When is the Right Time to Replace Your Appliance?

When an appliance breaks down, it’s normal to contemplate simply replacing it instead of getting it repaired. For most, it all comes down to that hypothetical price tag; if purchasing a new and inexpensive dishwasher won’t cost you much more than having your broken dishwasher repaired, why not splurge?

Sometimes it makes sense to opt into a new appliance, but it’s important to take certain factors into consideration before making the leap. For example, studies show that retail prices for major appliances have actually flatlined for the past 10-15 years despite the steady rise of manufacturing costs and inflation. How are manufacturers managing to stay in business?

The answer is, they’re creating cheaper, lower-quality products than they used to be supplying. The same $400 that would have bought you an excellent washing machine in the early 2000’s will now get you a low-end machine that you’re likely to throw away or need to repair within five years.

The difference is in the internal components used in the machines. Nowadays, the globalization of manufacturing has enabled different pieces of the same machine to be manufactured in whatever country is cheapest, meaning the conglomerate of these bits and pieces becomes the cheapest possible appliance as opposed to one that’s built to last.

Of course, high-quality appliances are still on the market; you’ll just have to pay a a lot more for one this year than you paid for your original one a decade ago.

Ok, so what’s the point? The point is, if the dishwasher that you paid $600 for in 2001 just broke down on you and will cost you $300 to repair, you should think twice before you’re temped by another $600 machine; it’s going to be a lot lower quality than the one you already own. Indeed, to purchase a top-quality dish washer that truly compares to your model, you may have to pay around $900 or more. Now that $300 repair is looking a little more interesting.

This goes to show the value of at least getting your machine inspected and obtaining a quote before giving up any appliance. Then you can know for certain exactly what costs you’re dealing with and make helpful, accurate comparisons.

What other factors are at play in this decision? Well, there’s also the aggravation and time that it will take you to shop for a new appliance, pay for its delivery and installation, dispose of the old appliance, and learn how to use the new appliance. Avoiding the stress this may cause you has its own value, which can be loosely translated into dollar amounts that likely further bolster the option of just opting into a repair.

The importance of age is generally overestimated during the replace-or-repair decision; if the machine is in generally good condition and hasn’t required major repairs in the past, the chances are you’re better off repairing it regardless of its age. This ties back to what was said earlier about how older machines were actually made with sturdier materials than today’s products.


Another thing worth considering is the environmental impact of throwing away your old machine. It’s unlikely that its parts will be repurposed or in any way recyclable, so you will be sending a repairable machine to the dump.

That said, if you’re using an old machine that saps water, gas, or electricity in a way that more energy-efficient appliances have been built to avoid, you may want to consider replacing your machine with an energy star.

So next time you wonder how much it would cost to simply replace your broken appliance, factor in the cost of an appliance of similar value, the inconvenience of replacing the appliance, and the environmental impact of trading in your appliance. With these factors in mind, you should be able to make the right decision. If you are looking for Appliance Repair Services in Los Angeles, feel free to contact 180 Appliance Repair.