I could check for loose connections
it wouldn't hurt but you wont really be able to see the fault in the micro processor unless it is burnt
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
I'm going to give it a try unless you advise against it (ie because I could screw things up and not get it back together)

There's 3 screws across the top of the door and 2 more down each side. Do I need to remove all screws or just the 3 across the top?
all the screws and yes if you don't know what your doing you can always screw something up lol but you gotta learn some way if you want to fix it your self.
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Well let's look at it this way---seems like your recommendation will be to replace the control panel in any case---correct ???

So my choice in doing that would be to have a tech do it ---which would waste all of your good work and my time---or do it myself.

So if I found it too complex to get back together, then I would just have to bring in the tech anyway----which wouldn't be the end of the world.

So I'm gonna give it a try. Any tips before I jump??
no times good luck ad yes it sounds like your control board is bad
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
OK been in and it's back together (and it still runs-go figure!!)

Board is marked as a "DA" inside a larger letter "C"

Numbers that might identify the board are:

1) 60D20960401
2) CPE-E 94V-0

if they mean anything.

There are some brown heat marks around components 8301 and 8302 but otherwise the board (which is white) shows no ovbious trauma.

No obvious loose wires but I wiggled them around a lot to make sure they are making good contact with the terminals.

So my plan is to give it a couple of days to see if it is still screwing up and then accept your advice to replace the board. Can I hold this file open for a couple of days to see how she goes ??

If I do have to replace the control panel, you made a point about getting the right part. On they explain about series numbers and the fact that the series number is XXXXX first 2 digits of your serial number. My serial number starts with 25 and on partselect I see they have control panels for Series 11, 14 and 24. Do you recognize that there is a series 25 control panel (I'm in Vancouver, so perhaps that has something to do with it--ie sometimes there's a "Canadian" version appliances.)

Also, you need to get paid. I see you accept bonuses (how nice!) so how do I do that?
that means nothing to me i am a appliance repair man not an electrical engineer. i am also not an appliance parts looker upper i use a local appliance parts store to do my look ups so i don't know how to deal with series numbers. and if your in Canada you will have to have some one look up the part for you i don't even know how i was able to.

to pay me you just have to click the accept on any of the answers i have given that will take you through the payment and bonus process. don't for get to leave positive feedback. thank you
master appliance tech and 2 other Appliance Specialists are ready to help you