Thread Number: 82327  /  Tag: Vintage Automatic Washers
Maytag A170 Skips Drain Cycle
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Post# 1063436   3/16/2020 at 19:02 (1,106 days old) by frank1492 (Worcester)        

My A170 Maytag skips the drain cycle and causes motor overheating when attempting the spin cycle.Timer seems likely but suppose it could be a bad connection. Any other ideas? Where should I start looking first? Many thanks. Frank

Post# 1063446 , Reply# 1   3/16/2020 at 21:20 (1,106 days old) by combo52 (50 Year Repair Tech Beltsville,Md)        
Maytag Washer Problem

combo52's profile picture

No such thing as a A170 MT.


If the motor runs in wash it is not likely the timer, take the belts off and see if the motor runs in spin, 


John L.

Post# 1063452 , Reply# 2   3/16/2020 at 22:23 (1,106 days old) by DADoES (TX, U.S. of A.)        

dadoes's profile picture
Also, to clarify further, there is no separate drain period on a vintage Maytag toploader.  The machine by design goes into spin with a full tub of water.  The belt functions as a clutch, slipping on the motor pulley until the water is out and the basket gets up to full speed.

Post# 1063453 , Reply# 3   3/16/2020 at 22:28 (1,106 days old) by frank1492 (Worcester)        

Sorry A107 not A170

Post# 1063457 , Reply# 4   3/16/2020 at 23:08 (1,106 days old) by frank1492 (Worcester)        
More Info on A107 MT

The motor does run on spin. The spin begins slowly but the lights dim, the motor gets warm and trips the thermal cutoff. I did not know that spin and drain occur simultaneously and thought the full tub was causing the overload. It would sound like a bad motor except the agitation cycle is always normal. Any other ideas? Not going to give up on this old girl because I know all the trouble people are having with new machines!

Post# 1063482 , Reply# 5   3/17/2020 at 03:58 (1,105 days old) by Tomturbomatic (Beltsville, MD)        

How do you get the water to drain out of the machine? If the motor does not work in the reverse or spin direction, you need a new motor.

Post# 1063489 , Reply# 6   3/17/2020 at 05:44 (1,105 days old) by arbilab (Ft Worth TX (Ridglea))        

arbilab's profile picture

Skuze me, I've only changed belts on Maytags, but if the motor runs one direction, the exact same windings are used for reverse.  Only the polarity of one winding changes, and the timer does that.  If the motor fails to start and only sits there growling, the current through the one winding that is working doubles, quickly overheats and trips off.



Post# 1063516 , Reply# 7   3/17/2020 at 11:00 (1,105 days old) by DADoES (TX, U.S. of A.)        

dadoes's profile picture
Frank1492:  The motor does run on spin. The spin begins slowly but the lights dim, the motor gets warm and trips the thermal cutoff.
Does the behavior occur when set to spin *without* water or clothes?  If so, remove the belts, set it to spin.  Same behavior?

Have you removed the machine's front panel to look for evidence of a bad tub seal/bearing ... such as obvious water dripping, telltale rust or a spattering around inside/down the sides of the cabinet at the level of the top of the transmission / bottom of the tub?

Post# 1063523 , Reply# 8   3/17/2020 at 11:36 (1,105 days old) by LowEfficiency (Iowa)        

lowefficiency's profile picture

>> The motor does run on spin. The spin begins slowly but the lights dim, the motor gets warm and trips
>> the thermal cutoff. I did not know that spin and drain occur simultaneously and thought the full tub
>> was causing the overload. It would sound like a bad motor except the agitation cycle is always normal.
>> Any other ideas?

Check for stuck clothing between the inner and outer tubs!

If a piece of clothing works its way in there, it can make the inner tub jam up, and the motor won't be able to turn it (or turn it fast enough), leading to the motor cutting out when it trips the thermal overload.

Here's a thread on my A209, which I bought with a similar issue. It had two socks stuck, one near the top of the tub, and another which had migrated half way down between the two tubs.

"Maytag A209 - Anyone missing a sock?"

  Photos...       <              >      Photo 1 of 2         View Full Size
Post# 1063535 , Reply# 9   3/17/2020 at 12:47 (1,105 days old) by eronie (Flushing Michigan)        

Is the motor carriage bound up? It has to slide to allow the belt to slip at the start of spin to allow for the pump out.

