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If when you pick up the kettle to dump it you can spin the agitator in the pan with one hand easy then it is not stuck. check to make sure the motor switch is supplying voltage to the motor. If that is ok now that you have the front panel off look inside to see if the motor is turning but the drive head which comes up thru the pedistal isnt then the motor shaft pin has sheered off. if nothing is moving at all motor needs replacement. the list on those from the factory are over 600 so make sure its bad first.
There are many possible problems that will cause your agitator to not spin, But you said the gear in the cabinet comes off easily, it should not.
There is a flat part of the motor shaft that extends thru the top of the cabinet that the gear should be tightened onto with an allen wrench via a set screw. This is the first place to check. When the motor is on, you should not be able to stop that cabinet gear from turning. (not easily anyway).
You cannot. All poppers of that style will a some "fall out". The better commercial machines have very little as the kettles are deeper, but you cannot eliminate it. The unpopped kernels are not reusable.
This is a hard symptom to troubleshoot, it can have many different causes. 1. Is the stire wire in the kettle straight and spinning freely? 2. Does the agitator shaft spin freely in the crossbar? 3. Is there a small needle bearing on top of the spur gear attached to the kettle? it is a small metal circle that spins independently of the agitator shaft located ontop of the kettle spur gear, it can fall off. 4. The plastic block in the cabinet roof that has the motor spur gear coming out of it, is it cracked? 5. Does the motor turn when the switch is turned on with the kettle in the dump position?
All of these can lead to an answer of why the agitator stops turning while popping.
The motor in the top of the machine should rotate the gear sticking out of the top of the cabinet when you turn the switch on. This gear should connect with a gear on the top of the shaft that sticks out of the kettle when the kettle is in the correct upright position and turning the stir rod.
Make sure the kettle is installed correctly, and the switch is in the on position. If the motor is not turning with the switch on, it is broken and should be returned to store if possible. There are no repair parts for this brand popper, and they cannot be repaired.
The instructions say make sure kettle motor is plugged in. Turn unit ON with switch on crown of machine. Allow unit to run for 3-5 minutes to heat up kettle. Turn unit off. Add 2 teaspoons of your favorite popcorn cooking oil to the kettle. Then add 1/4 cup of popcorn kernels to the kettle. Turn the unit on and close the door. When popping sound slows down turn the unit OFF. Flip the kettle over with the crank handle to empty the kettle. Repeat process until desired amount of popcorn has been popped.