Thread Number: 77667  /  Tag: Vintage Automatic Washers
Why was the Maytag Neptune a flub?
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Post# 1016776   12/4/2018 at 12:38 (202 days old) by chetlaham (United States)        

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I never payed much attention to them despite being a Maytag fan, and while I admired them, they seem to have a reputation.

Looking back and comparing them to European/South American front loads I think they could have done several things differently. I also think they could have simplified the machines.

1) why didn't they consider a hose which connects to the top of the tub to a vent in the back?

2) why the re-circulation pump?

3) Why didn't Maytag use a 2&18 pole PSC motor which would eliminate the complex control board? {Let the timer cycle two contacts to reverse tumble. Another for spin in series the pressure switch (water drained out), door lock, and off balance switches.}

4) Why not a glass door?

5) why not a user front serviceable lint/coin trap?

6) Why not a BOL or entry setup? IE, is ATC really needed?

7) copy of the euro suspension system found in 70s machines?

I think Maytag didn't do enough research and did things to inflate the cost of the machine without adding any value to them. A simplified low cost machine would have drawn in more customers and made for less problems down the road.

Post# 1016800 , Reply# 1   12/4/2018 at 17:02 (202 days old) by Tomturbomatic (Beltsville, MD)        

Do you have search capabilities with your membership? If you do, type Neptune in the search box for the forum and read the discussions. If you don't, let us know and we will fill you in, like with the page of stuff I typed and lost to a GD bug that I swatted on the keyboard.

Post# 1016803 , Reply# 2   12/4/2018 at 17:34 (202 days old) by DaveAMKrayoGuy (Oak Park, MI)        
The original "Mr. Lonely Maytag Man" LIVES!!!!

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Good points, I'd tried a search for Neptune machines, here, as well as on the Deluxe forum, and except for some threads on servicing these machines (showing their innards to resemble machines years--and decades--older) found things I'd like to know more about, to no avail...

My sister is still using hers as well as the matching dryer, after almost 21-years-of what's now her ex-marriage (divorce was at least three-to-four years ago) cheerfully and dutifully, with no significant repairs needed to this day...!

Seems as though with some track record, even in small testimony, these machines have proven worth... (Or have not? Where can we find more?)

-- Dave

Post# 1016805 , Reply# 3   12/4/2018 at 17:59 (202 days old) by chetlaham (United States)        

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I can recall something about mold, failed motor drives, a class action and something about them being a black eye for Maytag. Maybe I'm thinking of a different washer. I also recall members speaking fondly of them here on So unsure whats what to be honest. However on analyzing them I think Maytag left over thought them while leaving crucial pieces out.

Search function- not sure if I have access to it.

Post# 1016809 , Reply# 4   12/4/2018 at 18:30 (202 days old) by cfz2882 (Belle Fourche,SD)        

mold on the boots and shorted wax motors/damaged pc boards seems to have caused a bad rep with the early machines-I have a spring,1998 built 3000 Neptune and it had the shorted wax motor problem:Inside the "wax motor"is a heat pellet that warms the wax chamber to extend the wax motor plunger-heat pellet is not insulated and can "flash over"when it gets damp in it's position in the door latch right above the door opening...:)When the "flasover" occurs,some small parts on the control board get blown up(easy to repair)If Maytag would have had their supplier provide moisture resistant wax motors or had the latch designed differently so wax motor would not get wet,this problem would never have been an issue...I have heard of motor control failures,but original in mine is still going strong,driving the "switched reluctance"drive motor with it's cool UFO liftoff sound during spin runnup :)

Post# 1016819 , Reply# 5   12/4/2018 at 20:15 (202 days old) by DADoES (TX, U.S. of A.)        

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There were a LOT of design changes on the Neptune through production.  The later machines (5500, 6500, and 7500) largely were free of the early issues.

Post# 1016822 , Reply# 6   12/4/2018 at 20:30 (202 days old) by electronicontrl (Grand Rapids, MI)        
Lack of Field Testing

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Had Maytag field-tested the Neptune MAH3000 the way they were supposed to, they would have corrected the issues well in advance of the 5500, 6500 and 7500 models.

Post# 1016830 , Reply# 7   12/4/2018 at 21:06 (202 days old) by Washerlover (Lake County, California: Wines With Altitude)        

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My ex-wife bought a Neptune washer and dryer when they first came out. The dryer worked fine, the washer door leaked constantly (even after multiple “repairs”) and ruined her hardwood floors in the laundry room. Yeah, right...who would have hardwood floors in a laundry room?! I ended up installing a washer pan underneath the machine for her and that solved that problem. She eventually went back to a top loader. And I’m referring to the washing machine, not her next husband!

