Repairing or Replacing a Broken Appliance

Did you ever have a washing machine break down?  How about a stove, oven or dishwasher?  These everyday appliances make our lives easier by handling some of the household chores.  We know how valuable they are when they breakdown.  Should you repair it or just replace it with a new one?  Here are some things to consider.

Age of Appliance

The age of your appliance may help you decide if it’s time for a new one.  When my 15-year-old dishwasher broke, it was an easy decision.  It’s time for a new one.  I only paid $400 for it, so it didn’t owe me anything.  It was also time to upgrade to a quieter model with a stainless steel front.  So for under $800, we replaced our dishwasher.


Let’s face it, times are tough.  So when something breaks, we have to look at two prices:

  • How much will it cost to repair it?
  • How much will it cost to buy a new one?

Even if the appliance is older, if you don’t have the money to buy a new one, then your only alternative might be to simply repair it.

If you can afford to replace it, then consider  if it’s worth repairing, or if it’s better to buy a new one.  Case in point: Our washing machine broke at 6:00 on New Years Day.  I went downstairs to put the clothes in the clothes in the dryer only to catch a scent of burnt rubber.  When I opened the washing machine, I found that the water never drained.  The washing machine stopped before the high spin cycle ran.

Temporary solution: I couldn’t leave the clothes in water overnight.  So we took a large cup and a pail, and drained some of the water by hand.  Next, I rang out the clothes by hand, getting as much of the water out as possible.  We put the clothes in the dryer, and dried them on the lowest setting.  I thought the clothes were clean, but wanted to wash them again once my washing machine was working again.

Decision factors

The next morning I priced out a new washing machine.  Just eight years ago, I paid $800 for my washing machine and dryer.  Here were some of the options I found for buying a new one:

  • $800 for a new washing machine and dryer; This washing machine would be much smaller than my extra-large capacity one
  • $800 for new extra-large capacity washer
  • $1200 for a new extra-large capacity washer and matching dryer

I really didn’t want to spend that much money.  The thought of going out in a snowstorm on January 2nd to shop for a washing machine was also unappealing.  So, I called a repair company.  They thought I needed a new motor, and gave me an estimate of $330.  In the end, it needed a new pump because a tiny baby sock was wedged in the pump.  So for $300, they repaired it on-site two business days later, and it was up and running again.

There’s a lot to consider when your appliances break down.  Regardless of whether you choose to repair or replace your appliance, it’s just so nice once everything is running properly and back to normal.

Do you need a few more tips for running your household?  Check out these areas on our site:

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