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  • Josh Z.

To fix, or not to fix?

When is it time to replace your appliance vs repair

One of the most frequent questions we get is, "is this worth fixing"? There is no clear cut answer, but we generally go with a basic formula. It doesn't matter if its a washer, dryer, range, or refrigerator. This applies across the board. You need to know 3 things to help you out.

  1. How old is your appliance? For most of your appliances, the lifespan is between 7-10 years. The manufacturer will tell you different. They generally say 10-12 years, but that just hasn't been our experience. Remember, this is an average. That means if you are lucky enough to have your fridge for 15 years, someone else likely had the same one for only 2. Also, keep in mind, this doesn't mean there are no repairs in that timeframe. The life expectancy doesn't mean the time until it first breaks.

  2. How much did you pay for it? Obviously this is important. If you have a $200 microwave, it will never really be worth it to pay to have it repaired, but it isn't always so clear what the right choice is. Keep the purchase price in mind going forward.

  3. How much is the repair? This is another one of those no-brainer things. The cost to repair an appliance can vary significantly. It might cost around $200 to replace the thermal-fuse on your dryer, and it might be $700 to replace the control panel on a built in oven.

Is it worth it to repair your appliance?

Now that you have all of the information, we can do a simple formula to help us in our decision. First, take the price of your appliance and divide by 10. That gives us how much the appliance is worth in a given year. Then, multiply that by (10-age of your unit). That tells us the approximate value of your appliance. If that number is less than the repair, it might be a good deal to get the work done. Let's use an example. Let's say you have a range that is 5 years old, costs $1,000, and will cost $350 to repair. The price divided by 10 gives us a yearly value of $100. It is 5 years old, and that means we hope to get another 5 years out of it. When we multiply 5 by 100, we get an estimated value left of about $500. You could make a pretty good argument to have this fixed. However, if you are estimating the lifespan to be closer to that 7 range, the estimated value left would drop to $250. This may make you consider buying a new product.

So what do you do?

Like I said in the beginning, there is no clear cut answer. This is the formula we use to help our customers determine if their appliance is worth fixing or not, but its not so simple. As we saw in our example, the range of the life expectancy can make a big difference in the equation. The rest of the appliance may make a difference as well. Maybe you have a washer that needs a repair, but the technician also notices the base supports have already rusted significantly. Maybe you have a dishwasher that needs a simple repair, but the technician informs you that the pump is starting to sound weak. Our technicians will always give you their honest opinion on the matter, but the final decision is yours.

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