How can I remove a washing machine agitator without risking death?

I was trying to remove the agitator from an old upright Kenmore washing machine, and because none of the usual methods worked I decided to fit an innertube between the bottom of the agitator and the tub and use air pressure to push it up. But that didn't work either, and worse I can't deflate the inner tube because the inflator valve contains a check valve that refuses to leak. I know that even a few PSI of air can contain contain enough energy to shoot the agitator through my head, so does anybody know of a fairly safe way out of my predicament?
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"Dick Cheney" wrote

Step 1: Stab the inner tube with anything sharp. Step 2: Describe your "usual methods".
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Dick Cheney wrote:

Hi,
Break the agitator with a large flat screwdriver and hammer and replace it. Years of water/soap/chemicals have made a cement between the agitator and tranny shaft and the agitator -may- not come off with out breaking it.
jeff. Appliance Repair Aid http://www.applianceaid.com /
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wrote:

I guess put a small board and then a pillow over the middle of the agitator, if you think it's going to blow. I don't think it will blow more than an inch when the time comes. If it ever does.
(Did you take the cap off and the big nut underneath the cap off? Did you get the washer off. Did you try some liquid wrench between the shaft and the "collar"? Did you then put the washer and nut back on and try tighteing the nut a bit, to loosen it? (although that might not help in this case. Not sure. Maybe it would if you put a small collar underneath the nut/washer, that would go around/over any shoulder on the shaft.) Then take off the nut and washer again.)
Can you get at the valve at all?. Do you mean somehow pressing the little thing in the center down doesn't release the air?
If not, go to a bicycle store, or maybe an autoparts store, and get a valve remover. Remove the valve.
I like the valve removers that are also tube caps. I keep one on my bicycle. I don't think they sell these at auto stores, only bike stores. They're under a dollar, I'm sure.
Remove NOPSAM to email me. Please let me know if you have posted also.
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You can get that little handy tool at any wal-mart, pep-boys, etc.
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See the other responses for the agitator.
As far as the air goes, around here we would use a knife.
Knives been letting what's inside, out for thousands of years.
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Jose B wrote:

Normally I'd do that, but air pressure can be extremely powerful and hazardous, as Goodyear training films have shown (can hurl a split rim 1/4 mile).
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It would be no worse than popping a balloon that is inside another container. The air will come out, thr innertube will go nowhere.
Stretch
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Stretch wrote:

It's not the inner tube rupturing that worries me but the agitator breaking loose and shooting up at the very moment I'm hovering over it.
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After 5 years of watching you and your buddy shrub destroy this nation, I'm all for letting the agitator take off your head.....
Dick Cheney wrote:

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Jim Conway wrote:

Please, I'm no small-time operator who would limit himself to destroying only the nation. I'm out to f-up the whole world, big time, big time. BTW learn to bow to your new Chinese masters in a few years - trust me, I have inside information on this.
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