Should I Repair or Replace My Kitchen Appliance?

Should I Repair or Replace My Kitchen Appliance?

Appliances make our lives a lot easier. When they break down, you might ask yourself, should I repair or replace my kitchen appliance? After some research, here’s what I discovered. 

The age of the appliance and the extent of the damage will determine whether it’s best to repair or replace it. As a general rule, if it costs more than 50 percent of the purchase price of a new appliance to repair the existing one, you should replace your kitchen appliance. 

Deciding if you should repair or replace your kitchen appliance can be a big decision. You want to make sure that you get it right. Let’s take a closer look at some of the things that you might have to consider before making your decision. 

How Much Will Repairs Cost? 

One of the most important factors for you to consider is the cost associated with repairing the appliance. There are a few elements that will influence this price. 

First, you’ll need to think about the type of damage that you have done. You might just need to install a replacement part. If you are handy with the tools, you might be able to change these things yourself. Other times, though, the issue will be harder to solve. For example, you might need to re-wire the electronics if the wires at the back have started to fray. You’ll usually need to call in a professional to do this for you. 

Before calling in a repairman, you might want to do a few basic checks yourself. Make sure that the power is on. Sometimes the appliance can trip a circuit breaker. Make sure that the vents aren’t plugged up with things like lint or dust. An uneven floor might be stopping the device from turning on. Though it takes a few minutes to check these things, it can end up saving you hundreds.  

The next thing that you’ll need to consider is the availability of replacement parts. For younger devices, this shouldn’t be an issue. However, as the appliance gets older these parts might be harder to come by. 

Finally, it’s essential to consider the cost of labor. This will vary depending on the repairman that you choose. If it’s going to be a big repair, don’t be afraid to consult multiple people. Get several quotes to find which one will be the cheapest. Commonly, labor will cost between $60 to $70, though you might need to pay a call-out fee. 

Apprentice helping master assembling detail in workshop

Once you have a quote, start to consider the costs of purchasing a new appliance. As a general rule, as long as the repair cost is less than 50 percent of the cost of purchasing a new device, it’s better to repair. If it’s higher than that, you should consider a replacement. 

Is Your Device Covered by Warranty? 

When thinking about whether how much your repair will cost, you’ll need to consider whether or not your device is covered by a warranty. If it is, you’ll be able to get most of the repairs covered by the manufacturer. Or you might be able to exchange it for a new one. 

Whether or not you’ll have a warranty will depend on how old the device is. Most appliance warranties will last for about a year. Some might last a little longer, around 16 months. You might also want to consider getting an extended warranty. These can last for five years. 

It should also be noted that the cause of the issue might impact whether you can use the warranty. If you weren’t using it properly, and it broke you might not be able to claim. In some cases, the warranty might be voided because you didn’t maintain it properly. 

What Age Should You Replace Appliances?

The age of your appliance can often determine whether or not you should replace it. If it’s too old, you can expect it to start to develop more issues in the future. This article about 15-year-old fridges gives you an example of some of the problems that you might experience. 

 Also, the newer models will tend to be more energy-efficient. This will make them cheaper to run. The type of appliance will often determine how long it will last. Here’s a table that summarizes how long most models will last

ApplianceLife Expectancy
Refrigerator10 to 13 years
Dryer10 to 13 years
Washer10 to 13 years
Dishwasher9 to 10 years
Microwave9 to 10 years
Stovetop 15 to 18 years
Compactor6 years
Garbage Disposal12 years
Range Hood14 years
Exhaust Fan 10 years

 There are a few ways that you’ll be able to extend the life expectancy of your device. The most effective option is to maintain it regularly. In most cases, your owner’s manual will go into more detail about the best ways to care for your appliance. 

How Much Does Replacing Appliances Cost? 

Once you have the price for repairing the appliance, you’ll be able to compare it to the cost of purchasing a new one. The costs of purchasing a replacement will vary. Typically, there will be several models to choose from. These will range from basic to luxury models. 

This table gives you the typical price that you can expect when purchasing a replacement. 

ApplianceApproximate Replacement Cost
Refrigerator$900 to $8,000
Oven$650 to $2,000
Top-loading Washing MachineAround $350
Front-loading Washing Machine$700 to $1,000
Dryer$400 to $1,000
Dishwasher$400 to $700

When considering the costs of purchasing a new model, there are a few other things that you might need to think about. For example, you might need to pay for the appliance to be shipped. Often, you’ll need to pay to have it installed properly professionally. You should talk to the supplier about these costs, they might be able to get a package. For example, they can ship it to your house for free. 

Before you purchase the device, check that it will fit into the existing space of the cabinetry. If you need to modify the cabinets, it can be a large additional expense. Another commonly overlooked expense is the costs associated with re-wiring. For example, gas will often be cheaper than electricity. But if you need to retrofit your home for a gas system, it can be a significant expense. 

Final Thoughts

Deciding if you want to repair or replace an appliance can be a big choice. There are a few factors that you’ll have to take into account. You’ll need to be able to compare the costs of repairing the damage versus purchasing a new model. This should give you a clearer indication of which option will be best.

Dean Luoma

As a long-time homeowner, Dean has been working on his own home projects for over 30 years. He is a licensed real estate agent in the state of Minnesota, helping clients with the buying and selling of their homes.

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