Post# 1016838 , Reply# 8   12/4/2018 at 21:46 (202 days old) by Yogitunes (New Jersey)        

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let's you ask the person who, err, owns ONE....or you got one, and are trying to troubleshoot and issue?

to me, bearing/seals were an issue for machines that weren't cared for or used properly....that also can go in with the un-needed 'clean washer' cycle....

but any first release prototype is going to have issues.....

  Photos...       <              >      Photo 1 of 3         View Full Size
Post# 1016841 , Reply# 9   12/4/2018 at 22:29 (202 days old) by DaveAMKrayoGuy (Oak Park, MI)        

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Yogitunes, which of these have a Maytag dryer w/ the steam-cabinet over it, to go with, or to you have a gallery (or at least one or two stand-alone, not allotted to any washer) of them, too?

Yes, I think I'll branch out & wonder if the potential revolution in dryers was also a bust, if Maytag's steam-cabinet dryer (probably due to it being expensive) is also no longer around...

-- Dave

Post# 1016870 , Reply# 10   12/5/2018 at 04:56 (201 days old) by neptune1 (Northern Virginia)        
Maytag Neptune

Hi All,
I purchased my Maytag Neptune washer and dryer in May 1999 (the second model Neptunes). The washer performed flawlessly until about three years ago. It would not lock to spin. I had to have the circuit board replaced ($350.00). Since then, the machine has worked great! I have not mold/mildew issues. After finished washing, I always wipe out the boot, unplug the machine and leave the door open to air out until the next washday. I am very pleased with my Neptune pair.

Post# 1016871 , Reply# 11   12/5/2018 at 05:26 (201 days old) by Lorainfurniture (Cleveland )        

It was my understanding (belief) that Maytag got pinched for the door gasket mold, the door lock and the motor/ mcu problem.

This was a long time ago but I think I remember Maytag either doing 3 recalls, or getting sued 3 times. The third time is when they filed for bankruptcy.

Post# 1016901 , Reply# 12   12/5/2018 at 11:23 (201 days old) by chetlaham (United States)        

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I remember something similar, lawsuit and/or recall. Personally, all 3 could have been avoided had Maytag ordered a few Hoovers, Inglis of Phillips machines shamelessly using them for "inspiration". All of the Euro front loads have some type of back vent (US made Phillcos did also), and many older models have zero electronics that can fail. It might have sacrificed max spin speed due to no slow ramp up, but personally I would have started out with 800-1000rpm for reliability just so customers can get the feel of a front load. Unlike the Calypso, customers weren't outraged after a month of use. It was latter issues that turned customers off.

@Nepturne1: Glad to hear this! :)

@Yogitunes: LOL, yes, you were the guy I was thinking of. I've seen that picture before on here. How do you find these guys compared to other FLs? I've never personally used a Neptune, wish I did though.

@cf2882: I did not know that regarding the wax motor- learn something new everyday.

Post# 1016935 , Reply# 13   12/5/2018 at 13:55 (201 days old) by RP2813 (Too many people know the way)        

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I have the stacking Neptune pair with analog controls.  It's a model 2000 series but I'm not so sure that's an indicator of its age.  This set came with the house we purchased back in April, and I sold the 2008 Frigidaire Affinity FL set we had at our previous home.


The one thing about the washer that concerns me is its relatively limp-wristed rotation speed during the wash period, and how short the periods are between switching directions  As a result, stain removal isn't anywhere near as good as what the Affinity could do.   I'm just as diligent about pre-treating as I was with the Affinity, but results aren't the same.  If I know the Neptune won't deliver the stain-removing results desired, I'll toss the item(s) into the trusty Maytag A712 and do a soak for several hours or even overnight in there before letting it complete the wash cycle.


Recently I've noticed that upon unloading the washer, some items don't seem to be spun out as well as others.  I don't know what causes this or how it could even happen, but it doesn't occur often enough to be a bother.


Wash action shortcomings aside, I still prefer the Neptune's analog controls over electronic nonsense, and most of all there isn't an interminable balancing act before the Neptune ramps into spin.  Loads are completed in roughly the same amount of time, every time.  With the Affinity it was always a guessing game regarding when the load would be done.  I do not miss the ridiculous, time consuming balancing routine of the Affinity one bit.


I'm knocking on wood that I don't have any of the problems that took these machines down, and Maytag along with them.



