Top Loader Washing Machine with NO Agitator is not getting clothes clean.
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Thread: Top Loader Washing Machine with NO Agitator is not getting clothes clean.

  1. #1
    gary350 is offline Hot Rolled
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Murfreesboro, TN. USA

    Default Top Loader Washing Machine with NO Agitator is not getting clothes clean.

    We bought a top loader washing machine with no agitator at Lowe's. Clothes that go in looking clean come out looking clean. Clothes that go in dirty come out dirty. Clothes that go in smelling bad come out smelling bad. Followed the instructions and used correct soap. Complained to Lowes they gave us the run around until the Lowes warrenty expired. Now we have to deal with the factory. No repair or refund yet.

    I have checked online reviews and there are mixed opinions. Several people with Sears brand machines claim their machine works fine but there are also several people that want a refund too. People with other brand machines are not happy either but some are.

    One person in the review says their no agitator machine works fine but the door on the side bumps the wall. This person did not read the thread we are talking about TOP load machines not SIDE load machines.

    I assume people that wash clothes that look clean when they go in the machine then come out looking clean they just do not know the clothes are truely not clean.

    Every time I raise the lid on the washing machine clothes are wet but there is NO water in the machine. No matter which setting I us there is still NO water in the machine. One pair of blue jeans in the machine with it set on Heavy Duty load still pants are wet but no water in the machine. How can clothes possible get clean with no water?????????

    Does anyone have a TOP loader washing machine that works?????
    dalegross likes this.

  2. #2
    S_W_Bausch is offline Diamond
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Indianapolis, Indiana, USA


    How can clothes possible get clean with no water?????????
    But it satisfies the latests Gubmint energy regulations..... isn't that what matters?

    Top-loading washing machines haven't been the same since the feds started regulating washing machines. I am not joking about this.

  3. #3
    72bwhite is offline Hot Rolled
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    Sep 2012
    California, Ventura county


    Front loader they work, easier on the clothes to.

  4. #4
    IronReb is offline Stainless
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Shreveport/Louisiana USA


    I know nothing of the machines you are talking about.If I had to make a guess I would say that the reviews you read were some were happy and some were pissed is the difference in life style between the two.
    People who work in an office all day and go home to an apartment will see a hudge difference than those who work on a farm or in a machine shop then go home and fix the tractor or wifes car.

  5. #5
    Lakeside53 is online now Stainless
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Woodinville, WA


    If you want to "see" what's happening, run the washer with no clothes. Observe, measure then ask the manf how much water is supposed to be in the machine. Could be as simple as a level sensor issue.

  6. #6
    Rockyr49 is offline Aluminum
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Rock Island, IL


    We had a Whirlpool HE top loader. No agitator. Never had a problem. My work clothes get plenty dirty working on CNCs all day. Everything came out clean every time.

  7. #7
    abarnsley is offline Titanium
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Palmer, Alaska


    Fill valve might be clogged up, Level sensor, or the tube going to the level sensor, clogged, kinked, etc.

    Fairly basic machines.. I bought a ~6 yo Whirlpool Top Loader( w agitator) and front loader dryer off CL..

    Young couple had no clue, how easy it would be to repair them would be...

    I put in a fill valve... agitator ratchet pawls.. Washer works fine, cost around 30 bucks for parts..

    Dryer needed the start button switch unstuck.. (Contacts had stuck together) bought a new switch as a spare..

    Both repairs took maybe an hour to do..

    Now.. a washing machine of old school construction...

    Fills tub to level selected with switch, Starts wash cycle, length of which is controlled by timer...

    Clothes slosh around (under water) until wash cycle finishes. Spin cycle starts with drain pump, then switches to spin.

    Usually a second repeat of both cycles.

    I have seen people who still had electricity, and city water cut off (by flood or such), move out to a hotel... All they had to do was manually fill washer tub with water, for wash cycles...

    Toilet tank also fills fine manually...

