Saturday, March 28, 2020

Washing Machine - Repair or Buy?

When a major appliance breaks down or is not functioning properly, do you repair the appliance or buy a replacement? We faced this tough decision recently when the door on our front loader washing machine was broken. Here's our story...

When we moved to our current home about 2-1/2 years ago, all major appliances were included. Unfortunately, however, there was a crack in the door of the Frigidaire Affinity Front Loader Washing Machine. The crack continued to get worse, and the door had to be lifted slightly in order to close. The amazing thing was, the washer still worked! It did not leak, and the clothes came out very clean! Eventually, though, the crack developed into more of a break, and even gorilla tape had met its match when we tried to tape it. 

Broken Door with Gorilla Tape

It was to the point that I was afraid that one day the door would just fall off, and then what? We are a family of 6 with a lot of laundry. There is not a laundromat nearby. So what should we do? 

We didn't know how old the washer was; we just knew it matched the dryer, and it was nicely mounted under a countertop with an attached sink and cabinets. When I measured and did Google research, I found out that this model is no longer made. With more research, I found out there is not a washer to be sold that is the same size as ours! If we bought a new washing machine, of course it would be costly, and the countertop would have to be cut!  This would be a major expense for a carpenter, plus I just didn't know how it would look.

So, again, what should we do? Decisions, decisions!

According to Consumer Reports, the average Life Expectancy of a washing machine is about 10 years. A popular belief for any appliance is if it's going to cost 1/2 or more of the cost of a new one for repairs, you should buy a new one. So how much would the new door cost? And how about the cost of a repairman?

At this point, I starting searching for YouTube videos on washing machine door replacement. I am certainly not a repair person, but I do know how to search for videos. I found one! I watched the video and was then confident that my husband Charlie could do the repair. He asked me how hard it looked, and I told him it looked easy. He looked the door over and said, "Order it!" I didn't want to waste money in case it didn't work, but we decided to take a chance. I ordered the outer door from Frigidaire Parts. The total cost with shipping and taxes was $112.05, and that's a lot cheaper that a new washer and countertop repair!

For a video on replacing a washing machine door, go to

YouTube video

The repair went like clockwork! I had the repair video available on my computer and "assisted" while Charlie did the tough stuff! 

I cleaned the washer parts during assembly, and even cleaned the dryer to match!

Charlie removes the old broken door.

It's cleaning time!

Don't forget to clean the windows and those gaskets!

Everything has to be lined up right!

Tighten those screws!

The new door is installed.
Will it work?

When Charlie finished, everything worked! Relief!

Afterwards, I used Gorilla Tape to repair the detergent compartment door that had a broken hook. (A new door was about $40.)

We are so glad we took the chance on the repair! Charlie did a great job! I feel like I have a (almost) new washing machine! Keep those YouTube videos coming!

(Almost) new washing machine!

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