The question of "when to buy a new washer" doesn't need to be difficult. Many times it may feel like a balancing act between when to repair and when to purchase. However, with the new efficiency features, the choice is often tilted towards replacement. Frequently, the money you'd spend on repairs is better utilized on a new clothes washer.
Simply knowing that a new washer is in your future can help you prepare and plan. But one thing to consider, new washers are simply more energy efficient. So whether your washer is running smoothly or is falling apart, a new washer will most likely save you money when it comes to your utility bill.
Signs it's Time to Buy a New Washing Machine
Washing machines unfortunately don't last for ever, and you might want to consider purchasing a new one if you have any of the following issues.
A loud, noisy washing machine can not only drive you crazy, but it could also be a clue that it's time to buy a new washer! However, the problem could simply be that the appliance isn't positioned on a level surface. If the washer rocks back and forth when you press on one of the corners, it isn't level.
If your washer doesn't have adjustable levels, you can place something under one of the feet. This will have the same result. However, if balancing your washer doesn't quiet it down, the problem could be something more serious.
The problem could simply be an unbalanced load of laundry. If you have a top-load washer, stop the cycle and rearrange the clothes in the basket.
A noisy washer could be the result of worn belts or pulleys which are fequently relatively easy and inexpensive to repair. Or it could be something more serious such as the clutch or transmission. There are a number of things that could cause the noise, and if you're a do-it-yourself kind of person, this article can help you identify and even repair the problem.
Once you've determined the cause, you'll need to decide if your washer is worth the expense of repairing. A reputable repair service will let you know when it's more cost effective to purchase a new washer. Don't be afraid to ask.
Another reason to buy a new washing machine is efficiency. The more efficient your clothes washer, the more money you'll save in utility bills. Today's Energy Star certified washer's typically use 25% less energy and 45% less water than older models.
Newer washer's regulate the amount of water that is dispensed to the size of the load of laundry. In other words, if you run a small load, a new washer will use less water. Older washer's don't have this technology, and the same amount of water is used regardless of load size.
Over a year's time, this and other improvements in efficiency, could save up to 3,000 gallons of water! Energy Star estimates that on average, homeowners could be saving $210 a year if they replace their 10-year old washer with a new energy efficient model.
If you notice water on the floor every time you do the laundry, your washing machine has a problem. Some leaking problems can be relatively easy to fix and others are a red flag that it's time to consider buying a new washer.
A common cause of leaking is simply the result of a broken hose. In the back of your machine there are two hoses, one for hot water and the other for cold. These hoses connect the washer to the water source, which is typically in the wall. The hoses are always pressurized and are prone to cracking and rupturing.
If your problem is a washer hose, you can take a deep breath because hoses are inexpensive and easy to change. Although, we do recommend changing both hoses at the same time.
Washing machines also have a number of other hoses and seals within the case. Many times they are simply loose and need to be tightened. In some cases, they may need to be replaced. This post covers the most common washer problems, including leaking.
Don't forget to check your load size. If your load size it too big, your washer will leak. By simply decreasing the amount of laundry per load, you can often stop the leaking!
If the leak is from a broken part or seal, you should weigh the repair cost against purchasing a new washer. In many cases it's more cost efficient to invest in a new appliance, especially if you washer is over 10 years old.
However, if the washer tub is cracked, your best choice is to buy a new washing machine. Fixing a cracked tub is a major repair and seldom worth the expense.
If you notice that your washer just keeps developing a bad smell, the problem may be out of your control. Early front-load washing machines tend to develop reoccurring odors. This is because they do not properly self-clean. The result can be mold or mildew and even ruined laundry!
Whirlpool and Sears have recently reached a settlement on a number of class action lawsuits. Some front-load washers manufactured between 2001 and 2010 by Whirlpool, Maytag and Kenmore were affected. Click here to see the complete list.
Today's washing machines have a life expectancy of up to 11-years. But, as with everything else, as they age they tend to have more problems. To make things worse, many manufacturers simply don't carry parts for their older models.
If your washer is approaching the 8 or 9-year mark, and you are starting to have some issues, it may make sense to simply purchase a new washer. Plus, you can take advantage of all the recent energy efficiency improvements that can save you a bundle in energy costs.
If your clothes dryer has reached the end of it's service life, but your washer is still going strong, you may want to consider purchasing a matched set. There's a good chance that your washing machine isn't far behind, and will soon need expensive repairs. Buying a matched set will take the guess work out of wondering when your washer will break down . . . plus they will look great together!
But beyond the cosmetic appeal of a matching set, a washer and dryer pair is designed to work together as a unit. Each appliance is optimally balanced to the correct capacity and efficiency of the laundry cycle. In addition, many of their cycles, such as steam, are designed to complement the other.
Whether you decide to buy a new washer or try to stretch a little more life from your old one, keep in mind that the average clothes washer will last about 10-years. Of course, this largely depends on frequency of use and maintenance.
If the time is right for you to purchase a new washer, many appliance stores will dispose of your old unit for a nominal fee. Here are a few other options.