is your appliance worth repairing

Why Consumer Reports is Wrong!

Consumer Reports recently published a chart recommending you should replace your appliances as quickly as 3 years. They recommend replacing all appliances, regardless of any factor, should it fail between 6 and 8 years. (Other than built-in ovens). I can’t believe a person would just throw away a refrigerator, or washer & dryer, that costs more than $1200 without knowing all the facts.  So here’s some important information to help you make an educated decision for yourself, and maybe even save a few hundred dollars…

To say that most appliances are not worth repairing after a set period of time is speculative at best.  If your neighbor’s appliances are still running strong after 12 years, and you have the exact same brand, why would you need to replace yours after only six?  Are they on borrowed time for 6 years?

Used appliance dealers are finding that 75% of discarded appliances still work or are in need of only minor repair.  In fact, when we visit our customers, 80% choose to have their appliances fixed.  With the average repair costing around $200, and adding 2 to 5 extra years to your appliance, this is a great investment. 

And while Energy Star appliances are wonderful for saving energy, compared to an appliance from ten years ago, the reality is only a few dollars of savings per year in most cases.  Plus, due to increased government standards, the only way manufacturers can cut energy usage is by installing complex electronic parts in these newer machines.  And because electronic parts are often connected to each other, when one component fails, it may damage attached motherboard assemblies, which ultimately makes future repairs even more costly.

Bottom line, if your appliance breaks prematurely, either the product is poorly engineered, installed incorrectly, or was not used in the manner it was intended.  In rare occasions, you may be one of the unlucky few to have gotten a “lemon.”

Much like a car, parts do need replacing from time to time, but that doesn’t mean you need to buy a brand new car.  With the help of a professional appliance repair company, you can extend the life of your appliance for many years to come.  But your decision to repair or replace an appliance should always be based on it’s condition rather than an arbitrary age.


Is Your Appliance Worth Repairing?

The question of whether or not your appliance is worth fixing is ultimately up to you. However, before you decide, ask yourself these questions…

  1. Do I like the performance of my current appliance under normal conditions?  Keep in mind, if your appliance has provided you many years of trouble-free service, it may be wise to invest some money into it. Troubled appliances tend to break frequently, so if yours is “bug” free, keep it!
  2. How much will it really cost to replace my appliance?  Don’t forget, when comparing repair cost vs. replacement cost, be sure to calculate downtime, installation fees, delivery fees, and possibly lost time at work. For instance, installation of a new dishwasher could add an additional $150 to your cost of replacement. All of these factors may help you decide whether or not to repair or replace your current appliance.  Action Appliance repairs over 80% of the appliances we service on the first trip!
  3. Are new appliances made with the same quality as my current appliance?  I think you already know the answer to this question…Major appliance manufacturers have for years attempted to keep foreign brands from entering the U.S. market. In order to accomplish this, with rising labor costs, the materials get cheaper. Your 10-year-old washer is most likely superior in quality to that new washer you have your eye on.
  4. Isn’t this is the perfect opportunity to get one of those “high-tech” appliances?  This answer may really upset you, but it’s true. High Tech appliances introduced in recent years have produced a lot of work for us and at a much higher price tag for you. For example, front load washers save you a lot of water, but some have mildew problems, computer board problems, and when they do break, which they will, you’ll be stuck with a repair bill that’s probably not what you signed up for when you purchased that new high tech appliance.

Furthermore, to make your decision to repair or replace even easier, the chart below gives you a snapshot of major household appliance types and the life expectancy for each product.  By knowing the life expectancy, you can confidently know how many years you have left, saving yourself a ton of money in the process.

Appliance Type Life Expectancy (Years)
Washers 16
Dryers 18
Ranges/Ovens/Stoves 23
Dishwashers 16
Refrigerators 18
Freezers 20
Ice makers 18
Garbage Disposers 15