Agitator in a top load washer filled with water


Washing machine parts work hard to rinse, wash, spin and drain. But what is really going on inside a washing machine and what are the parts that make it all happen? Most washing machines work in similar ways and share similar parts. Understanding the parts of a washing machine and what they do will help you up your laundry game and make troubleshooting easier if something goes wrong, like experiencing a leak. Read on to learn more about the parts that drive your washing machine and the role they play in the cleaning process.

BASIC Washing Machine Parts Diagram

You can use this washing machine parts diagram to get an idea of where basic parts are located inside a washing machine. Exact locations may vary from top to front load machines, as well as model to model. If you’re having an issue with a particular washer part, read the Maytag guide to washer troubleshooting or consult your owner’s manual.

Washing machine parts diagram



Read on for more detail on what these washing machine parts do and how they work to get the job done.

Washing machine tub with stainless steel wash basket

Washing machine tub

Most washing machines have an inner and outer tub. The inner tub is called a wash basket in top load washers and a drum in front load washers. The outer tub remains stationary and holds the wash basket or drum, catching the wash water so it can be drained out. The wash basket or drum is the part of the washer that holds the clothes and rotates to wash them. They can be plastic, porcelain or stainless steel.

Top load washer agitator against black background

Washer agitator or impeller

In top load models, wash action inside the tub is aided by an agitator or impeller. An agitator is a central post that twists back and forth, rubbing against clothes to help break apart soils. An impeller is a cone or disc that rotates to rub clothes against each other to help get them clean. In front load models, lifters or fins keep clothes tumbling in the drum.


Washing machine motor

Washing machine motor

The washer motor usually sits at the bottom of the washer in top load models and the back in front load models. The most common type of motors used in washers are direct drive or belt drive. The direct drive motor is attached directly to the wash basket, while the belt drive motor sits independently and uses a belt to turn the wash basket.

Washing machine water pump

Washing machine drain pump

The water drain pump is in the bottom of the washer, usually towards the back in top load models and the front in front load models. The drain pump controls the removal of water from the tub throughout the cycle, draining the tub after the main wash, after the first rinse and during the final spin.


Washing machine water inlet valve

Washing machine water inlet valve

The water inlet valve is in the back of the washer, toward the top. It has one port for hot water and one for cold. Some front load models only have one port for cold water and an internal heater to warm the water up to temperature. The inlet valve opens and closes when it receives electrical signals from the washer, letting water enter the tub at the right times during a cycle.

Black plastic washer drain hose

Washer drain hose

The drain hose exits the washing machine toward the bottom and travels up to the nearby sink or standpipe. It drains the water from the washing machine and is usually made of corrugated plastic. Drain hoses are largely universal and come in widths from 1 to 1.25 inches in diameter.

Washing machine console

Washer console

The console houses the washer controls where you select cycles and options. They’re located near the back of the washer in top load models and the front in front load models. Behind the console panel, you’ll find the electronic components that control essentially all the action and timing of the washer.


If you own a Maytag® washer, find the Maytag® washing machine replacement parts you need, or visit Maytag Product Help for additional support to keep your washing machine at peak performance. If you think it’s time to replace your entire washer, explore Maytag® washer models, features and options.

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Shop all Maytag® washing machines

Whether you want a top or front loading washing machine, Maytag brand brings hardworking models to tackle any load. Discover select top load washers with the Power™ impeller that attacks tough stains with a reverse wash motion or the 16-Hr Fresh Hold® option on select front load washers that helps to keep laundry fresh for up to 16 hours by circulating the air with a fan and additional tumble cycles.