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Agitator in my washing machine acting up

Post in 'DIY and General non-hearth advice' started by wahoowad, Jul 25, 2007.

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  1. wahoowad

    wahoowad Minister of Fire

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    I have an older Whirlpool washer. Tonight, out of nowhere, I started hearing a loud clunking noise when I put in a load of clothes. It was the agitator that circulates the clothes making the noise. I put my hand on it and it stopped spinning with hardly any pressure. I think it is coming free from whatever mechanism makes it agitate in the bottom of the washer tub (top loader). It doesn't look like it is rotating and ratcheting as much as normal either.

    Anybody know what this might be? I haven't attempted to look at it yet (hoping it miraculously goes away :) ) and would rather have some idea of what I'll be taking apart and what to look for.

    Thanks!

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  2. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    I thought you said there was an "alligator" in your washing machine, acting up.

    My advice is to rip 'er apart and see what's going on.
  3. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    With the old Whirlpools it is a better than even money bet that when you take the nut off the top of the shaft sticking up through the tub that you are going to find the top of the tub has rusted out and the collar at the top of the shaft has seperated from the tub.

    New/and or used tub time.
  4. wahoowad

    wahoowad Minister of Fire

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    Bro' Bart -

    Don't jinx me. I bought this washer/dryer set gently used for $50 about 15 years ago. I want another 15 years out of it! It's not the thought of paying for a new one, I just don't want to move the old one out and move a new one in. I just painted that dang stairwell!
  5. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    When it happended to mine I just went to the landfill and took the tub out of another one. Thirty minutes later we were washing closes. Since Whirlpool made hundreds of thousands, probably millions, of the things for Sears there are junked one everywhere.
  6. burntime

    burntime New Member

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    Wow BB now that is cheap! How is it the mrs went for it. My wife would turn up her nose to put her unmentionables in where other peoples unmentionables had been. ;~)
  7. Kenny1

    Kenny1 Feeling the Heat

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    Just a suggestion.....

    Don't tell her where you got it ;-)
  8. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    She would have had a hard time convincing me that a porcelain tube had be "fouled".
  9. Gooserider

    Gooserider Mod Emeritus

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    BB may well be right in his diagnosis, but at any rate, there are lots of "appliance repair" advice sites on the web that have good info on how to repair these things, including how to take them apart, troubleshoot, etc. I know that I meentioned a few of them that I checked out in a thread a while back where someone else was having a washer / dryer problem.

    Good luck,

    Gooserider
  10. wahoowad

    wahoowad Minister of Fire

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    I think the problem is inside the agitator - I looked at it a little bit closer today after loading it with clothes and starting the cycle. The agitator looks like a mechanism is slipping and not moving the clothes around. Could be what BB says although it seems like there is some kind of mechanism inside the agitator. Anybody know how to remove the agitator?!?!?!
  11. Gooserider

    Gooserider Mod Emeritus

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    I'd repeat my earlier, do a search on Dryer Repair for the thread where I mentioned my favorite appliance repair sites for this sort of thing...

    There shouldn't be any sort of mechanism inside the agitator - it's usually all in the transmission under the tub that drives the agitator from below. Most machines it's reached from underneath. Like I said check the repair sites for diagnostics and dismantling instructions.

    Gooserider
  12. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    Just pop the plastic cap off of the top of the agitator. Some press on, some screw on. There is a nut under it that secures the agitator to to the shaft that comes up through the middle of the agitator.
  13. wahoowad

    wahoowad Minister of Fire

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    Yup - it is like Bart says. I found a parts website that describes replacing agitator dogs. These dogs keep the agitator spinninginone direction. Guess I'll have to order some of these and tear it apart. They sound like exactly what I have going on.
  14. eba1225

    eba1225 Feeling the Heat

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    Wahoo,

    Had something similiar happen to me a few years back. The issue was the 'plastic' gearing under the tub had gone.
    Flipped it on its back, ordered the part, and was back running by the weekend. Washer was down for 2 days while the part was intransit.

    Erik
  15. wahoowad

    wahoowad Minister of Fire

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    I ordered the part I suspect I'll need and it arrived yesterday. I'm gonna crack her open tonight.
  16. wahoowad

    wahoowad Minister of Fire

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    Piece of cake! It *was* the agitator dogs! Cheap and easy fix.
  17. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    See, life can be good sometimes. Now, get all of that dirty underwear washed.
  18. Harley

    Harley Minister of Fire

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    Glad you got that alligator out of the washing machine, Wahoo (I hate when they get in there - a real pain in the ---). Now - get that thing cranking and finish up the laundry!
  19. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Alligator Dogs - wasn't that a Tarantino sequel to Reservoir Dogs? Good to hear you're back in clean clothes Wahoo. And congrats, you just saved a nice bundle.
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