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Broken Appliances – Fix or Buy a New One?

10.01.2024

Hiring someone to repair appliances throughout your home may not always be the best solution. In fact, even with top-quality appliances, there may come a time when replacing them is a better option.

Proper maintenance ensures that your household appliances work long and remain functional. However, every appliance, including washing machines, dryers, and others, has a certain lifespan. Sometimes, a quick repair can solve the issue, but if the device is already at the end of its lifespan, a repair may not be a viable solution. In such cases, it is better to consider replacing the appliance. In this article, Jacob Dillard, an engineer at Appliance Repair Expert, will tell you when it is better to make repairs and when to buy new appliances.

ApplianceMinor RepairMajor RepairReplace
Refrigerator$200-300 (replace thermostat, evaporator fan motor, faulty compressor start relay)$400-600 (replace compressor, condenser fan motor, defrost heater)$1000+
Washing Machine$100-200 (replace water inlet valve, drain pump, drive belt or pulley)$300-500 (replace transmission, motor control board, drum bearings)$500+
Dishwasher$100-150 (replace door gasket, drainage pump, spray arms)$200-400 (replace control board, circulation pump and motor assembly)$400+
Electric Dryer$100-150 (replace thermal fuse, cycling thermostat, drive belt)$250-350 (replace heating element, drum rollers, motor)$400+
Electric Oven$150-250 (replace bake/broil heating element, temperature sensor)$300+ (replace control board, faulty oven door)$800+
Gas Stove$80-150 (replace faulty igniter, valve, or burner)$180+ (replace faulty regulator, installation issue diagnosis)$600+

Tips for Effective Use of Home Appliances

When deciding between repair and replacement, it may seem like you are about to make a very expensive choice. It doesn’t have to feel that way because there are a few simple things you can keep in mind.

replace or repair appliance

Consider repairing appliances when:

  • The issue is minor, such as a faulty latch, broken handle, loose hinge or minor dent. These are often inexpensive fixes.
  • It’s an intermittent issue or a simple malfunction, such as an ice maker not working occasionally. This may be an easy fix.
  • You can diagnose the problem as a simple, worn-out part such as a motor, pump, heating element, etc. Replacing parts is often less expensive than buying a new appliance.
  • The appliance is less than 5-7 years old. It likely has significant useful life left if repaired.
  • The repair cost is less than half the price of purchasing a similar new appliance.
  • The appliance is high-end or unique, so replacing it would be very costly.

Consider buying a new appliance when:

  • The appliance is over 10 years old. For an old appliance approaching the end of its useful life, repairing it may not be worthwhile.
  • Problems are recurring and becoming more frequent, indicating general wear and tear.
  • The problem is difficult to diagnose, or there are multiple system failures. This indicates a more serious underlying problem.
  • Spare parts are outdated or unavailable for the older model of the appliance.
  • Repair costs exceed 50% of the price of a new energy-efficient appliance.
  • Newer appliances have desirable upgraded features, such as smart home connectivity, that you want to have.

Replacement of appliances from an environmental point of view. Extend the life of your appliances or replace them early with energy-efficient appliances.

Replacement of appliances from an environmental point of view

Appliance Brands That Most Often Require Repair in Canada

Kenmore:

Kenmore appliances have mixed reliability ratings. Kenmore refrigerators, stoves, and washing machines are more likely to require repairs due to compressor, valve, and heating element failures than other brands.

GE:

GE’s reliability ratings also tend to be average. Their refrigerators and ovens typically don’t require major repairs for the first 5 years, but with age, compressor humming, evaporator fan malfunctions, and ignition, valve, or control failures can occur. GE front-loading washing machines also frequently require repairs due to door leaks, control board malfunctions, and spin imbalances.

Samsung:

Samsung refrigerators require frequent repairs for issues such as ice maker, compressor, vibration, error codes, sensors, and leaks. Their washing machines also often require repair due to problems such as vibration, error codes and leaks.

LG:

Common issues with LG French-door fridges include compressor failures and condenser fan motors. Their front-loading washing machines also require repairs due to leaks, control board faults and rattling during spinning.

Whirlpool:

Whirlpool appliances tend to require more frequent service. Problems such as ice maker failure, refrigerator thermostat problems, and flashing warning lights are more common with some Whirlpool units.

Frigidaire:

Consumer surveys show that Frigidaire dryers, in particular, require frequent repairs – mainly to replace the heating element or drum bearings. Their refrigerators and dishwashers also receive below-average reliability ratings from owners and service professionals.

Maytag:

Maytag appliances have reliability mixed ratings. The most common problems are washing machine leaks, control board malfunctions, dryer overheating, and refrigerator compressor noise.

What brands do Canadians most often have problems with?

Appliance brands in Canada

When to Repair or Replace Each Type of Appliance?

Household appliances

Refrigerator

A working refrigerator is essential to store food safely. If the repair cost exceeds 50% of a comparable new model, replacing it is likely the better option. Key factors are the age, repair history, and energy efficiency. New fridges use far less electricity.

Washing Machine

Frequent and expensive repairs indicate a washing machine may need replacement. However, minor issues like broken hoses or pulleys can often be repaired cheaply. The cost and availability of parts should be considered. Newer washing machines also tend to be gentler on clothes and have more cycles.

Dishwasher

Faulty dishwashers are often repairable if the issue is with the racks, hoses, or motor. But, control panel issues can be tricky to diagnose and expensive to replace. Compare repair costs to the price and features of a new energy-efficient model.

Dryer

Problems such as noisy operation or long running times can often be solved by replacing belts and pulleys. However, issues with heating elements and motors tend to require significant maintenance. If the dryer is over 10 years old, upgrading it can save money.

Oven

The availability of spare parts and the possibility of repair depends on the age and model of the oven. Cosmetic issues are usually cheaper to fix, while electrical and ignition problems may require replacement, increasing the cost.

Gas Stove

Gas appliances require specialized technicians to diagnose issues safely. Simple problems such as faulty ignitors can be fixed, but leaks, damaged burners and ventilation problems can be more expensive and require replacement. An old gas stove is also less energy efficient.

Average Useful Lifespan of Various Appliances
ApplianceYears
Microwaves9
Gas stoves10 to 18
Dryers (electric and gas)13
Garbage disposals12
Electric stoves13 to 15
Freezers10 to 20
Refrigerators14
Stove and oven hoods14
Washing machines11
Dishwashers9

Examining the situation is the key to choosing the best option that suits your needs and budget. You can rely on Appliance Repair Expert to help you assess the condition of your appliances. If you decide to buy a new appliance, we can also help to install a washing machine, dryer, dishwasher, stove & oven, range hood or any gas appliances.

Author: Jacob Dillard
My name is Jacob Dillard, and I am the author of articles at Appliance Repair Expert. Since childhood, I have been fascinated by technology and spent much time reading different books and trying to repair my first CD player. Then, I graduated from the University of Toronto with a degree in Applied Science and Engineering. In a year, I got my first job as a technician at an appliance repair company. After years of practice and working with professionals, I decided it was time to share my knowledge and experience here at Appliance Repair Expert. I want to help you understand everything related to appliance repair, maintenance and installation in the simplest way possible. It will be fun, believe me!

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