On average, appliance repairs cost $191. However, a few factors will determine the cost of your project.
Appliance repair costs:
|National average cost||$191|
First, you will need to find appliance repair pros near you. Depending on where you live, the costs will be higher or lower. Additionally, the cost of appliance repair is affected by the type of appliance, the size of the project and the parts that will need to be purchased. It would cost less, for example, to replace a knob on your oven than it would be to install a new motor in your dishwasher.
The following cost guide will help you navigate the ins and outs of pricing an appliance repair project, as well as offer quality tips on how to hire the best pro for the job.
What’s in this cost guide?
- Hourly rates and labor costs
- Appliance repair pricing guide
- Consultation and minimum service fees
- DIY vs. hiring pro
- Repairing vs. replacing
- Cost-saving strategies
- How to hire an appliance repair service
- Find appliance repair specialist near you
Hourly rates and labor costs
When estimating appliance repair costs, the first thing to consider is labor costs. Most labor costs are billed to consumers at an hourly rate. What you pay per hour will depend on a few variables. For starters, different companies set different rates for their contractors. Additionally, the skills needed for the service that you request can impact the hourly rate.
The national average cost for appliance repair services is $65 per hour. You can see in the chart below a breakdown of the higher- and lower-end costs for labor.
Appliance repair hourly rates:
|National average cost||$65/hour|
|Low-end cost range||$40-$60/hour|
|High-end cost range||$69-$90/hour|
Keep in mind that price variances are normal as you receive quotes for a project. While cheaper might seem better, it’s worth remembering that sometimes, you get what you pay for. If you have a highly specialized project ahead, make sure to carefully vet the specialist before you hire them.
Appliance repair pricing guide
Here’s a quick overview of the cost to repair common appliances:
|Washer / dryer||$653|
Keep reading to learn more about each type of repair and how to spot the signs your appliance is malfunctioning.
Dryer repair costs
The cost to fix a broken dryer will vary, but the average dryer repair cost is $170.
Electric dryers are a modern-day wonder. In a matter of minutes, wet clothes are ready to wear and smell comfortably clean. However, over time, dryers can become less efficient or stop working altogether. The following are all common signs that you should call a service technician:
- It takes longer to dry clothes. Does it take twice as long as it used to for the same amount of clothes to dry? If so, your dryer might require a repair or part replacement.
- It makes loud noises. From squealing to thumping to rattling, any unusual noise coming from your dryer could be an indicator of a malfunctioning part. A dryer repair technician will help determine the root cause.
- The drum won’t spin. For a dryer to operate effectively, the drum must spin. When the dryer belt breaks, the dryer might no longer spin.
- It turns off intermittently. Many dryers are equipped with thermostats that allow them to detect when a drying cycle should end. However, if the thermostat is broken, you might find that your dryer quits at the wrong time.
These are just a few of the most common dryer repairs that you might face. Common parts that often need to be replaced include drum belts, thermal fuses, door latches, safety coils, and thermostats.
Additionally, it’s good to periodically schedule a vent and duct cleaning to ensure your dryer is operating safely.
Dishwasher repair cost
The average cost for dishwasher repairs is approximately $260, and costs tend to range from $50 to $300. Ultimately, the cost depends on how many hours of labor you need to pay for, as well as the parts that need replacement.
Here are some of the most common dishwasher issues:
- Inability to drain, often due to leaks, blockage or a damaged drain pump
- Broken door latch
- Water leaks
- Motor issues
- Broken seals
- Broken water pump
It’s easy to see why the cost of dishwasher repairs can vary so dramatically. If you simply need a technician to clear a clog in your drain line, you will probably only need to pay a minimal service fee for the specialist to show up to your house. But if the diagnosis involves replacing an entire motor, you will be paying more for labor and parts.
So how do you know when it’s time to call a service technician to repair your dishwasher? Common signs of dishwasher issues include improper draining, dirty dishes after running a full cycle, pooling water at the bottom of the dishwasher and cycles that stop midway.
