Which is better to repair or replace appliances, and when is the perfect time to do it?

Well, it often feels like an expensive guess when it comes to deciding when or whether to repair or replace your appliances. This is simply because of several factors involved when making these kinds of decisions. For example, if an appliance breaks before its time (which is common), it will make the repair-or-replace decision quite harder. However, if the appliance has been working efficiently until almost or its due period, then that decision is relatively easier.

Overall, all this fuss comes down to two options; replacing with a new, energy-efficient model, that is, if you have money or choosing to repair it if you are in a tight spot financially.

Therefore, to help you solve this mystery, here are the experts’ tips on how to make the right decision on whether to repair or replace the appliance.

Which is better, fixing appliance or replacement?

1. Is the appliance really broken?

First of all, you should start by asking yourself this question.

Remember, not every time an appliance ceases to work means it is broken simply because this can happen due to several reasons such as:

  • Suppose the fail-switch is triggered. Nowadays, most home or office appliances are fitted with circuit breakers that prevent an appliance from working once tripped. Therefore, you will need to check if it is tripped and, if so, reset it.
  • Is your appliance plugged in? If not, then it won’t work, so be sure to check that too.
  • Are your appliance vents clogged? Check that too to ensure it works as it is supposed to.

If you’re not sure, you can reach out to home appliance repair in Ottawa for proper diagnosis.

2. How old is your appliance?

Typically, all appliances on average have a good half-lifespan. Therefore, it is crucial to know how old is too old to be able to apply the 50% rule. According to HouseLogic, the typical lifespans of most appliances are as follow:

Appliance Average lifespan (years)
Compactor 6
Dishwasher 9
Microwave 9
Exhaust fan 10
Washer 10
Freezer 11
Disposal 12
Electric range 13
Dryer 13
Refrigerator 13
Rangehood 14
Gas range 15

3. How to apply the 50% rule

Now you know how old is too old for an appliance; let’s see how you can use the 50% rule to help you make the right decision.

If your appliance is broken and the repair cost is more than 50% the cost of buying a new one, and that appliance is also more than 50% through its lifespan, then you should not repair but instead replace it. If you do the math, you will realize that repairing that appliance will be costly since it is already halfway through its lifespan. In addition, most machines tend to start failing when at this stage of their lifespan. Repairing also does come with a “trip charge” that most companies charge just to diagnose the problem. Fortunately, some companies do waive these charges when they manage to repair your appliance.

And as Chris Granger, vice president of Sears Home Services, says, “the life span of household appliances varies based on their usage and maintenance.”

4. What will the repair cost?

If you are considering repairing your appliance, you should take repair costs into account. So, how much will the repair cost?  Is it a considerable cost in comparison to replacing it? And finally, are the replacement parts available?

By answering these questions, you are constructing a clear picture of which way to go next. Because, if the replacement parts are not readily available, then the repair cost will probably be high. Therefore, you need to factor in the total repair cost and compare it to the cost and logistics of installing a new appliance.

5. Does it have a warranty, and is it still applicable?

If your appliance happens to be under warranty, then you should schedule a service call. In most cases’ warranties tend to last for a period of 1 to 2 years, and it covers costs for both the labor and parts. So, always check your user manuals and see if your appliance is worth it.

Typically, an appliance that is less than a year old is probably still under warranty.

6. DIY repair if possible

To repair or replace washing machine, for example, maybe pretty expensive for you. Therefore, having a little bit of hands-on experience might help you to DIY whenever possible. This is a cost-efficient method since it will help you save on labor fees as well as trip charges.

In fact, you can watch some DIY videos tutorials on YouTube to help you make simple appliance repairs yourself. You can also solve other issues like troubleshooting by simply referring to the user manuals. If you can’t find your user manual, don’t worry since you can simply find it on the internet. All you will need is your appliance brand and model number to search for manual online.

Nevertheless, you should be aware of the disadvantages of DIYing your appliances.

  • For some appliances, if you mess with it, your warrant will get canceled.
  • You should always unplug your machine before opening it to avoid being electrocuted
  • Be aware that if you misdiagnose the problem, you may probably get refunds for purchased parts, and you will have lost money
  • If dealing with heavy and bulky appliances, you should know how to lift, move and open to limit injury risks.

7. Do you fancy style to match your home’s new theme?

Ideally, this is a personal tip that may play a part in why you should replace or repair your appliances. For example, you are looking to maintain uniformity in your kitchen, but you have an old dishwasher that seems odd, then you can choose to replace it. Some of us are sticklers when it comes to style and when an appliance doesn’t fit the style and color scheme, it fills odd.

And so, if you are that type of person, then the best way is always replacing.


Overall, before you decide to fix a broken product or upgrade to a new model, you should always consider the above tips. These tips are necessary to make a convincing decision that will save you money, time, and regrets, of course.

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