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What to Do If a Washing Machine Not Agitating?

Oleg Chudnovski, CEO

Technically Reviewed by Oleg Chudnovski, CEO on Apr 09, 2024 | Written by Olga Larina

Authorized repair service for most home appliance manufactures

Some things in life are a little more frustrating than others, and having a washing machine not agitating is one of them. If your washing machine doesn’t agitate, there could be several potential issues that are causing you grief.

If your washing machine isn’t agitating, start by inspecting it. Look for any debris that may be the source of the issue near the base of the agitator. You may probably take care of it yourself and save money on repairs if it appears to be a small problem. Nevertheless, attempt troubleshooting other possible causes, such as the drive belt or motor, if the issue appears more complex, and you’re not sure how to resolve it. It’s preferable to seek professional assistance if those steps fail to resolve the issue.

We’ll take a closer look at a few common reasons why a washing machine stops agitating and help you determine if you need professional help or if it’s a simple fix you can perform on your own.

Why Your Washing Machine Won’t Agitate

When you’ve set aside an hour to catch up on your laundry only to find that your washing machine’s agitator has stopped working, it can be annoying, to say the least. You may need a replacement part, but it’s best to take a look at what’s happening before you decide to call a repair company for help. Here are some of the main reasons your washing machine agitator is not spinning:

  • Obstacle jammed in the agitator
  • Broken lid switch
  • Loose or broken drive belt
  • Faulty transmission
  • Broken motor

Obstacle Jammed in Agitator

The simplest explanation for why your washing machine has stopped agitating may be because something has jammed it. Start by opening up the machine and looking closely for potential culprits.

It may be a heavy piece of clothing causing the issue, or something has fallen out of a pocket and worked its way into the base of the agitator. If there don’t appear to be any clothes clogging up the works, look at the base for any foreign particles that may be the root of your problem.

After that, if you’re still having problems with your washing machine agitator not working properly, it’s a good time to call in professional help.

The Lid Switch

Underneath the lid of your washing machine is a switch that will control the motor – it’s a plastic tab that gets pushed down when you close the lid. When this trigger is activated, it tells the motor it’s time to fire up. If the lid switch is broken, the motor doesn’t get the message, and your machine will not agitate. It’s usually easy to identify the lid switch, and a quick examination of this part will tell you if it may be the problem.

The Belt is Slipping

The heart and soul of a top-load washing machine is actually at the bottom, hidden from view. It’s here you’ll find the motor which drives the transmission via the drive belt. A major reason your washing machine has stopped agitating may be a fault with the drive belt. The belt could be slipping because it’s loose, or it may have snapped completely. If you’re going to fix an issue like this, you’ll need to be fairly handy or call a repairperson for help.

The Transmission is Faulty

We’re all aware that a malfunctioning transmission in our car spells trouble, and the same holds true for our washing machine. The transmission is responsible for transferring power from the motor to rotate the agitator. If the transmission is at fault for your issues, it’s a complex repair job, and it’s advisable to enlist professional assistance at this stage.

The Motor is Broken

The motor is the part that drives the whole operation of your washing machine. If it fails, you won’t have any power for the agitator to work. If there are no obvious reasons for why your washing machine has stopped working, it could be the motor. Replacing a motor in a washing machine requires some expertise, and it’s usually best to call a repairperson to help install a new motor.

Washing Machine Agitator Troubleshooting

When a technician arrives to troubleshoot and figure out why your washing machine’s agitator is not working, they’ll check the obvious culprits first. It may not be a major issue, which can help keep repair costs down.

It can also be a problem with your electronic control panel so that they will check it for error codes, or it may be an issue with one of the many other moving parts in your washing machine, such as the agitator directional cogs.

At FIX Appliances CA, our professionals have experience in identifying any potential reasons why your washing machine isn’t agitating, and we’ll troubleshoot your machine to identify the real culprit. Here are some of the minor issues we’ll look for first as we consider how to fix a washing machine agitator:

Replace the Lid Switch

If you’ve already identified the lid switch as the reason why your washing machine isn’t agitating, that’s an inexpensive fix that won’t take a technician long to replace. As long as the parts are in stock and on hand, they’ll have you up and running again in a few minutes.

Replace a Damaged Agitator

Most agitators found in washing machines these days are made from plastic. We use our washing machines a lot each week, and these parts can wear out over time. If you notice a cracked or damaged agitator, it must be replaced. Some homeowners with the technical knowledge can take care of this replacement themselves, but for most, it’s best to call in for a professional to help with the repair.

Tighten a Loose Belt

The washing machine belt is another part that can stop working properly with continued use. The belt may not be broken or worn out – it may just have worked its way loose over time. You should only be able to push the belt in about ½ an inch if it’s properly tightened. They may be able to tighten the mounting nut to return the belt to the proper tension. If that’s the case, it’s a relatively easy fix.

It’s Time To Call a Professional To Repair Your Washing Machine Agitator

When the reason that your washing machine has stopped agitating isn’t obvious, and you don’t know how to fix the washing machine agitator, it’s time to seek professional help. There are many moving parts in the modern washing machine, and there can be many other reasons, other than the ones we’ve identified, causing the issue or a combination of problems.

FIX Appliances CA is one of your best solutions in Canada for repairing washing machines. When you call us, you can be confident our factory-trained technicians will identify and repair your problem quickly and at the most affordable price. We have more than 18+ years of experience providing both residential and commercial repair services. Here’s what you can expect when you hire us for your next repair:

  • Flexible hours – we’ll work with you to arrange a repair time that fits your schedule.
  • Free estimate – you won’t pay until we’ve evaluated the problem and provided you with a fair estimate.
  • Professionally certified – our technicians have years of experience between them and are all fully TSSA certified.
  • Quality approved – we use only the best quality parts for our repairs, and all repairs are approved by you first.

When it’s time to call a professional for help with a residential or commercial grade washer, call us at 1-888-242-0777 or use the service request form on our website!

Date of page creation: May 20, 2020

Page update date: April 09, 2024


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FAQ: Top Frequently Asked Questions

If you've scheduled time for laundry, but your washing machine's agitator isn't working, this can be frustrating. There could be several reasons for this, and it's essential to identify the problem before calling for professional repair assistance.
One common reason for your washing machine's agitator not working is an obstruction. It might be a piece of clothing or a foreign object that has lodged itself in the agitator. How can I check for and resolve this issue?
The lid switch under the washing machine's lid controls the motor. When this switch is activated, it signals the motor to start the agitating process. If the lid switch is malfunctioning, what steps should I take to address it?
The drive belt is a critical component that powers the agitator in top-load washing machines. If your washing machine has stopped agitating, it might be due to a loose or broken drive belt. What can I do to diagnose and possibly fix this issue?
The motor is a crucial part of the washing machine's operation. If it fails, the agitator won't function. What are the indicators that the motor might be the problem, and what steps should I take to address it?

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