Repair or replace dishwasher?

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Wondering if it's better to repair or replace our dishwasher. We have a Maytag Legacy Series that's about 8 years old. Earlier this year we had to replace the control panel for $300. Now the dishwasher again doesn't turn on. It could be the control panel again but we don't know. Still, it could cost $300 again to fix it.

If we get a new one, it will be Whirlpool model WDF530PAYM, which is one step up from the most basic model. We don't need or want a fancy one and a basic model is easier to fix. (We are not budging on this model.) Plus, I know Whirlpool is more reliable than Maytag. It will cost $600 including delivery and installation and all the rest.

What do you recommend? Repair or replace?
  7 answers
  • What I would do is shop around and check out each retailer and look for floor models, scratch and dents (but do not go to scratch and dent places they are typically not cheaper than buying at the store!!!) clearance, and returns. Do not buy ones that have been repaired but buying a closeout model is a way to save money and buy a better dishwasher. Maytag used to be one of the best but in recent years Maytag was bought out by Whirlpool. I would not settle for a basic model or one step up but make sure to have a disposer in the model so you do not have to "rinse" dishes before loading. You also want to check out how loud they are and check that rating as well. To give you an idea of how much I save doing this~I have purchased appliances for 75% off retail price just by shopping and waiting. My last dishwasher was a floor model end of model for $300 and it was originally $900. Of course it is a GE Profile and that is all it's worth (4 years old and needs replaced already) because it stinks and I am looking into any model not GE, quiet, and with a disposer because there is no sense to have a dishwasher if you have to wash the dishes first. (and my first Maytag 15 years ago had all this and it was great with 4 kids who had messy dishes). For $600 with sales at Lowe's on their markdowns here I have seen $900 Bosch dishwashers with dents go for $400! So I would take your time and hunt down . Lowe's and many times Sears are the best places to find bargains. NOTE: If the control panel went out in this short amount of time, you would think you have some sort of warranty on the part. I would check that out first. Good luck!
  • Sherrie Sherrie on Oct 25, 2013
    Appliances have life expectancy and 8 years is probably right on target for your dish washer. I would purchase a new one. Something's to remember before buying a new one the brand, do your research, the better brands last longer. Buy middle of the rode. Not the cheapest nor the most expensive. If It is a new model with new computerized parts that no one as tried yet don't buy it. All the kinks haven't been worked it yet. Scratch and dents are great to buy. If I has been purchased and returned and fixed the warranty date goes back to the first purchase. Which isn't a good deal. Some appliances have a longer warranty one is LG. The parts take longer to get, but it's lift expectancy is better.
  • Melissa G Melissa G on Oct 25, 2013
    Thanks, everyone. Re the warranty, the warranty on the repair was only 3 months, and we're well past that, unfortunately.
  • Shari Shari on Oct 25, 2013
    As much as it troubles me, the old saying, "They don't make things like they used to," sure seems to be true, especially when it comes toappliances so you are probably better off replacing the dishwasher rather than repairing it again. We seem to live in a "throwaway" society now so when purchasing new appliances, just expect them to have a short life span. I've done quite a bit of appliance purchasing in the past 4 years; 2 washer/dryer sets, 2 refrigerators, 1 dishwasher, 1 cook top, and 1 wall oven. With those purchases came some faulty machines, a number of service calls, plus very poor customer service (from HHGregg & Samsung) and excellent customer service (from Lowes & Lowes extended warranty service people). Based on my recent experiences, I have some tips. #1. When purchasing new large appliances, don't spend extra money on higher priced models with all the "bells and whistles" unless you absolutely need them or are sure you will use them. Remember, they don't make things like they use to and, in most cases, you probably won't get your money's worth before the appliance needs to be replaced. #2. Even if you don't like using credit cards and you have cash to pay for your new appliance, put your large appliance purchase on a credit card (zero interest or 12 month same as cash deal, if possible). I can not stress how important this is! Placing your appliance(s) on a credit card gives you extra consumer protection and invaluable leverage that you will not have if you pay cash at the time of purchase. If