time you use your fridge, dishwasher or stove, be
careful that you’re not unknowingly making it
vulnerable to an early breakdown.
repair pros who’ve earned top ratings from Angie’s
List members offer tips for making sure your kitchen
appliances meet or exceed their expected life spans:
life span: 10 to 15 years.
repairs and costs:
cleaning or failure, $110 to $200
control board, $260 or more
element problems, $160 or more
your stove clean, but avoid getting cleaning fluid or
water into dials and switches, which are connected to
using aluminum foil under the oven’s bake element or
oven coil. Appliance technicians say the reflective
surface can disrupt the heat level, leading to over- or
or replace? Consider replacing if you’re investing
more than half the price of new unit into a repair.
to budget for a new stove: $650 to $2,000.
life span: Six to 15 years.
repairs and cost:
maker failure, $275 to $325
control board failure, $260 or more
drain line, $110 or more
the condenser coils at least once a year and more often
if you have pets. The coils are typically under or
behind the unit, and sometimes on top. Over time, they
collect dust, debris and pet hair. A dirty condenser
makes it difficult for the refrigerator to transfer heat
from within to the outside, which wastes energy and can
cause premature breakdown. You can buy refrigerator coil
brushes online or at hardware stores or you may be able
to clean them by hand and with your vacuum cleaner.
for adequate air flow. Unless your unit is designed for
in-cabinet installation, putting a fridge in a
tight-fitting space without ventilation room can cause
the compressor to overheat and fail. To properly remove
heat, most fridges need several inches of space around
the top and sides.
or replace? Factor in the unit’s age and performance
history. A compressor failure is almost always a sure
sign that the fridge should be replaced.
to budget for a new fridge: $900 to $8,000.
life span: Eight to 10 years.
repairs and cost:
pump cleaning, $100 to $300
inlet valve, $160 or more
board failure, $190 or more
dishes before loading. Larger food clumps can clog
washer arms and pump screens. However, many appliance
technicians debate just how clean dishes should be
before you wash them in the dishwasher. Some say
detergent requires something to adhere to, or it will
leave residue on the dishes and dishwasher interior.
overdo soap. Repair pros say people commonly use too
much dishwasher detergent, which builds up in the
machine, putting a strain on the pump/motor assembly,
spray arm and other components.
or replace? If the unit has rust, rot or corrosion, or
if you’re looking at a repair equal to or more than
half the cost of a new dishwasher, you should replace
to budget for a new dishwasher: $400 to $700.
YOU HIRE AN APPLIANCE TECHNICIAN:
sure the company is appropriately licensed, insured and
that it has good online reviews from consumers on a
several estimates and compare bids based on price,
parts, labor and warranty.
sure you understand all costs before agreeing to work.