When Repair Costs More Than Replacement

“The dryer isn’t working and we’ve got lots of laundry.” One of my favorite things to hear…


So I got out the manual and started reading again. After checking the obvious, there were several possibilities, all of which involved opening up the dryer and meticulous research.

I’m what you would call “electronically challenged” when it comes to the inner workings of an appliance. Typically I read the manual about 14 times, check a few things that don’t work and I’m off to Home Depot for a tool I don’t have. In this case my voltmeter was busted and I needed another one.

Side note: I had already called the manufacturer, a local appliance repair, compared prices and had a guy scheduled to come out for $129 (service call, labor included, parts extra).

You know you’re in bad shape when the guy at Home Depot’s parting words are “You do know to unplug the appliance before you start testing stuff.? I don’t want to see on the 10:00 news, some guy, whatever your name is, was electrocuted tonight working on his dryer…”

“Uh, no sir, don’t worry. I know to unplug it cause I read the manual 13 times already. Are you really that concerned about me?”

So after getting home (unplugging the dryer) and checking the various possibilities I still couldn’t figure it out.

I got a local appliance repair guy on the phone and walked through several typical things to check with the voltmeter but nothing… Finally I narrowed it down to a $208 part.

So I could have the guy come out and pay a minimum of $350 for the service call and parts, or go buy a brand new dryer for $350. Hmmmmm

Life lessons from appliance repair include:
The greater the technology, the less chance you have of fixing it yourself
More technological options = more things that can go wrong
New appliances are made to work until right after the warranty expires
There are some things that bailing wire and duct tape can’t fix
Replacement can be cheaper than repair, and that is totally counterintuitive
And the biggest lesson in this (and other areas of my life), I can’t fix everything
I went and got the $350 dryer with no heat sensor. I can’t imagine running the dryer and depending on setting the accurate time so our clothes don’t catch on fire, but somehow we’ll get by like we used to. And I won’t ever have to replace anything connected with a heat sensor.




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