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How Much Does Appliance Repair Cost?

Sacramento Bee 1/23/2023 Sarah Horvath, The Sacramento Bee

If you live in an older home and one of your appliances is on its last legs, you might be worried about the cost of appliance repair. Kitchen appliance repairs may cost hundreds of dollars — and in many cases, it’s more economical to replace the appliance rather than to repair it. How much does appliance repair cost, and how can you avoid a costly repair? Read on to learn everything you need to know about the average repair costs of some of the most common appliances you might need to repair.

What are the most common appliance repairs?

How much does it cost to repair an appliance? The answer will vary depending on the specific appliance repairs you need. The most common appliances that require appliance repair technicians include refrigerators, washing machines, and dishwashers. The type of appliance that needs repair will play a direct role in your contractor’s hourly rate and labor costs.

Microwave repairs

Common complaints from homeowners about their microwaves include broken buttons and latches that don’t work. When the microwave can’t close properly, it can potentially release radiation into your kitchen. Although microwave radiation itself isn’t hazardous, it can cause extreme heat. You should call for appliance repair as soon as you notice a problem. Common issues beyond the control panel include excessive heat and damage to the turntable.

The average appliance repair cost for a microwave is $100 to $200, but the actual price depends on the problem. The most affordable type of microwave repair you might need is a fuse replacement for a countertop model, usually costing around $50.

The most expensive microwave repairs usually involve the appliance’s control panel. If you have a built-in microwave unit with “smart” features and require a control panel replacement, expect to pay up to $500 for your fix.

Washing machine/dryer repair

Common issues homeowners have with their washing machines include clothing that doesn’t come out clean and unresponsive control panels. Other common complaints include excessive energy usage and leaking water. The most common complaints for clothes dryers include non-responsive control panels and clothing not fully dry due to thermal fuse damage.

Like most other electric appliances, the cost of appliance repair for your dryer or washer will vary depending on the component that needs repairing. The national average cost to repair a washing machine is $100 to $400, while the average cost to repair a dryer is $100 to $200. For a significant repair to your dryer’s heating element (for example, replacing a broken motor), expect to pay up to $450. More affordable repairs (like replacing and cleaning dirty coils) might cost as little as $80.

Stove/oven repair

Ovens and ranges are other common household appliances that homeowners find need repairing. Frequent homeowner complaints about their ovens include failure to heat to the correct temperature, gas tops or cooking elements on electric stoves not igniting and broken knobs.

The average repair cost for a gas stove ranges from $150 to $400. Replacing a gas stove knob may be as affordable as $25, and you might even be able to do this yourself safely if your knobs don’t connect to the stove’s gas or electric lines. On the opposite end of the spectrum, replacing a gas stove top may cost up to $1,000.

If you have an electric stove, you’ll probably pay more to fix your appliance than a gas stove owner would. Electric stoves usually include specialized parts ordered from the appliance’s manufacturer to repair the unit safely and bring it up to code. How much does electric stove appliance repair cost? Expect to pay between $200 and $500 for most electric oven repairs, with control board replacements being the most expensive appliance repair.

Ice maker repair

If you have a countertop ice maker or an ice maker built into your refrigerator, you won’t pay as much as some other appliances for repairs. The national average cost of an ice maker repair is between $150 and $250. Expensive ice maker repairs (like replacing the motor on a unit built into your refrigerator) may cost up to $400 on smart fridges or units with costly parts.

Garbage disposal repair

Your garbage disposal is responsible for grinding down food leftovers, so it is not surprising that it might be one of the most common appliances to break down. Frequent homeowner complaints about their garbage disposals include failure to grind, loose screws and not turning on. The national average repair cost for a garbage disposal system is $65 to $150. Lower-end repairs, like replacing a worn seal, might cost as little as $50. But, higher-end repairs, like replacing or repairing the disposal motor system, could cost up to $400.

Refrigerator repair

Refrigerators are some of the most common household appliances to break down. The most common complaint homeowners report is that their ice or water dispenser isn’t functioning. According to Consumer Reports, this complaint makes up about 17% of repairs homeowners request for refrigerators. Other frequent complaints about refrigerators include ice makers that don’t make ice, water that leaks from the bottom of the appliance, and broken thermometers.

What is the average cost of appliance repair for a refrigerator? Depending on the problem, you can expect to pay between $350 and $500 for refrigerator repair. High-end repairs, such as replacing the refrigerator’s sealing unit, may cost up to $1,200.

How much does an appliance repair service call cost?

If you have an extended or home warranty, you’ll probably want to file a claim through your warranty provider when you need a major or minor appliance repair. If you have a general home warranty policy, how much does an appliance repair service call cost?

