Appliance Repair or Maintenance

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Q & A

Answers to commonly asked questions from the experts on Thumbtack.

Is it worth it to hire an appliance repair technician?

There are several reasons why it’s worth it to hire an appliance repair technician instead of replacing the unit or doing the repair yourself. The first is to keep your warranty valid — doing a DIY repair on a home appliance may void some warranties.

Another reason is having the proper tools. While you may need to go buy extra tools to perform a repair, a technician will have the tools ready.

Hiring a pro can also help ensure a long-term fix instead of a band-aid solution, as an experienced pro will be able to assess the equipment for function.

If you have a broken appliance, get free estimates from the best appliance repair pros near you to figure out if it's worth hiring a pro to fix it for you.

How do you tell if your fridge is broken?

Use your nose — and ears — to tell if your fridge is broken and it’s time to call a pro. 

The first clue is whether your food is expiring too quickly. Your fridge should be at or below 40º Fahrenheit and your freezer should be at 0º, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. If temperatures deviate from these figures, the result can be food spoilage (from too much warmth) or even a frost buildup (from a faulty freezer). 

Other telltale signs that your refrigerator is broken are excessive noise, escalating electric bills and excessive heat from the back of the fridge.

If you think your fridge might be broken, don’t delay — contact the top appliance repair technicians near you today.

How much does it cost for appliance repair?

While the average cost of appliance repair is $65, the price can range from $45 to $120. A technician may set a flat rate or charge by the hour. The average hourly cost is $65, although this can range from $40 to $95. 

Appliance repair technicians typically set their prices depending on the type of appliance, level of difficulty and other factors. Some pros may also charge a service fee or a consultation fee, and they might also offer discounts for new customers. 

To find out how much it will cost to repair your appliance, get free estimates from the best appliance repair technicians near you.

Is appliance repair easy?

While some appliance repairs like cleaning the inlet filter on your washing machine or cleaning a smelly dishwasher are perfect DIY projects, others are better left to the pros. 

Certain jobs can be dangerous and risk extensive damage, such as repairing gas lines or leaks. Others require experience and know-how, such as balancing a clothes washer, replacing electric wires, rewiring appliances and more. If you’re not sure how to get it done safely, contact the best appliance repair technicians near you.

Is it cheaper to repair or replace a refrigerator?

In some cases, it might be cheaper to repair a refrigerator — in others, your best bet is to just buy a new one. The decision to repair or replace a refrigerator will depend on several factors, but the most important is cost. If the cost to repair a fridge is much more than the cost of buying a new one, it’s time to replace the fridge.

To help you determine if your fridge should be repaired or replaced, get free estimates from the best appliance repair technicians in your area.

How much does refrigerator repair cost?

Refrigerator repair generally costs a fraction of the price of a new fridge and shouldhave your appliance up and running again in no time. The problems your refrigerator is experiencing and the parts required to fix it will affect your repair costs. Where you live can affect labor rates, which will raise or lower your costs. Here are some examples of average costs:

  • Diagnostic fees: $50-$100. Repair pros often have a service call fee or diagnostic fee to account for their time traveling to your location with all their tools to assess the problem. If you choose to have them repair the fridge, most pros then credit this fee toward your repair cost.
  • Parts: $20-$500. A new compressor averages $200, an icemaker $300, and computerized components such as touch screens and control boards average $300 or more.
  • Basic repairs: $180-$400, including parts. This price range can include repairing the evaporator or fan motor.

Do appliance repairmen or specialists offer remote or virtual services?

You should contact appliance repairmen and specialists near you before hiring them for the project to see if they can offer their services remotely or virtually. Appliance repairs are typically done in person, but you can ask if it's possible to have a virtual consultation or an online walk-through. If you see that a pro is offering remote services in their profile, message them to find out what those services include.

Are there ways to be safe if I hire an appliance repairman or specialist when social distancing?

If you decide to hire an appliance service specialist or repairman, check your local news for community guidelines and follow the CDC’s guidelines for social distancing. Discuss safety protocols with the appliance repairmen before they enter your home. And when they enter your home, stay at least 6 feet apart, don’t shake hands, sanitize all involved surfaces and use digital payments instead of cash or a check. 

If you decide to postpone the work, consider buying a gift card from them or paying for future work. This is a great way to give back to the community, as many small businesses and individual contractors are feeling the economic effects of social distancing. 

How long do fridges last?

Refrigerators can last 10 to 20 years, although the most common lifespan is about 13 years. If your fridge is acting up, consider its current age when deciding whether to invest in repairs or buy a new one. Common easy fixes include faulty thermostats, dirty coils and clogged drain lines. Thermostats and dirty coils can be generally be fixed for an average cost of $80-$100. Clogged drain lines, which usually cause leaks, can often be fixed for under $200.

More complex refrigeration repairs such as replacing a bad compressor or replenishing low refrigerant can cost more because of expensive parts and higher labor. A new compressor costs an average of $200, not including labor. If labor is an average of $75-$100 per hour, and the repair takes 3 hours, you’re looking at roughly $500. Consider the age and purchase cost of your fridge; investing $350 in a $600 fridge that is 8 years old may not be cost-effective.

What’s the best way to set up a consultation or an appointment with an appliance specialist during the COVID-19 pandemic?

The best way to set up a consultation or appointment during the COVID-19 pandemic is virtually, with no in-person contact. After messaging the appliance repairman, you can ask to set up a video chat or phone call to discuss what work needs to be done. Make sure to ask them how they handle payments, keeping in mind that paying in advance may be safer than handling cash or credit cards until the pandemic is over. Ask the professional what procedures and precautions they have in place to ensure safety during this time. 

