Should you repair or replace broken washing machine?

Here are factors to consider to help you decide

We’ve all been there. The washer sounds like a jet engine and then suddenly stops mid-cycle.

It’s the age-old question every homeowner will face. To repair or to replace? Consumer Reports has some factors to consider before you fix or nix.

“What you should consider is how severe the repair is. What it might cost to fix and how old the appliance is. How much you paid for it in the first place,” said Consumer Reports’ Paul Hope.

With washers, factor in how much you use it, too.

“With a refrigerator, you’re getting the same usage in a typical household most days. They’re on all the time. With a washer, if you live in a family with a lot of children at home, you’re doing a ton of laundry,” Hope said.

In some cases even if the washer is only a few years old, it might make more sense to replace it because it’s had that much wear-and-tear on it, he said.

But, say you paid $1,000 for your washer three years ago and only do a few loads a week. A repair might be the better financial choice.

“Before you go calling a service person for your washing machine, it makes sense to look at what is actually going on. Start with a simple search. Look to see whether there are any recalls on the washer or whether it’s a simple fix like a clogged filter or a kinked hose. Last, you want to check your warranty and see whether it’s something that has extended coverage that you can get repaired for free before you make a call to a service person,” Hope said.

If you decide to ditch your old washer, consider the environmental impact. If you’re having it hauled away by the retailer that sold you a new one, ask whether the old machine will be recycled. Or see whether your nearby recycling center will take it.

Consumer Reports has an interactive tool that leverages product costs, depreciation rates, and survey data to help you make the right choice to repair or replace.

Find more Consumer Reports stories on here

About the Author

Marilyn Moritz is an award-winning journalist dedicated to digging up information that can make people’s lives a little bit better. As KSAT’S 12 On Your Side Consumer reporter, she focuses on exposing scams and dangerous products and helping people save money.

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