Is It Better to Repair or Replace Your Washing Machine?

By Erin Hynes | Feb. 01, 2024 1:08 am PST

Should you repair or replace your washing machine

Revised February 1, 2024.

So your washing machine stopped working, and you’re wondering if you should fix it or get a new one. We’re here to help you answer that question with common sense tips and advice. You’ll need to focus on some key factors such as repair cost and the washer’s age when considering whether to repair or replace the machine.

Is it Worth Repairing a Washing Machine?

Consider these key factors when deciding whether to repair or replace your washer:

  • How old is your washer?
  • How often do you use your washer?
  • How much does the washer repair cost?
  • How much does a new washing machine cost?

When Should I Replace my Washer Instead of Repairing it?

Here are common signs that you likely need to replace your washer instead of repairing it:

  • Your washer is older than 10 years.
  • There are safety issues with your washer.
  • Your washer isn’t energy efficient.
  • The washer is leaking water.

Read on to get more information and expert tips on deciding whether you need to repair your washer or replace it.

How Old is Your Washer?

Here’s key information you need to start making the repair/replace decision: The average lifespan of a washer is 12 to 15 years.

So repairing your washer when it’s only a few years old typically pays off — it should have many years of service left. Conversely, replacing a 15-year-old washer makes sense, because if you repair it, odds are that it could need another repair soon.

But if your washer is 6 to 8 years old — halfway through its expected life — the decision can be tough. Consider these factors when making the repair/replace decision for a middle-aged washing machine.

Image of homeowner using washing machine often

How Often Do You Use Your Washer?

If you do only few loads of wash each week, your washer can last for several years beyond the average lifespan — especially if you’ve cleaned and maintained your washer well. In that case, you can reasonably expect your middle-aged washer to last another 8 to 10 years, and repairing the washer is a safe bet.

On the other hand, if your washer has seen heavy use for more than 8 years, the machine may be headed toward the end of a shorter-than-average lifespan. Replacing the washer is likely your best option in this situation.

How Much Does the Washer Repair Cost?

The estimated cost of the repair plays a big part when deciding whether to repair or replace a washing machine that’s about halfway through its life. Sears Home Services trained appliance repair technicians can help with the repair/replace decision by giving you an estimate for the repair.

If your washer needs a major repair such as a new motor, tub or transmission, you’re often better off replacing the washer rather than repairing it; a major repair often costs more than half the price of a replacement washer.

If the washer has a minor failure such as a bad lock on the lid or door, it’s usually better to repair the washer instead of replacing it. Completing a minor repair on a well-maintained washer with more than 8 years of expected useful life remaining is typically more economical that replacing the washer.

How Much Does a New Washer Cost?

When making the decision on whether to fix your washer or replace it, the cost of a new machine factors into your decision.

It’s often more economical to replace a less expensive middle-aged washer when it breaks down. You’ll pay a few hundred dollars more that you would for a repair, but your new washer will probably have newer technology and more features.

If you have a high-end washer, it’s clearly worth having a minor repair done. If your washer needs a major repair, it still might be more economical to repair it than replace it with another high-end washer.

Common Signs it’s Time for a New Washer

As your washing machine ages, it will begin to wear out and show signs of inefficiency or malfunctioning. When you’re wondering whether it’s time to replace your washer, here are some common signs to look out for.

Your washer is 10 years or older

The average lifespan of a washing machine is 10 to 15 years. Exposure to water will cause corrosion that begins to deteriorate parts after 10 years so it’s just a matter of time before failures will likely begin to appear. When you begin to see any problems with your washer after its 10th birthday, you’ll likely be better off replacing the washer rather than repairing it.

There are safety issues with your washer

When you begin to see safety issues such as excessive vibration or sparking wires, you’ll likely need to replace your washing machine. Repairing these types of issues can cost almost as much as replacing the washer.

Your washer isn’t energy efficient

Over time, washers can lose their cleaning effectiveness due to worn-out agitators or faulty motors. If your clothes are no longer coming out as clean as they used to, it might be time to buy a new washing machine.

Your washer is leaking water

Water leakage, especially from the bottom of the washer, may indicate a problem with the internal seals or hoses. Repairing these issues can be costly, and it might be more practical to buy a new washer.

Get Washing Machine Repair You Can Trust

When the time comes to repair your washing machine, schedule an appointment with Sears Home Services. Same-day and next-day appointments are available in some areas.

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