Should I Repair or Replace my broken appliance?

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Should I Repair or Replace my broken appliance?

May 13, 2019 Steve Anderson

When your appliance fails, the first thought is “Should I just go buy a new one?” Let us take a look at that decision. We can break the answer down in about five ways to look at the problem you are facing. Considerations will be, appliance repair company statistics, cost of repair vs replace, risk of future failures, parts no longer available, and desire to upgrade.  All of the factors should be considered together as usually no one factor dominates the decision. There are seemingly many considerations here. Our technicians will be able to walk you through the repair path that is specific to your appliances options in repair or replace.

Our company experience shows that on 99% of the service calls booked, a repair service is performed.  This statistic does not include appliance failures that resulted when the owner made the decision to replace without even seeking appliance repair. There are also a number of appliance failures that can be diagnosed over the phone. Sometimes the answer is to replace the appliance. We do not have to come on site and collect a service fee just to tell you to buy a new appliance. Also, in the company statistics of repairs done we find a number of repairs are not to the appliance its self. Dryers with clogged house ducts are the most frequent example of something outside the appliance causing the failure to perform. In these cases, replacing the appliance does not solve the customers complaint. Required maintenance is another category of the appliance repair that generates a service request, but no part of the appliance is broken.  Dishwashers are an example of this type of call. Failure to drain can be a filter clogged or a drain line inside or outside of the dishwasher being partially clogged. Maintenance on the dishwasher will bring the system back into operation. The technician’s diagnosis will most of the time reveal that there is a simple solution to the customer complaint.

Cost of repair vs, replace is the next consideration. A service call is required to obtain an accurate cost to repair. Technicians need to observe operation, failures and often take measurements of the system and components. This allows the technician to determine the parts, labor and other costs to repair for providing a complete estimate. As a general rule, if the cost to repair is over 50% of the cost to replace, then replacement should be considered.

Risk of future failures should be considered. This breaks down into two basic lines of thought. The risk of the same part and the risk of other parts are the two considerations. The risk of the same part failing happens and your repair technician can help you in this situation. Some makes and models have a part that fails at an undesirable rate. You are not the only person experiencing this problem.  Dishwasher touch pad panels is an example where you should consider replacement if the second panel fails. Second, the risk of other parts failing in the future should be considered. If you have an expensive cost on an older unit, you might want to go ahead and replace at this time knowing that other parts are going to fail sooner rather than later. Don’t think that manufacturers build things to fail at a certain time. There are many 20+ year old appliances in homes that are still working fine.

Parts no longer available (NLA) is often an answer received when searching for an appliance replacement part. Circuit boards are a major cost item in most appliances today. Boards are also an item that is revised and has a new design in just a few years. A repair option here is to have these boards rebuilt. We have contacts with companies that can thoroughly test these boards and replace defective parts. In fact, we can often do this for boards that are still in production and repair for less cost than a new board. The rebuilt boards are guaranteed. Our technician can walk you through all of the above options that apply to your specific appliance.  Sometimes the lack of a replacement part necessitates the replacement of the appliance.

The desire to upgrade is not a numerical parameter. This is the basic recognition that updating the kitchen or laundry room is a valid concern in the decision process. Having an updated kitchen for selling the house or just living in a modern home should be considered. Replacing an older appliance that has failed might just be the time to start the upgrade process.

The decision to repair or replace has many considerations. You should not feel you are pushed in one direction or the other. Our technicians can give you an estimate to repair and help answer any questions on making the repair or replace decision.  Remember that you have choices.

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