ORLANDO, Fla. — When it comes to big-ticket electronics and appliances, do you repair or replace them when they break? Before you decide to throw out your washer, stove or even your phone, there are things you should look at to know when something is and isn’t worth keeping.
The first thing you should look at is how much will the item cost to repair versus getting a new one? Experts recommend following the 50 percent rule. If the repair will cost more than half of the price to replace it, don't repair. Built-in fridges, gas cooktops and home theater systems are difficult and more costly to repair than dryers, electric cooktops, and digital cameras. Next you want to look at whether the cost of repair would be covered under a warranty. Most products come with a manufacturer’s warranty, lasting typically a year, that would cover the cost of repair. Even some credit cards provide extended warranty on devices like phones and the age of an appliance can help determine whether it’s worth saving. Old appliances that are not energy efficient can cost you more in energy bills, even if they are cheaper to repair. Consumer reports offer an interactive tool that you can use to determine whether to repair or replace your household item.
Also, be sure to call the manufacturer directly to see if they will repair or replace broken items. Companies like Keurig and Moen are well known to replace defective items without arguing.