So, Your Dishwasher Has Died: Do You Repair or Replace?

Darn it, dishwasher, you had one job to do!  If you’re reading this article, chances are your dishwasher has stopped working.  Having been faced with this grief a few times in my own life, and having counseled many homeowners and property managers through this difficult period in their own lives, I feel qualified to furnish some advice to help others make a solid determination as to whether they should repair or replace a non-working dishwasher.

Dishwasher Repairman
I’ve found it particularly useful in making the repair vs. replace determination to ask the following questions to help clarify which path is likely to be the wisest in the end.

How old is the dishwasher?

If you don’t know the age of the dishwasher, call, text, or email Metropolitan Appliance with the model and serial number of your dishwasher and we can find out!  If you Old DIshwasherbelieve the dishwasher to be 15+ years or older, it’s likely going to be time for a replacement.  You may discover that the availability of repair parts and the actual cost of those parts are both apt to be substantial the older your dishwasher is (more on this later).  While that may seem like a rather large expense, keep in mind that your new dishwasher will have many features not thought of 15 years ago as well as be much quieter and more efficient with energy and water. If your dishwasher is 5 years old or newer, it can, in all likelihood, be repaired. Read on for more details and resources to resolve the issue. If your dishwasher is between 5 and 15 years old, as most dead units these days tend to be, there are a few more considerations to make in determining a smart course of action.

If your dishwasher is still covered under manufacturer’s warranty you should contact the manufacturer to have them cover the costs of repair under warranty.  If your dishwasher is covered by an extended warranty you should call the extended warranty provider (their contact information should be on the extended warranty contract) and have them help you schedule the service call.

What’s wrong with the dishwasher?  

Is it a little broken or a just pain deceased?  Is it not cleaning well?  Is it not turning on/cleaning at all? Is there water spewing out from underneath the machine?  Grab your dBroken Dishwasherishwasher’s Use and Care guide (or call Metropolitan and we’ll email you one) and work through any troubleshooting steps that are outlined in that manual to resolve. Quite honestly, a lot of times you will be able to address the issue there and you will have to go no further. After you’ve worked through that, consider Googling the model number and your dishwasher’s symptom to see what others have done in your situation. Understand, of course, that just like when WebMD tells you your cough might be Lupus, everyone’s dishwasher issues may sound the same but may also have the potential to lead you down the wrong path away from resolution if what is wrong with your machine just mimics a similar symptom.   If you can’t determine what’s wrong with the dishwasher read on for more things to consider in evaluating whether, or not, to get a repair professional involved.

How much money am I willing to invest in repair?

Servicing a dishwasher in the Metropolitan Seattle area will likely cost between $200-$500, depending on the cost of the parts needed and the time required to install/replace them.  Most new dishwashers, including installation and sales tax will be between $400-$1100.  You will also need to factor time into the equation, which is where I am going next.

How sensitive am I to downtime/uptime?

If you’re always “on the go” you may not be able to invest the time in hosting a service Busy Mantechnician.  Understand too, that due to the wide variety of brands and parts, adding the increased complexity of construction, you may likely need two service calls to resolve: one to diagnose and order parts, and one to install the parts.  If sparing the time to be available for two separate appointments seems unlikely you may need to move forward with a replacement.  Also, it’s not a guarantee that your issues will be resolved after the first and second service call are complete.  If the technician mis-diagnosed the issue or if there were additional parts that failed that weren’t detected during the initial service visit, you may need a third service call to complete.  Depending on how much it bothers you to handwash all those plates or the prospect of needing more service calls down the line, you may want to cut your losses and replace the dishwasher.

Can I fix it myself?

If you’ve made it this far without already having decided to call a repair person or order a new dishwasher, you might be trying to evaluate whether you can perform the repair yourself.  Dishwashers specifically are a challenge to work on because of the small access space underneath the cavity where the motor and pump(s) are located. If you’re handy and are comfortable uninstalling the dishwasher you may elect to purchase the parts and repair the dishwasher on your own.  From an investment perspective, this is a great way to save some money — but you may end up losing a lot of time working through the issue if you aren’t sure you know what you’re doing.  You’re also exposed to all sorts of leak issues if you don’t re-install the parts and the dishwasher with great care to do it correctly.

So after you’ve answered all of these questions, you should have a much more solid informational footing to determine whether to repair or replace your dishwasher.  If you’re still “on the fence” you should reach out to a local servicer or to the manufacturer for further advice.  Here are a few great servicers in the Seattle Metropolitan Area, along with which brands they service, and their phone numbers.  In situations where your dishwasher’s manufacturer is also available in your market as a servicer (like General Electric, Bosch, and Electrolux in the Seattle area) always include them in your search for a service provider.  Their technicians are much more familiar with the “ins and outs” of their products and likely have more specific training on how to resolve whatever malady your dishwasher is struggling with.

Servicer Brands Serviced Website Phone
Professional Appliance Techs ASKO ASKO Service 425-882-9076
Plus One Solutions Bertazzoni Service and Care 866-905-0010
Big Chill Big Chill Service and Parts 877-842-3269 (Susan)
Bosch Bosch Bosch Service 800-944-2904
GE GE Seattle Repair 844-233-6657
LUWA Luxury Products Hestan LUWA Repair 888-905-7463
LG Direct Service LG LD Direct Service 800-243-0000
Samsung Samsung Support Center 800-SAMSUNG
Viking Viking Viking Care 888-845-4641, 5
Appliance Hospital Whirlpool, KitchenAid, Maytag, Jenn-Air, Amana, Electrolux Schedule Service 800-422-2285

Lastly, if you’ve decided to replace your dishwasher give us a call for some advice on replacements along with pricing.  You can also, check out Skyler’s blog on Bosch dishwashers which is a much deeper dive into that specific brand’s dishwasher offerings.

 

 

Aaron FreedmanAaron Freedman is the Vice President at Metropolitan Appliance and has many years of experience in the appliance industry in the Seattle area from home owners to builders. If you have any questions about any appliance, this is the man to see. Click here to send Aaron a message!

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