You rely on your washer and dryer to keep your family’s clothes clean and presentable. However, with all of the moving parts involved, it’s only a matter of time before something stops working. Some people with no repair experience might buy another washer or dryer as soon as it breaks. Those with more of a handyman background might try to fix it themselves.

However, both of these approaches can be dangerous. Continually buying new machines every time yours breaks is wasteful, even if you only do it every couple of years. And if you don’t have specific training on how to fix a washer and dryer, you can end up making the problem worse.

Paying a professional for washer and dryer repair can save you a lot more money than you’ll spend up front. They know what they’re doing, and have been trained to get your machines up and running in no time.

Here’s a rundown of how paying for repairs can end up saving you money in the long run.

​Makes Your Washer and Dryer Last Longer

hand switches temperature of washer

Most appliances have a shelf life of around 10 years. Some last longer, while others can die long before then. 

If your washer or dryer start to exhibit problems before this time is up, you should try to get it repaired before looking at buying a new one. Also, if this is the first time your appliances have shown problems in the last decade, you can make your initial investment stretch longer by getting it repaired first.

Here are some common washer issues that can shorten the lifespan of your machine.

  • Failing to drain, which often results in standing water. This is often due to a blockage in the drain, or a problem with the pump.
  • Leaking is often caused by a problem with one of your hoses.
  • Underfilling means your clothes don’t get the water they need to be washed. Lack of water is usually a result of the inlet valve or water control.
  • Wobbling is almost always caused by an imbalance in your machine. This could be because of the stands that support the washer.

Here are some common dryer issues that can shave years off of its life if left unfixed.

  • Drum issues often come from a broken belt, but can sometimes be caused by a faulty motor or roller.
  • Dryer belts often cause a squeaking noise when they need to be replaced. Otherwise, this noise indicates a distressed part.
  • Faulty operation that can’t be otherwise identified can come from a bad block, start switch, terminal, timer, or thermostat. It can also be caused by a lack of power.
  • Overheating
  • Lack of heat can be caused by a number of parts in your washer. These include flame sensors, fuses,  gas valves, igniters, thermostats, and timers.

Compare the Cost of Repairs vs.
Cost of Replacing Your Equipment

If you don’t regularly maintain your appliances, they’ll break down before their lifespan. Some maintenance is easy to do without the help of a repair professional. Keeping your washer and dryer clean, and avoiding overloading them is something you can do for each use.

However, even if you work to upkeep them, one of the parts will break eventually. You need to know how to determine if the cost of repairs is going to be better or worse than just replacing your machine.

For the most part, paying for repairs will end up saving you money in the long run. However, if your solution costs more than half of what you would pay to get a new one, it probably isn’t worth doing. Thumbtack lists the average serviceman cost for Salt Lake City, Utah as $60-70.

It’s difficult to know the exact amount you’ll end up paying for repairs without just calling a repair shop and asking for a quote. Accurate prices will vary depending on what repairs your machines need, what area you live in, and what kind of repair shop you call.

For reference, here is a cost breakdown of buying a new washer and dryer.

Washers

Dryers

Combos

With those prices in mind, here’s a brief look at the price range you want to stay within. Anything more than what’s listed below, and it’s time to replace your unit.

  • All-in-one washer-dryer unit - $350 - $800 from low to high-end models
  • Compact washers - $100-$1000 from low to high-end models
  • Compact dryers - $150 - $800 from low to high-end models
  • Electric dryers - $90 - $850 from low to high-end models
  • Front loading washers - $250 - $500
  • Gas dryers - $125 - $250
  • Larger capacity dryers - $350-400
  • Top loading washers - $130-$225
  • Stacked washer and dryer unit - $350-$1,000 from low to high-end models

If your repairs are going to be under $100, it’s almost always worth it to call the repairman. Make sure you take time to ask what’s included in their fee. Some appliance service companies have hidden costs for travel, diagnosis, and part replacement. You’ll be better suited by finding a company that quotes you a flat fee, and doesn’t add anything extra should the unexpected happen.

​Fix Problems Before They Worsen

closeup dryer dial

If you were to replace your machines every time they break, you’d be spending thousands of dollars more than necessary. This might seem ridiculous on the surface, but many people can go years without experiencing a problem with their washer or dryer. 

No matter what appliance you use, it seems like newer models just don’t last as long as they did before. According to a survey published in 2014, 25% of front-loading washing machines will break within 3-4 years of purchase. Considering that these machines often have four-digit price tags, that’s a lot of money going out the window.

There are several reasons these appliances are breaking so early on. Some of it is due to a manufacturing error. However, many times, it’s because consumers don’t keep them properly maintained. Trying to get the most out of your machine before calling it in for repairs is more likely to cause more damage than do any good.

Isn’t it better to pay $70 for a small problem than to wait for it to get worse and end up paying $300? Or worse, end up replacing it because you didn’t get it checked when it first started showing problems?

Calling a professional to look at seemingly smaller problems that you don’t know how to will help you avoid major issues that require you to replace the entire machine. These problems include having a broken motor or a busted agitator.

​Paying for a Professional Ensures You Don’t Worsen the Problem

There are some things that you can easily do on your own that won’t worsen the problem. Here’s a quick rundown of the most common washer and dryer issues along with easy to implement solutions.

  1. Clean your lint filter and
  2. Clean gunk out of the lid switch with cotton swabs and rubbing alcohol.
  3. Check to make sure your appliances are plugged in and correctly connected.
  4. Check the breaker box for blown fuses. If this is your problem, call in an electrician immediately!
  5. Make sure both the hot and cold water valves are open.
  6. Check for clogs in the filter screen.
  7. Check for overloading or uneven loading.
  8. Clear out any clogged drains.
  9. Level your washer or dryer.
  10. Tighten leaking hoses.
  11. Unkink hoses.
  12. Make sure you are using the correct detergent for your machine.
  13. Clear hair or lint from the drain hose.

If you’ve gone through all of these steps and you still can’t identify the problem, it’s time to call an expert. Don’t try to YouTube the solution and fix it yourself. Appliance service professionals are trained in diagnosing issues and have the expertise necessary to fix them right away. One easy to remember tip is that if the repair requires you to dismantle your machine, it’s better left to a professional.

While you might be perfectly able to fix whatever is wrong with your washer and dryer, you don’t have the experience necessary to correctly diagnose the issue. If you try and fix something that isn’t the problem, you are more likely to make the problem worse than you are to improve it.

washing machine

Conclusion

Washer and dryer repair can end up saving you a lot of money in the long run. Most of the time, the cost of repairs is far below what you’ll pay to replace your machines. Don’t make the problem worse by trying to fix it yourself if you don’t know what you are doing. By helping you make the most of your appliances, and ensuring they last as long as they are supposed to, repairs are a great way to keep your laundry going.