Appliance repair vs. replacement

Major appliances are the cornerstones of modern life. Without these trusty devices, people would be reduced to washing their clothes by hand and cooking meals over an open fire.

It's no wonder that a broken appliance can amount to a pretty big problem in most households, and the question of whether to repair or replace these devices can even create a lot of anxiety.

When it comes to repairing appliances, every device eventually reaches a point of diminishing returns. If it's cheaper to fix an appliance than replace it, the smart money is usually on the fix. However, it doesn't make sense to fix a device that is likely to break down again in the near future or become technologically obsolete.

Considerations when deciding whether to opt for appliance repair or replacement:

Age: The age of an appliance needs to be considered when deciding whether to repair or replace. Most appliances have an average life cycle and once an appliance passes that point, it’s usually a good idea to replace. Antiques and some high-end appliances are the exceptions to the rule, as they may be extremely expensive to replace.

Warranty: Determine if your appliance is under warranty, because you might be able to have it repaired at a reduced rate or free of charge. Warranties are important because replacement parts are expensive and can even cost more than the cost of purchasing a new appliance. Make sure your warranty is covered by a factory-authorized appliance repair shop.

Price: Appliance repair professionals say when the price of the repair totals more than half the cost to purchase a new appliance, you’re better off replacing the appliance.

You should consider appliance repair when:

  • The appliance is under warranty.

  • The appliance is an antique that would be difficult to replace.

  • The repairs are minor and will extend the life of the appliance for several years.

It's time to replace an appliance when:

  • The appliance is not under warranty.

  • The repairs are extensive and add up to more than half the price of the appliance's original cost.

  • The appliance is technologically obsolete.

Preventive maintenance tips

The best way to keep your appliances running smoothly is to practice preventive maintenance. Many appliances fail because they are overused or misused by the consumer.

Appliance repair professionals say homeowners should read the operational manuals that come with appliances and follow instructions for proper use and preventive maintenance.

Video: How to maintain appliances

Washing machine

  • Make sure not to overload the machine, or it could prematurely wear out.

  • Set the water level to an appropriate setting based on the amount of clothes in the washer. Failure to do so can put additional stress on the motor.

  • Check pockets before placing clothes in the washer. Many problems are caused when foreign objects become lodged within the washer.

  • Appliance repairmen suggest replacing the washer fill hose every five years.


  • Clean out the lint trap after each load to improve efficiency and reduce the chance of a fire.

  • Have the outside vent inspected annually.


  • Clean the condenser coils. When these coils become caked with dust, the fridge has to work harder which puts more stress on the unit and increases energy consumption. Use a vacuum to remove dust, pet hair and dirt.

  • Check the door seal. The fridge’s door seal is responsible for keeping food cold and maximizing efficiency. Replace the seal if needed.

Range, stove or oven

  • Instead of using the self-cleaning function, appliance repairmen recommend cleaning up spills as they occur and using drip pans to catch spills.


  • Clean your dishwasher’s filter to remove hard water deposits and debris.

  • Clean your dishwasher’s filter to remove hard water deposits and debris.

  • Clean your dishwasher’s filter to remove hard water deposits and debris.

Garbage disposal

  • Keep the blades sharp by running cold water and sending a cup of ice down the disposal.

  • Run cold water for 10 seconds before inserting food into the disposal and for 30 seconds after each use. Cold water helps solidify grease and fat so they can be chopped up by the disposal.

Hiring an appliance repair service

There are many factors consumers need to consider before hiring an appliance repair service. Home appliances are expensive, and you want to ensure the company you hire is reputable and has the skills required to complete the fix in a timely and efficient manner.

Tips for hiring an appliance repair service:

Research potential hires. Get at least three estimates and compare the bids based on price, parts, labor and warranty. You also want to research how long the company has been in business, check reviews on Angie’s List and speak with past clients.

Inquire about costs. Expect to pay up to $100 for a typical service call. Additional parts and labor charges will apply if you hire the company for a repair, but many companies will deduct the service charge.

Check skill level. It’s important to hire a company whose employees have the training to complete the job. Ask if the employees are factory trained or certified in appliance repair.

Is the work under warranty? Check to see if the repair service guarantees its work, and determine how long. Most warranties vary from 90 days to one year.

Leave a Comment - 74



Subject: Response

Check basic things such as the lid switch this a very common issue with GE


Subject: washing machine

I have whirlpool washing machine about 7 yrs old, will fill with water but will not agitate, only cycle that works now is the spin cycle. Will not even do anything now on any cycle but spin. Anyone have any suggestions?


