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Title: When to Repair or Replace Your Appliance
Author: House Logic
The Internet, Online, 27/05/2016
Consider age, repair cost, pricing, energy efficiency, and whether to modify your kitchen to accommodate a new unit.
But appliances often break before their time, making the repair-or-replace decision harder.
If money is tight, you may have to repair the appliance and hope for the best. But if you’ve got some coin, then replacing with a new, energy-efficient model often is the better way to go.
That’s a lot of ifs, and the repair-or-replace dilemma often is hard to resolve. Here are some guidelines that will help you decide.
Is It Really Broken?
When appliances stop working, we get so rattled that the obvious escapes us. Before you panic, make sure:
- The appliance is plugged in.
- Circuit breakers haven’t tripped. (I once replaced a blender only to discover that the circuit needed resetting.)
- Flooring hasn’t become uneven, which can stop some appliances from turning on.
- Vents and filters aren’t clogged with lint and dust.
Is It Still Under Warranty?
Check your owner’s manual or records to see if the sick appliance is still under warranty. Most warranties on major appliances cover labor and parts for a year; some extend coverage of parts for two years. If it’s still covered, schedule a service call.
Is It Truly at the End of Its Useful Life?
Appliances have an average useful life — the typical lifespan after which the machine is running on borrowed time. The closer your appliance is to its hypothetical past due date, the wiser it is to replace, rather than repair.
Here are the typical lifespans of major appliances.
|Appliance||Average Lifespan (Years)|
How to Follow the 50% Rule
In 2014, the average cost to repair an appliance was $254 to $275. Should you pay it?
If an appliance is more than 50% through its lifespan, and if the cost of one repair is more than 50% of the cost of buying new, then you should replace rather than repair.
To do the math, you’ll have to know the typical lifespan (see above), and get a repair estimate. Most service companies charge a “trip charge” to diagnose the problem. These charges vary widely, so be sure to ask when you arrange the appointment. If the company repairs the appliance, the trip charge typically is waived.
DIY Whenever Possible
If you know your way around a socket wrench, you may be able to make simple appliance repairs yourself and save labor fees. YouTube has lots of DIY repair videos, and user manuals can help you troubleshoot.
Can’t find your manual? Search online for “manual” along with your appliance brand and model number. Most manufacturers provide free downloadable PDFs of appliance manuals, and there are several online sites that specialize in nothing but manuals.
However, there is a downside to repairing appliances yourself.
- Many electrical replacement parts are non-refundable, so if you misdiagnose the problem, you’ve wasted money……………
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