  8. #8
    Scruffy887 is offline Hot Rolled
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Se Ma USA


    Merry Christmas.
    Serious answer. Mamby pamby tree hugging detergents are only good for cleaning elfe smocks. Had the same problem with our dishwasher.

    Not so serious answer. Mineral imbalance. Try this. Washing Machine Destroyed by Brick - YouTube
    oldbikerdude37 likes this.

  9. #9
    richmccarty is offline Cast Iron
    Join Date
    Jan 2008


    Sounds like you need a new elf. My elf keeps the dishes spotlessly clean and her frocks are never messy either.


  10. #10
    jdj is offline Diamond
    Join Date
    Oct 2007


    Are you guys ACTUALLY saying that they don't even make and sell top-loading, agitator type washing machines anymore?!?!? I haven't had to look for one in 10 years, but this is the first I have heard of any such situation.

  11. #11
    Philabuster's Avatar
    Philabuster is offline Titanium
    Join Date
    Jul 2006


    I love our front loading washing machine. Been using it for about 9 years. It started leaking last year and the problem was the bolts that hold the clamshell together were backing out. I tightened them up and no more leaks. That said, this was the first time I had ever been 'inside' a front loader. There is nothing in there. There is a 3 phase motor driven by a VFD running a belt over a large pulley at the back. That's about it. Front loaders use gravity to agitate and clean without a separate agitator. The top loaders had to be expensive as hell to manufacture in comparison with the cast aluminum gear box and transmission. There were many more parts and more stuff to fail. Not sure how the clothes get 'agitated' in a vertical washer without an actual agitator as gravity does not help.

  12. #12
    bruto is offline Stainless
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    Mar 2008
    Benson, Vermont


    I'm guessing that there's a problem here other than the design. My inlaws have one of those machines. It seems to get clothes clean, but it sounds like a European ambulance driving by. Nasty if your machine is not in a sound insulated area. When and if our old top loader goes, I'm going back to front loading. Way back in the stone age my family had one of these, and it was very efficient and easy on clothes, but it kept derailing and tearing its bellows. If the new ones don't do that, it's the way to go.

    Late answer to Philabuster's question - as far as I know, the agitation in a non agitator washer occurs from a combination of directed water flow and constant quick reverses of the entire drum assembly. I think the added noise is from that constant reversing of a heavy part. My untutored impression of the whole machine is that it is fairly kind to clothes by comparison with an agitator type, and has large capacity, but the constant reversing is demanding. I am wondering how long the transmission in one of these will last, or brakes if it uses them.

  13. #13
    bosleyjr's Avatar
    bosleyjr is online now Diamond
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    SE PA, Philly


    I just had to fix our 14 year old Maytag Dependable Care top loader with agitator. Mechanical drum timer switch issue. I found that one of the contacts normally gave an open circuit, sanded the contacts with 600 grit sandpaper, and bent the finger holding one contact (the one riding the cams on the timer drum) so that when the cam was low, more force was applied to push the contacts together.

    It was kind of marvelous to find something that I could analyze and understand and fix. I think I'm going to keep fixing this thing for as long as I can. The new HE washers have some advantages, but I see no huge advantage. And as the OP points out, perhaps disadvantages of agitator-less designs. How do those things force water through your clothes? It seems to me that that are in effect just twirling your clothes and the water together - you might as will just soak the things, right?

    Damned gubmint bureaucrats.


    Walked away from computer at dinner, came back, and hadn't hit "refresh", so didn't see Bruto's explanation. Thanks, B. It seems to me that "being gentler on clothes" is the same thing as saying "washing clothes less effectively"! How in the world is this setup more effective than the old two-way transmission (motor goes one way, you get spin dry, and the other, you get agitation). Simple, effective, durable.... I don't mind progress marching on, but I'd like to ensure it IS progress before it marches away...
    Last edited by bosleyjr; 12-25-2012 at 09:08 PM. Reason: Read Bruto's post and added postscript
    jdj likes this.

