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Kenmore Washer won’t Spin or Agitate

Model #110.26912691, this top load, direct drive washer made by Whirlpool, that is what the 110 part of the model number means, would fill with water and the motor would run, but never made the typical washing sounds. At the normal end of the cycle, the water would drain out, but would leave clothes that were still soaked and dirty.

The symptoms described are typical of a direct drive motor coupler that has failed. These couplers are placed between the motor and the gear case and are designed to be the weak link in the drive system. In the event of excess drag due to overloading, or if the gear case were to lock up, the coupler will be the sacrificial part and prevent further damage to other components. Some can go for years without a failure, while others will have shorter lifespans. This is almost entirely dependant on whether or not the proper loading guidelines are followed by the consumer.

Because this is a typical failure, I didn’t need to look far for the problem. The symptoms are simple. The washer motor will run, but there will be no agitation and the basket will not spin. If it does one or the other, or the motor is not running, the problem is someplace else in the washer and is not the coupler. Another simple place to look is under the middle of the washer. If you suspect the coupler has failed, tilt the unit back enough to look under. A failed coupler will usually be combined with chunks of black rubber under the washer and in some cases, parts of the coupler will by found underneath.

With the cabinet removed, replacing the coupler is simply a process of removing the pump and motor and getting to the couplericon itself. Pull the old parts that remain off the gear case and motor shafts, then put the new coupler parts in place. Line both ends up so putting the motor back on will be easier. Once it’s all back together, give it a test. Everything should work as expected if done correctly. The best way to avoid continued coupler failures is to not overload the washer which puts much more stress on the coupler and the other drive parts. And another thing. The new coupler may look different than the one being removed as they have gone through some changes with time. Don’t be alarmed, they fit the shafts and go together the same way.

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