you have on-going problems with the appliance within the 1 year manufacturer's warranty period that you can't resolve through the manufacturer or retailer, you can open a dispute with the credit card company. If you win the dispute, the credit card company will absolve you of the responsibility of paying for the defective appliance. I had repeated problems with a Samsung washer within 90 days of purchase and could get absolutely no satisfaction from HHGregg or Samsung. I was finally forced to open a defective merchandise dispute with my credit card company. When they ruled in my favor and credited me the full purchase price, HHGregg (who had repeatedly blown me off) was forced to take back the defective washer and matching dryer. If I had paid cash for the washer/dryer, I would have had NO recourse and would have been stuck paying more than $1000.00 for a defective washer. #3. If your appliance fails DOCUMENT EVERYTHING--dates, names of people you talked to, their job title and direct phone number, what they told you etc. Details, details, details--they are invaluable, especially if you need to open a credit card dispute for an appliance that turns out to be a lemon. #4. Buy the extended warranty. With all the computer parts in appliances these days, they often fail sooner rather than later, and all those computer components are expensive to replace. A year ago, my 2 year old KitchenAid refrigerator stopped cooling. The parts alone were over $500-- 1/3 the cost of the original purchase price of the refrigerator, plus there were multiple service calls involved. However, my out-of-pocket repair expense--ZERO because I had the 5 year extended warranty beyond the 1 year manufacturer's warranty. As I type this, I am waiting on the repairman to come fix the ice maker on the same refrigerator but whatever the problem is, it will cost me nothing since it is still covered by the extended warranty. **Edited to add: That repair call was "valued at" $363.66 (parts (ice maker motor) & labor) but I have had to schedule another service call, as the ice maker is not fixed--still not making ice. :( Extended warranty is sure paying for itself on this refrigerator! #5. Pick your retailer carefully. A good retailer stands behind the products they sell and provides good customer service. If HHGregg is in your area, avoid them like the plague. Their customer service is non-existent. Once the sale is done, the only service you will get from them is "lip service." (Check them out with the Better Business Bureau.) I highly recommend Lowe's. Lowes extended warranty people are AWESOME. When my 2 year old refrigerator stopped cooling last year, they shipped the parts overnight. When those parts didn't completely fix the problem, they offered to take the refrigerator back and let me pick out a new one (which I elected not to do--but such a contrast with HHGregg who wouldn't even consider taking back a 90 day old washer that had required 4 services calls in less than one month!) AND Lowes extended warranty people also offered to give me $150 on the spot toward the purchase of a mini refrigerator/freezer to use in the meantime since I had already been without a working refrigerator for several days. Seriously consider Lowes (and their extended warranty) for your appliance needs.
  • Sherrie Sherrie on Oct 26, 2013
    This is how things have changed. A few years ago Whirlpool gave a 5 year Warranty on their seal system. Now to get the same warranty yon have to purchase it. The reason foreign manufactories are doing better than USA they give longer and better warranties. The same companies use to make their appliances last longer. Their lifetime usage rates are getting shorter and shorter. Many manufactories use to work with Consumers if they needed repaired and they didn't make it to their life time date. They were very good and wanted to keep the consumer happy. Times have changed. I worked if this business for 20 years with my late husband. I picked my purchase after speaking with several friends still in the business I based my decision on the lifetime of the product, the warranty and instead of spending money on the extended warranty.
  • Shari Shari on Oct 26, 2013
    I edited my above comment to reflect that yesterday's repair on the refrigerator was "valued at" $363.66 (parts & labor) but I have called for another service call, as the ice maker is not fixed--still not making ice. :( Extended warranty is sure paying for itself on this refrigerator!
  • Becky (J) P Becky (J) P on Oct 26, 2013
    I have always been told dishwashers have a short life span. I would replace it at 8 years old, you would probably be amazed at how new ones clean, or the new layout. I would kill for a dishwasher that allows you do do small loads, with the separate drawer. (but, that will prob never happen around here, $$)
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