Is It Worth Fixing A Dishwasher?

Chloe Meltzer
by Chloe Meltzer

When something goes wrong with one of your appliances, it can be challenging to know whether you should fix it or purchase a new one. Especially with an item such as a dishwasher, there are always new models coming out. These new models that come out each year are often more energy-efficient and help you save money in the long run. Despite this, there is no single answer that can tell you whether or not you should fix or replace your dishwasher.

It is only worth replacing a dishwasher if it is 10 years old or older. Repairs can cost near the price of a new dishwasher if the dishwasher is old and won’t last much longer. Only replace a dishwasher if you expect to get another 5 years out of it or longer.

This guide was put together to help you make the decision whether or not to fix your dishwasher or buy a new one. After reading this article, you will be able to judge the situation more appropriately and act accordingly.

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Check Your Warranty

If your dishwasher is still under warranty, then fixing it is probably the best option. Although there may be a few hoops to jump through, this will be the most economical option. You will most likely need to find a factory-authorized repair shop and call them, but the upside is that you will have your dishwasher fixed free of charge. You will fully save money with this option and be taking advantage of your warranty.

How Old Is Your Dishwasher?

The dishwasher’s age makes a huge difference in whether or not you should fix or replace it. If your dishwasher is over eight years old, then you can consider getting a new one. This is precise because newer dishwashers only have a lifespan of six to ten years.

If your dishwasher is close to ten years old, then it won’t be worth it to fix it. It may also be challenging to find parts to fix your older model. Newer dishwashers are more efficient than old ones. This means that you might end up saving yourself money on electricity and water by replacing your old dishwasher. This will make it worth it to replace the old one.

What Type Of Repair Is Needed

Depending on the problem you have, your dishwasher may not be worth repairing. If your dishwasher needs a new

  • Door latch 
  • Seal
  • Soap dispenser
  • Pressure switch
  • Drain pump or
  • Fill valve

Then a repair can be worth it. If your dishwasher has a significant part that needs to be repaired, such as the motor, then it is most likely a better option to replace it.

Repair vs. Replacement

Whenever your dishwasher breaks, you should evaluate the cost of the repair to the price of a replacement. The repair cost should be at least less than 50 percent of what it would cost to buy a new model.

If the repair ends up being more than that, then purchasing a dishwasher is a better option. Especially if your dishwasher is older. Spending 50 percent of the cost of your dishwasher on a repair does not make sense if you will need to replace it in a year or two.

Understanding Repair

Modern dishwashers are exceptionally durable and actually shouldn’t need much maintenance. Typically modern dishwashers are made from brass or stainless steel and come with electronic touchpads. Sometimes these repairs are simple and can be done yourself, but if not, then you will be charged a fee from a repair company.

These fees can range anywhere from $75 to $100 per hour. Add this to the cost of parts, and this can add up. If you have a clogged spray arm, it can cost $115, whereas a blocked drain hose might cost $170. Simple problems such as a defective control panel can cost $150, and if you have all three of these problems, you’re looking at a cost right under $500!

Be aware that the cost to fix Samsung appliances tends to be higher than Whirlpool appliances.

Understanding Replacement

The average lifespan of a dishwasher is about nine to ten years, but this greatly depends on how much you use your machine. If your dishwasher is under replacement, then these repairs might be free, but if your warranty is expired and it keeps breaking down, replacement might be a better option.

There are typically three categories regarding dishwashers, budget, midrange, and luxury. Budget models are often between $250 to $500. These are basic with a control panel on the outside of the door. Rather than extensive wash cycles, they typically offer two or three. With modern dishwashers, these budget models still appear stylish and have stainless steel exteriors.

Midrange dishwashers typically cost anywhere from $500 to $1,000. These dishwashers have extra wash cycles, adjustable racks, semi-integrated control panels, and possibly soil sensors. They are usually not as loud as budget dishwashers and often come in many different finishes.

Luxury Units

Luxury units are top-of-the-line. They will offer at least six wash cycles, three racks, and many different loading options. These machines are extremely quiet and offer high-tech control panels. With prices ranging from $1,000 to $2,000, these are the nicest dishwashers on the market.

Most appliance dealers will offer free shipping when you purchase a certain dishwasher level, but be aware that installation is not included. New installation can be between $100 to $300, and it is important to hire a professional. Although you can do this yourself, sometimes you might create issues with valves or plumbing that is different from your old one.

If your dishwasher repair is going to cost more than 50 percent of the cost of a new one, you should consider buying new.

Benefits Of Both Options

Even if you are repairing your dishwasher, you will eventually need to replace it. There are many reasons to repair your dishwasher, and often it is more cost-efficient at the moment. Despite this, it is essential to look at the big picture.

Often it is not only more cost-efficient but also better for the environment to reuse your appliance. Rather than go through the process to shop, purchase, get rid of your old appliance and install a new one, you can simply repair your old one.

The benefits of purchasing a new model are that you will save money on costs regarding energy and water consumption. Despite the large upfront cost, this machine will also come with a warranty, and you’ll have a new machine for the next ten years to come.

Life Expectancy Of Your Dishwasher

Like all of your appliances, your dishwasher also has an life expectancy. You can expect your dishwasher to last between 6 to 10 years. That being said, if your dishwasher is over 10 years old, then it’s not going to be worth repairing. You might want to get a more updated version anyway!

If you keep paying for dishwasher repairs for your old model, eventually, you will just pay to replace every single inner working component of it. Over time, this can add up to thousands of dollars. Instead, it would be wise just to go buy a new dishwasher for $600 instead.

Cleaning The Filter In Your Dishwasher

Sometimes the main issue that you’re worried about is actually due to a dirty filter. Make sure you’re cleaning it at least every three to six months, depending on the usage of your appliance. Some brands tell you to do it every two to three weeks. It’s best to check your owner’s manual for instructions regarding this issue and following that advice.

Related Questions

What is the average cost of a dishwasher?

There are various levels of dishwashers. You can purchase a dishwasher for as little as $200 and as high as $2000. What you choose will affect the price. If you’re looking for a ‘smart’ dishwasher that’s high efficiency and high capacity, that will be on the more expensive end.

Should I install my dishwasher myself?

If you feel confident to do this, then you can try, but many things can go wrong. If you are investing in a new dishwasher, it is always a better option to allow a professional to do it for you. Regardless of your decision, you should have a friend on standby to help you lift the appliance. These dishwashers can be extremely heavy. To prevent injury, have someone help you if you install this on your own.

When should I replace my dishwasher?

If the repair cost is more than 50% of the replacement cost, then it is more cost-efficient to replace it. Purchasing a new dishwasher will allow you to save money in other areas, so it ends up being worth it.

Do You Need Appliance Installation or Replacement?

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Wrapping It Up

Have you ever wondered whether or not it was worth it to repair your dishwasher? Us too! By checking your dishwasher over to find out what exactly is wrong with it, and considering its age and usage, you can better judge the situation. However, if your dishwasher is older than ten years, you’ll want to replace it regardless.

Chloe Meltzer
Chloe Meltzer

Real estate agent and copywriter, originally from California. Chloe brings her real estate expertise into her writing to create effective and helpful home guides for you! When not writing or selling homes, she spends her time as a digital nomad traveling the world.

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