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

Find Ratings

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

Editor's Note:

This article also appeared in the May 2014 issue of Consumer Reports magazine.

Find Ratings

Washing Machines Ratings

View and compare all Washing Machines ratings.

E-mail Newsletters

FREE e-mail Newsletters! Choose from cars, safety, health, and more!
Already signed-up?
Manage your newsletters here too.

Appliances News


Cars Build & Buy Car Buying Service
Save thousands off MSRP with upfront dealer pricing information and a transparent car buying experience.

See your savings


Mobile Get Ratings on the go and compare
while you shop

Learn more