Thread Number: 45606
Kitchen Aid DD Washer clunking noise only during agitation
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Post# 667340   3/20/2013 at 20:04 (2,011 days old) by Squeenjj ()        

Hi guys. I just bought a Kitchen Aid DD washer Model KAWS750LQ0 manufactured in Dec 2002. I had my appliance guy look at it and he said it was the cleanest 10 yr old washer he had ever seen. The outer tub was clean as a pin. He looked at the coupler and it was about worn out so he replaced it. At the time, he just turned on the washer and made sure it would agitate and spin, which it did. Today after using it for an actual load, It makes this clunking sound only when agitating in rhythm back and forth just like the agitator is moving. It can be a bit louder with a heavier load. I know the motor, agitator dogs and coupler are find. Do you have any idea what the cause is? All I could discover online is it might be the gearcase. Its fine when spinning-- just a loud clunking when agitating.

Post# 667342 , Reply# 1   3/20/2013 at 20:10 (2,011 days old) by Pulsator (Saint Joseph, MI)        

pulsator's profile picture

Have you checked the agitator spline? I know that can be a problem with Maytag agitators. The only Whirlpool made agitators with spline issues I have seen had their splines stripped clean off.

Post# 667343 , Reply# 2   3/20/2013 at 20:16 (2,011 days old) by Squeenjj ()        

No I haven't checked that yet. I'll probably call the repair guy and let him listen to it over the phone-- He'll probably know right off what it is as long as he has been repairing washers. The reason we didn't try out a load the day he was here is I was waiting on a plumber to come clean out the washer drain-- It was clogged.

Post# 667375 , Reply# 3   3/20/2013 at 23:59 (2,011 days old) by Kenmore71 (Minneapolis, MN)        

kenmore71's profile picture
It could also be worn dogs on the agitator.

Post# 667401 , Reply# 4   3/21/2013 at 07:30 (2,011 days old) by DirectDriveDave ()        

Well a mild clunking sound is normal during agitation, though some DDs are louder than others, but if it is REALLY loud then maybe there is something, but I honestly not fully sure beyond that.

Post# 667445 , Reply# 5   3/21/2013 at 13:18 (2,011 days old) by mtn1584 (USA)        

The dogs are the first thing that came to my mind. AND ARE YA GONNA GET THE NEW SQ WHEN YOUR DEALER GETS IT??? lol

Post# 667475 , Reply# 6   3/21/2013 at 15:16 (2,011 days old) by jerrod6 (United States of America)        

My KA from 1996 clunked all the way through every agitation. Never a smooth sound you'd get from belts on a pulley. Just this mechanical clinking. I figured it was the way it was supposed to sound. It was just a constant clunk clunk clunk clunk in a steady rhythm. I imagined that there were two little men inside, on each side of a two person saw whose teeth were attached to the agitator, the men pulling back and forth on this saw , making the agitator move. I just think that's what the thing sounds like. Mine never sounded any different. Of course you get a louder constant roar during water pump outs, followed a low constant motor sound during the spin.

Post# 667491 , Reply# 7   3/21/2013 at 16:34 (2,011 days old) by whirlykenmore78 (Prior Lake MN (GMT-0700 CDT.))        
WP DD Transmission sounds

whirlykenmore78's profile picture
All Whirlpool direct drive washers make what could be called a clunking sound when agitatiting. Sometimes the sound is louder when washing heavy items. Could you make a short video of it and post it so we could hear what it is doing.

Post# 667516 , Reply# 8   3/21/2013 at 18:14 (2,011 days old) by Squeenjj ()        
I think its a normal sound

Hi guys. I talked to the repair guy this morning on the phone and I think the "clunking" noise is just normal for this machine. My Mother has one a year older and she says hers clunks all the time.- so it's not a big deal. I just wanted to make sure nothing was getting damaged. I love the washer.  And No, I don't intend on buying a new Speed Queen when my dealer gets one in. I'm going to keep this washer running as long as I can. My dealer said he would do the same thing and he has plenty of parts to keep it going. Now for my ignorance-- How do I embed a video here?

