appliances-for the-home

Broken appliance – Repair or replace?

Repair or replace? We’ve all had to make this decision at some stage in our lives. Even as kids we had to decide if it was worth spending two hours winding back in the tape of our favourite ‘Frankie Goes To Hollywood’ cassette when the tape recorder ate it, again. Or break open the piggy bank and invest our hard-earned pocket money to buy a new one. Now, of course, it’s the fridge, washing machine or electric oven we have to make choices about.

Fix or renew?

There are a few things to consider when deciding which way to go. Cost is obviously a major factor, but it isn’t as simple as replacement costs versus repairs. The age of your appliance can help you determine if repairs are the way to go. Experts recommend using these appliance age guidelines:

  • Fridge – up to 15 yrs old – fix
  • Dishwasher – up to 10 to 15 yrs old – fix
  • Dryer – up to 15 to 20 yrs old – fix
  • Electric oven – up to 15 to 25 yrs – fix

When using these guidelines, you also need to consider if the appliance has broken down previously, has it broken often and if it has had a major breakdown. If your appliance has been working well for years with only small repairs needed, it could still have a long life ahead.

How much to spend?

Some advise not spending more than 50 per cent of the cost of a replacement appliance on repairing the existing one. However other potential costs need to be accounted for as well.

Cost of removal – some appliance retailers will take away your old when they deliver the new, however, if this is not the case you need to factor in the costs involved in the removal. If you had to hire a crane to move your double fridge into the apartment the cost of replacement increases significantly.

Cost of installation – will your new appliance need to be professionally installed? If it is built-in like an electric cooktop or wall oven you may need the services of an electrician or cabinet maker for installation. If you purchase a fridge with a water and ice dispenser does it require a plumber to install the water connection?

Savings on running costs – if your appliance is more than ten years old a newer model could be much more cost effective to run, particularly if you purchase a model with a high Energy Rating. The power savings over a year could be significant.

Appliance repair

A recent Canadian survey* of 29,281 people uncovered that customers were more satisfied with repairs carried out by independent repairers than those who used the factory service. Plus the overall cost of repairs was less. Note – if your appliance is under the manufacturer’s warranty you need to use the factory authorised repairer to ensure you don’t void your warranty.

Reduce the chances of repairs when buying new

Don’t get lured into buying the model with bells and whistles you may not use which unnecessarily complicates the running of the appliance. Do you really need to wash your clothes with steam? Crushed ice on demand? Washer – dryer combo? By keeping to a more basic model you reduce the parts that can break.

Do your research. Just because a washing machine is the newest model, doesn’t mean it is the best, most cost effective and most reliable version. There are hundreds of websites that carry out reviews of home appliances such as dishwashers, fridges, washing machines and electric ovens.

Preventative maintenance

You can reduce the chances of having to make the ‘repair or replace’ decision by carrying out preventative maintenance on your large appliances. Small things such as cleaning the air filter on your air conditioner, keeping the coils clean behind the fridge, cleaning the vent on the dryer and replacing cracked or broken fridge door seals can help. All of these will make it easier for the appliance to work, placing less stress and strain on breakable parts.

Experienced repairman

The advice of an experienced appliance repair technician is indispensable. They will be able to provide expert recommendations on whether it is worth carrying out repairs or if the cost and effort would be better spent replacing the appliance with new ones.

* Ref –
* Please note we do not repair fridges or freezers, and we offer limited maintenance on dryers due to the cost of replacement.

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