When Is It Time To Repair or Replace Your Appliance?

Appliances aren't cheap. When you invest money in an appliance, you want it to last for as long as possible. When the appliance finally gives out, many homeowners rush into buying a new one. Meanwhile, the majority of problems can be repaired.

With the right maintenance and care, appliances can serve you for decades. All you need to do is take some time to research how often each appliance needs to be maintained. Even if you follow all the rules, and the appliance breaks down, you have all the chances of paying a fraction of the buying price for its repair.

Of course, at some point, all appliances have to be replaced. When does it happen? When is it time to repair or replace your appliance? Let’s take a closer look.

How Old Is My Appliance?

Before figuring out if it’s time to repair or replace your appliance, you need to find out how old it is. Appliances, the lifespan of which is close to being over, shouldn’t be repaired. Of course, high-quality repair may keep them working for several months. But it’s unreasonable to waste money on such short-term repair.

But what if you don’t remember when you purchased the appliance? Or perhaps you bought it at a yard sale or got it from your relatives. Then you should search for the unit’s serial number. In the majority of cases, the label with the serial number is located on the back of the appliance.

If the serial number doesn’t have the manufacture date next to it, you can call the manufacturer, tell them the serial number and find out how old the machine is. You can also Google the serial number. Such information may be readily available online.

Average Appliance Lifespan

When you figure out the age of your appliance, check the below table to find out if it’s time to replace it. Each type of appliance has its own average lifespan.

  • Air conditioner – 10 years
  • Boiler – 25 years
  • Dehumidifier – 8 years
  • Dishwasher – 9 years
  • Disposer – 12 years
  •  Dryer – 12 years
  • Freezer – 15 years
  • Gas over – 15 years
  • Microwave – 9 years
  • Electric and gas ranges – 15 years
  • Refrigerator - 10 years
  • Washing machine – 10 years
  • Water heater – 10 years

The above information is an approximation. If the air conditioner gives out when it’s 9 years old, you should think of replacing it, rather than repairing it “just because it’s not 10 years old yet”. However, if it breaks down when it’s 5 years old, you should consider repairs since the lifespan is far from over.

The average lifespan of an appliance depends on many factors, starting from the materials it’s made out of and ending with proper maintenance. Tampa based appliance repair specialists share that you can increase the lifespan of your appliance by several years by taking good care of it according to the manual.

The Power of Warranty

Don’t rush into repairing or replacing your appliance before checking the warranty. Sometimes, if the warranty is still valid, you can repair your equipment for free. Pay special attention to the warranties when purchasing the appliances. The longer the warranty is, the surer the manufacturer is about the ability of the appliance to last long.

You should also read the terms of the warranty. Sometimes, a standard warranty doesn’t exceed 12 months. However, by registering on the manufacturer’s website, you can increase it to three or even five years.

Not all breakdowns are subject to warranty. However, sometimes you can save a substantial amount of money on the repair.

Repair Or Replace: That is the Question  

So when an appliance breaks down, do your repair or replace it? When the average lifespan isn’t up just yet, but the appliance seems to have a major problem, ask for help. Many technicians are ready to give a free diagnostic to figure out what’s wrong with the unit.

Sometimes, only a professional can tell if the appliance is worth repairing. In many cases, repair may be so expensive that replacement is the only option.

So if you aren’t sure whether you should repair or replace your appliance, ask for professional assistance. When calling the repair service, ask if they offer free diagnostics.

Can You Repair An Appliance on Your Own?

Repairing an appliance on your own is not advisable since it can lead to further breakdowns and injuries. However, some problems may not warrant the expert’s attention. You can consider fixing the appliance on your own or hire a technician in the following cases.

1.Washing Machine Repair

These washing machine problems don’t warrant appliance replacement.

  • Problems with water temperature – may require replacing temperature selector switch.
  • Machine is overfilling – may require replacement of water-level pressure switch.
  • Machine is making strange noises and vibrations – may need washer spin basket repair or replacement.
  • Door doesn’t lock or open – may need replacement or repair of the door lock assembly.

