March 19, 2019 | Barb Huntley
How do you know if you should repair or replace a broken appliance? You need to consider the cost and the life of each one. Here’s a breakdown of common household appliances and information to support your repair or replacement decision.
 
Refrigerator– If your fridge is no longer staying cold, it likely needs to be repaired or replaced. First, check the temperature controls and make sure no one bumped the temperature down or up. If that isn’t the case, you’ll need to call in a professional to assess the situation. If the repairs will cost more than half of its value, a good rule of thumb is to replace it.
 
Washing Machine/Dryer– First, always check to make sure it is plugged in. Even re-plugging it in can make a difference. Next check, the filters to make sure they are not clogged. Has something fallen underneath the surfaces that cause them to sit unevenly? This can also affect their use. It’s important to know the average life span of a washing machine and dryer is around ten years. So, if you are running into trouble at the 6-7-year point, is it worth the money to repair something that is bound to lose its value in the next few years? Remember, if the repairs will cost more than half of its value, a good rule of thumb is to replace it.
 
Dishwasher– You may notice your dishwasher isn’t heating up to dry the dishes, not draining, or leaving residue on the cutlery inside. Start with switching your detergent. Depending on if your water is soft or hard, that will affect how it mixes with your current detergent, possibly leading to dirty looking dishes. If water is pooling at the bottom after a cycle, check the filter at the bottom to make sure it's not clogged by food residue. If none of these quick fixes work, hire a professional. Dishwashers can last between 10-16 years, depending on the quality. If you are running into problems the first couple of years, the price to repair may be worth it. But, if you are running into these problems a decade into ownership, it’s time to start shopping around for a new one.
 
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