Dryer Repair vs. Replacement: Which Option Is Best
Having your dryer work at peak efficiency is essential when you need to clean clothing and linens. However, breakdowns can occur, and you have to decide whether fixing your appliance is worth the costs, or if it's time to upgrade to a new machine. Read on to learn which option is best between repairing and replacing your dryer.
Common Issues With Dryers
You want to be aware of all the different signs that your dryer isn't working at its best so you can assess any potential damage and determine whether you should repair or replace the machine. Staying on top of these potential problems can also help you fix minor issues before they can spiral out of control and force you to replace your machine when a simple repair would have fixed the problem. Here are some different warning signs and issues that can be wrong with your dryer.
Dryer Won't Spin
There can be several culprits why your machine isn't spinning when you try to turn it on. The most common cause of a dryer not spinning is a damaged drive belt. Spin the drum by hand and see what happens.
Because a functioning belt should give some resistance, the belt is most likely defective if the drum rotates freely without any pushback. Remove the lid from your dryer and unplug it so you can check the belt to see if it's compromised. A dryer belt replacement costs around $200 if you hire a professional, or $10 to $20 if you do it yourself.
Faulty Door Switch
First, you should open the dryer door and make sure that the lights turn on inside the dryer. If they don’t, then the dryer may not be getting any electrical power. You may find that your dryer refuses to start despite pressing the power button. When the light is on yet the dryer still doesn't start, the issue may be with your door switch.
The door switch is a simple and inexpensive component that detects whether the door is open or closed, preventing the dryer from operating with an open door. When the sensor is damaged, your dryer won't perform its normal functions even when the door gets shut.
Bearings Are Going Bad
A screeching or buzzing sound from the dryer is the first sign of damaged dryer motor bearings. Another sign that the dryer motor bearings are failing is that the dryer may start and function for a few cycles before stopping after the motor has heated up. The dryer may restart when the engine cools down, but it will stop after a few rotations.
You will need to have a professional look at your dryer immediately when you start to notice these problems. Failure to address the problem as soon as possible might result in total dryer failure. You may need to replace the entire motor, which could range from $250-$450 for many different models.
Clothes Don't Seem To Dry
If you put your clothes in the dryer for a complete cycle but they are still damp to the touch when you remove them, there might be a problem with the internal heating element. The dryer will spin and complete the cycle if the heating element isn't running correctly, but it won't become hot enough to help dry the clothing. Overloading the dryer, not cleaning the lint screen, and having inadequate airflow can all speed up the deterioration of heating components.
You may spend at least $170 to $280 for a replacement heating element in terms of parts and labor if you hire a professional. If you choose to try and replace it yourself, the cost could vary widely, starting as low as $25 and going up to $200 in some cases. The price will depend on the type of dryer you own.
Dryer Stops Midway Through Cycle
Sometimes, your dryer will stop in the middle of a cycle. Although cycle pauses might signal an electrical problem, it's more likely that your dryer is overheating. Clogs in your ventilation can trigger this, so start by emptying any lint traps and checking your dryer vent for an accessible path of air. If everything appears to be in order, the problem could most likely be with the thermostat.
A cycling thermostat cycles the heating element on and off to keep a consistent temperature. Either a high-limit thermostat or a thermal thermostat cuts power to the heating element if the dryer overheats. When replacing it yourself, it could be a ridiculously cheap fix: as low as a few bucks for the cost of the parts. If you opt for a professional to do the repairs, this could run around $180.
How To Know When To Repair or Replace
When figuring out which option is best between repairing and replacing your dryer, there are a few things to keep in mind, especially when dealing with issues like the ones above. Here are some of the factors to consider.
The Age of the Machine
The average life expectancy of a dryer is 10 to 15 years. Even if you haven't had any severe performance problems with your dryer, you may still want to consider replacing it after it reaches the ten-year mark. That way, you can ensure no extended breaks in service and get a better return on investment. When complications begin to arise and the cost of repairs is expensive, you are better off buying a new dryer since more troubles are likely to arise with increasing regularity for the older model.
How Much Is the Repair
You should also take the cost of the dryer itself into account and compare it to the repair costs. When you're uncertain whether a repair is practical, apply the 50 percent rule of thumb. The 50 percent rule of thumb states that you should not spend more than half of the cost of replacing a machine. For example, if your repair person charges you $450 to replace a dryer motor, it may not be worth it, given that the average cost of a new dryer is $400–$900.
What Are the Utility Costs
Older machines will typically feature fewer energy-efficient components than their modern counterparts. You should weigh the energy savings costs of buying a newer machine against the initial investment price. Often, it can save you money to ditch your old appliance in the long run, whether it has repair issues or not. This could be true even if your dryer hasn't hit the ten-year mark if it is energy inefficient.
You may weigh the costs and decide that it’s better to replace your dryer in the long run. If you're in the market for a new machine, Town Appliance has a wide selection of high-quality appliances, including electric and gas dryer machines for sale that are small, colorful, and simple to use. Feel free to contact us with any questions about our products.