Post# 667522 , Reply# 9   3/21/2013 at 18:52 (2,011 days old) by combo52 (Beltsville,Md)        
Clunking DD washer

combo52's profile picture

Is likely normal, it is the spline inside the transmission where the agitator gear mates with the agitator shaft, it does get a little louder as the machine gets more use and wear under its belt. The only thing that I have ever seen that can make the clunk really loud is loose transmission mounting bolts, therefore it would be a good idea to see if all three are good and tight, this is very easy to do with a 1/2" socket with an extension, just tip the washer back and test for tightness and tighten if necessary.



If you like the KA DD Washer after a few weeks I would just keep it as it is a better performing and at least as durable as a SQ TL washer. And I am saying this as a SQ dealer, even though we have not done a warranty call on a SQ TL washer in over two years.

Post# 667527 , Reply# 10   3/21/2013 at 19:40 (2,011 days old) by Squeenjj ()        
Thank you for the info

I honestly do think the Speed Queen I purchased just happened to be a bad one-- it can happen to anybody. It just kind of makes you hesitant to get another one. I could not ask for a nicer dealer. He was upset about it too. I'll just have the KA fixed if it breaks down. I didn't pay but $125 for it so I can afford to sink some money in it. It doesn't even have one chip in the wash basket.

My mother has always had Kenmores from 1961 thru 1991. In 1991 she bought a KitchenAid and gave it to my brother in 2001(he lost his washer in a divorce) and its still going strong. She bought her an New matching set and they are still doing well. And I do think they are the best cleaning washer out there. Mother would never buy a Maytag because she thought they were too expensive and she always got good service from her Kenmores.

If anybody wants me to upload a video, please tell me how to do it.

Post# 667534 , Reply# 11   3/21/2013 at 20:12 (2,010 days old) by whirlykenmore78 (Prior Lake MN (GMT-0700 CDT.))        
Your mother was right.

whirlykenmore78's profile picture
The Whirlpool built KM and KA machines were some the best ever! However I would not dispute the build quality and reliability of an old Maytag. While not the best washing they were extremely durable and quiet machines.

Post# 667537 , Reply# 12   3/21/2013 at 20:28 (2,010 days old) by whirlcool (Just North Of Houston, Texas)        

The 2002 Kitchen Aid washers were still made my Whirlpool at that time.

My 1993 Whirlpool washer doesn't clunk at all when agitating. It's 20 years old now and still going strong. I have all the parts for an overhaul if needed. I think parts for the Whirlpool DD washers will be around for a long, long time just because Whirlpool made so many of them under various brand names including Kenmore.

Post# 667575 , Reply# 13   3/22/2013 at 01:37 (2,010 days old) by Frigilux (The Minnesota Prairie)        

Video: Many of us do it through YouTube.

1. Create an account at YouTube if you don't already have one.

2. Upload your video to your YouTube account (following the instructions given on "How To Upload Video". I used an iPad to take the video and it was a simple process. If you Google "How to upload video to YouTube" you'll find several helpful videos or articles to walk you through it.

3. While watching your video on YouTube, copy the URL at the top of the screen, then paste it into a message box here at AW.ORG (just like the one I'm typing into right now) and you're done.

Post# 667589 , Reply# 14   3/22/2013 at 07:40 (2,010 days old) by combo52 (Beltsville,Md)        
Clunking DD KA washer

combo52's profile picture

I should have added that the normal clunking is sometimes more noticeable on the KAs because the machine is quieter in general and the large agitator puts a little more load on the transmission. { your KA washers transmission probably has a ten year part warranty } so if the machine happens to be less than ten years old you can still get a free transmission from an authorized parts distributor.


Keep in mind that WP is still building and selling DD washers, both TL stack machines are still DD and several commercial models use the DD design, so I do think that most parts will be around for a LONG time.

