One of the proudest moments in anyone’s life occurs when they receive the keys to their new home, especially if you’re a first-time buyer.  One of the most nerve-racking moments in anyone’s life comes from dealing with a broken appliance, especially if it’s an expensive one.  In the August 2011 Consumer Reports “Repair or replace it?” article, a list of common appliances used by their 27,404 subscribers filled out a survey pertaining to maintenance issues.  Listed below are the big appliances that cause the most concern when deciding rather or not to repair or to replace it.

The first three bullet points of each appliance below explain what action you should take (repair, consider repair, or replace) when an appliance breaks between Year 1 and Year 8.  “Replacement Range” explains what the Consumer Reports’s subscribers paid to replace their appliance.  “Median Replacement” displays the middle amount in the set of data that consumers paid to replace it.  “Repair Costs” shows the approximate amount most subscribers paid to repair their appliance.  “Satisfaction with Repair” displays the subscribers’ satisfaction on a scale from 1 to 5, with 5 meaning the most satisfaction.  Information written in parenthesizes includes the general consensus of how the subscribers specifically felt about the outcome of the repair.   

Clothes Dryer (Electric) 

  • Repair:  Years 1-4
  • Consider Repair: Years 5-7
  • Replace: Year 8
  • Replacement Range: $400-$1,100
  • Median Replacement: $650
  • Repair Cost: $136
  • Satisfaction with Repair: 4

Percentage of three- to four-year-old products that broke: 12%

Reliable Brands: LG, Bosch, Amana

Repair Prone Brands: Fisher & Paykel

 Clothes Dryer (Gas)

  • Repair: Years 1-5
  • Consider Repair: Years 6-8
  • Replacement Range:  $450-$1,150
  • Median Replacement:  $750
  • Repair Cost: $136
  • Satisfaction with Repair: 4

Percentage of three- to four-year-old products that broke: 12%

Reliable Brands: LG, Whirlpool, GE

Repair Prone Brands: None stood out

Cooktop (Electric)

  • Repair:  Years 1-3
  • Consider Repair: Years 4-6
  • Replace: Years 7-8
  • Replacement Range: $400-$1,500
  • Median Replacement: $650
  • Repair Cost: $169
  • Satisfaction with Repair: 4 (Hard to get parts)

Cooktop (Gas)

  • Repair: Years 1-3
  • Consider Repair: Years 4-5
  • Replace: Years 6-8
  • Replacement Range: $400-$1500
  • Median Replacement: $650
  • Repair Cost: $171
  • Satisfaction with Repair: 2 (Expensive)

Dishwasher

  • Repair: Years 1-3
  • Consider Repair: Years 4-6
  • Replace: Years 7-8
  • Replacement Range: $300-$800
  • Median Replacement: $550
  • Repair Cost: $137
  • Satisfaction with Repair: 3

Percentage of three- to four-year-old products that broke: 20%

Reliable Brands: Whirlpool, Kenmore, Hotpoint, Bosch

Repair Prone Brands: Fisher & Paykel, LG

Microwave Oven (Over-the-Range)

  • Repair: Years 1-2
  • Consider Repair: Year 3
  • Replace: Years 4-8
  • Replacement Range: $250-$600
  • Median Replacement: $350
  • Repair Cost: $139
  • Satisfaction with Repair: 3

Range (Electric)

  • Repair: Years 1-3
  • Consider Repair: Years 4-5
  • Replace: Years 6-8
  • Replacement Range: $400-$1,000
  • Median Replacement: $600
  • Repair Cost: $170
  • Satisfaction with Repair: 3 (Hard to get parts)

Percentage of three- to four-year-old products that broke: 13%

Reliable Brands: Hotpoint, GE, Whirlpool

Repair Prone Brands: Jenn-Air, KitchenAid

Range (Gas)

  • Repair: Years 1-4
  • Consider Repair: Years 5-7
  • Replace: Year 8
  • Replacement Range: $500-$1,300
  • Median Replacement: $700
  • Repair Cost: $156
  • Satisfaction with Repair: 3 (Expensive & Hard to get parts)

Percentage of three- to four-year-old products that broke: 16%

Reliable Brands: Hotpoint, GE, Kenwood, Frigidaire

Repair Prone Brands: KitchenAid

 Refrigerator (Built-In)