Reviews for Ashburn appliance service specialists
Jenna C.
Alex from Next HVAC & Appliance Repair did a great job repairing our stove burner, which made a clicking sound when we turned it on. He was efficient in diagnosing the issue and resolving it quickly.
NEXT HVAC & Appliance repairNEXT HVAC & Appliance repair
Pat R.
Matt is excellent, he is very reasonable and did an excellent job fixing the wall oven. I would definitely call him for any appliance repair.
Plug-in ServicesPlug-in Services
Bassam A.
The technician from General Appliance Repair arrived within the promised window and gave me an ETA before arrival. Upon arrival, I explained the situation to him (uneven dishwasher) and after exploring the dishwasher, he suggested the best solution which fixed the issue. He was very thorough and explained everything he was doing. I would highly recommend General Appliance Repair and use them again. Thank you!
General Appliance RepairGeneral Appliance Repair
Saba M.
Matt was very easy to get in touch with and scheduled for an initial service call. After a quick 30 min diagnostic, he quoted me the price for repair and approx how long it will take. I've never had an appliance inspected and fixed so quickly!
Plug-in ServicesPlug-in Services
Sharon L.
Our technician is named Noah A., and we're very impressed with his professionalism and his integrity. His communication skills are excellent and he kept us informed each step of the way. Our Wolf oven door hinge pin shifted out of alignment and the door tilted to one side when opening/closing. Noah disassembled the oven door to secure the hinge pin with screws. This job might be easy for other appliance brands, but for Wolf, it was no small feat the amount of work it took to disassemble the door piece by piece (glass panels, insulation, and the many screws), even the bottom panel below the door was screwed in, so one cannot just lift the panel to remove it. After the first repair attempt, the door wasn't quite aligned perfectly when closing. We didn't have to say anything. Noah immediately noticed the problem and continued working hard to get it perfect, even though it was a very difficult and time-consuming job. We can tell that he is keen on pleasing the customer. There was a second problem where our Wolf Range burner makes a clicking noise and sometimes the electric igniter has trouble lighting the burners. Noah replaced the spark module and that solved the problem. Noah also cleaned the holes in our burner caps thoroughly so that there is no more ignition delay after turning the knob. He even cleaned the appliance and the floor area behind the range. We were going to vacuum it ourselves but he said oh no, let me do that for you. We were very happy with the service that we received.
ABC Appliance repairABC Appliance repair
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Why you need to know about appliance repair services.

How much does it cost to fix a fridge, garbage disposal, washer, dryer and other appliances?

Minor appliance repairs cost $75-$90. This list will show the average cost to repair each major appliance:

Garbage disposal

$120

Dryer

$170

Dishwasher

$260

Microwave

$293

Refrigerator

$410

Washer / dryer

$653 

In general, you'll pay for parts and labor when you have an appliance repaired. First, an appliance repair technician will visit your home to diagnose the problem. They may also charge a service call fee, which you'll pay whether you decide to have them complete the repairs — or not. 

During the visit, the repair technician will tell you what's wrong with your appliance and how much it may cost to fix it. If you agree, they'll order the appropriate parts and return to complete the job. 

Always get quotes from several appliance repair service providers near you before you hire a professional.

Is a fridge worth fixing?

In many cases, a refrigerator is worth fixing — especially if it’s less than 9 to 13 year old. If it’s older and requires frequent repairs, it may be time to upgrade and install a new fridge.

Consult a professional appliance technician near you to learn more about whether it's best to repair or replace your refrigerator. 

What appliances need to be repaired instead of buying new ones?

There are no definite rules about which appliances you should repair and which you should replace when there's a malfunction. In general, if an appliance is more than halfway through its lifespan and the repair costs more than half of what it costs to replace the appliance, it may be time to purchase a new one. 

Before you make those decisions, talk to an appliance repair service in your area. They can advise you on whether you should pay to fix your appliance — or replace it entirely. 

What are the common problems of appliances?

Appliances don't have a single common problem. Each appliance is different, and there may be even more variations among certain brands. For example, dishwashers tend to need service for leaking and failure to drain. Refrigerator failures are often due to a failed fan motor, dirty condenser coils or a locked compressor. 

If you suspect you have an appliance that's malfunctioning, contact an appliance repair professional near you to show you the process of getting it fixed. They can diagnose the problem, talk with you about possible solutions and help you decide whether you should repair or replace it.

When should I call for appliance repair?

Contact an appliance repair service if any of the following are occurring:

  • Your appliance is making odd noises, such as banging, buzzing, humming, squeaking or electrical sounds. 
  • You smell something burning. In this case, turn off the appliance, unplug it and contact a professional to help avoid a fire hazard. 
  • Your appliance is leaking fluid. Leaking dishwashers, refrigerators, freezers, washing machines and water heaters can cause major damage to your home. 

And, of course, your appliance requires repairs that are outside of your DIY expertise, contact a repair service near you.

Why you should hire an appliance repair specialist.

Appliance repair specialists can work on a wide range of items in your kitchen and home. You never know when something might break down, so having a local repair technician on hand to come can put your mind at ease. They can fix your fridge, washing machine, stove, dryer, dishwasher and more. Remember: many appliances in your home will need regular maintenance and occasional repairs. Check out the profiles below, and hire a repair tech near you to keep your appliances running smoothly.

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