Thread Number: 84009  /  Tag: Vintage Automatic Washers
Why Maytag Neptune Electronics?
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Post# 1083458   8/1/2020 at 19:02 (962 days old) by chetlaham (United States)        

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Why did Maytag put electronics into their front load washers? I mean they already had a full blown timer with over a dozen contacts. Just seems like electronics were the down fall of Neptunes (which I love btw) along with the Maytag company.

Post# 1083461 , Reply# 1   8/1/2020 at 19:34 (962 days old) by cfz2882 (Belle Fourche,SD)        
better motor control(,spin ramp up etc.)

electronics have been reliable on my 1998 3000,except did have to repair the control(replace a couple tiny SCRs and resistors)because of door latch wax motor flashover-Maytag made mistake of placing non-moisture resistant wax motor right above door opening where it would get damp...Heat disc of the wax motor has conductive faces a little less than 1/8"apart and flashover between the surfaces can occur.I took apart and insulated the original wax motors of my Neptune :)Good old switched reluctance motor too:)

Post# 1083465 , Reply# 2   8/1/2020 at 20:13 (962 days old) by chetlaham (United States)        

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I'll give you better motor control however I would have personally ditched that for simplicity, reliability and cost even if it meant wetter clothes after spin. Nothing can beat a timer and across the line motor starting.

I see to many appliance companies getting way to high tech aiming for an upper class market which has failed all to often ie Potscrubber III dishwashers.

Post# 1083466 , Reply# 3   8/1/2020 at 20:26 (962 days old) by cfz2882 (Belle Fourche,SD)        
no electronics Neptune...

...could have been done with a 2/16 pole split capacitor and mechanical timers-one for cycle control and other for reversals during tumble.

Post# 1083469 , Reply# 4   8/1/2020 at 20:50 (962 days old) by chetlaham (United States)        

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We speak the same language. This is what Maytag should have done. So much better!

Post# 1083470 , Reply# 5   8/1/2020 at 20:51 (962 days old) by chetlaham (United States)        

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Also- whose is to say reversing every 60-90 seconds is a bad thing? :P

Post# 1083527 , Reply# 6   8/2/2020 at 03:58 (961 days old) by gizmo (Victoria, Australia)        

There is nothing wrong with electronic controls. Done right, they are fantastic.


Fisher and Paykel, in the original Smart Drive machines, used sophisticated electronic controls and a very clever (but beautifully simple) motor to eliminate some of the common points of failure in old style traditional washing machines  - no belts, no transmission. Their advertising at the time said "a component that isn't there can't fail." They are an amazingly reliable machine and would have been more so if they were a bit better protected against moisture getting into the electronics. They also wash the pants off most traditional "all mechanical" machines.

FP smart drives can detect when they have been overloaded and adjust the wash action to suit (self preservation); fill to a precise temperature using only your hot and cold supply, no onboard heater needed; diagnose their own faults and show you the result on a sequence of lights. None of this is at the expense of reliability.


Trouble is too many manufacturers have shaved every last cent off production cost, at the expense of reliability. All so they can pay the CEOs bazillion dollar salaries that they don't deserve. It is the last few dollars that the bean counters have shaved off production costs that have made modern machines so rubbish. (And I include FP in that criticism...) Don't forget that mechanical timers have been cost shaved too, some of the most unreliable machines that I have monkeyed with recently have had hybrid timers - a mechanical timer that advances when the computer chip tells it to. They are made with plastic gears moving in plastic frames with no bearings or lubrication, they wear out in a few years as normal operation, and are so expensive that the machine isn't worth fixing.


Electronics isn't the problem. It is cost cutting by companies that just don't give a s--t.

Post# 1083528 , Reply# 7   8/2/2020 at 04:08 (961 days old) by gizmo (Victoria, Australia)        
2/16 pole split cap motor.

Have you actually used a machine that uses those motors?


They were used in just about all Italian washers (and most other European) in the 1980s. They were used in the Hoover Zodiac 480 front loader in Australia, a cheapening of the Hoover 470 that used an electronic controlled motor. Spin speed halved because of the change.

The ratio of slow speed to fast speed means you can only have a miserably slow spin. If the wash tumbles at 50rpm then the spin will be about 400rpm. There is no escaping that ratio. If you change pulley sizes to get a better spin, the tumble speed is too fast and the wash doesn't drop during tumble, it just goes round and round. Manufacturers tried mechanical means to get around this (expanding motor pulleys and in-pulley gearboxes) but they were hopelessly unreliable. Electronic control was the revolution that made fast spin speed possible in a reliable front loader.

Post# 1083602 , Reply# 8   8/2/2020 at 14:57 (961 days old) by Cam2s (Nebraska)        

As gizmo said electronics are not the issue. The 60lb Milnor hard mount we use in the hotel laundry is built to be used all day everyday. This unit is brand new but Iíve seen these units that have been in continuous service for years with no repairs or minor repairs. As with anything the quality is based on how much money into production and engineering. This particular machine cost almost $11,000 so it better be built well....

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