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Patty Craig: A Slice of Time

I am thankful for properly working appliances. Most recently my range had a problem. An oven element did some sparking, flaring, and smoking as a piece that broke off ‘welded’ itself to the bottom of the oven, prompting me to turn off the oven as well as the breaker. I considered having the oven repaired, but decided that the age of the appliance and the possibility of other unidentified problems might make replacement a better option. Appliance shopping is a chore, but sometimes a necessary one.

Thinking about appliance repair and replacement, I wondered about the experiences of friends and family. I asked: “In 2022, more than 55% of homeowners spent money on either repairing or replacing their faulty appliances. Have you ever had an appliance break down? If so, how did you decide whether to repair or replace it? What factors helped you make the decision?” Their responses are listed below.

-We’ve replaced everything at some point. Usually my husband researches for a week about every type and brand, cost, and functions of each. I usually choose the color and have nothing else to do with it, thankfully.

-I’ve always thought repair when you can. People can’t always afford the cost of a new appliance. When the appliance is not worth much, it’s likely time to replace it. Growing up after the depression, I saw people who didn’t have cash, and they had to repair whatever they had or do without.

-Of course…refrigerator, car, mower, and washer. I guess the deciding factors are cost of repair versus purchase price and age of item.

-Money is usually my position on this. I get a quote on the repair cost, then I compare it to the cost of a new one.

-Yes. I usually replace if it breaks down and is “old” or if the repair cost is around half the cost of a new one. Also, if I’ve already repaired it once and it breaks down, I might decide to go ahead and replace it to minimize aggravation of repeated repairs. My preference is to repair cheaply. YouTube has lots of videos to help you repair your appliances.

-I’ve had to replace several appliances since buying my house. I do attempt to repair; but if the cost of repairing or the extent of the repair is prohibitive, then I have to replace.

-Over the years, we have had appliances break down. We have both repaired and replaced the faulty appliances. Our decision to repair or replace the appliance was made on several factors. Some of the factors were how old the appliance was and how much money it cost to repair it compared to how much money it cost to replace it.

-I always consider the cost of course and the age of the appliance. Plus, how I’m doing financially at the time.

-Age and inability to repair.

-Yes, I’ve replaced many. I look at the age of the appliance, the problem it is manifesting, and the cost of repair. If the cost is over half the replacement cost to obtain a new appliance, then I go ahead and replace. Sadly, new appliances no longer last like those old ones. You may want to consider if the old one is well made, and repair will hopefully make it last for a significant amount of time, then repairing the old appliance may still be the better decision.

-Due to a dishwasher leak, I replaced my entire kitchen, half my dining room, and the wall in between.

-When I bought my home, it had older appliances, and the fridge went out pretty quickly. I bought a larger one at a scratch and dent place so I saved a few hundred dollars on it. My oven element has burned out twice in the last couple of years, but it’s a cheap fix so I just keep replacing it. I generally use something until it is beyond repair.

-Cost of repair, age of equipment and risk for further repairs, efficiency and durability of replacement equipment. Sometimes repair is a better option. Sometimes replacement is the best choice. It depends on the usage of the equipment, the risk factors with aging, and the availability of repair components. Cost versus risk basically.

We become so dependent on our generally reliable appliances, that a broken appliance is surprising – kind of like when the electricity is off.  I have turned on a light switch when I knew the power was off; it’s a habit. I have also decided to bake something, then realized I didn’t have the means to do that because my oven was not functioning. The good news is that some appliances can be repaired and if an appliance is on its last leg, another one can be found. I may not like to shop, but I do like working appliances.


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