Subject: I have a 1950s fridge the

I have a 1950s fridge the brand is a philco and mosel number is a-751 it was working fine then suddenly shut off. It will not turn on or anything. What can i do

Gary Pannell

Subject: Clothes Dryer

My Dryer is stained on the drum with red clumps from a rug that had the Dye from a new rug got all over it when drying per the instructions. I think it is on the outside as well as the inside of the unit internally. It is a high end unit by Whirl pool


Subject: switching my fridge and oven

I have a trailer home and it seems like they (who ever built it) just put things wherever, and was thinking that my kitchen would make more sense if the stove was where the fridge is and the fridge was were the stove is, but my stove is powered by propane (gas), will I be able to switch them? And if so, how much will it cost me to do so?


Subject: Dryer

Our Samsung dryer has a rattle inside when running. It sounds like maybe a coin or something fell down inside the lint trap. What's the easiest way to get it out?

Rick Hiller

Subject: Gas oven won't light

My 8 yr old Maytag won't light. The burners are ok but the oven and broiler gas won't ignite. I could smell gas at first but no odor now; the ignitor coils are working. When I first tried the broiler and it didn't ignite, right after I turned it off the gas did ignite momentarily. Any help would be appreciated

ervin ortiz

Subject: ice maker

stop making ice, its does when i defrost it and reset power, then it makes ice but watery and non stop. I need a repair man.


Subject: Electric range electronic panel threw sparks and died

need repair service on a frigidaire oven less than 2 years old. The electronic panel fell out of its socket. When I went to turn the oven off, the electric panel began to spark and the oven stopped working. I unplugged it and have not gone near it since.

Any advice????

Paul b.

Subject: oven

Plastic brackets that hold board to panel are broken. You need a new control board, they run at 2-3 hundred range!

Carolanne Jacobs

Subject: JENN Air Gas range, electronic panel

Waiting for replacement part; JENN air/whirlpool stalling to provide for over6 months; stove six and half years old, should I get new range; tired of baking in toaster oven & on gas burners(which do work.) have any suggestions on freezable brand gas-stove, and should I skip electronics, and purchase stove with oven knob to on?

elizabeth sweatt

Subject: washer

my washer seems to b e leaking clear, clean water from the bottom. it is a front load. the hoses appear to be intact and secure. it sits on a pedestal and there is no way I can get it off. need someone strong and knowledgeable to fix. any suggestions

John Kleinschmidt

Subject: whirlpool dishwasher

our dishwasher only fills part way. Having work done on our water mains on our street, worked fine before they started.They have run a hose to our outside water fauctet to get water for use to use. I can't get down to see if i can fix it due to recovering from knee replacement. Need someone in the waterford michigan area that can help with this problem. The company doing the water main work says not our problem.

Lynette Brady

Subject: Re: Dishwasher repair

I need someone to repair my dishwasher in Windsor Forest (Savannah)
It is retaining water in the bottom, and the lights on the control panel
on the door are flashing. It is a whirlpool product about 3 yrs. old.



Subject: Monogram Sub Zero under drawer freezer leeking

My Monogram Sub Zero under drawer freezer keeps leeking and dripping water on mostly the right side. There is also a lot of built up ice when you open the drawer, on the bottom and sides of the freezer. Anyone know someone that can fix this?


Subject: Refrigerator water pool under produce drawers

Been happening for several months and getting worse. Kenmore (12 yrs old).
Fridge cooling and freezer freezing good, but every few days I have water that has collected underneath the produce drawers and I have to use towels to sop it up, (this is water inside the fridge, on bottom under drawers...not outside the fridge on floor). We moved away from wall and nothing wrong there...clean the coils (they are underneath the fridge...I have a coil brush for that). I can hear what sounds like ice chunks falling every now and then....but can't see where they are falling from inside fridge. It is worse in warmer waether. We do have a.c. cooled house. Could this be gaskets on doors need to be replaced? If so, how do you do that? (the freezer portion is on top with separate door)

Appliance repair

Subject: Fridgw

Defrost the box and this will take care of the problem. Your drain for the defrost system is iced up

A&T Appliance Repair

Subject: chances are the defrost drain

chances are the defrost drain is clogged. the ref goes into defrost once or twice a day. that produces water that will puddle under the drawers if it cant go down the drain. remove the backpanel in your freezer and you will be looking at the evaporator coil. underneath the coil you most likely will see a sheet of ice that is plugging the drain hole. remove the ice clear the drain. after it is cleared make sure it is draining by flushing it with 1-2 cups of water. i use a turkey baster with hot water to clear the drainhole. make sure all the ice is removed before putting everything back together. wipe up water that has spilled in fridge also under drawers. after that you may see some more water for up to 24hrs then it will stop dripping.