  14. #14
    Bruce Griffing is offline Titanium
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    Jan 2003
    Temple, Texas


    Samsung top loader - works VERY well. It has circular agitator at the bottom - no post sticking up. It competes well with front loaders on water consumption.
    smalltime and Edster like this.

  15. #15
    Spud's Avatar
    Spud is offline Titanium
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    Jan 2006
    Brookfield, Wisconsin


    I have hard core OCD and owing to that am somewhat of a connosieu on washing machines.
    The top loader sans agitator is an absolute POS design. I had a large Hitachi back in the 90s and lately have checked out various Indian , Korean and other Far Easter brands; didn't buy any cause I know they are crap at cleaning.

    My favorite washing is the top loader with dual action agitator ala Whirlpool. Don't like the front loaders too, had them when I lived in the UK.

    Use HOT water for washing and atleast WARM for rinsing.
    We have Whirpool Top Loaders, works just fine.
    Last edited by Spud; 12-25-2012 at 10:23 PM. Reason: Whirlpool
    dalegross and tdmidget like this.

  16. #16
    James Lederer is offline Cast Iron
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Southern Wisconsin


    Your detergent sure isn't helping. Because it basically isn't detergent since soap companies stopped using phosphates. Buy some Trisodium Phosphate. The real stuff, not the stuff at the hardware store that says TSP and then in small print says, "contains no phosphates". Add about a teaspoon to each load, and it will do wonders, especially for oily stains.
    dalegross and oldbikerdude37 like this.

  17. #17
    welderboyjk is offline Cast Iron
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    south west michigan


    We've got a Maytag centennial TOP loader with NO agitator. Just a "waffle" plate in the bottom. If yours has NO water visible I'd guess that you have a problem. Ours work fine but there is water visible in it, just not a lot.
    Conversely if you get too much water (we were told upon purchase) the clothes will float away from the waffle plate and not get agitated. There is a "bulk" setting for blankets and such but other than that it's an auto sensing machine as far as load/water level goes.
    The Mrs. is not super thrilled with the machine for some reason, maybe because there's no softener dispenser. You've got to use a downy ball for that. And BTW the noisiest thing is if you use the ball and it bounces across the lower plate when it's washing. It seems to clean just fine and some of my work clothes are quite nasty at times. I work P/T on a dairy farm and I can be elbows to ahole in grease or cow poo on just about any given day. I just hit the extra rinse cycle button and all is well.
    My 2 cents.

  18. #18
    Willy is offline Aluminum
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    Aug 2004
    British Columbia


    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Griffing View Post
    Samsung top loader - works VERY well. It has circular agitator at the bottom - no post sticking up. It competes well with front loaders on water consumption.
    Same here, it was Samsung's top of the line top loader last year. We are very impressed with not only it's efficiency, how well it cleans clothes without beating them to death, and how quiet it is. Sometimes you have to look at the "dash" to see if it's running or not.

    The wife doesn't like the front load machines because of all the bending over, can't say I blame her. We were skeptical about the claims at first but are now totally convinced. Neither one of us can believe how much thought has gone into the technology of washing clothes efficiently. Top loaders have come a long way.

  19. #19
    adama is offline Diamond
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    Dec 2004


    The uk went to front loaders as you guys call them 20+ years ago. The designs simple, the design works, only gravity + the drum does the work so its not too ruff on clothes. Equally it gets things clean. My work overalls always come out clean. What's more there damn near silent these days and are so damn efficent you could not use any less water + heat. Most are cold water only as they take so little water the hot from the tank would not make it to the machine in the average cycle. Like sub 4 gallons of water to do a full wash cycle + rinse! Why the hell do you guys still use the inferior top loaders?
    Zonko, JST and Limy Sami like this.

  20. #20
    Zonko is online now Stainless
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Northern Germany


    Thank you adama !

    My thoughts exactly.

    My Grandparents had an old Top Loader.......

    ......with a horizontal drum loaded through a door once the drum was spun to the right index.

    Horizontal front loaders issues....NONE

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