Washing machines are a staple appliance in every family home. While some may still opt to use launderettes to save space in their homes, all parents will understand exactly how important it is to have a washing machine so that they can get through the seemingly endless cycle of cleaning their kids’ clothes.
That’s why it can be such a major disruption when your washing machine breaks down unexpectedly – it really affects the smooth running of your home. Before you know it, old bedsheets, muddy jeans, paint-coated school uniforms, and dirty sports kits are lying around all over the place.
If your washing machine breaks down, you’ll need it to be repaired or replaced fast. In this article, we’ll look at what you can do when disaster strikes your washer.
While many state that the average life expectancy of a brand new washing machine is eleven years, research from WRAP suggests that the average consumer actually replaces their washing machine every six years.
If you have started to notice issues with your washing machine, you may need to consider replacing your existing model; particularly if your machine is nearing the end of its lifetime.
Consumer Reports, on the other hand, recommends replacing any appliance in your home that is more than eight years old, unless it is a particularly high-end model. They strongly suggest that other older models such as top-loading washers that were manufactured before 1999 should be replaced straight away to save on energy bills.
Even if you were to replace a newer machine purchased during or before 2005, you could greatly reduce your household’s water consumption. If your warranty has run out and your washer is persistently breaking down, it may be more cost-effective to replace it entirely.
There are a number of factors that can affect the lifetime of your washing machine, however. According to some of the top washing machine manufacturers, these include:
The energy efficiency of your machine can deteriorate over time because older washers often require more energy to spin, particularly if there are underlying and often unknown faults with the machine. Newer models also allow for greater energy-saving opportunities as you can customise your wash cycles by volume of water and temperature.
Some will even come with built-in weight sensors to ensure your wash loads are not too light or heavy; saving your machine from being overworked or wasting electricity.
The main issue that arises when it comes to replacing a washing machine is what it’s going to cost. If your appliance is mostly functional with just a few recent faults, it may be worth saving money and just calling in a professional to repair it.
Some of the most common faults reported with washing machines are:
If you detect a fault with your washing machine, experts always recommended that you have an experienced professional assess the state of your appliance rather than fixing it yourself.
Even if you, a friend, or a partner are particularly handy when it comes to DIY, washing machines are very complex items of machinery and they pose real dangers for those not highly trained in repairing them. Combining plumbing and connection to all of your home electrics is complicated and this is not something you should attempt to fix yourself. Always call in an expert.
There are certain areas of your washing machine that are particularly susceptible to breaking before the rest of your machine. Even if you always operate your machine properly (for example never exceeding the recommended weight per load), regular use results in the wear and tear of your washer over time.
So how much are typical washing machine repairs? Here are some of the most common problems experienced by washing machine owners and how much you can expect to pay for your repairs.
|The Most Common Washing Machine Repairs|
|Broken part||Price to supply and fit the new part||Average time to complete|
|Door seal||£68 to £90||30 minutes to 1 hour|
|Motor brushes||£55 to £90||30 minutes to 1 hour|
|Motor||£170 to £245||1 hour|
|Pump||£70 to £95||30 minutes to 1 hour|
This all depends on the nature of the fault and the cost to repair it. As you can see from the table above, the cost to repair a broken motor brush can be as low as £55 to have new brushes installed in less than an hour. Replacing your machine simply because of a few faulty brushes would, in most cases, be both unnecessary and costly.
At the time of writing, the cost of a new washing machine from Argos ranges from £159.99 to £1,629.99 depending on the model’s design, capacity, speed, number of programmes, and overall level of sophistication you are looking for.
You should also consider your current washing machine’s value before you choose to replace. Of course, £200 to replace the motor in a fairly new £1,000 washer would be considered by many as a wise investment. However, the same cost for a new motor for your £160 machine would simply be throwing money away when you could get a brand-new washing machine of the same model for £40 less.
Whether you repair or replace your washer also depends on how severe the faults are. In certain situations, patching over a problem or replacing parts without dealing with the root cause can be risky. Always ask a fully qualified plumber for their opinion before you pay for repairs on your machine. They will let you know whether your washer is salvageable or whether you should replace it entirely.
If you decide that it is time to replace your washing machine and to replace it with a younger model, there are certain things you should look out for to ensure you get the machine that is right for you.
The first thing you should do is work out exactly what your laundry needs are. You need a machine that fits around your life, rather than the other way around.
There is no point purchasing a heavy-duty machine then having to let your dirty laundry pile up enough for the load to be cost-efficient. However, if you have a large family or are expecting a baby in the near future, a small machine would only mean putting your laundry on multiple times a day just to keep up.
Large interior dimensions are also incredibly helpful if your little ones are still toilet training because they can wash bigger items like full duvets, sofa covers, and sleeping bags should the need arise.
You will also want to consider how long your new machine will last you before needing to be replaced or repaired itself. You can generally get a one year or two-year parts and labour warranty included in the price you purchase your washing machine for. In most cases, integral parts such as the motor and tub will be covered for longer periods too depending on the manufacturer.