If your washing machine has stopped turning, then it is very likely that the belt that aids in turning the drum has manifested a problem. In some cases, the belt may have simply slipped out of position while other cases may see it snap from wear and age. If you believe that the belt is responsible for a washer that doesn’t agitate, here is how to replace it in your washing machine. This applies to many common top load Whirlpool, Maytag, Amana washer designs that are belt driven, some are direct drive designs with no belt.
Accessing the Belt
In many washers, there will be a belt access panel in the back. If you do not see the belt, you will need to access it from the bottom of the machine. To do this, you will need to lay the washing machine on its side, with a towel underneath it for cushioning. This is a job for two people. Do not attempt to do it yourself or risk further damage to the appliance.
Remove and Replace the Belt
Once the washer is on its side and the bottom is accessible, the belt is easy to find and replace. Unlike trying to access it from the back panel, you have plenty of room to work doing it this way. Locate the belt that connects the water pump to the motor. You will want to slip it off the pulleys. Depending on your model of a washer, you may need to loosen bolts on the motor mount in order to get slack. In most cases, if the belt has failed, it will not even be on the pulleys anymore.
While you can inspect the belt for damage, you will likely just want to replace it since it is out already. However, if the belt does look suspiciously healthy and you found it in the proper position, then you will want to consider other suspects. In many cases, your next suspect should be that the motor isn’t actually turning the belt and that is the part that actually will need to be replaced.