Post# 1063548 , Reply# 10   3/17/2020 at 13:54 (1,105 days old) by bendixmark (Winchester Mass)        
No Spin

What is this machine plugged into?You need 110 volts for that to spin.If the voltage were low it will act like that.Either that or the motor carriage is locked up and not allowing the belts to slip at the beginning of spin.If the voltage were low you may need to add a start capacitor to the motor to help it get going. Lights dimming is an indication the voltage is low.

Post# 1063562 , Reply# 11   3/17/2020 at 15:42 (1,105 days old) by frank1492 (Worcester)        
Further Info- A107

Thanks for comments, will address them later but just wanted to give you the latest. I have checked the inner tub rotation manually, no binding. With a couple of inches in the tub, the tub starts to spin slowly *and* the pump discharges water normally at the same time. Motor growls, lights dim. I figure with that little water (and weight) even if the belt did not slip properly at startup, the motor should not be overloaded. I will remove the belt to the tub and will check the line voltage, but I would say at this point all points to the motor. What do you think? Thank you all once again.

Post# 1063567 , Reply# 12   3/17/2020 at 16:35 (1,105 days old) by frank1492 (Worcester)        
More A107

I disconnected both belts and now the motor makes a sharp rattling sound. Runs normally, no excessive current. That doesn't suggest an electrical issue (or does it? or would it to have something to do with the carriage when the belts are not connected. I assume the carriage is the unit directly under the motor. Is the carriage easy to check for issues? If so, how?
In answer to comments, the line voltage is normal and the inner tub spins freely.
No water leaks at all including under the tub

Post# 1063572 , Reply# 13   3/17/2020 at 17:33 (1,105 days old) by Yogitunes (New Jersey)        

yogitunes's profile picture
with both belts off, the carriage springs still have tension pulling the motor fully backwards and causing the motors shaft to ride against the base plate causing a scraping/screeching noise....use a block of wood or just push it slightly forward...

depending on when your model was built the pulley may have to come off, and sometimes not, once you get the screws out, you will know which one you have......but anyway, there should be three tiny screws holding the carriage/motor to the base plate...pushing motor forward to gain access to the ones near the front, and then the one facing the rear...

have seen motors run fine on their own, or just hooked up to the belts....then an issue surfaces when you put the weight of clothing/water against it...just one of those crazy things...

Post# 1063575 , Reply# 14   3/17/2020 at 17:51 (1,105 days old) by DADoES (TX, U.S. of A.)        

dadoes's profile picture
Have the belts been changed?  MUST use genuine Maytag belts, especially for the motor->transmission, so it slips properly for the clutch function.  Cannot substitute a "lawn mower" belt.

Post# 1063594 , Reply# 15   3/17/2020 at 19:36 (1,105 days old) by frank1492 (Worcester)        

Belts have not been changed. To Yogitunes:
So the motor is not fixed. The carriage puts the motor under spring tension only, allowing the belt to slip while the tub overcomes inertia, is that about it? Now I also understand the motor noise with no belts.
So what would make the tub drive belt too tight on startup? I would think the only problem the carriage could have would be broken/disconnected springs in which case the belt would not grab at all. The motor wouldn't overheat that way.
So aren't we down to just two things: the motor runs fine to a certain load point, then overheats indicating an internal problem, or even tho no-load conditions show line voltage at 115, the motor under load pulls the line voltage way down- a house or external wiring issue. I will check for the latter. Had a problem like that once and it was a bad neutral at the pole.
Which do you think it is or is it something else I've missed? Thank you!

Post# 1063603 , Reply# 16   3/17/2020 at 21:36 (1,105 days old) by frank1492 (Worcester)        
Still More A107

The carriage works perfectly, travels smoothly. This time, with just a small amount of water in the tub and both belts attached, everything worked (spin and drain). Lights dimmed momentarily on motor start, normal behavior. I'm going to assume with full water and clothes, I'd have the original problem. All bearings (tub and drain pump) seem fine. So when the weight gets to a certain point, the motor can't handle the weight and overloads, drawing too much current, keeping lights dim and thermally cutting off. Have you ever seen this before?
Just to be 100% certain I will check the line voltage drop tomorrow, but I woul be pretty sure at this point that the motor is bad. Your comments?

