Trying do decide whether to repair or replace

by tc
(central florida)

We have an Maytag Ensignia washing machine - about 6 1/2 years old, that we love. It was just diagnosed with a broken timer that needs to be replaced (machine works on all cycles but doesn't move from one part of the cycle to the other).

We are not handy so we need to repair it via a service person, or replace the machine completely.

It costs about $ 211 to repair (initial diagnostic was $ 79 that confirmed it was the timer that is out; to fix it would be an additional $ 130 - part is about $ 80 and labor about $ 50). There is only a few months warranty on the new timer part, and practically no warranty on the labor.

A brand new machine is roughly another $ 311. So for another $100 I'm much more covered.

Any comments / suggestions? Because of a special deal, I can apply the cost of the diagnostic ($ 79) to the new machine (included in summary above).

I'm leaning towards the new machine but I wanted to see if anyone has a different feeling and why.

Thank you very much in advance.

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Hi TC,

This is a repair site so I always lean toward repairing things. With that being said look at it this way would you pay $211 for a used machine that worked perfectly but has no warranty? Most people wouldn’t.

Another way to look at it is that if the timer puts the washer back to work for another 6-8 years then you saved $100. But then again if you put the timer on and then next week the motor goes out you will be out $211.

If you were only talking about the $80 for the timer and you were to replace it yourself I would say repair it, but when you get into the $200 dollar range you have to think hard about it.

One more thing to think about, how much do you love this machine. Be careful not to buy a machine you will not like (for whatever reason).

Thank you,

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Thanks that validated my thinking
by: tc

I know this may be off-topic, but it seems when I research washing machines the days of old when they were built to last are gone.

We had a washing machine that was an old GE when we moved into our house in 1989. When we moved out it was still working - it only used cold water, but it was working fine - didn't bother us in the least.

Seems like two things have happened since I last bought a machine
1) the "run of the mill" got more expensive - seems like 5 years ago there were a lot of machines in the $ 500 price point and now there are a lot in the $ 800 price point

2) They seem to last 6-8 years, not 20+ like my old GE.

Is this just me?

Thanks much for your help thus far.

"They Don't Make Them Like They Use To"
by: Shawn

I have been working on appliances for around 15 years and I have always heard “they don’t make them like they use to”.

I am not going to say I don’t agree with this to a certain extend. But the price of parts and repair labor has gone up a lot more in the last 20 years than appliances have.

The baseline washers are around the same price if not lower then the baseline washers were 20 years ago. Yet the average service call was $30 now it is $70. $200 is about all most people want to spend on a repair. Now days when we are charging $70 and the price of parts it doesn’t take long to get to that $200 mark. What I am getting at is we could do a major repair on appliances and still be below the $200 mark. So that major repair would extend the life of that machine, whereas now that same major repair would be $300 and the machine ends up in the dump. The homeowner says that thing didn’t last very long.

There is a thread going on a forum I get on about how it is ok to charge $165 to replace a water valve that retails for $12. I (along with some other techs) been saying that this is way too high but it is amazing how many believe this is a fair price. My point is it wouldn’t take but a $50 before that machine is off to the dump and the homeowner is saying “they don’t make them like they use to”.

With all that being said I do believe that quality is down a little but not as bad as it seems.

My Grandfather repaired appliances for 55 years and when someone says “they don’t make them like they use to” he says I been repairing appliances for 55 years and can’t remember a day I didn’t have something to repair. What he was saying is that appliances have always broken down.

Great (and funny) answer from a pro!
by: tc

Much appreciated and puts it in perspective


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