Is It Better to Repair or Replace Your Dishwasher?

By Erin Hynes | Nov. 03, 2021 12:38 pm PST

If you’re not sure whether to repair or replace your broken dishwasher, consider the age of the appliance, usage, repair cost and the cost of installing a new dishwasher in your home. Most importantly, determine which option is most economically viable in the long run. After carefully considering all these factors, you can choose which option makes more sense for you.

How Much Will It Cost to Fix My Dishwasher?

The average cost of a dishwasher repair is about $180, but the range for repairs is quite large. While minor repairs such as replacing the water valve or blown fuse typically cost below $150, repairs like replacing the electronic control board or pump assembly can cost more than $400.

Knowing how much a repair will cost can help you decide whether to repair or replace your dishwasher when it breaks down. The most accurate way to determine repair cost is to have a service technician visit your home, diagnose the dishwasher and give you an estimate of the repair. You’ll typically have to pay the repair tech a service fee of $130 to $150 to diagnose the dishwasher and give you the estimate of the repair.

If the repair estimate is less than $300, then you’re likely better off making the repair because you’ve already paid the diagnostic fee and the dishwasher won’t cost that much more to fix.

If the repair is over $300, then you’ll likely need to consider your dishwasher’s age and replacement cost when making your repair/replace decision.

How Long Will My Dishwasher Last?

Knowing how long to expect your dishwasher will last can help you make a repair/replace decision.

Dishwashers typically last an average of 10 to 12 years. Your dishwasher can last up to 20 years if you have a service technician perform annual maintenance checks and you clean it regularly.

Your dishwasher will also last longer if you seldom use it. If you’re one who prefers washing dishes by hand in the kitchen sink, then your dishwasher can last up to 20 years or more.

Estimate your dishwasher’s longevity based on usage and the level of maintenance and care that you’ve given it.

If your dishwasher is at or past its estimated useful life, then you may want to replace it instead of paying for a major repair. On the other hand, you may still be able to get a few more years out of your dishwasher by making a minor repair. Get advice from your service technician regarding the condition of your dishwasher and whether making a repair is economically feasible.

How Much Does a New Dishwasher Cost?

The average cost of a new dishwasher is between $400 and $700. You can get a basic model for as low as $300 but you’ll likely need to raise your voice to be heard above dishwasher noise when it’s running. Consider dishwasher noise level when looking at new models. If you’re replacing a high-end model, you may have to spend more than $1000.

Shop online to find a model to replace your current dishwasher when figuring out replacement cost.

Remember to add delivery and installation to your dishwasher replacement cost. These services can cost between $150 and $200 in many areas.

Keep in mind that a matching brand and model can sometimes be difficult to find. To keep your kitchen appliances matching each other, you may need to replace your refrigerator, stove and microwave when replacing the dishwasher. Consider these extra appliance costs when making your dishwasher repair/replace decision if you can’t find a matching dishwasher.

Determining replacement cost will help you decide whether to repair or replace your dishwasher. If a major repair will cost nearly as much as the total cost of replacing your dishwasher, then you’ll likely be better off buying a new dishwasher.

Consider all relevant factors—repair cost, age, usage and replacement cost—when making your dishwasher repair/replace decision. Unless your dishwasher is on its very last leg, you’ll often find that it’s more economical to repair it rather than replacing it.