April 30th, 2015
In top-loading machines, the washer’s agitator moves the clothes in water and detergent to get them clean. The agitator also helps remove detergent from the clothes during the rinse cycle. The agitator typically turns clockwise about 3/4 of a revolution, then reverses direction. This process moves the clothes down the tub, then up again.
Not all washing machines have an agitator. In the US the two main types of washing machines are agitator washers and front loading washers, which don’t have an agitator. Agitator washing machines typically use much larger amounts of water, are rougher on the clothes, don’t clean as well and leave more residue in the clothes.
Tip: look for a washing machine agitator that has a lot of holes in the inner tub/basket. This creates better washing action.
Despite the drawbacks of agitator washers, they are still the most popular type of washing machine in the US, because they offer several advantages over front loading washing machines:
If the washing machine agitator develops any cracks or breaks, it is important to fix them quickly. If you don’t, it can cause rips and tears in your clothes.
Replacing an agitator is fairly simple.
Other agitator problems include: