Money-Notes

WHAT IT COSTS TO REPAIR YOUR HOME APPLIANCES

If you own a home, chances are good that — sooner or later — you’ll need to have an appliance repaired. Most small appliances, such as microwaves, blenders and toasters, should last around 10 years or more. Larger appliances, such as refrigerators, freezers and dishwashers, will need more regular service and maintenance to keep them in optimal shape. Learn more about how much you can expect to pay to repair and maintain your appliances.

What Will it Cost to Repair an Appliance?
Appliance repair can be a large investment, especially if it’s your major appliances that break down or require frequent maintenance. Homeowners report that the average cost for appliance repair is $170 and most spend between &$104 and $236.  Try to group appliance repairs together, if you can; it will save you some money. Also, try to find a local contractor; they charge less than repairmen who work through a larger company.

Most appliance repairman charge by the hour and will also charge a trip fee for visiting your home. Ask how their fees are calculated and whether their pricing includes:

  • Parts
  • Labor
  • The service fee

Hourly rates fall anywhere between $100 and $200 per hour. Because small appliance repair can take less than an hour to complete, you may be charged a flat fee for repair services such as defrosting a fridge, changing connectors, etc.

Questions to Ask
There are various questions you should ask appliance repair contractors before hiring one. Inquire first about how contractors charge for services, then ask:

Do they accept credit cards?
Will they share information about previous clients?
Do they cover or pay for damages that may occur in the midst of repairs?
Will they provide a written guarantee?
A good contractor will also ask you a variety of questions about your appliance(s). Be wary of hiring any contractor that doesn’t ask about the nature of your appliances and the problems you’re facing. Here are some additional queries your appliance contractor should make, or information that you should provide ahead of time.

Gas or Electric?
Whether your appliance is gas- or electric-powered will factor into the cost to repair it. Gas water heaters, stoves, fireplaces and refrigerators are more expensive to fix than electric-powered versions. This is because repairing gas appliances carries more risk; carbon monoxide leaks or fire may result if gas repairs are not properly completed. Electric appliances ultimately cost more to power, but fixing them is typically easier than fixing gas appliances.

How Accessible is the Appliance?
If your appliance is easy to reach, it will cost less to fix than a hard-to-reach appliance. You’ll also typically pay less if the wiring to your appliance is straightforward and easily accessible.

Are the Parts Easy to Find?
Parts for old appliances — or rare appliances like gas refrigerators — might be expensive and difficult to find. Talk to your technician about using used appliance parts to save money. In most instances, they’re just as good as new ones.

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Smaller Repairs
The price to fix smaller appliances like your microwave, garbage disposal, and dishwasher will vary depending on the parts you need — whether you hire a pro or fix the appliance yourself. The cost to repair a microwave, for example, is usually $70/hour plus the price of parts. So, you’re looking at an average of cost range of $100 to $150. For slightly bigger appliances, such as dishwashers, you may be looking at $100 to $200 per appliance.

Warranties
Make sure you check the warranty on any appliance in need of repair before you call a professional. It could save you money on repairs — or get them paid for in full.  Not everyone gets an extended warranty on their appliances. Here are some things to consider the next time you purchase an appliance.

First, you should consider an extended warranty for:

  • Refrigerators
  • Stoves
  • Wall Ovens
  • Front-loading laundry machines

This is because they are expensive initial investments and will cost a lot to maintain or repair down the road. On average, modern appliances:

  1. Are now lasting 6 to 9 years, compared with 8 to 12 years three decades ago
  2. Include more expensive parts than they used to, resulting in a higher average repair cost
  3. Are more efficient than they were a decade ago
  4. It’s not usually worth investing in an extended warranty on smaller appliances because it doesn’t cost a whole lot to maintain and repair them.

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