Always check the warranty before doing any repairs on your own. As soon as you fiddle with the appliance without a certified technician’s assistance, the warranty gets revoked.

2.Dryer Repair

If you encounter these dryer problems, any technician can fix them:

  • Doesn’t heat up or takes a long time to dry – may need thermal fuse replacement.
  • Turns off right after it starts running – may require thermostat replacement.
  • Shakes and vibrates too much  - may need drum seal replacement.

In case these problems occur when the average lifespan of the dryer is nearing, consider looking for a new appliance.

 

3.Refrigerator

These common fridge problems don’t warrant the replacement of the appliance.

  • The door doesn’t close tightly – may need seal replacement
  • The light doesn’t go on when you open the door – may need light bulb replacement

If the problems are more complicated than that, you definitely need an expert’s opinion. If your refrigerator doesn’t cool properly or leaks, it may need serious repair or replacement.

4.Dishwasher Repair

Here are a few dishwasher problems that can be solved quickly.

  • Stops before the cycle is over – may require door latch assembly replacement because the door doesn’t close properly.
  • Water leaks – may warrant door seal replacement.
  • Doesn’t dry dishes – may need high-limit thermostat replacement.
  • Doesn’t fill sufficient water – may need water inlet valve replacement.

Serious leaks need to be checked by a professional. If your dishwasher is about 10 years old, buying a new one is usually cheaper than to keep fixing it.

Even if it seems to you that you can repair an appliance easily, stop to think for a moment. Broken appliances are often electrocution and injury hazards. Professional technicians have the right equipment and experience to deal with appliances.

An average homeowner would need to spend a formidable amount of money on tools to achieve the same results. Meanwhile, DIY repairs always take long, robbing you of your free time.

How To Extend The Lifespan of an Appliance?

When you learn the average lifespan of your appliance, don’t take it for granted. Without the right maintenance, the time an appliance can last decreases by several years. Meanwhile, with the right approach, you can increase the time it serves you by 2 to 3 years.

Replacing an appliance is always a big expense. The average cost of replacing the major appliances, such as dishwashers, washing machines, and refrigerators is about $1,000. Meanwhile, the cost of maintenance is ten to twenty times lower.

By keeping your appliances in top shape and calling repair services timely, you can save substantial amounts of money. So how can you increase the time an appliance serves you?

1.Refrigerator

Here is how to make your fridge last longer without repairs or replacement.

  • Place your fridge in the right location, away from heat sources, such as the oven, direct sunlight or heat vents. If you have limited space and must place the appliance near a heat source, install a piece of an insulated board between them.
  • Clean the coils – one of the main reasons for fridge breakdowns is dirty cooling coils. Vacuum them once a month to get rid of the dirt and debris.
  • Keep the fridge filled – the fewer items you have in the fridge, the harder it has to work to maintain the right temperature, and the quicker it will give out.

 

2.Washing Machine

Take advantage of these tips to forget about repairing or replacing your washing machine for years.

 

  • Leave the door open – after you remove the load, leave the door open to allow the interior to dry and avoid mold and mildew formation.
  • Maintain load limits – overloading your machine can lead to breakdowns.
  • Check the seals – seals are the most fragile and most important parts of many appliances. If you see a ripped or broken seal, replace it immediately.

 

3.Dishwasher

Keep your dishwasher in top shape longer by following below tips:

  • Clean the dishes – remove large pieces of food before placing the dish in the dishwasher to prevent clogging.
  • Clean the filter – clean the filter once a month to improve the efficiency of the dishwasher and help it last longer.
  • Clean door seal – remove dirt and food from the door seal to help the door close tighter and prevent leaks.

 

Final Thoughts

Taking care of your appliances is the key to keeping them in good shape longer. In many cases, replacing an appliance when it breaks down is unnecessary. Most repairs can cost ten times less than replacement and allow your appliance to work for many years to come.

If your appliance breaks down, consider hiring an expert to run a diagnostic and figure out which course of action is suitable. In the majority of cases, you can settle for repairs. However, once the lifespan is about to end, replacing the appliance may be a smarter move than repairing it.

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