How to Repair a Washer Agitator That Won't Turn

A washing machine filling with water in preparation for a cycle.
  • 1 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 45
What You'll Need
Scrub brush
Mild detergent
Replacement agitator

A washer agitator works by moving 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 it should, 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 Fabric Softener Dispenser

The first step in fixing your agitator is to take the item out of the washing machine. Before trying to lift it out with a lever-type contraption, remove the fabric softener dispenser on top of the agitator and look inside for a plastic cover underneath which you will probably find a nut or a bolt. keeping it in place and that is probably hidden under some plastic cap.

Step 2 - Open Up the Agitator

Next, you will have to open this piece so that you can see inside. With the proper size socket, you can then remove the nut or bolt which will release the top part of the agitator. 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 nut or bolt to secure it back in place. The plastic cover and the fabric softener dispenser can now be put back into place.

Alternatives like agitator balls can also help get your clothes clean.

When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn commissions at no cost to you.