Post# 667690 , Reply# 15   3/22/2013 at 17:14 (2,010 days old) by Squeenjj ()        
link to video

Hi guys-- Here is a link to a video of my Kitchen Aid Washer. Its not the best video but you will get the idea.


Post# 667704 , Reply# 16   3/22/2013 at 18:59 (2,010 days old) by mrb627 (Buford, GA)        

mrb627's profile picture
That is quite a clunk. I would say that is louder than normal, but it could be exaggerated by your camera. In either case, I don't think I would worry much about it.


Post# 667714 , Reply# 17   3/22/2013 at 20:00 (2,009 days old) by Squeenjj ()        

I'm going to just let it clunk away until it quits or gets so loud I just can't stand it anymore - then I'll replace the transmission

Post# 667725 , Reply# 18   3/22/2013 at 20:53 (2,009 days old) by mtn1584 (USA)        

It sounds normal, and that is the fast/fast speed, right? I had a three speed Kenmore, and on the normal/fast speed, not fast/fast, it sounded just like your machine, very nice, and good luck.

Post# 667732 , Reply# 19   3/22/2013 at 21:03 (2,009 days old) by jerrod6 (United States of America)        

That's a bit louder and harder than my old one, but mine was not against walls like yours is so perhaps the walls are enhancing the sound a bit. Mine was more like a clunk-slide-clunk which is where I got the idea of something sliding back and forth.

Mine was also older than yours and I was not impressed with it's rinsing or reliability(one replacement pump, one replacement transmission(under warranty) that then went on it's way out in less than two years and I declined to get a second replacement transmission ) So perhaps your newer model will end up performing louder and much better than mine.

Post# 667733 , Reply# 20   3/22/2013 at 21:06 (2,009 days old) by Squeenjj ()        
Its High High

Yes-- It is on the High Agitation/High Spin Speed selection Regular wash cycle. It does have a Low and Ultra Low Agitation as well. My main concern is that nothing was being damaged- and I understand everything is fine. I plan on using this machine a long time--- as long as I can get parts.

Jerrod 6- you must have gotten a lemon in that machine. My mother's 1991 Kitchen Aid that she gave away is atill running. But I do understand. I think everybody ends up with a bad machine every now and then- no matter how good the manufacturer.

Post# 667737 , Reply# 21   3/22/2013 at 21:27 (2,009 days old) by jerrod6 (United States of America)        

Yes I do think it was a lemon, but in 1991 I am not sure who was designing this washer was it whirlpool? Reason I say this is because I ordered brochures of KA washers one year before I purchased mine and was all set to buy one, but a year later in 1996 some things like the agitator and control panel had changed..same with KA DW..revamped design.

I get the feeling that mine was the first burst of a revamped design and that there were improvements over time. I think so because when I had the pump replaced the repair person said that the original pump was not designed to be strong enough to withstand the force of the motor it was connected to so they had to re-design a replacement.

Kind of nice to hear that old clunking again! Good luck with your machine.

Post# 667741 , Reply# 22   3/22/2013 at 21:45 (2,009 days old) by DADoES (TX, U.S. of A.)        

dadoes's profile picture
As has been stated on previous occasions, KA toploaders were always sourced from Whirlpool, and were always of the direct-drive design with some minor revamps along the way such as changing from 2-speed motors to 3-speed on most models, and the larger-base agitator.

Post# 667748 , Reply# 23   3/22/2013 at 21:56 (2,009 days old) by Squeenjj ()        
KitchenAid Washers

To my knowledge, Whirlpool is the only company that ever made KitchenAid Washing Machines. I think when Hobart Corp owned the KithenAid Brand/Trademark the only appliances they manufactured were commercial equipment and residential dishwashers and their famous stand mixer. When Whirlpool acquired the KitchenAid name, at some point they started to make a full line of appliances (meant to be higher end) with longer warranties and I'm sure to capitalize on the KitchenAid reputation. The KitchenAid washer has a larger agitator so it doesn't have to agitate as fast as a basic Whirlpool machine to still get clothes clean. If I am incorrect, someone please correct me. I do know that when Whirlpool acquired Maytag, they had to quit making KitchenAid laundry equipment as part of their agreement with the government. I guess the government felt Whirlpool would own too many brands in the laundry market. Whirlpool pretty well owns all the brands that are American "Made" (perhaps a better word would be American Owned) with GE being the only big competitor that is American owned or based.

