Deciding whether to fix or ditch your broken appliance

WhentoRepairorreplaceyourapplianceMaybe your oven is not heating up as quickly as it used to, or your dishwasher stopped working. How do you know when to repair or replace your appliance? Here are some factors that will help you decide.

Research your repair

Before calling the repairman, use the internet to try to figure out what could be wrong with your appliance. It might be a small fix, or even just a matter of cleaning your appliance, or a part on your appliance — something you can do yourself. Also consult your appliance’s owner’s manual for things like fault code displays and solutions to common problems. If you no longer have your owner’s manual, use your appliance’s model number to find a digital copy online.

Some repair jobs are very simple, such as cleaning out the lint vents in dryers to make sure your dryer is getting proper air flow, or replacing a burnt-out bake element on an electric stove.

However, if you are unsure what could be wrong with your appliance, or you are just not comfortable doing the repair yourself, it’s best to call a professional repairman.

Will the cost be worth the fix?

A good rule of thumb is: if the repair costs as half as much as it would to replace your appliance, then you are better off buying a new appliance.

If you decide you would like to fix your appliance, be sure to check out to find your appliance part.

How old is your appliance?

Another factor when deciding whether to fix or replace your appliance is your appliance’s age.  The life expectancies of various household appliances can range from 11 to 15 years. If the appliance is relatively new, within the last 1-3 years, chances are there is a warranty that could still be used for the product.

If the warranty has expired, you could try contacting the manufacturer to see what they can do for you.

How long will it take to repair versus buy new?

 Will the repair take longer than a day? A weekend? How long can you afford to be without the appliance? Compare that to the time it would take to shop for, deliver and install a new appliance.

Whether you decide to buy new or fix your current appliance remember, a little maintenance and cleaning can help you prolong the life of your appliance. Check out our article “20 tips to make appliances last longer.”

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3 thoughts on “Deciding whether to fix or ditch your broken appliance

  1. Jamarcus Dantley May 27, 2015 at 12:01 pm Reply

    Me and my wife have been weighing the decision of repairing or throwing away our washer. We want to do the most cost effective and smartest thing. We like your tip about whether the repair is less than half the replacement cost. We’ll be sure to research that and follow your advice.

  2. Susan Hirst June 19, 2015 at 6:59 pm Reply

    Thank you very much for this advice. My dishwasher isn’t working, and I’m not sure if I should have it repaired, or if I should get a new one altogether. I’m not an expert when it comes to appliance repair, so I thought I should do some research. What you said about the age of the appliance really stood out to me. My dishwasher is about two and a half years-old, so the warranty could probably still be used on it. Thank you.

  3. […] How many years can you expect to get out of that washer, dryer or refrigerator? The average life expectancy for a dishwasher and microwave oven is about 9 years, while you might get 18 years out of a gas range. Of course, the amount it is used can also factor into life expectancy, but knowing the average lifespan of an appliance might help when determining if you should repair or replace your appliance. […]

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