Model #110.24872300, this top load washer, made by Whirlpool, had been working well for the customer, but after removing the last load of laundry, the top half of the agitator came off with the clothes. The customer was able to get it put back together and back onto the lower portion of the agitator, only to have it fly off during the spin cycle.
Typical top load washers use an agitator to assist in getting the clothes clean by tumbling clothes through the water. Many utilize a split agitator, meaning the top half can work independent from the bottom half while in use. The top is connected to the bottom half with a cam and ratchet setup which lets the top spin along with the bottom in one direction, then floats free as the bottom half reverses direction. The entire agitator assembly is attached to the gear case drive shaft by a bolt through the center of the cam assembly.
When I arrived, the customer handed me the top half of the agitator and its associated cam parts while leading me to the washer. The bolt was still securing the bottom half of the agitator to the gear case which means the retainer in the middle of the cam assembly likely was no longer on one piece.
I removed the bolt and sure enough, found the broken part. Then I put the cam assembly back into the top half of the agitator and put the two halves back together to verify it was still working properly. After installing a new retainer and aligning the agitator halves to the gear case, I put the bolt back into place being careful not to over tighten and damaging the new retainer. The agitator worked and was ready for use again.
Just a note, the common reason for this kind of failure is washing large loads like comforters or blankets, and simply pulling everything out together. If you look at the retainer in the photo, it is made of plastic and can be easily broken if the top of the agitator is lifted. The more you know.
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