  • Repair: Years 1-8
  • Replacement Range: $5,000-$8,000
  • Median Replacement: $6,500
  • Repair Cost: $309
  • Satisfaction with Repair: 2 (Expensive & Hard to get parts)

Refrigerator (Side-by-Side)

  • Repair: Years 1-5
  • Consider Repair: Years 6-8
  • Replacement Range: $800-$1,700
  • Median Replacement: $1,200
  • Repair Cost: $190
  • Satisfaction with Repair: 3

Percentage of three- to four-year-old products that broke: 36% with icemaker

Reliable Brands: Whirlpool, Kenmore

Repair Prone Brands: LG

Refrigerator (Bottom-Freezer)

  • Repair: Years 1-7
  • Consider Repair: Year 8 
  • Replacement Range: $800-$2,200
  • Median Replacement: $1,500
  • Repair Cost: $188
  • Satisfaction with Repair: 3

Percentage of three- to four-year-old products that broke: 28% with icemaker; 15% without icemaker

Reliable Brands: With icemaker: Jenn-Air, Kenmore, KitchenAid; without icemaker: Kenmore, LG, Amana

Repair Prone Brands: GE

Refrigerator (Top-Freezer)

  • Repair: Years 1-3
  • Consider Repair: Years 4-6
  • Replace: Years 7-8
  • Replacement Range: $500-$900
  • Median Replacement: $700
  • Repair Cost: $168
  • Satisfaction with Repair: 3 (Expensive)

Percentage of three- to four-year-old products that broke: 28% with icemaker; 15% without icemaker

Reliable Brands: With icemaker: Whirlpool, Kenmore, Frigidaire; without icemaker: Whirlpool, Frigidaire

Repair Prone Brands: Maytag

Vacuum Cleaner (Full-Sized Canister)

  • Repair: Years 1-5
  • Consider Repair: Years 6-8
  • Replacement Range: $200-$600
  • Median Replacement: $400
  • Repair Cost: $70
  • Satisfaction with Repair: 3

Percentage of three- to four-year-old products that broke: 18%

Reliable Brands: Rainbow, Dyson

Repair Prone Brands: Electrolux

Vacuum Cleaner (Full-Size Upright)

  • Repair: Years 1-3
  • Consider Repair: Years 4-6
  • Replace: Years 7-8
  • Replacement Range: $70-$400
  • Median Replacement: $235
  • Repair Cost: $60
  • Satisfaction with Repair: 3 (Bad job)

Percentage of three- to four-year-old products that broke: 14%

Reliable Brands: Kirby, Kenmore, Dyson, Dirt Devil

Repair Prone Brands: Simplicity

Wall Oven (Electric)

  • Repair: Years 1-3
  • Consider Repair: Years 4-6
  • Replace: Years 7-8
  • Replacement Range: $800-$2,000
  • Median Replacement: $1,000
  • Repair Cost: $239
  • Satisfaction with Repair: 3 (Expensive, Hard to get parts, & Took too long)

Percentage of three- to four-year-old products that broke: 16%

Reliable Brands: Frigidaire, GE, Kenmore

Repair Prone Brands: Thermador, Jenn-Air

Washing Machine (Front-Loader)

  • Repair: Years 1-3
  • Consider Repair: Years 4-6
  • Replace: Years 7-8
  • Replacement Range: $650-$1,200
  • Median Replacement: $750
  • Repair Cost: $176
  • Satisfaction with Repair: 3

Percentage of three- to four-year-old products that broke: 25%

Reliable Brands: LG

Repair Prone Brands: None

Washing Machine (Top-Loader)

  • Repair: Years 1-3
  • Consider Repair: Years 4-5
  • Replace: Years 6-8
  • Replacement Range: $400-$900
  • Median Replacement: $500
  • Repair Cost: $143
  • Satisfaction with Repair: 3

Percentage of three- to four-year-old products that broke: 20%

Reliable Brands: Roper, Amana

Repair Prone Brands: Fisher & Paykel

Have you ever had any problems with your appliances?  Do you have any preferable brands?  Share with us on our Facebook wall at “McNaughton Real Estate.”  You can help others decide which brands to buy and which ones to avoid.

-David Tyler Mills