Dishwasher Repair: When Is it Worth Fixing?

The decision to repair or replace an appliance can be a tough one when something goes wrong. Often it is an economic decision. If the appliance is a dishwasher, the decision can be even tougher. Each year new units come out that use less water, less electricity or both. This can make the decision even tougher. The decision is not a clear one, but here are some guidelines to assist you.


If the warrant on your dishwasher is still valid, fixing the dishwasher is probably you most economic option. One possible hassle is you have to find a factory authorized appliance repair shop to do the diagnosis and repair to keep the warranty in place. Of course, once the repair is done, your dishwasher should be working in accordance with its design, and you should not have to pay for the repairs. This should save you money.


One consideration in the repair versus replace question for a dishwasher is its age. If the dishwasher is over eight years old, consider replacing it. Newer dishwashers currently have a lifespan of six to ten years, so you dishwasher may be approaching the end of its useful lifespan. And the old a dishwasher gets, the more difficult it can become to find replacement parts for it. Newer models of dishwasher are more efficient, so even over a short lifespan of eight years, the savings in water and electricity could make getting a replacement worthwhile.

Type of Repair

A repair of a dishwasher may or may not be worth it depending on the type of repair. If something simple but critical is required it may be worthwhile. Examples include a door latch or door seal, a replacement soap dispenser, a fill value, or a drain pump. If the repair involves a major part or system, it will probably not be economical to repair the unit, with the cost of the part and the labor for installation. Examples would include a circulation pump or motor.

Repair Cost

You also want to compare the cost of the repair to the cost of a replacement dishwasher. The cost of the repair should be half the cost of a replacement unit, with a lower cost even better. If the repair is more than half the cost of a replacement, a replacement should be considered. Of course, it the dishwasher is near the end of its lifespan, a repair that is still below half the cost of a replacement could still be a waste of money, since an additional breakdown could be a short time away.

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