A washing machine that doesn't agitate won't get your clothes clean. It's a major inconvenience, and since you need clean clothes, you may be forced to use a friend's washer or go to a laundromat. A broken washer is a top-priority repair, and a broken agitator will probably need to be replaced by a service technician. Here's a look at what might be wrong.
Why Your Washer Won't Agitate
If you have a newer electronic washer, it may give a code that explains the problem. If you have an older model, then the problem could be a mystery, but there might be clues. For instance, a bad belt may be to blame. When one of the belts goes bad, you might hear unusual noises or smell an odor of burning rubber when you operate the machine. Another simple cause of a washer that won't work is when clothing is jammed or when the load is unbalanced. An indicator light may come on when these problems occur, and when you readjust the clothing, the washer starts working again.
There are also more complicated reasons why your washer won't agitate. A washer is a complex appliance with switches and drives that work together. A faulty lid switch or bad water level switch could be to blame. There could be problems with the agitator, the motor, or the transmission. Diagnosing the problem could require a professional so the right washer repairs can be made.
The Process of Making Repairs
You might be able to change a bad belt yourself if you are handy with appliances and tools, but other problems are better left to a professional for safety reasons. Plus, you don't want to make the problem worse or void your warranty by taking your washer apart. The technician may do a live voltage test of the parts to determine which one is bad. An understanding of the wiring is necessary to make many of the repairs. It may be necessary to remove the washer cabinet and pull parts out so they can be inspected manually.
Figuring out the problem is one of the more time-consuming parts of washer repair due to all the parts involved in its operation. Once the problem is found, bad parts are replaced with the right new ones, and your washer will be back in working order.
It's possible your washer will stop working suddenly right after you put in a load of clothes, but it's also likely you have advance warning in the form of unusual noises or odors. When your washing machine seems to be working differently, that's the time to call for repair service so you can prevent the inconvenience of life without a washing machine.