Question about Maytag MDBH945AWW / MDBH945AWQ / MDBH945AWB Built-in Dishwasher

8 Answers

AC Input Line Produces Smoke


Washer is ~1.5yr old. I was running a heavy wash cycle with the hi-temp sanitizer enabled. I smelled electrical smoke and shut off the dishwasher. I removed the dishwasher from under the counter and ran a rinse cycle w/o incident. Then I ran the heavy wash w/ hi-temp cycle again and saw a small tendril of smoke coming from a silver box in the bottom right corner of the front of the unit. I checked the intallation guide and found that this is the AC input box for the unit. I pulled off the box cover and found a melted wire connector nut on the white AC wire (pictures below). Is this just a bad installation of this wire (I can re-strip the wires and replace the conenctor nut) or is there some other more serious underlying problem? Thanks for your help!


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  • geraldkleyn Jul 07, 2008

    What's interesting is that out of the box the dishwasher doesn't come with an AC line. The installation instructions include directions on how to attach an AC plug to the washer in this area and during installation, the technician did install this AC cord. So, either the installation was bad (it had a 90day warranty) or the wire nut melted over time. Do you think the manufacturer would take responsibility for it or call it an installation issue? Do you think that the wire nut failed because something else is wrong with the dishwasher (i.e. the motor is going bad and taking much more current to operate, more current than the wire nut can handle)?

  • geraldkleyn Jul 07, 2008

    See additional comments added. Thanks!

  • geraldkleyn Jul 07, 2008

    Yes, it was unplugged from the source before i took the metal cover off that protects the wire nut connection. No, it did not trip the ckt breaker. Thanks for the comments. I'll go ahead and replace the wire nut and check it for a couple cycles for leaks/smoke.

    Also, I should mention that a couple days before this started happening, my son fell onto the dishwasher door. The door still works fine, as did the washer (we ran it after he fell on the door without incident), but could this have caused a shock somewhere inside the unit that would cause this to occur?

  • geraldkleyn Jul 08, 2008

    Thanks. As I was pulling apart the defective line I found that the nut for the AC line clamp was not installed so there was constant tension on the wire nut. The common wire from the wire nut looked like it only had 5 strands going into it, this thin conductor line is likely what was causing the heat. I stripped the wires back and installed new nuts, reasembled and it is working fine. Thanks for the sounding board!!!

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8 Answers

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When your son fell on the door it cause have momentarily done something to the door switches or shorted something to cause your problem. I would replace that wire nut and make sure they are in the junction box and retest. Otherwise you may have a problem with one of the door switches, the heater or the thermostate.

Posted on Jul 07, 2008

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Did u check for any water leaks?

Posted on Jul 07, 2008

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It looks like one of the wires touched and shorted to cause that wiring nut to melt like that. What guage wire are they using? I would pick up a new pigtail. Is this 220 or 110? Usually 220 is used for washing machines. One other issue could be the technician used the old pigtail and the guage of the wiring is too thin causing it to heat up due to too much amp draw on the wiring. With the power turned off to this area try and trace the wiring back and make sure there are no cuts in the insulation. Keep me posted.

Posted on Jul 07, 2008

  • Justin Jul 07, 2008

    I also forgot to mention it might be best to contact the manufacturer if it is under warranty. Everything should be covered since an installer set everything up. That way you are responsible for nothing and they cant blame the installation on you.

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The problem is because of the melted wire only,but dont repair by own ,because yours is only one and half year old so go for warranty.repairing by own will void warranty,so give to service center with warranty

Posted on Jul 07, 2008

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Motor power absorption does not cause this kind of effect, it looks more like an ordinary short, a defective cable, or water leaking a not well insulated cable.
Probably some water on the cable caused the short. Replacing the cable in the proper way, and ensuring insulation can sort it out.

Posted on Jul 07, 2008

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Ensure the unit is unplugged! It looks as though this connections is directly attached to the cord that supplies the unit with electricity. With that being the case, from your little caption, one of your questions is "did the connector fail" and also "is this common". One, wire nuts do not typically fail. When you have a loose connection, this causes heat, this connection looks as though it is connecting the neutral for this unit to the neutral from the source. Neutrals are a return path to it's source. With a connection that is loose it will eventually heat up to the point of melting the insulation and eventually breakdown the connection to the point to where it fails. You could possibly peel back the insulation on both wires until you find good copper wire and re-connect tightly with a new wire nut. Run a new load and examine carefully. It should work without incident. You may also check for any possible leaks as water could have caused a similar issue. Did this happen to short out the circuit breaker or the ground fault located under the sink where it is plugged in?

Good Luck

Posted on Jul 07, 2008

  • Thomas Van Tress
    Thomas Van Tress Jul 07, 2008

    Just a clarification to add to my original solution. The "HOT" is the black wire from the cord. I will tell you that the wire that got hot is the nuetral as this unit looks to be being fed by 120v. I will also say that the neutral does carry current and has the potential to have the same current (amps) as the unit is capable of using, but if the neutral stays closed or connected with your system neutral it will always be considerably less than the black wire as this is the hot wire that supplies the unit with voltage and has the most current flowing through it. If you were to follow all the neutrals back to your service panel you will see that they are connected directly to the case of your service panel as is all of your grounds. If you had a 3 prong plug feeding this unit, it would ensure polarity when plugging it in i.e. neutral prong would have to go in on the left when you plugged it in with the ground being on the bottom. You can still get electrocuted with an "open" neutral because the unit requires the return path to the source, in this case it would the service panel. Electricity must flow to the appliance and have a return. If either is opened the appliance will not run. Likewise any loose connection with either of these will create heat. Since a technician installed the connector, they would be my first call to see if they will stand up to their work that they did as this could have caused a fire!!



    I hope this helps.

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I would suggest to contact the manufacturers first, since this seems to be a manufacturers defect because under any circumstance the wire should melt that way even if they were loose from day one still manufacturers responsibility.
I would suggest to click here to find out if your model number has been recalled.
If you decide on fixing it yourself, you can just strip the wire and re-attach it making sure you isolate the exposed areas with a heat resistance insulator tape.

Posted on Jul 07, 2008

  • Jaime Hernandez Jul 07, 2008

    Check the installation guide for proper wiring diameter(AWG). Normally if these appliances operate at their maximum, they will draw higher currents but it does not mean the motor is bad or going bad.

  • Jaime Hernandez Jul 07, 2008

    Your son incident wouldn't have nothing to do with this failure.

    It appears that it happened overtime.

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Yes you can re-strip the wires and replace the conenctor nut. the melted wire were the reason of loosely connected wires that increases the temp od the wires and melt it.

Posted on Jul 07, 2008

  • Legin Varghese
    Legin Varghese Jul 07, 2008

    make sure the wire are tight (connection) properly else it will do he same thing again in a weeks time.



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