You can find the answer in your home warranty contract. Most home warranty companies have service call costs between $75 and $125. Remember that your service call fee is due every time you call for a low-cost appliance repair through your home warranty service, which affects the overall value of your policy.

Are DIY solutions a good idea for major appliances?

When you think about appliance repair costs, you might consider a do-it-yourself (DIY) approach to save money. However, DIY repair for electric appliances is typically not a good idea for several reasons:

  • It’s dangerous: Major appliances have direct connections to your home’s electric wiring, so attempting to repair your appliances might result in electrocution.

  • It voids your warranty: Most appliance and extended warranties specify that you should never attempt a DIY repair. Doing so often voids your warranty, costing you hundreds of dollars if the appliance needs replacing or repairing soon.

  • You might end up doing more harm than good: Unless you have experience with electric appliance repair, you’re likely to damage your appliance when you attempt to repair it. This damage may cause you to need a replacement appliance, which is significantly more expensive than a repair.

The bottom line — when you compare the average cost of professional appliance repair to those you might incur replacing an appliance after damaging it, it’s always better to call the professionals. Additionally, no amount of money saved is worth risking your health and safety by tampering with your home’s electrical system.

Are appliance repairs covered by home warranties?

The terms of your home warranty policy might cover your appliance repair. Review your home warranty contract and search for the appliance that needs repairing. You can request a repair if you see the specific appliance listed in your policy.

When you schedule a repair through your home warranty company, you’ll need to pay the service fee when your technician arrives. Review your home warranty contract and service fee to see if filing a claim with your home warranty company is worth it.

You may be better off scheduling repair on your own. For example, the average home warranty has a service fee between $75 and $125. If you have a problem with your garbage disposal or the knobs on your oven, it can make more sense to book a local contractor without going through your warranty provider.

The appliance repairs covered under your home warranty will also vary depending on the damaged component. Knobs, handles and latches are usually not included in home warranty coverage, meaning that you may not be able to claim a repair that affects these components.

What is the lifespan of most general appliances?

The average household appliance will last between six and 17 years, depending on the type of appliance and its manufacturer. The manufacturing year also has significance in how long it’ll last, as appliance longevity has decreased significantly within the last 25 years. This phenomenon is mainly due to the number of additional electronic features included with most models.

While some appliances last for decades, particularly when you keep up with regular maintenance, others need periodic replacement. Use the following to determine when you might need appliance repair:

  • Refrigerator: A new refrigerator will last about seven years. You can extend the life of your fridge by adjusting the freezer set to zero degrees, which is beneficial for retaining and protecting the refrigerator’s compression system.

  • Dishwasher: You can expect a new dishwasher to last around seven years after installation. To protect your dishwasher and improve its longevity, use less detergent. Soap scum from excessive detergent use may clog the gears on your dishwasher, leading to the need for more repairs. You can increase the lifespan of your washing machine by carefully measuring out your detergent each time you use it and by cleaning your system regularly.

  • Oven: Your oven and range is usually the sturdiest item in your household list of appliances. Expect your new oven to last at least ten years, with some models built to last even longer. To protect the health of your oven, be sure to give it a thorough deep cleaning. Grease and grime buildup can harm the interior parts of the appliance, leading to more repairs.

  • Washing machine: While washing machines might be expensive, they’re not long-lasting. Expect your washing machine to need a replacement every five to seven years. While the make and model of your washing machine play a role in its longevity, the maintenance schedule is the primary factor in determining when your appliance will need replacing.

Why should you hire a professional for appliance repairs?

You should hire a professional to repair your appliances for many reasons. The first is safety. Most major household appliances connect to local gas and power lines, and you must handle them carefully to avoid injury. Attempting to work on these systems without professional training can result in serious injury to yourself and any other electrical professionals who happen to be working on the line at the same time.

Professional appliance contractors also have specialized tools to complete repairs without voiding your appliance warranty. In many cases, hiring a professional can be more affordable than attempting DIY repair because you will spend more purchasing the tools professionals already have with them than you would for an appointment.

Don’t stress over broken appliances

If an appliance or system in your home is making unusual noises, don’t stress. The best home warranties will provide comprehensive coverage that offers affordable appliance repairs, meaning that your home will be fully functional in no time.

What does a home warranty cover, and who needs one? Home warranties benefit anyone who owns a home or commercial property and would have trouble covering routine appliance and system repairs. But it’s important not to confuse a home warranty with home insurance. Homeowners insurance covers damage to your house and its contents and protects homeowners from liability that may result from ownership. Home warranties cover household systems and appliances. Having both a home warranty and home insurance ensures that homeowners won’t pay the full price for repairs to their homes are needed.

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