Should You Repair or Replace Your Broken Appliance?

Whirlpool Washer Our society has moved through the years from repairing something when it broke, to replacing the item without even attempting to repair it. In the past when an electric cord was frayed, the cord was repaired; often today the appliance will be in the land fill before the cord has time to wear out. We’ve all heard from a repairman that an appliance will cost more to repair than to replace, at one time or another. This may be the case and it may not. We have so many internet resources available to us, that we can at least do a little research before blindly trusting someone else’s opinion.

This situation really hit home when my family was put in the repair or replace dilemma. The other day I noticed that my washing machine wasn’t washing as it once did. The agitator was barely moving around, and I knew this wasn’t a good thing. I have been in such a habit of putting the clothes and detergent in and just closing the lid, so usually don’t even look at the clothes washing. I hope this hasn’t been going on for long. I pointed out the new finding to my husband who of course wasn’t happy, but soon looked up the issue on YouTube. He found out there were some broken pieces in the agitator, it was easy and quick to fix, and the best news yet, the new pieced were available through Amazon for a little over $3 with free shipping. Within a few days the small plastic parts arrived and with 15 minutes of repair time, the washer was back to agitating like new. SUCCESS!

I know that part of the problem is that the products we purchase and consume aren’t made with the quality that they once were. We often will buy something just looking at the price and don’t think of quality or how long the product will last. There are many times when we are able to save money in the long run by spending a little more to purchase for quality initially. On the other hand, the high quality items that were once made to last, may no longer even be manufactured and some products are even now designed to be disposable.

Not everything can or even should be repaired. There are times when it’s not cost effective to repair the item. Maybe the labor costs are too high and it’s not an item that you or a family member can manage. There are other times when the repair may be close to the cost of a replacement and the benefit of a warrantee with the new item will outweigh the extra cost.

It’s always good to consider all your options, educate yourself with available resources (internet search, YouTube search and the manufacturer’s website are all good places to start) and made a wise decision that works for you and your family. You never know. You just may be able to find that perfect $3, 15 minute fix to your problem too.


Photo Credit: Whirlpool


5 Comments on “Should You Repair or Replace Your Broken Appliance?
  1. Yes and no Captain,I am in agreement with you, but depending on the task, hiring out may be more cost/time effective.Certain tasks/repairs, can be done much faster & better by experienced people.My rule of thumb is if it’s messy and complex and a one-time thing, hire it out, otherwise buy the good (not the cheap or the perfect) tool(s) ) and have at it. Accept the first time you do it it you will probably be much slower and not quite as nice as having a pro do it.Generally the price of the tools will pay for themselves within one or two iterations. I’m laying a wood floor right now,(Staple-nailer and aircompressor – not cheap, but I have several rooms to do in the next 10 years) it’s not rocket science, and I’m sure I am about 17x as slow as a pro. Oh well, I’ll save no money one the first room.The important thing is to not get in over your head.

  2. Get a completed repair order describing the work done. It should list each repair, parts supplied, the cost of each part, labor charges, and the vehicle’s odometer reading when you brought the vehicle in as well as when the repair order was completed. Ask for all replaced parts. State law may require this.

  3. It’s extremely important to shop around before you settle on a mechanic. If you need major repairs, most will offer you a free estimate, with detailed information on the expected costs of parts and labor. Prices are not set in stone across the entire industry, and there are many variables that could affect the total cost, so it’s worth getting estimates from multiple places.

  4. On the other hand, a business repair shop would encourage us to bring their car to them for maintenance and repair with a cheaper price. When you choose to have it that way, make it sure that the repair shop is not recycling any parts from their customers. You can make it sure by asking for a receipt every time they say that some parts must be replaced. Or another option is for you to have the parts bought yourself from any car spare stores to ensure quality of the spare and to make sure it’s new. But make it sure that you know what kind of spare you have to buy. It may vary from model to model and may not be compatible to all manufacturers.

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