Large Appliance Repair Versus Replace

If you refrigerator has stopped chilling your food or the washing machine has stopped spinning, you can be faced with that dreaded question, should I spend the time and money to have the appliance repaired, or should I shop for a replacement?

The answer to that question depends on multiple factors. If you were to talk to top notch appliance repair professionals from all over, you would probably get these guidelines:

Find your instruction manual and locate the troubleshooting section. The manual may illustrate a solution to the problem that may not require a service call from a professional.

How old and what has been the repair history of the appliance? If this appliance has had no or few repairs, it could be wise to explore repair options before considering a replacement.

In some cases, contacting a service professional can be worthwhile, even with the cost of the service call. Often an appliance repair technician can examine the appliance and give you multiple options to explore.

Then there is the so called 50% rule; if the repair is going to cost more than half the price of a replacement appliance, and the broken appliance is more than six or seven years old, it may be time for a new appliance.

If replacement is being considered, be sure to account for all the costs. Sometimes there are installation costs for the new appliance. Sometimes there are removal and disposal costs for the old appliance. Sometimes the new appliance being considered requires some retro fitting or the installation of other accommodations. Some new appliances are more energy efficient than the old appliance which can offset part of the cost.

There are times when you hear about a simple, cost effective repair that saved much money over the cost of a replacement. There is the story of a Maryland member of Angie's List who was considering replacing his 15 year old refrigerator when he noticed water leaking from the bottom of the unit.

This Angie's List member hired an appliance repair service to check the leak, and they found the leak was caused by a clogged defrost drain in the freezer. The clog was easily repaired for $99, and the technician estimated the unit would last an additional five or six years after the repair, a great savings over the estimated $1500 replacement refrigerator.

There are other common problems that can easily be fixed with an easy affordable repair. One example is dishwashers and clothes washers that have become clogged with residual soap. A second example is appliances in need of new fans, belts, and electronic controls.

Some examples of repairs where replacement could be a better option are those involving the refrigerant system or compressor on refrigerators or freezers. Others include broken motors on clothes washers and dryers.

Taking care of large appliances is one way to help prolong the life and lesson the need for service by a professional. Here are some examples:

For refrigerators and freezers, clean the condenser coils at least annually.

Do not overload / overfill dishwashers or clothes washing machines.

For dishwashers, clean the filter to remove all debris and hard water deposits. Check and clean all holes in the spinning arms do ensure they are free of debris.

Every time you open the door on your clothes dryer, clean the lint filter. The dryer vent system should be cleaned annually.

For your stove, oven, and range, do not allow grease to build up.

To schedule a service call, phone (770) 604-1699