By Platinum Team February 3, 2015

Repair or Replace an Appliance – How to Know What to Do?

To fix it or not to fix it?  That is the question.  Home appliances can be pretty expensive and once you have invested in them, you want them to last for a while.  Every appliance has a different lifespan and certain appliances tend to last longer than others depending on how often they are used and for what they are used.  But, inevitably, appliances will break down at some point.  And when that time comes it is hard to know whether it will be worthwhile to invest in repairing the appliance or whether you should fork over the cash to purchase a new appliance.  One way to protect yourself from having to spend exorbitant amounts of money on new appliances anytime they break is to invest in a home warranty.  Depending on the home warranty you choose, many of your appliances will be covered under the home warranty and a repairman will be sent for a nominal fee should a problem occur.  This protects you against having to invest in a brand new appliance which can be very costly.  Below we discuss how to know whether it is better to repair or replace an appliance so that you can make the best decision should the need arise. Know how long appliances typically last when well cared for.  For example, Houselogic notes that, on average, dishwashers last 9 years, garbage disposals last 12 years, washers last 10 years, dryers last 13 years, refrigerators last 13 years and cooking ranges last 13-15 years depending on whether they are gas or electric.    Knowing this will help you have a basic knowledge of what to expect from your appliances. If a break or problem occurs with an appliance and it is still relatively new you may want to repair but if it is getting older it may not be worth investing the money in a repair.  The return on your investment will likely be minimized by its lifespan and you will end up spending a lot of money soon after on a new appliance.  In regards to this, Houselogic also discusses what they refer to as the “50%” rule as a guidepost for consumers to follow, ” In 2014, the average cost to repair an appliance was $254 to $275. Should you pay it?  If an appliance is more than 50% through its lifespan, and if the cost of one repair is more than 50% of the cost of buying new, then you should replace rather than repair.  To do the math, you’ll have to know the typical lifespan (see above), and get a repair estimate. Most service companies charge a “trip charge” to diagnose the problem. These charges vary widely, so be sure to ask when you arrange the appointment.  If the company repairs the appliance, the trip charge typically is waived.” Consider what is cost-effective.  This is not simply related to comparing the cost of repairing vs. the cost of replacing.  It is also related to energy efficiency.  After all, a 10 year old refrigerator is likely far less energy efficient than a newer model.  Rather than spending money to repair a refrigerator that will cost a lot in monthly energy bills and break fully in a few years it may be the better choice to choose to upgrade now.]]>