Is your decade-old refrigerator worth repairing, or should you shell out for a new appliance? To make that decision, you need to know the average price of refrigerator repairs. We’ll look at appliance repair costs for the most common appliances and address some frequently asked questions in this cost guide to appliance repair pricing.
Appliance Repair Costs
Unfortunately, knowing the average repair cost for all common appliances might not tell you much since “household appliances” and “repair” can cover many items and issues. For example, unjamming a garbage disposal and replacing the evaporator on an air conditioner are both “appliance repair,” but one costs a whole lot more than the other. Based on our research into a variety of appliance repair and home warranty services, below are approximate average costs, followed by more exact costs for specific items.
Average Appliance Repair Costs
Average Repair Pricing for Common Appliances
|Appliance Type||Average Repair Cost||Typical Cost Range|
Cooktop, Range, and Oven Repair
Typically, stoves are less expensive to repair than ovens, and electric appliances are cheaper to repair than gas-powered appliances. The control board may malfunction, the heating element may burn out, or the oven door may need replacing.
Problems with ovens and stovetops should usually be repaired by a professional since electric units come with the danger of electrocution, and gas units come with the danger of carbon monoxide. Thus, be sure to contact a repair technician if the following occur:
- Your stove works, but your oven doesn’t.
- Your oven takes a long time to heat up.
- You can’t hear the fan running in your oven.
- The pilot light on your gas stove goes out, or the burner won’t light.
- You hear excessive noise or clicking sounds.
Fortunately, dishwashers are some of the least expensive kitchen appliances to repair. Common problems include difficulty draining water, leaks, or a broken door component. Seals, filters, and door springs are some of the cheaper elements to replace, though if the control panel or motor has gone bad, that’s a more costly repair. Homeowners should call a repair person if the following occurs:
- There’s water pooling under the dishwasher.
- Dishes don’t come out adequately cleaned or dried.
- The unit has a musty or foul odor.
- The door won’t latch or remain shut.
- Water won’t drain from the unit.
Garbage Disposal Repair
Although garbage disposals aren’t typically expensive to repair, the purchase price is so low that buying a new unit may be cheaper than getting the old one fixed.
A simple jam is usually the quickest and cheapest problem to repair. However, a garbage disposal that leaks or has a burnt-out motor is probably worth replacing entirely. Call a professional if the following occurs:
- Your garbage disposal makes odd or unusually loud noises.
- The unit won’t turn off.
- You see water pooling underneath the unit.
- Water and food scraps drain slowly or not at all.
Similarly, microwave repair is relatively inexpensive, and countertop units will cost less to fix than built-in or over-the-range units. The cheapest parts to replace are fuses, diodes, light bulbs, and door switches, though replacing the control board, magnetron, or door is a more expensive job best left to professionals. Even though microwaves are easy to use and replace, the various elements that make them work can be difficult and hazardous to repair. Thus, you’ll want to call a repair technician if the following occurs:
- The microwave takes a long time to heat food or fails to heat it entirely.
- You see sparks or hear unusual noises while using it.
- It turns on when the door is open.
- The interior plate doesn’t spin.
Fixing a refrigerator may be a relatively inexpensive and straightforward matter of replacing the thermostat or resealing a door. However, items like the control board or compressor can cost hundreds of dollars to replace. You may be able to unblock the lines or replace a door seal, a drip pan, or a drainpipe on your own, but there’s a reason some technicians specialize in refrigerator and freezer repair. Make a service call to a professional if the following occurs:
- You hear clicking, rattling, buzzing, or humming noises.
- The fridge isn’t keeping your food cold enough.
- Food or beverages freeze or form ice crystals.
- You notice a chemical smell in or around the fridge.
- You experience problems with the built-in ice maker.
- The fan or motor becomes overly loud.
- You see water pooling under or around the fridge.
Washing Machine Repair
Like a fridge, a washing machine has a lot of complex parts, and a fault in any one of them can keep the machine from working correctly. For example, the lid switch on a top-loading machine may break, or the agitator couplings may malfunction. The door seal on a front-loader can fail, spilling water onto the floor. The most expensive scenario is a broken motor. Make sure to contact a professional technician if the following occurs:
- Your clothes are unusually wet at the end of a wash cycle.
- The drum isn’t spinning.
- When running a cycle without clothes, you hear squeaking or sloshing noises.
- You see water pooling on the floor or remaining in the drum.
- The machine won’t fill with water or won’t drain properly.
- You hear excessive noise or feel excessive vibrations.
Dryer repair costs depend upon the brand of the machine and the exact part that breaks. If your electric dryer breaks, the drum may have come off the track, the motor may have died, the heating element may have burnt out, or the dryer belt may have snapped. If your gas dryer is broken, it could be the igniter, flame sensor, or gas valve.
As you might expect, the actual motor is the most expensive part to replace, but belts, thermal fuses, and thermostats are all relatively inexpensive. While you may be able to change something like a dryer belt yourself, you should call a professional if the following occurs:
- Drying clothes starts to take more time.
- You hear squealing, thumping, or rattling noises.
- The drum doesn’t spin.
- The dryer turns off intermittently.
- The door won’t stay closed.
DIY vs. Professional Appliance Repair
Here are some of the pros and cons of doing it yourself versus hiring appliance repair technicians.
Pros of DIY
✔ You only need to pay for replacement parts.
✔ You don’t need to worry about finding a trustworthy and affordable repair tech.
Cons of DIY
✘ It will almost certainly take longer.
✘ Improper repairs can void an appliance’s warranty.
Pros of Professional Repair Technician
✔ Pros have the experience, tools, and materials necessary to perform the repair quickly.
✔ You don’t need to put in the time and effort personally.
Cons of Professional Repair Technician
✘ You’ll have to pay both material and labor costs.
✘ There’s usually a service fee as well.
The average cost of appliance repair service is typically a few hundred dollars, though it may be more or less, depending on the type of appliance and the problem. Make sure you leave room for appliance repair in your home improvement budget so you won’t experience financial stress from the costs of getting a major appliance fixed.
FAQs About Appliance Repair
Which appliances need the most repairs?
The most frequently repaired appliances are washers, dryers, refrigerators, dishwashers, and garbage disposals.
How long do home appliances last?
Although the lifespan of appliances varies somewhat by quality, here’s the expected durability of the average appliance:
- Refrigerator: 13 years
- Washer/dryer: 10 to 13 years
- Oven/range/cooktop: 13 to 15 years
- Garbage disposal: 8 to 12 years
- Dishwasher: 9 to 10 years
- Microwave: 9 years
Will a home warranty cover appliance repair costs?
Yes, a home warranty will pay for appliance repair if you have appliance coverage and the reason for the appliance’s malfunction falls under the terms of your contract. Typically, this means the appliance must have broken from wear-and-tear damage, though some companies may also cover conditions such as insufficient maintenance, improper repair, rust, sediment, or corrosion.
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