Washing Machine Will Not Agitate But Will Spin And Drain: 8 Causes And Fix – 2024 Guide

Let’s consider a scenario. You are really excited as you got a new washing machine that is going to make things a lot easier. You are about to use it for the first time, but oops!! You find out that your washing machine would not agitate but will Spin and Drain. You get worried. Why is this happening? Will you have to rinse your clothes on your own until you get them repaired? Well!! My friends Don’t worry. In this article, we are going to help you understand the Why’s and How’s with this issue.

Top 8 Causes for Washing Machine not agitating

While washing our clothes, the first thing we see is that the agitator agitated the clothes during the wash cycle. There are many styles of agitators that have been used over the years. Some are all one piece and the others have an upper and lower agitator. They are only used on top load washers and are located in the center of the inner tub. Let us now have a look at the main reasons as to why your washing machine won’t agitate.

1. Agitator

Source: bestbuy.com

If the washer is not agitating, one of the possible reasons could be that the bottom part of the agitator that is connected to the machine is damaged.

2. Agitator Coupling

These couplings are available in various types. They are composed of plastic or metal and are connected to the shaft. The majority of them consist of splines that keep the agitator in its position to make it work.

3. Coupler

Source: searspartsdirect.com

It attaches the motor to the transmission on the top load washers. It consists of three pieces which two of which are of plastic and one is made up of rubber so that the motor works in resonance with the transmission. One of its sides is connected to the transmission and the other to the motor. If it does not work, you can see the motor working but the washer might not agitate. You will also hear the loud sounds from the worn-out areas as they grind against each other.

4. Drive Belt

It acts as a medium between the motor pulley and the driver pulley so as to enable the inner part to agitate and spin. These belts generally are of two kinds, beat belts, and multi-groove belts. If the belt is fractured then the washer won’t agitate.

5. Door Latch Assembly

Source: searspartsdirect.com

This part ensures that the door is closed and it closes the open door. If it is damaged then the washer will not get any sign if it is closed or not. Based on the kind of washer you have; it might fill but will not agitate.

6. Motor Control Board

It supervises the running of the motor. In case it is broken it will not send the signals as a result of which your washer will not agitate.

7. Drive Motor

Source: searspartsdirect.com

It ensures the working of the machine by transforming electrical energy into mechanical energy. All kinds of motors have the same working system. A few may prefer a belt and pulley system and the rest may use a direct drive motor. Failure of this motor might also be one of the probable causes.

8. Water Level Switch

It directs the amount of water going into the machine. This switch consists of two parts, one that prevents the entry of water after reaching its correct level and the other that sends the signal to the motor to start working.

How To Fix the Issues?

Source: consumer.org.nz

1. If The Washer Won’t Agitate

One of the probable reasons might be that the part of the agitator that attaches to the coupling is broken. In this situation, irrespective of which kind of agitator you have, in order to fix it you’ll have to:

  • Rotate the agitator and check if there is any kind of ruin.
  • If any of it is worn out or damaged, then you will have to buy a new one.
  • In the case of a two-piece agitator, if one of the parts is fine then the other might be affected.
  • If the teeth of your agitator are broken then you can use a rebuildable agitator to inspect the little parts.

2. The Coupling Is Bad

If your agitator is perfectly fine then there are chances that your coupling is affected. If you want to solve this issue just follow the below-mentioned steps:

  • Take the agitator off.
  • After taking it off if any part of the coupling is damaged or the splines are affected then it is better to buy another one.
  • Now all you need to do is to take the coupling off and then check inside it. Based on the type of coupling you have there might be splines that attach onto the shaft. In case they are broken the splines will rotate freely. If this happens it is better to replace it.

3. If The Coupler Is Damaged

The coupler if damaged should be thrown away. And you need to buy a new one..

4. If The Belt Is Broken, Fallen Off, or Stretches

Source: weekendbuilds.com

The belt in front loaders is usually located behind. In to loaders, the belt is positioned at the bottom. If your belt is damaged, crooked, or stretched, then:

  • Properly check the belt. If it has simply detached itself, you can attach it again and then notice if it works or not.
  • However, if it is stretched or destroyed, then better change it.

5. Latch Assembly Not Working

If your washer has a diagnostic mode, it will provide you with an error code showing that it has failed after a lot of attempts. The assembly is positioned at the back of the front panel on front loaders and the top panel on top loaders.

  • Before you check your equipment, check the door first, to ensure it is not broken.
  • If your washer isn’t agitating and you are getting an error code, acquire a text sheet, look up the code and then follow the troubleshooting instructions.
  • If no code is available, but you assume that the latch is not working, better use a text sheet or a wiring diagram to see how to repair it.

6. If Motor Control Board Has Failed

They are normally positioned on the bottom of the machine on front loaders. They can normally be seen inside the control panel on top loaders. If your motor control board has failed, follow the below-mentioned steps:

  • The first and foremost thing is to ensure that the electrical connections between the board and the motor are attached firmly. To ensure that none of the connections are broken.
  • If the trouble persists, simply obtain the text sheet and perform the troubleshooting procedures to test the board on your model.
  • If the problem is still there then use another one.

7. Failure of Drive Motors

Source: handtoolsforfun.com

The motor is normally located near the transmission which turns the agitator shaft in top load washers. It is commonly installed on the back of the tub on front loaders. However, if there is a belt it will be attached to the bottom of the tub. If you simply hear a vibrating sound, ensure that there is nothing that blocks the motor. For instance, a blockage in a drain pump.

  • If you only hear a vibrating sound, make sure that the motor isn’t clogged.
  •  If you have a drain pump directly attached to the motor while under the top load you will be required to remove the belt or the motor.
  • Take the belt away on the front load to have a look if there is anything wrong and in the direct drive front loaders, rotate it to make sure it spins normally.
  • If they are not clogged up then do check the motor to ensure if there is an electrical issue. Acquire the text sheet and follow all the steps.

8. Failure of Water Level Switch

It is quite believable that the parts that supply electricity to the motors have failed if the machine won’t agitate once it is filled up. If this is the case you will receive an error code linked to the filling cycle if it won’t agitate on the front loaders.

  • In that case, locate your text sheet, obtain an error code and test the switch as per the troubleshooting recommendations.
  • Check the switch on the top loaders to ensure that it is transmitting power to the motor.
  • For top loaders, test the switch to make sure it is sending power to the motor.
  • Use the multimeter to see if the component is carrying electricity.


We now understand all of the directions, as well as the reasons why the machine will not agitate but will spin and drain, and how to proceed. The majority of individuals overlook the fill hose examination when operating a washing machine. If your fill hose explodes, your home could be severely flooded. It can deliver up to 500 gallons of water per hour to your home. As a result, it is critical to inspect them frequently. Make that the entire pipe is free of any bulging or leaking areas. Make sure the fittings aren’t rusted as well. Then turn off the water and inspect the washers and screens inside to see if they are clogged. You’ll have to replace them if they are corroded. If you’re putting on a new one, make sure it’s tight so there are no leaks.