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Does frequency of use or years of service matter more when it comes to repairing or replacing home appliances?

Published: April 06, 2014 09:00 AM

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Q. I am writing concerning your article "Repair or Replace? Find Out When You Should Fix It and When You Should Nix It." You do not comment on frequency of use for appliances. Shouldn’t frequency of usage be more important than years of service in determining time to replace?—Martin Kaplan  Hoschton, GA

A. It’s true that heavy usage is related to a greater share of repairs for washing machines. Our analysis shows that washers used seven or more times per week are almost twice as likely to require repair as washers used three or fewer times per week.

However, the age of washing machines is even more strongly correlated with repair. A washer that was purchased four years ago is four times as likely to require repair as a washer purchased within the past year and a half. Furthermore, for many of the products in our repair-or-replace tables, usage is not very strongly related to repair rates.

Check our washing machine buying guide and Ratings and visit our appliances page. Send your questions to ConsumerReports.org/askourexperts.

Editor's Note: This article also appeared in the May 2014 issue of Consumer Reports magazine.
   

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