My clothes washer had stopped agitating. I have a four grown men living at my house, and my washer gets plenty of
abuse use. Frankly, I’m surprised that it still works at all. There’s something to be said about the quality of older machines, especially when you couple that quality with ease-of-maintenance on older machines.
Some quick Google searching lead me to believe that worn agitator dogs were probably the problem’s root cause. Agitators work much like a ratchet does: a motor turns partway though a revolution and rotates the agitator. One-way gears (gear dogs) maintain the agitator’s direction. On mine, the gear dogs had worn down, and this creates a back-and-forth motion.
Replacing the gear dogs is a pretty straight forward process.
- Remove the agitator
- Remove the worn agitator dogs
- Install the new agitator dogs
- Install the agitator
1. Remove the agitator
Removing the agitator was easy. I removed the cover and the agitator bolt, and the agitator lifted out.
2. Remove the worn agitator dogs
The agitator dogs hinge on at one end via a cylindrical knob. Slide the old dogs out, and admire how they have no teeth left.
3. Install the new agitator dogs
Installation is the opposite of removal. Slide the new dogs into the slots on the agitator.
4. Install the agitator
I slid the top of the agitator back in place, and bolted it back into the washer. I left the cap off so I could watch my handwork in action.
I think it’s easier to understand the agitator action by watching the video here. You can see the center completes a semi-rotation, while the outer section rotates in one direction only.
All said and done, this is one of the easier appliance repairs I’ve completed. I think the entire project took about 20 minutes, and the replacement gear dogs were only a couple dollars. I shudder to think what this would have cost had I been too afraid to do the repair myself.