How to Remove an Agitator From a Maytag Washing Machine

In the early 1980s, Whirlpool scrapped the belt drive system and introduced the direct drive mechanism on their Maytag, Kenmore and Whirlpool range of top- loading washers. As a result, the transmission, motor and pump assembly offer years of trouble-free service, but the nylon cams driving the direct reverse agitator ratchet on the standard model often wear out after extended use. If this happens, you can remove the agitator and replace the worn parts.

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Save money by repairing your top-loading washer’s agitator yourself.

Standard Direct Drive Washer

Step 1

Empty the washer and unplug the power cord before starting work. Turn the water supply faucets off and slide the machine about a foot away from the wall.

Step 2

Pull the plastic end caps off the sides of the control console from the top, if your machine has them. Using a Phillips head screwdriver, remove the two screws securing the lower front corners securing the console.

Step 3

Rotate the console up and back and unplug the wire connector from the lid switch terminal block on the upper left of the top panel.

Step 4

Raise the lid. Lift the lock ring surrounding the bottom of the fabric softener dispenser and remove the dispenser, if your washer has one. If not, insert a flat head screwdriver into the slot on top of the agitator and carefully pry the agitator cap off. Reach inside the opening and lift out the round barrier containing a rubber seal by the handles if your machine is fitted with this part.

Step 5

Fit a 7/16 socket to an extension and ratchet handle and fit the socket over the bolt in the bottom of the agitator opening. Grip the base of the agitator, turn the ratchet handle counterclockwise and remove the bolt from the drive shaft. Reach inside and grasp both sides of the agitator base once the bolt is free. Wiggle the agitator from side to side if necessary and lift it off the drive shaft.

Step 6

Place the agitator on the floor, step on the rim and separate the two halves by lifting the upper section straight up. Reach inside the upper section from the top to prevent the ratchet assembly from falling out and turn the section over. Remove the ratchet assembly, close the washer lid and place the assembly on top of the washer.

Step 7

Replace the worn agitator dogs as directed in the instructions that came with the agitator cam kit. Insert the repaired ratchet assembly, fit the two halves together and reinstall the agitator by reversing the steps carried out earlier.

Step 8

Insert a load of washing, plug the machine back into the wall socket and turn the water supply back on without connecting the lid switch; this will allow the machine to run with the lid open. Start the washer. Once it's filled and agitating, lift the lid to ensure that the top half of the agitator rotates in both directions.

Step 9

Turn the machine off and unplug the power cord. Reconnect the lid switch terminal connector to the terminal block. Rotate the control console back into place and secure it with the two screws removed earlier. Reattach the corner covers, if applicable.

22-inch Compact Washer

Step 10

Empty the washer and unplug the power cord before starting work. Turn the water supply faucets off and slide the machine about a foot away from the wall.

Step 11

Open the washer lid. Remove the single hex head screw in the agitator access hole located on one of the paddles near the base of the agitator, using a nut driver. Do not remove the screw.

Step 12

Lift the old agitator straight off the drive shaft splines.

Step 13

Slide the new agitator over the shaft. Rotate the agitator from side to side until you feel the female splines on the agitator line up with the male splines on the shaft. Push the top of the agitator and slide it downward until it can't go any further.

Step 14

Snug the new base hex head screw down with the nut driver. Do not risk splitting the agitator base by over tightening the screw.

Step 15

Insert a load of washing, plug the machine back into the wall socket and turn the water supply back on. Start the washer to ensure that the agitator works properly.