Solved: Washing Machine Will Not Agitate But Will Spin and Drain – Causes and Working Fixes

If your washing machine will not agitate but will spin and drain, it could be that any of the various parts of the washing machine has failed. One of the most common causes of the washing machine will not agitate but will spin and drain problem is a broken agitator. With some look around, you might be able to figure out what the problem is and fix it.

Note, though, that since this problem is often a result of failed parts, identifying where the issue is, is essential. All it takes most of the time is a replacement of the damaged part. Here are some reasons why your washing machine will not agitate but will spin and drain.

Washing Machine Will Not Agitate But Will Spin and Drain Causes

  • A Broken Agitator
  • Transmission Failure
  • Worn Out or Broken Drive Block or Bell
  • Bad Drive Belt
  • U-joint Failure
  • A Failed Timer
  • Damaged Lid Switch
  • Bad Drive Motor or Motor Coupling

A Broken Agitator

The agitator is what agitates and moves your cloth around during a washing cycle. If some components of the agitator wear out or get damaged, your washing machine will not agitate but will spin and drain.

Transmission Failure

The transmission is what helps the agitator move back and forth. Hence, if the transmission fails, the agitator won’t move at all.

Worn Out or Broken Drive Block or Bell

The drive block is what connects the washer transmission to the agitator. If it is worn out or broken, the transmission will most likely move back and forth while the agitator moves slightly or not at all.

Bad Drive Belt

The drive belt is a part of your washing machine that should be changed every two to three years because it is sure to wear out. If the drive belt is worn out, the agitator might not work as well.

U-joint Failure

The U-joint is the primary drive mechanism for agitation in a washing machine. If it is damaged, the agitator won’t work. It, though, is a very expensive part to buy. Most people will preferably buy a new machine.

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A Failed Timer

The timer has an inverted effect on the agitator. It controls the drive motor which indirectly connects to the agitator. It supplies power to the motor so it can move in the correct direction. A failed timer equals no agitation.

Damaged Lid Switch

If the lid switch fails mechanically or electrically, the washer won’t agitate. This is because it triggers the wash cycle. When you close the machine’s lid, the lid switch is what signals the washer to agitate once activated.

Bad Drive Motor or Motor Coupling

The motor is what drives the transmission, thus causing the agitator to move back and forth. If it is faulty, it won’t be able to drive the transmission, hence, no agitation.

The motor coupling, on the other hand, connects the motor to the transmission. If the motor coupling fails, the machine won’t agitate as well. 

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Washing Machine Will Not Agitate But Will Spin and Drain Fixes

Before you try to diagnose or fix anything on your washing machine, disconnect it from the power supply. Detecting the problem in some of the parts mentioned above will require that you use a multimeter. This is because they might not be visibly defective. Note that for most of these components, a replacement is the only solution.

Fix 1

For the lid switch and timer, you can use a multimeter to test for continuity. If there is no continuity, you will have to change them.

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Fix 2

For the transmission, after locating it, run a wash cycle to see if it’s the source of the problem. If it makes any strange noises or is loud, you will need to replace it. You can also check the input shaft inside the agitator, if it turns while the agitator does not, the transmission must be replaced.

Fix 3

The drive belt can also be inspected. After removing the access panel, locate the drive belt and disconnect it from the drive motor by removing the clamps holding it in place. You can now check for any signs of damage, be it burning, fraying, or wear. If it has any of these, you will have to replace them.

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Fix 4

For the drive motor, use a multimeter to test for continuity. That should give you a reading of zero or approximately so. When you test for ground connection by putting one probe on one of the motor’s terminals and the other on its metal housing, you should get no reading. If what you get differ from these, the drive motor needs to be replaced.

Note that one or more parts could be damaged. Therefore, run a full check of the parts before deciding what to change. If it seems to be too much work, you can just get a professional to handle it for you.

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