Post# 667749 , Reply# 24   3/22/2013 at 21:56 (2,009 days old) by thefixer ()        

Sounds just like my 02 GE top loader. Always been like that even after replacing the transmission last year due to lower bearing going bad.


Post# 667773 , Reply# 25   3/22/2013 at 23:41 (2,009 days old) by qsd-dan (West)        

qsd-dan's profile picture

The KitchenAid washer has a larger agitator so it doesn't have to agitate as fast as a basic Whirlpool machine to still get clothes clean.


Sounds about right. I have a relative with a 2003 TOL Kenmore DD that agitates at almost double the speed on "Fast" compared to this KA. It also has more of a "click" sound instead of "clunk" during agitation. It's not as loud and annoying as my Multimatic with Rollermatic agitator was, but not butter smooth and quiet like my Maytags.

Post# 667780 , Reply# 26   3/23/2013 at 00:21 (2,009 days old) by tolivac (greenville nc)        

From distant memories when I used to have a KN DD washer with the triple action agitator-sounds like the agitator dogs are just more noisey then others.Your washer agitates at lower speed than the KN I used to have.-Or are you using the slow speed?

Post# 667783 , Reply# 27   3/23/2013 at 00:24 (2,009 days old) by Squeenjj ()        

I recorded the video with the washer on the highest agitation speed it has. It has two more speeds that are slower.

Post# 667784 , Reply# 28   3/23/2013 at 00:27 (2,009 days old) by tolivac (greenville nc)        

HMMM-something to consider here-I like the lower speed instead of the choppy,blender like speed of the WP-KN DD's.Will have to keep an eye out for KA washers at the swap shops.Don't mind the clunks-tells me the machine is agitating happly away.

Post# 667793 , Reply# 29   3/23/2013 at 01:20 (2,009 days old) by mrb627 (Buford, GA)        
Dog Test

mrb627's profile picture
Hold the top of the agitator and keep it moving back and forth with the base. If the noise goes away, then the dogs are the source of the clunk.


Post# 667897 , Reply# 30   3/23/2013 at 12:52 (2,009 days old) by Squeenjj ()        
Tried it-- still clunks


I tried your suggestion- no change. I'm just going to let it clunk away and replace the transmission when it wears out. I love the machine- it has a huge capacity and cleans well.

Post# 667961 , Reply# 31   3/23/2013 at 19:09 (2,009 days old) by thefixer ()        

"I have a relative with a 2003 TOL Kenmore DD that agitates at almost double the speed on "Fast" compared to this KA"

Actually, it's 1.5 times as fast. The KA in the video is going at 120spm which is low speed (middle speed) on the 3-speed motor. Whirlpool/KN with 3-speed motors will run the same speed as this KA on the regular setting. It will run 180spm on heavy duty. Whirlpool/KN will with 2-speed motors will run high speed (180spm) on regular setting. I think your comparing apples to oranges. You need to know exactly which model number washers to make an accurate comparison.


Post# 667967 , Reply# 32   3/23/2013 at 19:54 (2,009 days old) by DADoES (TX, U.S. of A.)        

dadoes's profile picture
Direct-drive trannys (Whirlpool, KA, KM, Roper, Estate, Inglis ... and then MT, Amana, Admiral, and Crosley when relevant) typically run at:

180 SPM agitation on high motor (1725 RPM)

120 SPM at medium motor (1140 RPM) for a 3-speeder, which is low speed for a 2-speeder

90 SPM at low motor (850 RPM) on a 3-speeder, which is ex-low or low or handwash or whatever it may be called.

Post# 667970 , Reply# 33   3/23/2013 at 19:59 (2,008 days old) by Squeenjj ()        
That's interesting