Post# 1016938 , Reply# 14   12/5/2018 at 14:32 (201 days old) by Yogitunes (New Jersey)        

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I think you should really attend a wash-in event....and check some of these machines out for yourself....

@Ralph....your machine lacks the 'STAIN' cycle option...and note, its based off the 4000 series machine....for a tough stain issue, you sort of adapt to the machines Pre-Wash, double your detergent, and maybe add color safe bleach or borax, and some ammonia into the bleach dispenser, also select ExtraRinse….very rare that I have to pretreat something...

Warm wash/Warm rinse option is a nice touch on these machines...

I don't get the benefits of a built in heater on one of these personally, it only takes the temp up to 140...and my water heater is set at 180....

Post# 1017003 , Reply# 15   12/5/2018 at 20:50 (201 days old) by toploader55 (Massachusetts Sand Bar, Cape Cod)        

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WOW !!!

180 ? That's wicked hot. How long do your hot water tanks last ?

That's some good wash action there. Never knew they tumbled so vigorously.

Post# 1017011 , Reply# 16   12/5/2018 at 21:38 (201 days old) by RP2813 (Too many people know the way)        

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Martin, I'll try your pre-wash suggestion.  I've used it in the past but haven't developed much confidence in the double-dose method.  I realize this is probably due to the lack of a detergent dispenser on the stacker.  I already use borax but have been adding ammonia to the main wash cocktail.  I didn't realize it should be added to the rinse. 


I discovered I don't need to use the extra rinse option on the Neptune like I did with the Affinity, so that's no longer a default selection.   I'll set for both pre-wash and extra rinse next time there's a tough job to do.  That shouldn't be long.


I'm also going to buy a sh!tload of bibs for Dave . . .

Post# 1017032 , Reply# 17   12/6/2018 at 06:28 (200 days old) by Gyrafoam (Roanoke, VA)        

I know three different sets of people who bought first generation Neptune's who are still using them. One set is extremely high-mileage.
Early on they were all contacted by Maytag who came by and made a warranty service to replace the door-gasket. Otherwise, none of these people plan on replacing them until they die!

Post# 1017042 , Reply# 18   12/6/2018 at 08:47 (200 days old) by chetlaham (United States)        
180* water

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What type of setup do you have?

Post# 1017049 , Reply# 19   12/6/2018 at 10:26 (200 days old) by Yogitunes (New Jersey)        

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its a simple Bradford White Defender water heater, natural gas, 40 gallons...

I got 17 years out of the last one....I put this one in around 2010....

too many people select a HOT wash, but their water heater is set at 120, that's a really warm bath if that...not to mention the bacteria that can grow in your tank at that temp...

you can't argue of dubbed down temps from a machine if you didn't start with a real hot water supply in the first place.....of the dubbed down machines I have used, there is only a 10 degree drop from the water heater....

if I were a single person, a 30 gal set at 140 would probably work.....with 3 bathrooms, and all my machines, there are times I have demand....

standard TL machines were a reason to wash in cooler temps....HE machines were my open door to wash in hot as much as possible without killing my utility bill.....not to mention, no issues from any machines of mold/mildew, bearing/seals...

my opinion is seeing it as common much hot water can an HE machine actually use, 3 or 4 gallons tops?.....clean clothes, clean maintenance free machine--the way it was designed, and no repair bills.....

or wash in cold, grungy smelly clothing, mold/mildew growth in a machine, and a machines life span shortened, requiring repairs or replacements....

which is really more cost effective?

Post# 1017120 , Reply# 20   12/6/2018 at 18:34 (200 days old) by chetlaham (United States)        

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Is yours commercial by chance? I ask because most residential water heaters only go to 160-150*F. 180* is nice and you have earned my respect :)

Post# 1017122 , Reply# 21   12/6/2018 at 18:37 (200 days old) by toploader55 (Massachusetts Sand Bar, Cape Cod)        

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We have 150-160 from the Oil fired Boiler Jacket. Most of the time the Temp boost don't even need to kick in.

Post# 1017179 , Reply# 22   12/7/2018 at 08:49 (199 days old) by chetlaham (United States)        

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By chance does anyone have pics of the innards of these machines? I want some eye candy. :P

Post# 1017202 , Reply# 23   12/7/2018 at 13:09 (199 days old) by potatochips (Nova Scotia)        

There are some videos on YouTube of bearing changes that show the insides quite well. 


These are excellent machines. We use ours as daily drivers and they have not disappointed. Ever. 

Post# 1017212 , Reply# 24   12/7/2018 at 13:48 (199 days old) by chetlaham (United States)        

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All right, will check them out.

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