Home Owner Resource
Repair or Replace: Tips for Knowing Your Best Option
Owning a home provides many benefits and advantages for those who achieve it, but the burden of maintaining, repairing and replacing home appliances goes right along with it. The decision to repair or replace a broken or failing appliance is often made under pressure and without adequate knowledge or information about the nature of the appliance or its expected lifetime.
Stoves and Ovens
Since stoves and ovens have few moving parts, they break down less often and replacement is often a matter of personal preference rather than necessity. However, stove and oven heating elements do fail, and unless the appliance is too old, replacement burners and elements are readily available. Newer ovens and ranges may have control panels built into them that can fail. Prices for parts vary, and it may be a better idea to replace the unit rather than the component, especially if there is an active home warranty.
Many repairs for refrigerators are easy and affordable to fix, especially if the problem is a bad motor, a refrigerant leak, or electronic controls. Door seals can fail, causing this appliance to run overtime or build frost in the freezer section. Between the cost of replacement door seals and the labor to install them, it often makes sense to replace the refrigerator instead of repairing it.
Mechanically, dishwashers are a fairly simple appliance that is easily repaired. Problems associated with the door seal or holes inside the tub often prompt a replacement rather than a repair, though.
Washers and Dryers
Water leaks and broken belts are common problems associated with washing machines and easy to repair. A burned out motor may prompt a replacement, depending on the washer’s age and condition. Clothes dryers create a good deal of heat, and when they malfunction, it can be dangerous if their safety switches malfunction. A dryer that overheats clothing is a fire hazard, and unless the breakdown results from a failed motor or timer, it’s probably a good idea to consider replacing it.