One of the key functions of a washing machine is to agitate dirty clothes. Hot water, soap, and chemical cleaners can only go so far, and a washing machine that won’t agitate won’t get your clothes clean in the slightest. Most homeowners like to assess the appliance problem situation before calling in a costly professional, and you can take this route yourself if your washing machine won’t agitate. This guide will assist you in diagnosing the cause of your washing machine problem, and help you get your unit to agitate again. Read on for more advice.
There are many components in a washing machine that could fail and cause a lack of agitation. Consult your appliance manual in order to locate many of these components, as listed below.
Washing machines are equipped with a drive block or a drive belt. This component connects the washer transmission to the agitator, so if it is worn out or broken, no agitation can occur. The transmission shaft will still move back and forth, but the agitator will either be frozen or only move a little bit.
If your washing machine won’t agitate, you should check your door or lid latch assembly for failure. This common problem leads the dishwasher to “think” that the door is still open, and it will fail to run through its cycle as designed. As with the door lock motor and switch assembly, the switch and latch can fail both mechanically and electrically. Check for mechanical breakage of the switch. If none is evident, you may have to test switches on the latch assembly with an Ohm meter, which can indicate if the continuity of the switches is intact.
When any action in a clothes washer fails (including agitation), a great first place to look is the door lock motor and accompanying switch. Door locks can fail both mechanically, and electrically, and if they fail the washer will not perform its proper actions during a cycle. Check for mechanical breakage of the switch. If none is evident, you may have to test switches on the door lock with an Ohm meter, which can indicate if the continuity of the switches is intact.
Another common cause for a washing machine that won’t agitate is motor coupling failure. The motor coupling is responsible for connecting the motor to the washer transmission. This is a common failure point, as it is designed to fail if the washer is beyond is overloaded. While this designed failure protects the motor and transmission, it will also stop agitation from occurring.
Many people don’t know that the drive belt in their washer is only good for just a few years. The drive belt should be assessed and maintained on a regular basis, with replacement occurring every two or three years—depending on the frequency at which the washer is used. Check your drive belt to see if it is worn out, cracked, or broken.
The motor control board is the “brains” of a washing machine, and if the washing machine won’t agitate it could be because of a broken or malfunctioning control board. The control board provides instructions to the agitator in regard to both direction and force, so it is a critical component of the washing machine. If you can locate your motor control board, you may be able to examine it for visible damage or burnt out electronics. If not, this may be a job for a professional who can install a new board.
Another component of a washing machine’s agitation system is a U-Joint kit. The U-Joint is the primary drive mechanism for the motion of the agitator in a washing machine. If the U-Joint has failed, the washer won’t agitate. Locate your U-Join kit using the appliance manual, and examine it for signs of wear or breakage. One thing you should be aware of, however, is that while this is a doable repair for most handy homeowners, the part is expensive. If it is broken, it may be a better choice to investigate the cost of a new washing machine vs. replacing the broken part.
If the washer won’t agitate, be sure to check the drive motor. Without a drive motor functioning, no agitation can occur. Use your appliance manual to locate the drive motor and inspect for visible damage or burnt out components. Although the drive motor can cause a lack of agitation, it is not common for it to fail. Be sure to go through all other components on this list before considering the drive motor.
We hope these tips helped you get your washer agitating again. If you feel that you still need professional washer repair, give us a call.