I've been doing a lot of research and trying to narrow down the cause of this problem:
First, it is a Whirlpool Estate Direct Drive washer model TAWS700RQ2
with a ONE PIECE agitator (so NO DOGS to replace). This one piece agitator must not be very common because the only advice I ever see concerning weak agitation is to replace the dogs, which only exist on two piece agitators....so this is obviously not a solution for my machine.
The first problem we noticed was that our clothes were no longer getting rinsed well and we had to run extra rinse cycles to get the soap out. We noticed that the clothes were not rolling in the basket as they should, but more like jiggling in place. We do not overload. This happens with small loads. So I'm guessing that this is what is called “weak agitation”.
Now we have another problem. The clothes are wet after the spin cycle. They are sitting in the bottom of the basket, not spun up against the side of the basket as they should be. The water drains out fine and there is no water sitting anywhere or dripping into the basket after the spin. Again, this happens with small loads, not just large loads. This is also sporadic and inconsistent. I can run the same load (never take it out of the washer) several times and sometimes it will be soaking wet, sometimes not as much, but always much wetter than it should be under normal operating conditions.
What I know so far:
I ran through an entire cycle with just water and observed everything. I peeked under the lid with a flashlight and watched without tripping the lid switch. It looked like it was agitating back and forth correctly (no clothes, just water). The cycles worked as they should. The water drains fine and the pump is new. During spin, the tub was spinning and seemed to spin faster at the end of the cycle just fine (empty of course). The motor and timer seem to be working just fine. The lid switch has always worked exactly as it's designed. If I lift the lid, I can see the spin come to a stop. If I close it, I hear the click and the machine begins to run again. I don't hear any unusual noises. I don't hear any banging indicative of a worn drive block. There are no burning smells. There is no oil or black dust under the machine.
The machine seemed to run fine empty, but fails to agitate and spin correctly as soon as you put a small load of clothes in.
I'm narrowing it down to the following and trying to make sure I get all potential parts ordered before we tear into this thing so I can hopefully fix it at the same time:
1. Clutch Assembly – if it's worn, would it cause weak agitation and no spin when clothes are causing weight in the basket?
2. Motor Coupler – I looked under the machine and it doesn't look broken, but I can't see if the hole is rounded out causing it to slip and not grab the transmission shaft.
3. Drive Block – I don't have any noise, so I doubt this, but I can return it.
It is my understanding that if the 3 items above are fine and not the cause of the problem, then the cause is the gearcase/transmission and the only way to find out is to eliminate the above parts as potential problems.
Any advice, thoughts? Am I missing something?