10 Year Washing Machine: Should You Repair Old Appliances?

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Household appliances are a necessity – and they are often among the biggest investments homeowners make. Every year, Americans spend $42.6 billion on home appliances.

Major appliances, such as washing machines, stoves, freezers, and refrigerators, can cost anywhere from $800 to $2,500 (or even more). So, when any such appliance suddenly stops working, you’ve caught up in a hard decision: to repair or replace the unit.

Since most of us have limited know-how on electrical appliances, deciding whether to repair a broken unit or buy a new one might seem like an expensive guess. But you don’t have to spend on an unnecessary purchase or expensive repair. Although appliance repairs seem cheaper, fixing a broken appliance isn’t always the most prudent option. This is definitely true in the case of a broken 10-year-old washing machine.

When not to repair a washing machine

According to a study by the National Association of Home Builders, washing machines have an average life expectancy of around 10 years. If your washer has reached or close to its theoretical expiration date, you’ve fully expended its worth.

In case your decade-old washer suddenly stops working, you can attempt to perform the basic troubleshooting instructions. If this fails, you have it checked by a local appliance repair company and request a quotation.

If the recommended repair costs more than half of buying a new machine, you should consider replacing it. Specialists at Lake Mary appliance repair company emphasized that investing in a new washer proves more cost-effective in the long term.

However, there are some washing machine troubles where you don’t have to bother calling an appliance technician, especially if the initial inspection is not for free. If your 10-year-old washer has any of these problems below, it’s time to look for a replacement.

Stubborn molds and mildew

Older washing machine models, particularly the front-loading washer, may not have an effective self-clean feature. As a result, these washers can have that stinking smell (even after a thorough cleaning). Worst, this unpleasant odor can even transfer to your clothes.

Mold or mildew growth inside the tub is the most common culprit. If your washing machine is like this, it’s time to upgrade to the latest models. Not only will you get rid of that aroma, but you’re also assured that your clothes are clean and safe.

Excessive noise

It’s normal for a washing machine, especially an older one, to produce clanking sounds due to metals striking one against the other, or swishing sounds as water swirls. However, if it makes a lot of excessive noise, you might have to check for other potentially serious problems.

If the washing machine wobbles, the most common causes are an unlevel dryer or an uneven footing. Make sure the dryer is level before running it. Check if the washer is level. If not, adjust the feet or stick something under one of the corners. This should stop the noise.

If this doesn’t solve the problem, suspect a problem with the motor or the drum. Either way, you would need the help of an appliance repair technician, but don’t have it fixed yet. Get an estimate and if it’s costly, it may be better to just get a replacement.

Cracked tub

Leaking can be due to several reasons. Check if it is not overloaded or overfilled with water. Next, go through the hoses and look for any loose attachments.

If all troubleshooting fails, you can suspect a cracked tub. Inspect the tub for any such problem. Typically, a cracked tub is a major washing machine problem that requires a costly repair. Replacing it with a new one would be more cost-effective, especially if it’s a decade old.

Poor cleaning

Over time, the washing machine’s ability to clean your clothes can wane. Ten years is such a long time, as such, this problem isn’t unexpected.

There can be a myriad of overarching causes why your washer doesn’t clean your clothes like before. It can be due to a failing motor or a problem with the tub’s brushes and grooves. Other times, the machine’s controls are not functioning properly so the cycles are shorter or interrupted. If you are unsatisfied with the way your washer cleans your clothes, you can start saving up for a replacement.

Low efficiency

Quite obviously, newer models are now more efficient, in terms of energy and water consumption. Washers manufactured a decade ago are not equipped with a water-rationing system. As such, they are unable to regulate the volume of water based on the number of clothes loaded in the tub.

Furthermore, Energy Star certified washing machines use 25% less electricity and 45% less water than regular, older models. While investing in these washers might entail a hefty upfront cost, you can save up on utilities in the long term. According to the US Department of Energy, washing machines older than 10 years cost an additional $210 per year.

If you have extra cash, you can go with fully automatic washers equipped with smart technology. These internet-connected washing machines work wonders. They offer a myriad of functions and features, such as remote control using your smartphone app, automatic dosing, and cycle adjustment, remote troubleshooting, and customer service assistance, and many more. These features can make laundry hassle-free.

Final Thoughts

Laundry appliances are dependable workhorses. While they are designed as heavy-duty machines, they are also subject to wear and tear. And at ten years, you should accept the reality that your washer has reached its mandatory retirement age. In fact, once your washer has reached eight years, you would have fully maximized your investment in it and should be preparing for its replacement.

So, if your 10-year old washing machine suddenly stops working, you should be ready to let go of it, especially if basic troubleshooting doesn’t make it run.