Thu 6th January 2022
A washing machine is no longer a luxury item, it’s something that most of us tend to take for granted. Over the years with hundreds of washes it can be a surprise when it starts rumbling, discharging water or even walking!
A breakdown of your washing machine is not only inconvenient it can also be a costly one. But when is it time to buy another or is it worth repairing an old washing machine?
Let’s get the real answer in our helpful article, so wash day is back up and running as soon as possible!
As a general rule, if the cost of repair equates to less than 50% of the price of a new washing machine then you should opt to have it repaired. This assumes the unit is out of warranty. Also, take account probable future issues and other factors, and tailor your decision accordingly.
This is helpful as a general equation, but you also need to factor in other variables, along with a dose of common sense. So, look to further adjust this assessment based on some additional factors, including:
- The original cost of the current machine
- Availability of parts
- Increasing cost of parts (if rare)
- Depreciation of the unit
- Probability of further repairs
- Increased labour cost for older machines
- Call out fee or minimum charge
The table below provides an approximate estimation of the amount you should spend on repairs given the age of the machine and the initial cost. This is as a guide only.
|Washing Machine Age||Repair Cost vs. new machine cost up to £400||Repair Cost vs. new machine cost over £400|
|0 – 3 years||Warranty||Warranty|
|4 – 5 years||£150||£200|
|6 – 10 years||£100||£150|
|11 – 15 years||£25||£50|
|16 – 19 years||£10||£20|
|20 + years||£0||£0|
NOTE: Since the cost of most repairs involve an engineer callout fee or minimum charge, or labour charge, we can rule out some of the above lower values considered as a fair repair cost – as they are too small, and thus consider the repair uneconomical.
Given all the variables, it would seem that when it comes to the question of “is it worth repairing an old washing machine” or “repair vs. replace”, any repairs required beyond 10 years for a washing machine largely becomes false economy.
Ok with the quick summary in mind, so we can more easily understand whether it’s worth replacing an old washing machine, let’s discover some of the problems you might be experiencing with an old machine.
Problems with an old washing machine
When your machine has seen a few hundred or more wash days and is starting to age, you might notice it underperforming, slowing down, leaking, or just being plain old temperamental.
An older washing machine does have ways of letting you know it’s ageing and you could notice one or a combination of the following issues.
- The washer is older than 8 years old
- Drum not turning or filling with water
- Washing machine moving from side to side or ‘walking’
- Problems with a top loader
- Over-filling or under-filling
- Soap drawer leaking
- Excessive vibrations during washing or spinning cycles
- Loud noises when draining or not draining at all
- Machine leaking from the bottom
- Washing machine not spinning
- The drum is not filling with water
So if you recognise one or more of the above issues you might be wondering if it’s time to get a new machine!
Let’s take a look at some of these issues and discover if a quick fix and a call out from an expert washing machine repair engineer will sort it or whether you are best to start looking for a new machine.
Your washer is older than 10 years
According to research from companies such as Consumer Report, we can expect a washing machine to last around 10 years.
This information was gathered from over 20 different washing machine manufacturers and gives the best indication of whether it’s best to get a new machine or whether it’s worth repairing an old washing machine.
The same report also highlights the fact that although the manufacturers claim a machine may last up to 10 years, according to data they collected from a number of members, many problems which might affect the lifecycle of your machine happen in the first five years.
So although your washing might be around 8-10 years old, the new technology available and the fact you may have started to endure costly issues with your machine, we recommend this is the time to start looking through the washing machine catalogues!
As you get closer to the end of your machine’s expected life, you will likely see more frequent issues and the repairs becoming more and more expensive.
With new machines, more energy and water efficiency, any money you might save by sticking with your old washer could be a false economy with higher water and heating bills. This is even more important if you have a large family, or undertake a lot of laundry duties.
“As you get closer to the end of your machine’s expected life, you will likely see more frequent issues”
Drum not turning
When your drum is filling with water but not turning, this is another time to look at the age of your machine.
Replacements can be very expensive, and as we outlined in the short answer, if the cost of a drum replacement is more than half the value of your machine, it might be worth investing in a brand new machine.
Machine moving excessively or ‘walking’
We’ve all experienced the spooky moment when your machine seems to be walking around your kitchen!
However, it could be letting you know it’s ready to be replaced with a new model.
Your washer should stay in the same place when working through its washing, rinsing and spinning cycles so there is a serious issue if it’s swaying violently from side to side or appears to be walking.
Before you decide whether it’s time to get a new washing machine, check that the feet of your washer is standing level.
Walking machines can cause damage to your home
However, do be aware that when your machine decides to jump around it could cause all kinds of damage such as pulling free from its electrical points.
Also, the continual sloshing of water around your machine could see the beginnings of a mould or mildew issue which can cause permanent damage to your home.
Problems with a top loader
With one of the more old fashioned types of top loaders, you might find yourself with a washing machine that no longer has replacement parts available.
These types of machine parts also tend to be on the more expensive side, so you could find yourself with a much higher repair bill than with the more usual front loader type.
It’s not unusual for even a single part such as a pump to cost as much as half the cost of the entire machine.
So as we saw previously, for any repairs costing half the amount of your machine’s value, it’s simply not worth repairing.
The new types of top loaders have a longer life expectancy, cheaper parts and are also far more economical to run in terms of power and water.
This is especially important if you are on a water meter or have more than an average amount of laundry.
So for anyone with repair issues and a top loader, seeking out a new type of front loading washer may be the most economical solution.
“for any repairs costing half the amount of your machine’s value, it’s simply not worth repairing.”
Ok so now we’ve seen some of the issues you might be experiencing with an older washer, you might be wondering whether an appliance plan may come to save the day!
Read on to discover more.
Will my appliance plan cover the cost of a new machine?
If you’re still toying with the idea of whether or not to repair your machine or get a new one, getting a washing machine repair plan might be the most logical step!
Here at Homeforce, we make this decision a lot simpler for you!
If your washing machine is what we term as B.E.R – which means ‘beyond economical repair’ or if the parts needed to repair your washing machine are no longer available we can make the transition to a new machine less costly.
Many of the best appliance plans will either replace your existing appliance based on how much it’s currently worth or offer a contribution towards a new one, depending on your plan limits.
Is it worth repairing an old washing machine: next steps
So there you have it! Everything you need to know about whether it’s worth fixing your old washing machine or if it’s time to move on to a newer model!
It seems you have a choice then, and often you don’t know the full cost of a repair until the engineer has fully assessed the situation. Therein lies another challenge we face.
And so as we’ve discovered, washing machine breakdowns can not only be inconvenient, they can also be an added cost you hadn’t budgeted for.
What will help, is if you enquire about our appliance plans to give you peace of mind regarding any washing machine – or other appliance breakdowns. It can easily be handled by our expert UK wide network of engineers …without any of the extra unforeseen costs or guesswork.