So I guess I have a washer with a 3 speed motor than only uses the Middle and slower speeds. It never washes any faster than in the video, even if you put it on Soak or Extra Wash. I assume that is normal for this machine (KAWS750LQ0). I had a 2007 Maytag Centennial (Whirltag) that had a 2 speed motor and on Regular agitation it was fast and rough. I got rid of it. It never tore any clothes, but it sure sounded like it was going to. It would wash at the fast speed and for the last few minutes of the cycle it would ramp down to the lower speed. (of course it had the smaller agitator fins) I wish Whirlpool had made their Maytags just like the KitchenAids, but i guess they were getting ready to quit making direct drives for consumers.

Post# 667972 , Reply# 34   3/23/2013 at 20:08 (2,008 days old) by DADoES (TX, U.S. of A.)        

dadoes's profile picture
Although I'm not knowing all the models produced, KA toploaders with 3-speed motors and the large-base agitator usually ran on medium motor speed for high agitation and low motor for low agitation.

My KAWE760 follows that pattern.  It always neutral-drains on high motor.  Spin makes use of all three motor speeds depending on the cycle involved.  The final spin on Perm Press, for example, runs 2 mins low motor, 2 mins medium, then 2 mins high ... a feature called Stepped Spin, which is said to help reduce wrinkling.

Post# 667974 , Reply# 35   3/23/2013 at 20:18 (2,008 days old) by Squeenjj ()        
You are correct

DADoES. You are correct. That is exactly what this machine does. You can hear those different Spin Speeds when its on the appropriate cycle. I really like the machine and I hope it lasts me a long time. I plan on repairing it as long as I can.

Post# 667976 , Reply# 36   3/23/2013 at 20:32 (2,008 days old) by kenmore70 (New York)        


I have an 11 year old Kenmore Washer, and it makes the same clunking sound as yours. I've never replaced the agitator dogs or the cam, and they look fine. Sometimes it seems louder than others, and I thought maybe it had to do with how high the water level was. In your video, it seems like you probably filled it on the high level. On mine, it seems when I use the low or medium water level it sounds louder.

Post# 667984 , Reply# 37   3/23/2013 at 22:05 (2,008 days old) by jerrod6 (United States of America)        

I don't remember any third speed on my machine so perhaps it was only a 2 speed unit. Low agitation for delicates, regular agitation for everything else.

Stepped spin for all cycles except dedicates started at a lower speed, increased to a higher speed after a few minutes

Post# 668036 , Reply# 38   3/24/2013 at 09:21 (2,008 days old) by combo52 (Beltsville,Md)        
Clunking DD KA washer

combo52's profile picture

Squeen did you make sure that the 3 transmission bolts are tight, if they are loose they will get looser and when one falls out it will cause a real problem with the washers operation.

Post# 668048 , Reply# 39   3/24/2013 at 10:06 (2,008 days old) by Squeenjj ()        
not yet

Combo52-- I haven't looked at them yet. Is that something I can do without assistance? I was thinking I might need someone to hold the washer while I looked at the bolts or could I lean it back and hold it with my body. Of course I guess I could take all the hoses off and lay it on its back.

Post# 668079 , Reply# 40   3/24/2013 at 12:40 (2,008 days old) by Squeenjj ()        
Oil Drops

When I moved the washer to inspect the transmission bolts, I noticed several drops on oil on the floor-- I'm thinking that is a dead giveaway that the transmission needs replacing or will before long. Actually it was easy removing the hoses and laying the washer on it's back. The Transmission bolts were good and tight and you could see a bit of oil between it and the motor.

This post was last edited 03/24/2013 at 13:58
Post# 668088 , Reply# 41   3/24/2013 at 13:34 (2,008 days old) by whirlcool (Just North Of Houston, Texas)        

To me the noise sounds more like a chugging noise than a clunking noise. It also sounds like it could be resonance between the fabric softner dispenser and the agitator. If the fabric softner dispenser "clicked" into the agitator properly?

