Should You Repair or Replace Your Old Washing Machine?


It’s the middle of a busy work week and the laundry is spilling out of the basket and piling up in the corner. Your once trusty washing machine has broken, and you can no longer ignore the problem. So you’re faced with the question: Do you repair or replace your machine?

The first step in figuring out the answer is to find out what the fault is and how much it will cost to get it fixed. If your machine is still under warranty then you’re in luck, it’s likely you’ll not have to spend a penny to get it repaired. If the warranty has expired, unfortunately you’re on your own.

Some repair companies may be able to diagnose the problem over the phone. It’s worth calling a few to explain the symptoms of your machine’s break down, they may be able to give you a quote for repair right there and then.

Once you know how much it will cost to fix, you can better decide whether you’d like to take the repair route or start looking at a new machine. If you’ve had your washing machine for several years and the cost of repair is more than 50% of the original price, experts usually recommend that it’s time to ditch the old one and upgrade to a new washer.

Can you fix it yourself?

On the other hand, some components of a washing machine, such as pulleys, belts and seals are cheap and easy to replace. They can often be done by even the most DIY shy of folks. There is an infinite supply of YouTube video tutorials that will talk you through the process of replacing these items yourself. Some trickier jobs, such as a fault in the motor, will require an expert and this is when you’ll have to weigh up whether you want to shell out the dough for repair or look into buying a replacement.

Getting a new one

If you decide to go down the new machine route, ask yourself a few questions before you dive in.

How much use will your machine be getting? How much are you willing to spend? If you have a healthy budget, there’s not much to worry about. With a little shopping around online or a trip to your local appliance centre, you’ll be able to pick up a machine that with a little luck will be your trusted laundry companion for several years to come. The advantage of buying a machine in person at the shop is that you can direct any questions you have straight to the assistant or store manager, assuming they know their stuff. If you want to make an informed decision, especially if you’re buying online, it’s worth doing your research first.

Take a look at this handy guide to 2019’s best washing machines.  Make sure to get proof of warranty if you’re buying a brand new one, and always keep this and your receipts filed away safely, just in case.

There is another option for those with a less than healthy budget. Don’t worry, you won’t have to hand wash your entire family’s wardrobe for the rest of eternity. Instead, you can try looking on your local Gumtree pages. People often list second hand washing machines here. The obvious downside to this is that there will be no warranty attached if anything goes wrong. It’s a risk, but if the price is right, it may just be worth it. 

Alternatively, some larger charity shops have started specialising in appliances which are pre tested and many of them actually offer a 6 month to one year warranty on purchases. If you can find one in your local store you may end up getting a great second hand washer for a fraction of the price of a new one.

Finally, if money is tight, it may be worth checking your local Freecycle and Freegle groups. Often kind hearted souls in your community will list their used appliances for a free collection, instead of sending them to the tip. If you can arrange transport to pick up the machine, you’re laundry problems could be solved without having to spend a penny.

A broken washing machine gives you a new appreciation for this time saving device and makes you wonder how our grandmothers ever coped without them. We hope this guide will help you to decide whether repairing or replacing your machine is the best course of action for you, so you can conquer that laundry pile once and for all.