Post# 1063605 , Reply# 17   3/17/2020 at 21:41 (1,105 days old) by combo52 (50 Year Repair Tech Beltsville,Md)        
MT Motor going Out On Overload At Spin Start

combo52's profile picture

If the motor works for wash it is NOT a bad motor, take the main drive belt off and examine it, is it greasy and sticky ?, Is the cloth coating worn off making it grab too much ? make sure there is no grease-oil on the pulleys, if so clean them.


If voltage dips to around 100 volts at spin start add a motor start capacitor, if it dips below around 100 volts fix wiring-circuit problem with your home.


Sometimes making the the pump belt slightly tighter will take a little tension off the main drive belt and allow the motor to start for spin [ Note at spin start the motor should get up to full speed in one second, the only strain is on the main drive belt as the water pumps out and the basket gets up to speed ] Be careful not to tighten the pump belt too tight or it will slip too much with heavy loads durning agitation.


As you are learning MT washers used a mickey mouse belt tension-clutch system that they really did not fix till around 2000, but you should be able to get it to work fairly well with enough tinkering.


John L.

Post# 1063635 , Reply# 18   3/18/2020 at 04:04 (1,104 days old) by eronie (Flushing Michigan)        

Bad wall outlet?

Post# 1063641 , Reply# 19   3/18/2020 at 06:21 (1,104 days old) by retro-man (- boston,ma)        

You are plugged directly to a wall outlet and not an extension cord or a power strip correct?


Post# 1063684 , Reply# 20   3/18/2020 at 14:21 (1,104 days old) by frank1492 (Worcester)        
A107 More

Thanks to everyone who has tried to help me. Your great education has given me vast knowledge about my MT that will enable me to more easily diagnose problems in the future!
Special kudos to those who mentioned extension cords and faulty wall outlets and other possible supply issues. And special kudos to me *NOT* for being so stupid as to not check line voltage at the very beginning!
I used both a hair dryer and a utility heater to provide loads at every outlet in my house. I used a Kill-A-Watt to measure voltages with and without loads. In every case the no-load voltage was close to 115 v. With either load, the voltage dropped to 95-105.
Thankfully this suggested the problem
was not in any branch circuit. To double check I tested the voltages at the line in from the meter. Same exact readings. I suspect a bad neutral outside, as this has happened before.
So I deserve at least 50 lashes with an extension cord. I'm truly sorry for all the time and effort you guys put in when I should have known better, but I really do appreciate it!
To make up, I will soon post info on my custom designed GE Sink with its cabinetry and stainless steel surfaces. I believe my grandfather bought it c. 1937 and it is still in use, but with a new disposal and washer motor assembly. I posted it here many years ago but can't find it so will post again.
If anyone thinks I have missed anything in my diagnosis, please inform.
Thanks again,

Post# 1063728 , Reply# 21   3/18/2020 at 21:06 (1,104 days old) by arbilab (Ft Worth TX (Ridglea))        

arbilab's profile picture

Congrats Frank.  A lot of this diagnosis stuff is correlating what has gone before.  Bad neutral isn't the first suspect in most cases, unless it's happened to your house before.  Wonder is, your fridge will still start at 95V.


Last time, was it the utility?  Or the house wiring?  I know 'what' it is, but not why/how.

Post# 1063753 , Reply# 22   3/19/2020 at 06:14 (1,103 days old) by Tomturbomatic (Beltsville, MD)        

Don't apologize. We had fun weighing in. Hope you will be spinning soon.

Post# 1063819 , Reply# 23   3/19/2020 at 17:43 (1,103 days old) by frank1492 (Worcester)        
A107 Afterthoughts

Thanks again. National Grid came last evening. It *was* a bad neutral. He got 95 v at the meter. Yes, don't know why the fridge started. I have a copper line with an aluminum neutral, Not a good combo.
The earlier incident was on Cape Cod. An electric gate would run and then stop. It was very old but still with control electronics. I took those out and built an electro-mechanical unit. After all that, when it was still intermittent, I accidentally stumbled on the voltage drop
. Yup, bad neutral corroded at the pole. Salt air was supposed to have contibuted.
You would think I would have suspected the neutral sooner in the washer case, but it seemed like a "lightening can't strike twice" case. Will I have another bad neutral in my lifetime???
I actually have not tried the washer yet. I suppose there could be a second issue but I'm hopeful. Will try shortly. Yes, hopefully I'll be "spinning away."
BTW, the Cape house is for summers. The washer is at my winter house, far from salt air.

