July 1, 2013

How to replace the agitator dogs in a top-load washer

By Lyle Weischwill
How to replace the agitator dogs in a top-load washer

This DIY washer repair guide explains how to replace the agitator dogs in a top-load washer. The agitator dogs grip the teeth inside the agitator to create a one-way ratcheting motion in the upper part of the agitator. That one-way motion combines with the back-and-forth motion at the bottom of the agitator to move garments through the water during the agitate cycle. If the top part of the agitator moves in two directions, the agitator dogs have likely worn out. Replace the agitator dogs with a manufacturer-approved replacement part.

Use these steps to replace agitator dogs in Kenmore, Whirlpool, Maytag, Estate, Crosley, Roper and Amana top-load washers.

Quick links
Tools required
Socket wrench set
Socket extension
Work gloves
Repair difficulty
Time required
15 minutes or less
Repair difficulty
Time required
15 minutes or less
Replacing the agitator dogs on a top-load washer

This video explains how to replace the agitator dogs on a top-load washer.

Instructions

  1. 01.

    Shut off the electricity

    Unplug the power cord from the wall outlet.

    Wear work gloves to protect your hands.

  2. 02.

    Remove the agitator

    Pull the fabric softener dispenser off of the top of the agitator.

    Pull the dust cap out of the agitator.

    Use a 7/16" socket with an extension to remove the agitator bolt.

    Pull the agitator out of the washer and set it on a work surface.

    Tip: If your agitator has a plastic spring retainer above the agitator bolt with a 1/2" square hole at the top, use a 1/2" ratchet drive extension and ratchet to remove the spring retainer.
    PHOTO: Remove the fabric softener dispenser from the top of the agitator.

    PHOTO: Remove the fabric softener dispenser from the top of the agitator.

    PHOTO: Remove the agitator dust cap.

    PHOTO: Remove the agitator dust cap.

    PHOTO: Remove the bolt from the agitator.

    PHOTO: Remove the bolt from the agitator.

    PHOTO: Pull out the agitator.

    PHOTO: Pull out the agitator.

  3. 03.

    Remove the agitator dogs

    Pull the top auger off of the agitator assembly.

    Dump the agitator cam out of the top of the agitator auger.

    Remove the plastic bearing from the cam. The plastic bearing holds the agitator dogs in place.

    Pull the agitator dogs off of the cam.

    PHOTO: Pull the top auger off the agitator.

    PHOTO: Pull the top auger off the agitator.

    PHOTO: Dump the cam out of the agitator.

    PHOTO: Dump the cam out of the agitator.

    PHOTO: Remove the plastic bearing from the agitator cam.

    PHOTO: Remove the plastic bearing from the agitator cam.

    PHOTO: Remove the agitator dogs.

    PHOTO: Remove the agitator dogs.

  4. 04.

    Install the new agitator dogs

    Push the new agitator dogs into the cam.

    Reinstall the plastic bearing on the cam to hold the agitator dogs in place.

    Push the cam back into the agitator auger.

    Position the auger back onto the top of the agitator assembly.

    PHOTO: Install the new agitator dogs.

    PHOTO: Install the new agitator dogs.

  5. 05.

    Reinstall the agitator

    Push the agitator down on top of the agitator shaft.

    Reinstall the 7/16" bolt and washer to secure the agitator to the agitator shaft.

    Reinstall the dust cap.

    Snap the fabric softener dispenser back on top of the agitator assembly.

    PHOTO: Reinstall the agitator on the agitator shaft.

    PHOTO: Reinstall the agitator on the agitator shaft.

  6. 06.

    Restore the power

    Plug the washer into the electrical outlet.

Warning: Undertaking repairs to appliances can be hazardous. Use the proper tools and safety equipment noted in the guide and follow all instructions. Do not proceed until you are confident that you understand all of the steps and are capable of completing the repair. Some repairs should only be performed by a qualified technician.

Symptoms common to all washers

Choose a symptom to see related washer repairs.

Main causes: clogged drain hose, house drain clogged, bad drain pump, water-level pressure switch failure, bad control board or timer
Main causes: bad lid switch or door lock, bad timer or electronic control board, wiring failure, bad water inlet valve assembly
Main causes: unbalanced load, loose spanner nut, worn drive block, broken shock absorber or suspension spring, debris in drain pump
Main causes: worn agitator dogs, bad clutch, broken motor coupler, shifter assembly failure, broken door lock, suspension component failure
Main causes: broken lid switch or lid lock, bad pressure switch, broken shifter assembly, faulty control system
Main causes: leaky water inlet valve, faulty water-level pressure switch, bad electronic control board
Main causes: lack of electrical power, wiring failure, bad power cord, electronic control board failure, bad user interface board
Main causes: water heater failure, bad water temperature switch, faulty control board, bad water valve, faulty water temperature sensor
Main causes: no water supply, bad water valves, water-level pressure switch failure, control system failure, bad door lock or lid switch

Repair guides for top-load washers

How to replace the spin basket in a top-load washer

If the spin basket on your top-load washer is damaged, you can replace it with a new one. Just follow these step-by-step instructions.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 45 minutes or less
How to replace the timer in a direct-drive top-load washer

Replace the timer if it doesn't advance or work properly.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 15 minutes or less
How to replace the clutch assembly in a top-load washer

If the washer spins when the basket is empty but not when the basket is full, the problem could be the clutch assembly. These steps explain how to replace it.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 60 minutes or less

Articles and videos common to all washers

Use the advice and tips in these articles and videos to get the most out of your washer.

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