While doing a load of laundry the top of the agitator came off....the fabric softener dispenser and the piece underneath that...not sure what it is called....it covers the gearcase shaft. How do I get it back together...I've tried and it keeps coming apart.
The agitator is loose....I am able to pull it up at least 1.5 inches....is this normal??
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Depending on the brand of washing machine, the agitator may be a single piece unit or a two piece dual action agitator. If the single piece agitator or the lower portion of a dual agitator does not oscillate back and forth during the wash cycle, or if the agitator can be turned on the transmission shaft, then the spline may be damaged and the agitator may need to be replaced. Most agitators are held in place with a bolt that threads into the top of the transmission shaft and is located below the softener dispenser or top cover. Some models use a small set screw in the barrel of the agitator just above the base to secure the agitator to the shaft, while some will use a rubber o-ring to provide a tight fit. When the retaining device is removed you should be able to lift the agitator from the shaft.
When you say you've cleaned both parts - have you poured hot water in and seen it actually drain out of the top peice while it was removed from the agitator? Have you poured hot water into the agitator with the top peice removed and seen it drain out of the holes? If not, repeated flushing (of the agitator) and soaking (of the top peice) with hot water as needed until is drains may be required. Until you can get water to drain out of both peices alone, it will work automatically. Once you have the water draining try again with a regular load of laundry and fabric softener. If it still doesn't work...
Since you've cleaned both parts (the non-removable and removeable top portion) of the agitator - it would suggest that the fabric softener dispenser's actuator inside the agitator is not functioning properly. The fabric softener isn't being released in the rinse (or at all really) and as a result of the centrifugal forces during the high speed spin cycle - it is causes the fabric softener to move up the sides of the dispenser and spray out of the top of the agitator onto the rim. This may be caused a mechanical or electrical failure in the washer or washer control. It will continue to work like this until it is fixed - so I suggest that you do not use the dispenser.
You will likely need to have the washer professionally serviced to have it begin working again. You can save the repair costs and either add the fabric softener yourself during the rinse cycle - or use "dryer sheets" in the dryer instead.
If this is the split agitator (two piece), the top part should not come off without tools. The part of the agitator that receives the fabric softener dispenser has a clear plastic cap that comes off to reveal a bolt. If this is the piece that you have described, something broke.
The bolt in the picture must be removed to release the upper agitator from the machine.
Is this the part that came off? If so, the bolt came off or the upper agitator is broken.
i believe all you have to do is put you fingers underneath it grab the sides and pull up,that will remove the whole agitator,if you want to change the dogs,pop off the top fabric softener dispenser and take out the 7/16 bolt and remove middle section,change your parts and put it back the same way you took it apart
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.
If you have a 2 part agitator assembly (Fabric softener dispenser, top agitator and main agitator)
First, push down on the ring around the bottom of the fabric softener dispenser and lift it off the agitator.
Pry the top cap (a short screwdriver into the slots in the cap works) of the top agitator.
Looking into the center of the top agitator, you'll see a plastic piece with a 1/2" square hole. Using a 1/2" socket set extension, unscrew the piece carefully. You might have to hold the bottom agitator in place while you do this.
The top agitator pulls up.
You'll see a bolt and screw holding the bottom agitator on. Carefully unbolt this one and the entire bottom agitator will pull up.
When you grab the fabric dispenser and move the agitator "counter "clockwise you should hear the rachet noise,once you try and move it back "clockwise" the fabric dispenser should slide inside the agitator and the agitator should NOT move.
the fabric softener spins out of the cup after the wash cycle when spinning the water out of clothes, then the washer fills back up for the rinse w/ your softener having been dispensed. is there a nut at the bottom of your agitator where you see the gunk? If so you can take the agitator out by removing the nut but be careful of the little parts that make the agitator agitate. Do not disturb these little parts if you don't know about them. Does the gunk smell like grease or a mechanics garage? If so chances are it is a lubricant and should not be removed replace the cap and your softener cup and continue enjoying your machine.
take the cap or fabric softener dispenser off the top of the agitator. under it should be a clear plastic cap with a little handle on it. take it out. under it should be a bolt (7/16) with a rubber seal under it, take it out and this will release the agitator and you will see the plastic dogs inside the agitator.
Fabric softener dispensers are notorious for getting all gummed up and clogged. Remove the dispenser cup and soak in some hot water to dissolve all residue. While you have the dispenser removed check under the dispenser cap in the agitator for gummy residue as well. Clean with hot water. There should also be an agitator seal cap under the dispenser. Make sure the cap and rubber o-ring are seated properly. Last of all, if the dispenser has a cone shaped cup inside, make sure it is inserted cone-side UP. The cup is designed to allow fabric softener to roll down the sides of it, NOT hold it. I hope this helps.