Tip & How-To about Washing Machines

Noise from Whirlpool/Kenmore washing machines / agitator not turning

Many toploading Whirlpool (and Kenmore -- they're made by Whirlpool) washing machines have a ratcheting agitator. The agitator moves only one direction instead of back and forth. There are small pieces (called agitator dogs) that allow this to happen. However, since they are mad out of rather soft plastic, they tend to wear out. The result is a ratcheting or growling noise during agitation (wash cycle) Luckily, they are reasonably cheap (usually under $20) and relatively easy to fix. Try to turn the agitator by hand. It should turn freely one direction and not the other. If it goes both ways freely or clicks and slips one way, you need new agitator dogs. Pull the cap off of the top of the agitator (there are usually two tabs on the side that must be depressed to do this) Remove the bolt in the center of the agitator. Pull out the plastic plate that is on top of the dogs (again, you may have to move two tabs to pull this out.) You should see dogs that look just like the new ones except with no teeth on them. Pull the old ones out and put the new ones in the same way. Reassembly is the same as disassembly except in reverse. It should be quieter and wash better now, as the agitator was barely turning before, if at all.

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The agitator on my Whirlpool (8280869) is rubbing/grinding. It seems the ratchet system is not catching on the center post when the agitator starts to spin. Can this be fixed?


On whirlpool/kenmore direct drive machines, the part you are referring to is the 'agitator dogs.' They are paisley shaped plastic pieces with teeth on the outer edge... Usually a 7/16 nut or a square plastic drive(1 inch socket adapter fits it perfectly) holds down the top half of the agitator. The pivot end of the 'dogs' must be inserted into their slot and should all face the same direction...

Apr 27, 2016 | Whirlpool Washing Machines

1 Answer

I have a Kenmore 110. (full number is 110-82984810) It has a "ratchet/screw" type agitator. The big fins on the bottom part agitate back and forth, but the center piece no longer moves in a "screwing" motion. Is this a hard repair...I'm very mechanically minded, but have never been into a washing machine. Thank you.


This assumes that you have a basic Kenmore / Whirlpool top load, direct drive, neutral drain (it doesn't spin until the pump removes most of the water) machine.

First, see the Sears parts site for your washer:

http://www.searspartsdirect.com/partsdirect/part-model/Kenmore-Parts/Washer-Parts/Model-11082984810/0582/0153200?pathTaken=

and you'll see a list of major sub-components with diagrams and parts.

If the bottom agitates and not the top, the problem is likely the 4 "agitator dogs" designed to allow the top agitator to turn only one way.

Look at the section on the Sears site for Agitator, basket and tub.

See the part "Dog, agitator "

Remove the fabric softener unit, lift the top agitator cap (use a screwdriver) and you should see a plastic part in the center of the top agitator with a 1/2" square drive.

Remove the drive and lift off the top agitator. Turning it over you should see the 4 "dogs", replace these and the top agitator should turn in one direction only.

Replace the 1/2" drive, the cap and fabric softener unit and the top agitator should work.

Also see the following illustrated description of the above.

http://www.american-appliance.com/catalog/newsdesk_info.php?newsPath=16&newsdesk_id=136&osCsid=0da65cea0e338fe930b1fde153a243f0

For future reference you might also want to review / print / save the following Whirl[pool / Kenmore Service Manual for these washers:

https://secured.whirlpool.com/Service/SrvTechAdm.nsf/2cd44500d572193285256a45004fd9d6/f7e2147fa98b28cf85257122007475cb/$FILE/L-55.pdf

Dec 26, 2010 | Kenmore Washing Machines

1 Answer

My Whirlpool Fully Automatic Washing machine has some problem with WASH process, the agitator is not all working but the SPIN process, SOAK process are going on fine. Some scratching sound was heard from last month during the WASH process for . What might be the cause of this problem?


Most Whirlpool washers have ratchet type pawls in the agitator. If it is like mine, the top of the agitator pops off where you would ad softener detergent (in the center top of the agitator) and you will see the ratchet pawls inside the agitator. Mine we worn out and doing the same thing. I replaced mine and the unit is working fine now.

Dec 01, 2010 | Washing Machines

1 Answer

The agitator is slipping on our Kenmore 80 series toploader. I'm not sure how to remove it.


This assumes that you have a basic Kenmore / Whirlpool top load, direct drive, neutral drain (it doesn't spin until the pump removes most of the water) machine.

First, see the Sears parts site for your washer:
http://www.searspartsdirect.com/partsdirect/index.action

Enter your model number (###.######) and you'll see a list of major sub-components with diagrams and parts.

Look at the section on the Sears site for Agitator, basket and tub.

Assuming that only the top section of the agitator is "slipping, the problem points to the Agitator "Dogs"

See the following for how to replace them.

http://www.american-appliance.com/catalog/newsdesk_info.php?newsPath=16&newsdesk_id=136&osCsid=8878c06f855a89c90959d53553cf9ab8

If it's not the "Dogs" see the following that has a section on how to remove the agitators and check the splines.

http://www.american-appliance.com/catalog/newsdesk_info.php?newsPath=16&newsdesk_id=137


Mar 02, 2010 | Kenmore Washing Machines

1 Answer

Whirlpool Calypso Topload washer Won't aggitate correctly


Possibly a belt issue take the top cover off of the agitator and remove the bolt that holds it down. There will be gears inside if any of these parts are broken this will also cause it not to agitate. Let me know

Jan 14, 2009 | Whirlpool Calypso GVW9959K Top Load Washer

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