Replace It Or Repair It – The Kitchen Appliances Dilemma
Why do kitchen gadgets and white goods always go wrong at the least convenient moment? That’s life I guess and we deal with it. But the reality is it’s what you do about it going forward, and the problem is always should you replace or repair broken kitchen appliances and white goods.
No, I’m not talking about your twelve year old microwave which came as a free gift with the home contents insurance in your last house. It’s more figuring out what to do when the hugely expensive vacuum cleaner or top of the range home wine chiller stops working – and there is often a good case for repairing it.
As you’ve probably gathered we’re on the horns of this dilemma ourselves right now and have been for a few years. Wedding gifts and first home white goods which have lasted well beyond their life expectancy have finally given it up and in the last three years I reckon just about everything from that era has had to be replaced.
The longest lasting by far (with the exception of the lawn mower) was the juicer, which at twenty years has done awesome service to a busy family. But it didn’t get to twenty years without some tlc and spare parts.
Yep, there’s a lot of variables to consider here, I’ve already mentioned age, spare parts and the cost of the appliance in the first place – which is a biggie – plus the cost of replacing it against the cost of repairs.
The advice on those important points you should consider came directly from a neighbor who until recently repaired kitchen appliances – good engineers know how to assess the viability of repair versus replace, so I’m sharing those tips here – you never know what fate has in store for your kitchen appliances tomorrow!
The Repair Or Replace Kitchen Appliances Criteria
- Speed and convenience can so easily rule the decision making process, replacing is often thought to be much easier and with two clicks online, another is on the way. But is it really quicker and easier?
- Most repair engineers live day to day – they have no work until people report faults. It really is worth looking at the longer term if you can and assessing on what you want to do, rather than speed.
- Assess the fault if you can – a leaking seal won’t cost much to replace even with the call fee, but if the washing machine is old (see next point) and other parts are likely to fail, it might be time to renew it.
- The age of the appliance is key, but has to be set against the quality – you really do get what you pay for and if you pay double for an expensive machine you can expect it to last at least double the time of a cheap generic unbranded model. Unless….
- Be reasonable and fair with your appliances! If you have a big family, the appliances are all going to take a real hard beating and you can’t expect the same model vacuum cleaner used by a single person in a flat, to compare with yours in any way.
- Do you like the appliance you have? If you do then it’s another good reason for getting it repaired.
- Availability of spare parts – if you can’t get them, then that’s that. However, don’t make assumptions, check first because the spare parts for new Champion juicers will fit one made twenty years ago. To everyone’s disbelief my brother just repaired a grass trimmer Noah must have brought off the Ark and sold on – sure we all believed he could fix it, we just didn’t know quite how hard he finds it to open his wallet and buy something new.
- If it can be repaired but the cost is high, you should assess how long the appliance should last given your usage against the cost of replacing it – refrigerators and freezers can be very costly to replace and if it can be repaired, will often be a good option.
- Is the appliance so old you’d save money within a few years? Modern appliances are so economic with energy it really can take hundreds of $ off annual power bills. Freezers, refrigerators and washing machines are typical of this.
- Get several quotes for repair if you can, they vary hugely.
Well that’s quite a bit to taken on board as you survey a flood in the kitchen or look at a ruined dinner party meal because your cooker failed. But if you clean up the flood and book dinner at a restaurant, you can buy the time you need to have a think, do a bit of research and get some repair quotes.
Making the right decision may not actually help with the financial pain of replacing appliances, nor ease the inconvenience of cleaning up or making alternative plans – but it will pay off in the long term.
Meggy Tip – My tip here is to ask around friends, relatives and neighbors for recommended repair companies and repair people (don’t assume male, the last plumber we had in was a stunningly lovely lady who wielded a mean wrench – she really knew her stuff). If you compile a list now, when you need it you have a go to number and a good chance of good honest service.