How to Repair a Washer Agitator That Won't Turn

What You'll Need
Scrub brush
Mild detergent
Replacement agitator

A washer agitator works by moving the the water and clothing around in the machine and keeping space between the fabrics so the soap can penetrate. If your machine is not getting your clothes as clean as possible, then you need to consider whether the agitator is at fault. Repairing your agitator can be a complicated process, and it is tempting to turn it over to a professional who can repair it quickly and effectively. However, if you are reluctant to spend money the price a pro will charge, then it is worth considering doing the job yourself. All you have to do is follow a few simple guidelines to get the job done.

Step 1 - Remove the Agitator

The first step in fixing your agitator is to take the item out of the washing machine. This is not as easy as you might imagine, since the agitator is placed in there pretty firmly. Try filling the washing machine half-full, and then put a string rope around the neck of the agitator. Using a piece of wood or lumber, gently raise it up in a lever fashion (trying just the string might cause bigger problems). You can then inspect the insides of the agitator.

Step 2 - Open Up the Agitator

Next you will have to open this piece so that you can see inside. There should be a screw on the base of the agitator which can be removed using a screwdriver. There may also be a large bolt at the other side which can be loosened with a wrench. Take these parts off, and the agitator should split in half.

Step 3 - Inspect and Fix Problems

Conduct a close inspection of the mechanics inside. There may be a loose wire somewhere within the system, or you may find that the screw part of the agitator has been broken. Check the paddles as well to make sure that they are not cracked or broken, as this can prevent it from turning. While you have the agitator out of the washing machine, you should also check the central pole on which it sits in order to make sure that it is completely clean.

In the case of loose wires, simply reconnect them and make sure that the new connections are firm. A dirty central pole should quickly be scrubbed clean with a scrub brush and a mild detergent. For the rest of these issues, you will have buy a replacement agitator for your model of washer from the manufacturer.

Step 4 - Re-install the Agitator

Slide the agitator back into place and replace the screws and bolt so it is secure. Take the string and lower it down the central pole. Your agitator should settle into the bottom, although you may wish to give it a push to check.