Broken Appliances, Broken Home: 8 Important Steps to Take When an Appliance Breaks at Home

broken appliances

Did you know that the home appliance industry is a multi-billion dollar genre? The truth is Americans love their appliances, so much so that we would rather repair our broken appliances than replace them.

Still, you may be wondering how to go about a repair and when to know it’s time for a replacement. Read on to learn all about the repairing, maintaining and replacing of your household appliance. 

Check that it’s Actually Broken

It can be frustrating when your washer or television suddenly decides to call it quits. However, it may not mean the end for your favorite appliance. Sometimes your appliances may be taking a “quick break” due to external factors.

Everything from power usage to the temperature can cause a quick shortage with appliances, so before diving into repair or replace mode check that it’s actually broken. Give the appliance some time to rest (unplugged) and then try to reset it by plugging it back in or switching it back on.

Check Your Warranty

If you purchased your appliance somewhat recently there’s a good chance it’s still covered by its original warranty. Some appliances even come with a lifetime warranty, so it’s always worth checking it out to see if you can get the item replaced without paying out of pocket.

If you are like most homeowners, there’s a good chance you got rid of the original appliance papers a long time ago. Don’t worry, practically every appliance manufacturer now has its warranty information online.

Check for Recalls

Even if your appliance is not covered by a warranty, there’s a chance you can still have its repair or replacement covered by its manufacturer in the event that it has been recalled.

Remember that little contact sheet that came with your appliance? That was intended to alert you in the event that your purchase has been recalled. Again, if you’re one of the many homeowners that threw the paper away the internet is your friend! Just check out recall sites like the CPSC recall list to see if your appliance has been recalled. 

Know the Repair Cost for Broken Appliances

In the event that your appliance is broken and no longer covered, it may be time to look into a repair. You can check sites like Angie’s List to compare cost and services and see if there is anyone near you that specializes in such a repair.

You may also want to check online to see the average cost of repairing the item to determine if it’s worth saving and to ensure you’re receiving a reasonable quote

Know if it’s a DIY Job

In some cases, it might be a Do It Yourself Repair job, which is great if you’re looking to save money. If the problem seems simple enough, such as a burnt out bulb, a frayed chord, or simply a bit cleaning than it’s likely you can repair it yourself.

However, if the repair requires more advanced technical knowledge it’s best not to take it into your own hands and to turn to a trustworthy professional instead. Even if you repair the item in the short term you could be putting your household at risk for an electrical fire or gas leak to occur.

Do Your Homework

If you do decide to fix your appliance yourself, be sure to do your homework ahead of time. If you can speak with a professional (whether in person or through message boards), it’s a solid place to start. Also checking the support forums for your specific appliance model may offer the solution you need.

When in doubt there are countless youtube videos and tutorials breaking down how to do simple repairs on household items.

Know When it’s Time for a Replacement

If you’ve had your appliance for some time, it may be time to bite the bullet and simply replace it. However, it can be difficult to know when an appliance needs replacing. Here are some general rules of thumb to keep in mind:

  • Replace Your Dishwasher After 9 Years
  • Replace Your Dryer After 13 years
  • Replace Your Freezer After 11 Years
  • Replace Your Refrigerator After 13 Years
  • Replace Your Washer After 10 Years
  • Replace Your Disposal After 12 Years
  • Replace Your Compactor After 6 Years
  • Replace Your Microwave After 9 Years
  • Replace Your Gas Range After 15 Years
  • Replace Your Range Hood After 14 Yea

Choose Energy Efficiency

If you have decided to replace your appliance there are some important steps to take to reduce the chance of a malfunction happening again. One of the best choices you can make for a new appliance is one that’s energy efficient.

Not only do these appliances use limited energy (reducing the chance of a shortage) but they can also help you save money on your monthly utilities. In some states you can even receive a tax write off by choosing energy efficient appliances, making it a win-win purchase.

Look Into Future Warranties

Whether you are going green with your new appliances or looking for something sleek and stylish, you’ll want to be sure your appliance is covered by a warranty.

One way to protect a number of your appliances and skip the headache is to look into a home warranty that covers multiple areas. By understanding what does a home warranty cover, you’ll help reduce the chance that you’ll need to make more expensive appliance purchases in the future.

Finding the Help You Need for Your Broken Appliances

Handling broken appliances can be a hassle, especially when you don’t know where to find the help you’re looking for. Fortunately, there are a number of resources to point you in the right direction.

If you are looking for talented repairmen in your area, we suggest starting with our ADA Member Advantage where you can find the best discounts on services.