How to replace agitator dogs in a washing machine?

In order to locate the agitator dogs, you will first have to remove the agitator.

Agitators are long spherical spindles fixed at the center of the inner tub in a top-load washing machine.

In order to replace the agitator dogs start by removing the agitator. Next, remove the agitator dogs by pulling them upwards using a Flat head screwdriver from its base. Disassemble the existing ones and fix the replacement agitator dogs by pushing them using your fingers to their base.

Lastly, re-assemble the agitator by reversing the steps and running a test cycle with a small load of laundry.

Key Takeaways

  • Agitator dogs are usually found in a top-load washing machine and are fixed under the agitators at the center of the washer’s inner tub.
  • During the wash cycle, agitator dogs support the movement of the agitators.
  • The process to replace the agitator dogs involves detaching the agitator and disassembling the agitator dogs, followed by reassembling them.
  • Always follow safety precautions such as unplugging the washer from the power source and disconnecting the water supply.

What are agitator dogs in a washing machine?

Agitator dogs are like a sub-component of a washing machine’s agitator. It helps in smoother rotation of agitators in the required directions during the wash.

Over time, they wear out and may need to be replaced.

How to replace agitator dogs in a washing machine?

Replacement of agitator dogs can be easily done at home by using basic tools.

Safety precautions

  • Unplug the washing machine from the power source.
  • Make sure the washtub is empty before you start troubleshooting.
  • Disconnect other supplies if you want to move your washer to your comfort.

Step 1: Locate the Agitator

locate the agitator

Agitators are typically positioned at the center of the washtub in a top-load washing machine.

In most cases, your washing machine’s user manual will tell you where the agitator is located.

Some top-load washing machines are equipped with spherical spindle-like agitators. You can locate them at the center of the inner tub by lifting up the washer’s door.

Step 2: Detach the main Agitator

  • For some washers, you may find a cylindrical slot with a cap over the top of the agitator. This portion is dedicated to fabric softeners.
  • You will have to remove the cap by placing a flat head screwdriver on top and gently plucking it from the edges.
  • Now gently rotate and pull the fabric softener slot from the top of the agitator. You will find another cap that can be pulled out with a simple rotation using your fingers.
  • Inside the agitator, you will now be able to locate a retaining nut. Use a long-held nut driver to remove the retaining nut from the center.
  • Next, hold the base of the agitator while you try to rotate and remove the nut.
  • Pull out the agitator from the washtub after unscrewing the retaining nut.

For other types of agitators, you can directly pull them out by placing a flat head screwdriver at their bottom edges and gently plucking them.

Step 3: Remove the existing Agitator dogs

Once the agitator has been detached, turn it upside down to locate the agitator dogs or check the base disc that secures them.

Here are the two images that show how “agitator dogs” look.

agitator dogs base

The bracket will be positioned around the disc.

agitator dogs fixtures

Pull them in the upwards direction one by one to remove them from the slots.

For some washer types, you will find the agitator dogs fixed at the base over the drive shaft.

So, pull them up one by one to remove them from their position.

Step 4: Replace them with new ones

Clean the surface using a cleaning solution, toothbrush or sponge, or damp cloth before you fix the replacement Agitator dogs.

Start placing them one by one.

Usually, flat surfaces are located at the base, so fix them accordingly.

Step 5: Reassemble the washer

Reverse the steps to detach the agitator and its applicable parts.

To check the reverse rotation locking, manually rotate the agitator in forward and reverse motions with your hands. 

If the Agitator denies moving towards reverse motion, then it means you were successful in replacing the Agitator dogs yourself.

Now plug in the power source and other supplies and run a test cycle.

Do All Washing Machines have agitator dogs?

No, not all washing machines have agitator dogs. Agitator dogs are specific components found in the agitator assembly of some top-loading washing machines.

You can find agitator dogs in older models of washing machines including top brands such as GE, Whirlpool, Kenmore, Maytag, etc.

Final Thoughts

Agitator dogs are usually equipped in top load washing machines to control the agitation or the Agitator movement.

It is quite common for agitator dogs to become worn out after prolonged use of a washing machine. With that said, it is possible for them to wear out prematurely if the washer is overloaded frequently.

Lastly, before replacing the agitator, just check if the washer is still under warranty. If your washer is still under warranty and you try to replace it yourself, you may void the warranty.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long do the washer’s agitator dogs last?

Agitator dogs can last up to 10 years. Overloading or uneven loads are the major causes of early damage to agitator dogs. 

How to tell if agitator dogs are bad?

You can easily identify problematic agitator dogs by rotating the agitators. When you rotate the agitator clockwise, it should move freely, but when you turn the agitator anti-clockwise the whole spin drum should move. If this does not happen, then it’s likely that the agitator dogs have gone bad.

Manish Singh is an expert in electrical engineering with a Diploma in the field. With over 12 years of experience, he specializes in repairing music systems, washing machines, dryers, and other laundry-related appliances. His in-depth knowledge in electrical repairs and decent knowledge about garment care makes him a trusted authority in the field of appliance repair and laundry related topics. If you have any questions or need assistance with your appliances, you can reach out to Manish through email: manish.singh (at)