Household appliances get so much daily use, sooner or later they’re bound to give out. But when do you know when it’s time to replace those appliances, and when should you opt for a good repair service to come and fix it instead? In this informative article from Douglas Trattner at Houselogic.com, you can learn when it is more beneficial to try to get your non-working appliance repaired, and when it’s time to call it a day and go shopping for a replacement. Here is a brief overview of the good advice in the article- hopefully it can help you decide whether to repair or replace.
It’s turned on, right? Determining whether an appliance is really broken, as opposed to not turning on due to a faulty circuit breaker, clogged filter or, perhaps most obviously, not being plugged in. Make sure you check to see that your appliance is properly hooked up and switched on before you run out and buy a new one.
Is it still under warranty? If your appliance is still covered even in part by a manufacturer’s warranty, you’ll want to call and see if they can offer assistance with repair (or maybe even see if they will send you a replacement) before running to the store.
Is it at the end of its life? Nothing lasts forever, and that even includes the best-made appliances. If your washer suddenly stops working after 12 years of use, take comfort in knowing that it actually surpassed its typical 10-year lifespan, and make plans to purchase a new model.
Follow the 50% rule- This rule basically states that if an appliance is more than 50% through its lifespan (see handy chart in the body of the Homelogic article to determine the lifespans of various appliances), and if the cost of repair is more than 50% of the cost of buying new, then you should replace the appliance rather than try to get it repaired. For example, if your refrigerator suddenly goes out at the age of 5 (less than half of its 13-year average lifespan), and the repairman wants to charge you $400 for the part it needs, you should go ahead and get that repair done because it is less than 50% of the typical cost for a new refrigerator.
DIY- Don’t be afraid to have a go at repairing appliances yourself…but do know your limits. My father-in-law was a great tinkerer, and could fix just about anything he encountered with the aid of his handy toolbox, decades of experience as a mechanical engineer and tons of patience. Me-not so much, but even though I (probably wisely) shy away from any repairs that involve opening up an appliance and messing around with its insides, I can still pull out the manual and troubleshoot minor issues, such as oven calibration, frost accumulation in a freezer or a lopsided dryer due to a missing foot. As long as you are careful and don’t bite off more than you can chew, repairing appliances on your own could not only potentially save money in repairs or replacements, but you will feel like a super-genius!
Beware hidden replacement costs- Uh-oh! Your shiny new stainless steel refrigerator won’t fit in the tiny space previously occupied by your old fridge. Oh no! Your fancy new range has so many cool new features that you need to add extra electrical wiring to make it work! Be sure to research the total cost of upgrading your appliances, and try to choose replacements that are similar to the old ones in size and ability unless you wish to make all the necessary modifications for something new.