Should That Old Appliance be Replaced or Repaired

No one looks forward to the day when a home appliance calls it quits. However, you may want to consider whether it makes more sense to replace it, repair it yourself, or pay a pro to do it. Those who are reluctant to replace older models with newer ones can often end up wasting energy and money. But, what should you do if the washer or refrigerator gives up before then? Below is a list of common household appliances, and some advice on repair vs. replacement.


A dishwasher is a valuable appliance, but it’s not the most expensive one—meaning that it can be difficult to decide whether to repair or replace. A good general rule is that, if the dishwasher is more than seven years old, you should consider replacement if repairs will cost more than half the value of a new machine. When you get repair quotes, shop around for new dishwashers to ensure that you’re not paying too much for repairs when it would cost about the same to replace it. To keep your dishwasher running great, clean the filters regularly, inspect the racks for rust and wear, and tighten the door when necessary.


If your stove is malfunctioning due to a faulty element or broken burner, the fix is easy and cheap. Oven timers and other non-essential features are inexpensive to replace, and it’s not too much of a hardship to go without them while you’re waiting for a repair. However, if the stove is old and the problems are extensive, it may be worthwhile to consider replacement. To maintain your oven and stove, clean it regularly and deep clean it once per month.


Many refrigerator issues, such as replacing coils, sealing leaks or replacing a circuit board, are easy to fix. However, if the compressor or another major component fails, replacement may be the right option. Most refrigerators have a lifespan of about eight years, and if yours is older it may be better to replace it. Most fridge problems are because of broken icemakers, and if you can go without yours, do it. To maintain your fridge and freezer, defrost it regularly and clean the coils on a regular basis.

Washers and Dryers

The most common washer issue is water leaking into the tub when the machine isn’t in use, and it’s usually due to a broken inlet valve (which is a cheap fix). As for the dryer, clogged vents and tubing are quite common, and these issues can cause a dryer to be much less effective. Most washer and dryer maintenance jobs are relatively inexpensive, and it’s typically more cost-effective to opt for repair over replacement.

Vacuum Cleaners

If you own a pricey vacuum cleaner, you’ll probably be reluctant to buy a new one in the near future. Thankfully, most vacuum repair jobs are cheap, even when a pro does them. However, if you tend to buy less expensive vacuum cleaners, it’s more sensible to buy a new unit than to repair the old one. To keep your vacuum working as it should, clean the roller often and don’t allow the bag to get overfilled.