Can You Replace An Impeller With An Agitator?

By - Hs Saini

Updated -

Many people don’t know the difference between an agitator and an impeller.

They both serve the same purpose in your washing machine: agitators work by moving back and forth to help clothes get clean, while impellers spin around to move water through the clothes.

Although they are both used in top load washing machines, they function differently.

Suppose you’re having issues with your washing machine and want to replace the impeller with an agitator to see if that fixes the problem. Can you do this?

The answer to this question depends on what kind of washing machine you have and common sense regarding whether replacing an impeller with an agitator would fix your issue

Replacing your impeller with an agitator depends on your washing machine, as agitators are absent from high-efficiency front-loading washers. When using a top load washing machine, replacing an impeller with an agitator is possible because some top load washing machines can use both, so replacing it won’t require you to change the entire driving mechanism. 

Is an Agitator Better Than an Impeller?

Replace an Impeller With an Agitator

Agitators are not better than impellers, but before coming to this conclusion, there are things you should know about how they work and what makes them not better than an impeller.

When considering buying a new washing machine and unsure if a washer with an agitator or an impeller is best for you, there are many things to consider, like the effectiveness of the washer, the price, and energy efficiency.

You need to understand that they both work in different ways and how they work before making a choice.

Some front-load washers have been cleaning clothes just as well as top-load models with agitators—but some models with impellers may even do a better job.

Your choice between these two types of washing machines may come down to personal preference.

Regarding energy efficiency, if you use a top load washer with an agitator, your clothes will be covered in water.

In contrast, a washer with an impeller spins cloth around the machine and doesn’t fully cover it with water, making it use less detergent.

Due to this, washers with agitators consume more water than washers with impellers, making agitator washers less efficient. 

Still, regarding energy efficiency, washers with impellers spin the clothes at remarkably high rates, meaning that the garments come out of the washer with less moisture, compared to washers with agitators, which take longer to dry your clothes.

In terms of their effectiveness, washers with impellers are better than washers with agitators. It is a superior choice for removing stains and cleaning soiled clothes than the agitator.

Impellers cause the clothes to spin continuously, generating enough friction to clean the clothes by rubbing them against one another.

The agitator depends on the agitator to wash and clean the garments thoroughly; they must come into contact with the agitator. 

Does an Agitator or Impeller Clean Better?

Washers with impellers clean better than washers with agitators. An agitator moves laundry around in a washing machine.

So, if you’re looking for a way to mix your clothes and clean them, an agitator will do just that. An agitator may not be helpful if you’re looking for more efficient cleaning because your clothes are stained or have hard-to-remove dirt.

If you have a stain on one part of your clothing, but it’s not in contact with water, an agitator won’t be able to move water over to that area and rinse out any dirt particles or food spills trapped in that area.

For those particularly tough-to-remove stains, you may want to go with a top load washer instead.

Washers with impellers, on the other hand, spin in a different way than agitators. Instead of simply moving water around your laundry, they pull water and add it back to your clothes as they turn.

The result is more thorough cleaning and removing of dirt and stains, which is why you’ll often see more expensive washing machines with impellers over agitators.

Should I Get an Agitator or an Impeller?

If you’re shopping for a new washing machine, here’s what you need to know: Some washing machines have agitators, which are long, stick-like arms that push clothes around in a front-load washer. 

Agitators are cheaper than impellers and can clean some things themselves. However, you’ll need to pre-treat heavily soiled clothes before washing them, and it can be hard to remove tough stains.

If that sounds like a lot of work, you may want to opt for an impeller design instead. This design will clean your clothes thoroughly without using extra tools like cleaning agents or spot removers.

Like agitators, impellers are stick-like arms that push clothes around in a front-load washer.

However, unlike agitators, they don’t have gears or motors; the water drives them by moving slowly through different chambers. It makes them more efficient and quieter than agitators. 

Many say using an impeller design is like getting a professional cleaning without ever leaving your home. The main drawback of impellers is that they’re more expensive than agitators. 

Difference Between a Washer With an Agitator and One With an Impeller?

The manufacturers designed washers with an agitator to swish clothes around in a tub, whereas washers with impellers spin clothes through water for higher efficiency.

The difference between washers with agitators and impellers is that agitators cause an impact as clothing clumps together, whereas impellers use linear water pressure to wash clothes. 

Washers with agitators use more water, consuming more detergent when washing than washers with impellers.

Washing machines equipped with impellers use only a minimal amount of water to maximize the friction created by the tumbling of the clothing against one another.

Agitators physically move clothes around in the water to clean them; they’re also more likely to damage delicate fabrics.

If you want your laundry to come out fresh and not broken down by mechanical stress, it’s better to stick with an impeller-powered machine.

Washers with impellers spin the clothing at high rates, which means that the garments emerge from the washer with less moisture. It contrasts with washing machines with agitators, which require more time to dry.

Pros and Cons of Agitator Vs. Impeller

#1. Pros of Agitator

  • The most significant benefit of using an agitator instead of an impeller is that it doesn’t wear out nearly as quickly and uses less electricity to operate. 
  • Reduced total times spent washing.
  • People are familiar with washers with an agitator as they have been on the market for a long time.

#2. Pros of Impeller

  • The most significant benefit of using an impeller instead of an agitator is that it’s much more efficient.
  • Another benefit of using an impeller instead of an agitator is quieter. 
  • It doesn’t damage your clothes, which is a significant advantage if you have delicate garments.
  • There is more space in the basket for loading and unloading cumbersome items.
  • The clothes washed in the impeller washing machine dry quickly.

#3. Cons of Agitator

  • An agitator may not be as effective as an impeller. The extra weight and movement can sometimes leave residue from clothing dye. Stay away from heavy agitation if you wear a brand new or light-colored shirt or dress that you don’t want to risk staining.
  • There is less room to wash because the agitator makes it challenging to wash bulky clothes.
  • Clothes can become caught on the agitator and be damaged.

#4. Cons Of Impeller

  • It’s possible that clothing washed in an impeller washer won’t become as clean as those washed in an agitator washer due to the impeller washer’s more gentle washing motion.
  • When the spin speed is high, there is a greater chance that the garments may become twisted, which will throw off the machine’s equilibrium.


Replacing your impeller with an agitator isn’t pretty straightforward; you have to know the type of washing machine you have if it’s possible to do that without damaging it.

Although we can find impellers and agitators in top load washers, they are different and serve different functions, each with its pros and cons.

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