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FIXED Kenmore 110.21102012 agitator turns in one direction

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Premium Member
Dec 11, 2019
New York
Model Number
Sears Kenmore
6-10 years

I'm having an odd problem with my Kenmore 110.21102012 washer... At the start and end of a normal wash cycle, the washer is supposed to go into what I describe as a "clothes dispersal mode" where the agitator does quick, short turns clockwise/counterclockwise for 20 seconds or so before the machine pauses and the normal agitator work starts. The reason for doing that is to try to disperse the clothes around the tub evenly before a wash starts and then again before a spin starts.

My washer is no longer doing that. At the start and end of a wash cycle, it is now turning clockwise only, which has the exact opposite effect of dispersing the clothes and instead now wraps at least some of the clothes onto the agitator before a wash or spin cycle. The odd part is that this is the only issue I can detect. Everything else works. During the rest of a wash/rinse cycle, the agitator does what it normally does - long hard turns. It drains and spins both low and high speed just fine, except that because of the clothes wrapping onto the agitator, there are balance problems and problems with the clothes not being as dry as they should be at the end.

I ran the automatic diagnostic and that passed with no error codes. I've looked over many topics here and in other places and cannot find a comparable issue. I don't know if it could be the clutch, actuator, agitator or a motor problem... or something else... just haven't a clue. Wouldn't think it would be the motor since everything else seems to work. Could it be the belt slipping or a loose main wheel? Capacitor? Hopefully not the transmission? No strange noises...

Any ideas?

Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
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Upon further wash attempts, I found that instead of the normal wash cycle with long hard agitator turns as described in my initial post, the agitator sometimes spins in only one direction, really wrapping the clothes around it. When I saw this happen, I immediately stopped the cycle. Unfortunately, instead of pausing it, I actually aborted it. When I started it again to see if it would act normal (as it did in the wash just prior) it started the initial action of spinning the drum, it decided there was too much water, drained most of it and then refilled... then it acted as if nothing was wrong and started working normally for the rest of that load. Again, no unusual noises. But there is very clearly something wrong with my machine.

Please, very much hoping for guidance from the experts as to how I can fix my machine. Any help would be greatly apprectiated, thank you.
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Ok, I'm not understanding what you mean.

I've not run into this problem before, so its best to make a video of this happening and upload the video here so we can see what you mean.

I'm attaching your tech data sheet below, Lets check for a error code.

Page 2 of your tech. data sheet do: ACTIVATING THE SERVICE DIAGNOSTIC TEST MODES


Then you can see what fault code/codes you are getting on Page 6 and Page 7: FAULT/ERROR CODES

Let us know what you find.



  • Tech Sheet - W10280489.pdf
    4.3 MB · Views: 424
Thank you for getting back to me. I appreciate it.

I just checked for an error code and there was only an F5E1 lid switch fault from running it without the door strike in place. Not related to the issue at hand. No other error was present. Note that I had run the automatic diagnostic a few nights ago and annoyingly, that passed without issue.

The end of an extra small fill -> dispersal mode -> wash mode. Except that all it did was turn clockwise for the dispersal mode and then almost started working normally for wash mode, but just went into a clockwise rotation instead.

After I stopped the first one, all I did was pause the cycle and then resume it. Now you can see it's working normally.

It's doing these things intermittently. Sometimes everything works completely normally. Sometimes dispersal mode fails (by turning clockwise only) and then the wash mode is normal. Sometimes everything just turns clockwise (as shown in the video). The machine fills, spins both low and high speed and drains without issue.

Let me know if you need any additional information. Thanks!
Ok, I see now.

Its either your splutch has worn out or your transmission is acting up.

Drain the water and tilt the machine back, then take the belt off and remove the transmission pulley and remove the plastic cams and see if the teeth are worn down there, If so order and replace that Splutch cam kit.

Here's the sputch cam kit for your model:
W10721967 Splutch Cam Kit

There is a Video included in the part link that shows how to remove it and replace it.

Hi Jake,

I very much appreciate your reply and I apologize if my initial posts were not clear. At the time of my initial post, I had only witnessed the agitator turning in a single direction during what I call the "dispersal mode" at the beginning of a wash cycle. Because of the currently intermittent nature of my issue, I had not yet seen that it was happening during the whole wash cycle. I would have made a completely different initial post had I known that.

I did as you requested, and removed the splutch. The inner and bottom teeth both look fine to me. The inner teeth fully engage the teeth on what I'm guessing is the transmission. The bottom teeth fully engage the pulley wheel. There was no evidence of excessive wear in my opinion. I took some photos if you would like me to upload?

While I was down there, and having read some info on the capacitor and issues it can cause, I removed and tested it (my multimeter has a capacitor test function). It's supposed to be a 45uF capacitor but it only reads to 28uF. The cap is encased in a black plastic shell, so I can't tell if it's bulging, but there was some clear liquid clinging to it, which may be electrolyte or it could have been a very, very light oil. Dunno. But it was so clear, I'd guess electrolyte.

So in light of that, should I at least persue the what looks like a bad capacitor as a possible cause for this?

Please let me know, thanks.
Bingo! Yes, order the new capacitor.

Here's the capacitor for your model to order:

Look what I just found:

Let us know how it goes.

Hi Jake,

When I received the new capacitor, I first tested it using my multimeter and it read the correct 45uF. I then reinstalled the splutch, the shifter, the new capacitor, the main pulley wheel, the belt and the belt cover. All went well. The first thing I did was run calibration mode, and that finished with no issues. I then started a regular wash cycle and that also worked with no issues. Dispersal mode and the normal wash mode ran issue free with the agitator once again correctly turning in both directions. No issues with drain or spin. The machine is as good as new again!

To help others find this information, it would be good if you could rename the title of this thread as "Kenmore 110.21102012 agitator turns in one direction." Thank you very much for your assistance.
Excellent Monagablue, glad to hear the new capacitor fixed it. (y)

Thanks for the update!

I changed your title for you.

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