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landlord helpTheres a time in the lifespan of every appliance when youre forced to ask that dreaded question: Is it really worth fixing? While ultimately that decision is between you and your dryer or dishwasher or hot water heater, there are a few ways to determine if a quick call to the repairman is better than dipping into savings.

How old is the appliance?

Most major appliances are designed to last anywhere from 10 to 20 years. While no guarantee that your appliance is going to last that long, if the equipment is far below its life expectancy, you may want to consider fixing. Even older machines may still have a lot of life left, but keep in mind that parts may become harder to find in the future.

How much will it cost to fix?

The repairmans rule of thumb is that if repairs will cost more than half of the cost of a new appliance, go for the new one. But when considering the costs, remember that the new appliance cost soars above the sticker price when you add on delivery, installation and removal of your old appliance. Its not uncommon to pay $100 or more for installation. On the other hand, remember that new, energy-saving models can help recoup the investment of a new machine in utility bills.

Are the new models made as well as your old one?

Modern appliances are decked out with innumerable gadgets and features. And while the leading technology can make appliances even more convenient, it can also amount to a costly and intricate repair. If your simple and older appliance can still do the trick, it may be worth the TLC to get a few more years out of it. By the time you are ready to buy, manufacturers will have worked out any kinks in that cutting-edge technology.

Can you repair it yourself?

Naturally, some jobs are best left to professionals”any time you smell gas, for instance. But many fixes dont require a repairman. Check pilot lights and fuse boxes. Clean vents and coils of dust and debris. Replace belts and unclog blockages. Home improvement stores offer classes in do-it-yourself home repair and there are how-to resources online. If you do call a repairman, be sure to get a warranty for the work.

This information is provided by Jacob Martinez, Spokane Appliance Repair, open 24/7, providing major appliance repair, air conditioning and heating service in Spokane and Coeur dAlene. Service call is free with the repair. Call 509 207-7138 for more.

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  • There are many appliance repair websites if you care to do your own repairs. these appliances are quite simple, so I encourage everyone to try their hand at it. However, don’t loose track of the value of your own time. Some things are better to pay for if you have good people to do the work.
    The rule of thumb that I use is if the cost of repair is greater than half the cost of replacement, then I replace.

  • Bruce

    I own 14 properties and manage to do about 95% of the repairs myself. Last week it was an expensive Micro wall oven. Unit is 5 years old, and would cost $2200 to replace, and the repair would have been $400. I figured out it was a bad Mag tube and got the part for $60 and it took one hour to repair.

    Point is, none of the usual stuff needs a rocket scientist. Use the Internet to discove common failures then read about how to fix.

    I bet I save 5 or 6 thousand a year on my repair costs.

  • steve

    Remember also the liability involved, if you repair/ install, and the furnace leaks carbon minoxide WHO IS RESPONSIBLE ?? AT very least if you have a licensed/ experienced plumber install, to best of his ability,liability is his.

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