Washing machines are expensive. In the case that your machine has broken down, knowing the longevity of your machine can help you decide whether to invest in a new one or repair your old one.
Washing Machine Lifespan
Washing machines are rated for how many cycles they can handle.
The typical washing machine should last 11 years. How long you can expect your machine to last will be more nuanced. The typical machine can handle 5100 loads, but some are rated lower or much higher (as high as 8000 loads).
The number of cycles your machine has will also be dependent on load size, upkeep, and other factors highlighted in the “how to make your washing machine last longer” section.
How much does it cost to repair a washing machine?
Washing machine repairs can be costly. According to thumbtack.com repairing a washing machine can cost between $120 and $500. Washing machines can cost anywhere from $300 to $2000 so you may want to consider whether it is worth repairing or purchasing a new one.
If you do purchase a new one, there are ways to recycle old machines. Some retailers will take back old machines so if you go to a store to purchase a new machine you may want to check if the store will accept your old one while you are at it.
Alternatively, some scrap metal dealers may even pay you, or you can list your machine on Craigslist.
Washers use up to 22% of a household’s water consumption so it’s important to use your machine sparingly, and maintain it well. If have decided to you may want to consider an energy-efficient top-loading washing machine.
Tips on making your washing machine last longer
I currently live in the oldest house of our block. When the house owners replaced the ancient looking washing machine they found newspapers underneath dated back to 1985.
The washer was well overdue – we used an elaborate 10+ step process to use the washer that involved filling the drum with the correct amount of water at the correct time and spinning the nobs to the correct settings several times throughout the cycle.
While few washing machines are destined with the glory of a 34-year lifespan like ours was, there are straightforward ways to make the most out of your washing machine.
Here are some tips.
Use proper load sizes
It is beneficial to not overload your washing machine. Overloading creates extra strain on the mechanics of a washing machine, so smaller loads done more frequently will increase the longevity.
You could set reminders on your phone calendar, or consider using a smaller laundry hamper to remind you to wash clothes more frequently.
On the flip side, washing too small loads can damage the machine (and costs more in water usage). In summary, wash within the suggested range for best results.
Surprisingly suds actually make your machine work harder (this was particularly surprising to me because I thought suds were always a good thing). Reduce suds by using the recommended amount of detergent.
Excess detergent also makes it easier for molds to grow in the machine, which both harms the system and prevents clothes from cleaning properly.
Check your pockets
Hopefully, your parents drilled it into you that you need to remove all items from your pockets before putting them in the washer. This does more than reduce the rattling sound of coins hitting the drum of the washer or prevent your clothes from becoming plastered with white shreds of paper, it keeps the drum from being damaged.
Keep the washer level
Washing machines that are not level may vibrate excessively. To prevent vibrations use a level and adjust the front legs until the level indicates that your machine is level. Be sure to check for levelness from front to back and side to side.
Next, check if your back legs need adjusting. Some machines have self-adjusting back legs, but if not you will need to adjust these as well. Once you have leveled the machine, check that a rinse cycle does not cause excessive vibration.
Keep the hose from kinking
Adjust the machine so that it is at least 4 inches from the back wall. If it is too close, the hose could kink which can cause issues. An unbalanced washing machine can move on its own, so you may want to check on a regular basis that the washer maintains a proper distance from the wall.
In conclusion, a washing machine should last you 11 years, perhaps more if you use it wisely. By following the recommendations listed here you should be able to make the most of your washer. Happy washing!