DIY Repair & Maintenance

These Are the Most Common Appliance Repairs

Household appliances help keep your life running smoothly. When they break down unexpectedly, routines—and budgets—get thrown off. That's why it's so important to budget for appliance maintenance, repair, and replacement. To help you plan, the household appliance repair experts at Puls have just released a report on appliance repair costs and reliability across the United States. Here's a look at their major findings along with a few tips on which brands last longest.

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Freezer (average repair cost: $348)

Freezer and refrigerator repairs typically peak in July, when the weather is hot and these appliances are working overtime to keep food cool. Fridges and freezers are also the most costly appliances to repair, so if you have an older model, it’s a good idea to keep between $500 and 1,000 on hand during those warmer months, just in case.

Range hood (average repair cost: $264)

The Puls Report notes that appliance repair costs vary by region. The East Coast leads the country in high prices, with the West Coast not too far behind. Repairs are slightly less expensive in the Midwest and South. 

Cooktop (average repair cost: $260)

A cooktop can be expected to last between 10 and 15 years, though it will typically incur some maintenance and repair costs during its lifespan. Because a cooktop gets a lot of use, it’s important to shop for quality and reliability. Puls surveyed its network of more than 4,000 technicians across the country regarding the reliability, ease of use, and overall value of different appliance brands. For cooktops, the survey gave GE the highest ranking.

Refrigerator (average repair cost: $242)

Like your freezer, your refrigerator is a big-ticket repair. For refrigerators, the most common repair issue is insufficient cooling, followed by the ice maker not working, leaking, and noise. According to Puls’s technicians, Whirlpool leads the pack when it comes to refrigerator reliability. 

Related: 9 Signs You Need to Replace Your Fridge

Oven (average repair cost: $226)

The oven is one of the most commonly owned appliances in the United States—there’s an oven in almost 90 percent of homes. An oven can last between 10 and 15 years, but when it does break down the most frequently cited reasons are that it won’t turn on, doesn’t heat properly, or smells bad. Budget a solid $500 for potential repairs, as costs can exceed the $226 average.

Washing Machine (average repair cost: $221)

Common washing machine problems include not draining properly, leaking, issues with the drum, no power to the appliance, and odor (often caused by moisture and mold/mildew buildup). Even though repairs average around $220, be prepared for a price tag between $300 and $400 to get the machine fixed.

Related: 8 Appliances that Cost You a Fortune in Energy Bills

Dryer (average repair cost: $209)

According to the Puls Report, the most common problem with dryers is that they don’t heat properly. Technicians also report being called in to deal with drum issues, no power to the appliance, or a burning smell. Budget at least $400 for repairs. If you opt to replace instead, check out Whirlpool, which Puls technicians ranked number one for reliability. 

Dishwasher (average repair cost: $204)

Common dishwasher issues include not draining, leaking, noise, and odor. To keep repair costs down, it’s important to factor in reliability when you purchase a dishwasher, or any large appliance, for that matter. Reliability shouldn’t reflect just the likelihood that an appliance will need repair, but also the ease and cost of the typical repair. According to the Puls survey, Bosch produces the most reliable dishwasher, followed by Whirlpool and KitchenAid. 

Microwave (average repair cost: $195)

They may be small, but microwaves pack a punch when they need to be fixed, with repairs averaging nearly $200. Buying a high-quality, well-reviewed microwave is a good way to avoid costly repairs or an unexpected replacement.

Related: 13 Things Never to Put in the Microwave