Subject: ice maker repair

I have a side by side refrigerator. Ice maker has quit working again for the second time. Fridge is probably 10-12 years old.


Subject: Ice maker not working

My ice maker quit. It used to shoot out water causing a big chunk of ice to form. Fridge is 6yrs old. Is there an easy fix?


Subject: iPod 4 screen repair

Hi. I wanted to know if someone or some company could repair my ipod 4's screen. If there someone that can then please email me. Thanks.

Mary Robinson

Subject: AC Unit

Good Morning my AC is running, however it is not blowing much cool air. Not sure how old the unit is, we just pruchased this home in December.

lori tedford

Subject: dishwasher

wondering if I should buy a new dishwasher or pay a repair man. It is less than 10 years old. It has been having a real hot bad smell during drying cycle and my silverware are in the door and are not getting cleaned at all.

rosemary cosgrove

Subject: maytag washing machine

it,s working ..the dial is unreliable..i set the dial on a delicate wash..pull the knob out and it fills the water to the small setting -begins but stalls I go upstairs and time the washer as I know I have to go push the knob in and turn to where it can now begin to rinse-empties-add water now stalls. my question is ?can the dial be replaced I called a local repairman who was on the bulletin board at a local market but received no response.


Subject: washing machine

my washer will fill but it won't spin. I think the bin/basket is off track. Is that an elaborate repair job?


Subject: washer

washer will not spin out last load that work got out of balance and now it gets to spin portion of cycle and just stops it seems to put off a faint noise that it is attempting to spin but nothing


Subject: Maytag Performa Gas Range RS-1

I have a Maytag Performa Gas Range RS-1. The front burners were not lighting. The insulators on the igniter were cracked. When we lifted the top a little to see if we could replace the igniters we discovered the metal line to the burner was crinked and leaking. I had already purchased the igniters before we found the 2 leaks.

- Can we replace the broken lines to the front burners or do we need to have a professional do that repair?


Subject: Refrigerator

1yr in dec 2012 fridge warrant ran out in dec 2012 not cold freezer ok ice on back of freezer when temp increased sears kenmore. Vacuumed took apart no luck. Any suggestions

Paul b.

Subject: fridge

Freezer section not defrosting. It is most likely the defrost element or the defrost thermostat(bi-metal). Could also be a control board, if it has one. Or it has an analog timer, but those are not as common to go bad.

walter garrod

Subject: refrigerator

mistakenly left door partially open during the day and now the unit will not turn on but it is cold inside and frezzer food is frozen


Subject: Washer

When my washer fills up it sometimes does not stop and just keeps on filling, then it over flows everywhere. And when the spin cycle comes on it does a clicking sound for a few minutes then it spins right.

Ron Downey

Subject: overfilling

this is caused by the water level pressure switch not working properly..should not be an expensive repair...


Subject: Dryer

My dryer went out and need help and need someone by tomorrow because am supposed to go out of town on Wednesday. I turned it on Saturday and heard a pop so I think its the belt and heating element both need to replaced. Will this be costly and if so do you think I should go buy another one?


Subject: dryer repair

I have similar problem with my dryer. After several loads I threw another load in turned the on button, heard a brief attempt to start - then nothing. I don't believe it was overheated because I give it some time between each load to cool down. Do dryers have a restart button, fuse or something?


Subject: no cool

Is there frost at the back of freezer?
Do lights dim every 5 minutes?


Subject: Unit not Cooling

I would assume by now you have resolved this issue. But just in case you've not. The likely problems can be that there is a leak in your freon system or that you can have a main control temp sensor that has gone and the unit is not measuring the correct temp therefore it is not putting out the right amount of coolant.

View Comments - 74 Hide Comments

Post New Comment

Appliance Repair - LargeHome Automation & Entertainment Systems
Smart appliances may not last as long as their predecessors.
Appliance Repair - Large
Washers, like many appliances, were built with limitations. Learn how to avoid damaging your washing machine by avoiding these common mistakes
Appliance Repair - LargeRefrigerator | Freezer
Tips for troubleshooting common freezer problems, and how to know when to throw in the towel and call a professional appliance repair company.
Home OwnershipAppliance Repair & MaintenanceEnergy EfficiencyHomeowners and Renters InsuranceCarpet CleaningPressure WashingHVAC MaintenanceWater Heaters
Think of it as a list of annual chores for home sweet home.
Appliance Repair & MaintenanceEnergy EfficiencyRefrigerators & FreezersWashers & DryersDishwasherMicrowavesRefrigerator | FreezerStove | OvenWasher | Dryer
Ready to hit the appliance stores for a new dryer, fridge or other item? Follow these energy conservation tips.


Local Offers <
Trending <