For most busy households it is the nightmare scenario – a laundry basket full of dirty clothes, bedding and towels, ready to be cleaned in anticipation of another hectic week when an error code flashes up on the washing machine! With many of us simply no longer having the time or space within our homes to start manually laundering and drying clothes, the loss of the washing machine, however temporary, will be a major blow to most families. In considering the quickest and most cost effective solution to the problem we will likely come to ask ourselves whether it would be best to repair our existing machine or replace the offending article altogether!
There are a few key factors to consider in deciding whether it would be more cost effective to repair or replace your washing machine if it is no longer under warranty:
The obvious starting point is to diagnose the fault on your machine, this will give you an idea of the extent of the problem you are dealing with and some indication towards the possible cost of a repair. Some problems, such as a door that won’t open or a split door seal are easy to spot and you may well be confident in diagnosing these issues yourself.Should you wish to consult an appliance engineer then they may occasionally diagnose common issues over the phone. If required to come out to you, you will need to be aware of any call-out only fees together with any add-on costs for late nights, weekends or Bank Holidays.
Having diagnosed the problem an engineer should then be able to tell you what part needs replacing and quote for the associated work. It is worth considering here the nature of the fault and the work needed to be completed, many faults can be traced back to a part that is relatively easy to fit and in these instances you may decide to conduct the work yourself – this is of course of great economic benefit as you will not be paying for labour and also have the control to source the part at the best possible price. There is a wealth of help and explanatory information available online and that, together with the obvious cost savings, may encourage even the DIY-shy to attempt a simple repair themselves.
Should you decide that the work is beyond you and that an engineer is the only way to go then you should consider their quote against the following?
The age of your machine – though it is fair to say that, for the most part, appliances are no longer built for a lifespan of twenty years plus, many of us make the common misconception that a three year old appliance is an old appliance. Most Washing Machines should still be built for a lifespan of between 5-10 years and so it is worth considering whether your machine has truly come to the end of its useful life before stumping up for a new one!
The original cost of your machine is another factor to take into account when deciding whether to go forward with what may be a decent sized repair bill, or whether to change to a new machine. 50% of the original cost of the washing machine is considered by some to be the cut-off point of what is worth shelling out on a repair. Should you be planning on purchasing a part and conducting the repair yourself it is unlikely that you will approach this figure unless the machine was extremely cheaply purchased to begin with – for example, a £19.99 door seal represents only 7.3% of the original cost of a £275.00 washing machine.
Consider the cost of what an equivalent machine to your own will cost you now and whether there are any particular upgraded features you feel you would benefit from in order to justify the price of a new machine.
Finally, weigh up any potential hidden costs to a new machine – what will it cost to run compared to your existing model? Will there be a charge for removing the old machine or installing the new washer?
Ultimately, what you consider to be the most cost effective solution for you will depend upon personal circumstances, personality and budget. If your washing machine is relatively new and the fault appears minor you may make the decision that the most cost effective approach is to repair the machine either yourself or with the help of an engineer, and go on to enjoy your washing machine for its full lifespan. On an older machine, a major fault and associated costs, together with any proposed energy saving credentials of a newer model may just be the incentive you need to splash out on a new machine.