Post# 1063835 , Reply# 24   3/19/2020 at 19:16 (1,103 days old) by DADoES (TX, U.S. of A.)        

dadoes's profile picture
Just to say ... recommend do not run the machine on an extension cord (except maybe a heavy-duty type).  I tried that a couple times with an older Maytag in my garage and the motor kept cutting on/off during spin with insufficient power.

Post# 1063844 , Reply# 25   3/19/2020 at 20:48 (1,103 days old) by frank1492 (Worcester)        

I never would use an extension cord. But thanks for the tip!

Post# 1064458 , Reply# 26   3/24/2020 at 18:06 (1,098 days old) by frank1492 (Worcester)        
A107- Finally tried washer and have coupla questions

I'm sorry this is coming so late- have been tied up with other matters.
I finally tried a regular, large load with no clothes. I noted the following:
(1) The fill did not seem to stop in a timely manner so I advanced the dial manually to agitate and then to spin/drain. With the power supply fixed, I'm happy to report that lights remained fully bright with no motor overload or shutdown.
(2) Someone said the tub in spin/drain should be fully up to speed in 1 second. I doubted that at the time and it was nowhere close- many seconds (did not count exactly.)
What is it that shuts off the fill flow- time, volume or weight? Was it the absence of the clothes that caused the problem? And the time for the tub to reach full rotation on spin/drain. How many seconds or do I need a new belt.
Thank you so much once again for your help. I do want to follow the rules. Since this is an old thread and maybe forgotten, am I allowed to post a follow-up thread if I don't receive a reply here? Thank you.

Post# 1064470 , Reply# 27   3/24/2020 at 19:04 (1,098 days old) by RP2813 (Sannazay)        

rp2813's profile picture

I have a later model with the larger tub so this may not be a true like-for-like comparison, but with a full load my machine doesn't quite reach top spin speed by the time the spray rinse begins.  After the spray rinse is over, it reaches full speed pretty quick.  I've heard from others that their experience is the same. 


With a standard tub however, and presuming there's no difference in timer increments between the two tub sizes, your machine may reach full speed before the spray rinse starts.


I can't imagine that any spin-drain machine made by any manufacturer could possibly reach full spin speed in one second flat.  Where did you get that information from?  The White House?

Post# 1064472 , Reply# 28   3/24/2020 at 19:18 (1,098 days old) by DADoES (TX, U.S. of A.)        

dadoes's profile picture
Full spin RPM is surely not attained in 1 second, LOL ... not even on an empty basket.  Acceleration time when running a load of course varies per the volume of water to be drained, size of load and type of fabric, etc.

Fill level is controlled by a pressure switch that responds to the depth of water in the tub ... via an air tube that comes up the (out)side of the tub, attaching to the pressure switch in the console.

Post# 1064798 , Reply# 29   3/27/2020 at 11:47 (1,095 days old) by frank1492 (Worcester)        
Final Report on A107

Hello all,
I am finally happy to report that my A107 is spinning away perfectly. I have done a couple of loads and everything is flawless! Again thanks so much to all of you! I am so reluctant to replace this 80's machine as the new ones last so poorly with service calls every coupla years, and especially the more expensive ones. Also, like today's cars, I assume they are very hard for servicing by the homeowner.
The "one second" spin comment came from another contributor. Possibly I misunderstood something. And, no (LOL), it did not come from the White House!!
Ah, the spray rinse. I observed that today for the first time, didn't know it did that. I know it started considerably after the spin was up to full speed.

Post# 1064800 , Reply# 30   3/27/2020 at 12:04 (1,095 days old) by combo52 (50 Year Repair Tech Beltsville,Md)        
One Second Start

combo52's profile picture

Someone might have meant that the motor should be at full speed in one second, the motor on a MT [ or about any washer for that matter ] should start instantly and stay at full speed as the water pumps out and the tub gains speed.


John L.

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