A typical dishwasher should last about 10 years, according to Consumer Reports. But that doesn’t mean you won’t need to spend money on repairs during that time. In fact, Consumer Reports surveyed its members and found that 30% of all newly purchased dishwashers are likely to have issues within five years of installation. Does that mean you should replace your dishwasher when it starts requiring repairs? The answer isn’t a straightforward yes or no.
The 50% Rule
As with other appliances, the 50% Rule applies: if your dishwasher is over 50% of its expected lifespan of 10 years, and it costs more than 50% of its replacement cost to repair it, it may be time to think about replacement. Obviously, that calculation also changes if you are remodeling and want something that’s a better fit either in style or dimension, or if you want something more efficient than what you’ve been using.
New Dishwasher Costs
There are two factors to consider here: the cost of the appliance itself and the cost of installation. Dishwasher prices vary wildly, depending on the quality and design features you desire. You can get a dishwasher for under $500, but it will be noisy and have a plastic tub. Those between $500 and $1000 will be quiet, have a stainless steel tub, and more versatile racks. Over $1000, dishwashers will be virtually silent, with design features and wifi. So that’s the first decision you need to make. Then, there’s the installation cost. In the Milwaukee area, those vary from around $150 to $300 (again type of dishwasher is a factor here). So if you have a high quality dishwasher that will cost almost $1000 to replace, then a $300 repair becomes a much more attractive option. Likewise, if you have a dishwasher that was inexpensive to begin with, you may want to replace it.
Obviously, the cost to repair your dishwasher will depend on what is wrong with it. If it’s a simple thing like door seals, it could be as little as $50. If it’s major, it could run into hundreds of dollars. Many dishwasher repairs arise from neglected maintenance, so it’s a good thing to have a maintenance contract with a reputable appliance place, like Dave’s Appliance. That way, your dishwasher will get regular servicing, minimizing the need for high-cost repairs.
There are simple things you can do to prevent dishwasher repairs being necessary. For one thing, make sure to remove debris from plates and bowls before loading them into your dishwasher. Small chicken bones, for example, can clog your dishwasher’s drain hose or damage its other components. Use your dishwasher appropriately—don’t run it when it’s half full, and don’t overfill it either. Beware of forcing dishes into positions on the racks that strain the construction. And always use proper automatic dishwashing detergent, not dish soap made for hand washing.
If treated right, your dishwasher could last beyond 10 years, but that’s the general life-span of a dishwasher. If you have any questions about whether your dishwasher should be replaced or repaired, reach out to the experts at Dave’s Appliance. We’ll give you a straight answer.
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