Our Whirlpool makes this same noise, but not as loud. To me a "clunk" is the noise a automatic transmission in a car sometimes makes when you put the car in gear.

Post# 668091 , Reply# 42   3/24/2013 at 13:51 (2,008 days old) by Squeenjj ()        


The fabric softener dispenser is snapped into the agitator good and tight. The agitator dogs work properly as well.

Post# 668094 , Reply# 43   3/24/2013 at 14:11 (2,008 days old) by DADoES (TX, U.S. of A.)        

dadoes's profile picture
There is an oil seal at the tranny drive shaft that can wear and leak oil.  A few transitory drops is not cause for alarm but continual / repeated dripping is of course an unwanted situation.

Post# 668421 , Reply# 44   3/26/2013 at 00:51 (2,006 days old) by whirlykenmore78 (Prior Lake MN (GMT-0700 CDT.))        
From what I saw and heard

whirlykenmore78's profile picture

On your video, the machine is working perfectly.  As John said if the clunking is extremely loud you may want to check the transmission mounts.  Otherwise that is a normal sound for any DD Whirlpool machine.  I have never seen one that did not make it.  Here is my 1986 Kenmore washing as it should.  There is no abnormal sounds.


CLICK HERE TO GO TO whirlykenmore78's LINK

Post# 668428 , Reply# 45   3/26/2013 at 02:59 (2,006 days old) by qsd-dan (West)        
Here is my 1986 Kenmore washing as it should.

qsd-dan's profile picture

Holy incredible short spray rinses....Batman. I counted a total of 23 seconds worth of spray rinsing during the first spin-out. I guess I'm just used to a solid 1 minute spray blasting away.


I'm surprised it spin drained. Normal for this year/model or bad neutral drain pack?

Post# 668570 , Reply# 46   3/26/2013 at 18:28 (2,006 days old) by whirlykenmore78 (Prior Lake MN (GMT-0700 CDT.))        
RE: holy incredible short spray rinses

whirlykenmore78's profile picture
This washer does 5 pulse spray rinses with each spin at 5 seconds each. This would make a total of 50 seconds spray rinse per cycle. As far as the spin drain it does it sometimes and on some loads not at all. I hate to replace the neutral pak unless it completely goes bad as then this machine would not be 100% original. It is the only all original 1986 KM LTD DD I know of and I don't want to change it.

Post# 668592 , Reply# 47   3/26/2013 at 20:12 (2,005 days old) by squeenjj ()        

Hi WK78. I did check the bolts just to be sure and they are tight. I'm not worried about the washer anymore. I love it and plan on using it until it is completely worn out- and that shouldn't happen for a long time as long as parts are available.

Post# 938540 , Reply# 48   5/14/2017 at 18:49 (496 days old) by txta11ent (Fort Worth, TX)        
Similar problem to sqeenjj's - KA DD KAWS750LQ0

My KA washing machine began making an unusual clunking noise when agitating a few weeks ago. I checked the transmission bolts and can only hand turn the agitator one direction (CW). The noise is prevalent at the two higher speeds (HD & PP). And the clothes in the washer seem to circulate CCW at these higher speeds instead of traveling from top to bottom like they do with the two lower speeds.

Also mine had a small drop of oil under it as well, but a much larger puddle of oil after it had been on its back for a couple of hours.

Any insight and assistance would be very much appreciared.


Post# 938556 , Reply# 49   5/14/2017 at 19:48 (496 days old) by txta11ent (Fort Worth, TX)        
Similar problem to sqeenjj's - KA DD KAWS750LQ0

Post# 938574 , Reply# 50   5/14/2017 at 21:27 (495 days old) by DADoES (TX, U.S. of A.)        

dadoes's profile picture
Something broken in the transmission.  Some internal parts are available (you'd have to diagnose what's needed), as are full replacement transmissions, if you're inclined to do the repair.

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