Unlike the front load model of washer that uses motion and gravity to agitate your clothing, top load washers enlist the aid of an extra part – the agitator arm. This is a simple piece that sits in the center. It moves with a motor or pulley and its fins encouraging the clothing and water to move, thus creating the friction that cleans it. However, you don’t really know how crucial this motion is until your washer is no longer doing it. If your clothing isn’t coming out as clean because the agitator arm is no longer working, here is how to replace it.
Unfortunately, if your agitator isn’t working, it is rarely just the fault of the arm. If the fins are broken, only the agitator arm needs to be replaced. Otherwise, you will want to look into replacing the drive shaft, motor, or in some models, the belt. All of these, however, require you to remove the agitator arm.
Before you begin, be sure to disconnect your washer from both the water and the power. Now you will want to pry off the agitator cap, or the fabric softener dispenser, depending on your model. Doing this will expose the mounting bolt, which needs to come off.
Once this is done, you will be able to pull the entire agitator arm up and off. In some repairs, you may only need to replace the cam in the arm. In which case, you can actually separate the top and bottom part of the agitator to expose and replace it. However, aside from replacing a damaged arm, this will now leave you with access to the drive shaft. You will need access to the interior of the washer to replace other components, but you must first remove the agitator arm in order to remove the drive shaft eventually.