Why Is My Washing Machine Not Agitating?


Quick Answer

Washing machines can stop agitating because of faulty motor couplings or non-functioning agitator dogs. Agitator dogs are plastic devices that can become stripped when they grab onto the agitator during the wash cycle.

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Full Answer

When the washing machine has a faulty motor coupling, or coupler, the machine's drum spins and effectively pumps out the water, but it does not agitate. To access the motor coupling, the motor and drain pump need to be taken off. However, the homeowner should not attempt to do this himself, unless he has experience in washing machine repair.

If the motor coupling and agitator dogs are found to be in proper working order, clothes, strings or other items may be wrapped around the mechanism under the agitator, or stuck underneath the agitator. While the agitator may still work, if objects are wedged underneath it, agitation may be very weak and ineffective in cleaning the clothes. This may also cause the agitator to work in only one direction. While some washing machines have agitators that pop out very easily, some require the removal of screws. In most washing machines, the agitator can be located after unscrewing the fabric softener dispenser, then unscrewing or prying off the agitator's cap.

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