Broken Appliance- Repair or Replace?

Written by Posted On Wednesday, 14 March 2018 12:09

If a broken appliance has you down, it might be tempting to throw in the towel (perhaps literally!) and spring for a new one. This choice can get more complicated when you're about to list your home. Should you buy a new one to bring in a higher price? Or fix up the old one and let the new owner deal with it? It's a tough choice, so here are some basic tips on how to tell if your appliance is worth the investment.

Age of the Appliance

According to Mr. Appliance, the following are the average lifespan of typical household appliances:

  • Trash Compactor- 11 years
  • Electric Dryer- 14 years
  • Gas Dryer- 13 years
  • Dishwasher- 12 years
  • Garbage Disposals- 13 years
  • Freezers- 16 years
  • Microwave- 8 years
  • Electric Range- 16 years
  • Gas Range- 19 years
  • Range Hood- 14 years
  • Compact Refrigerator- 8 years
  • Standard Refrigerator- 14 years
  • Washing Machine- 12 years

Clearly, if you have a washing machine from 1980, paying to have it repaired likely wouldn’t be the wisest option. However, if your washing machine is under 10 years old, a repair could be a viable alternative to purchasing a replacement.

Severity of the Issue

Appliances often sound worse off than they really are, according to an article by USA Today. A loud noise or inoperable part may seem ominous, but appliances have many internal parts that are fairly cheap in and of themselves. If your appliance has you baffled as to what the issue is, consider calling a repairman for a consultation. Ask ahead of time what they charge for a consult- some repairmen or businesses might be free if they determine that the appliance can’t be fixed.

Cost of the Repair

According to Steve Lewis, president of an AC repair company in Las Vegas, “If an appliance repair costs less than half the price of a purchasing a new one, the investment will likely pay off in the long run.” However, this also depends on the age of the item. If the item is approaching the age of it’s average lifespan, spending half of the value on a new one might not be the best idea. It all depends on the item, what the repair is, and whether you can afford to replace it at the time the repair is needed.

Don’t be afraid to shop around to find a reliable repairman with reasonable fees. Often, private businesses provide better service at a competitive rate compared to their bigger-business competition. Just make sure you check references or online reviews ahead of time, and make sure the repairman is licensed and insured.

Decide to Replace?

If you’ve weighed you options and you decide to replace your appliance, there are a few ways to dispose of it responsibly.

  • Have the store take the old appliance away when they deliver the new one- some stores charge a fee
  • Recycle it- some municipalities offer a recycling program, and might even pick it up for you
  • Sell it- if the appliance still works, you still might be able to sell it
  • Give it away- someone is bound to take it off your hands for parts
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James Stevenson

Hi, My name is James and I've been involved in the property and real estate industry for 10 years now. I hope people will like to read about my thoughts and experiences in the industry and please contact me if you want to discuss my articles further!

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