Additionally, if you notice any leaking water near or around your dishwasher, it might be time to contact a dishwasher repair specialist.
Washing machine repair cost
The cost to repair a washing machine ranges between $50 and $180, but some customers have paid as much as $653 to fix a washer and dryer. How much you spend to get your washer back in working order depends a lot on the issue at hand.
In most cases, your washing machine will exhibit clear signs that it’s time to call in a service for repairs. Some of these signs include:
- Water won’t drain
- Washing cycles won’t complete
- It won’t agitate or spin
- It makes loud noises, such as banging, squealing or excessive vibration
- There is control board failure
- It has a burnt-out motor
These are just a few of the common reasons why you might need washing machine repairs. How much it will cost to fix each issue will depend on the brand of your washer, the cost of labor in your area and the cost of the parts.
Common parts used to repair washing machines include new motors, belts, hoses and valves. Some parts, such as the motor, will cost significantly more than simply replacing a hose or belt.
When your washer starts to show signs of disrepair, the best thing you can do is ask a washer repair service near you for a quote on repairs. After a diagnosis, they will let you know what type of parts you need and what the repair cost will be. They can also tell you if it’s time to invest in a new washer.
Refrigerator repair cost
The cost to repair a fridge ranges from $39 to $100, but some customers have paid closer to $400. Of all the appliances in your home to break, the refrigerator is perhaps the most disruptive. While you can switch over to washing your dishes by hand or visit your local laundromat while your washing machine is out of commission, you can’t go without refrigeration for your food.
The total cost you will pay will depend greatly on the brand of fridge you have, what parts need replacing, and what the cost of labor in your area is for service technicians.
How do you know when your refrigerator needs repairs? The following are common signs of a broken fridge:
- Food is spoiling quickly
- Inability to keep food cold
- Loud noises
- Frozen food in your fridge
- Water pooling around your fridge
- Compressor constantly running
Refrigerators operate with a complex system of hoses, coils and refrigerant. Without everything finely tuned and operating smoothly, you can run into the issues listed above.
What causes a fridge to malfunction? Often, it’s due to dirty condenser coils or clogged drain lines. These are relatively easy fixes and won’t run the high price tags of other repairs.
When something much larger is wrong with your fridge, however, it might be time to compare the costs of repairing your existing fridge and replacing it with a new one. A refrigerator repair professional near you can help you determine the best solution.
Microwave repair cost
The average cost to fix a microwave is $293. Your microwave oven might need repairs if:
- The buttons on the keypad aren’t working
- It takes longer to heat up your food
- You can’t close the latch door
- It’s making loud and unusual noises
- The tray no longer rotates
- The microwave doesn’t shut off
- The microwave doesn’t turn on
Some of the most common microwave parts you might need to replace include magnetron, transformer, touchpad and fuses.
In some cases, it might be more cost-effective to replace your microwave instead of repairing it. Talk to microwave repair specialists to find out how much either option will cost you.
Consultation and minimum service fees
Service or consultation fees may cost as little as $40 to $60, but some pros might charge over $100. Certain major brands (such as Whirlpool) are extremely common, making repairs more affordable and service fees lower. If you own an appliance that was made by a less common brand, you might have to pay a higher minimum service fee.
Consultation and minimum services fees help cover the cost of visiting your home. Even if the repair winds up being something as simple as cleaning out a hose, the consultation or service fee will pay for the cost associated with sending a repair specialist to your house.
Always ask upfront about any consultation or minimum service fees to prevent confusion about the final bill.
DIY vs. hiring a pro
The moment you see signs of trouble with an appliance in your home, you might consider fixing the problem on your own. Do-it-yourself (DIY) fixes can be tempting. After all, there’s the potential to save some money — especially when you compare it to average appliance repair costs.
In some cases, DIY might make sense for your needs. In others, though, hiring a professional could save you money in the long run. Here are the pros and cons of both DIY and hiring a pro:
DIY pros and cons
- More affordable up-front. You won’t pay any service or consultation fees, and the labor costs are solely your time.
- Great for simple fixes. If your fridge coils need to be cleaned or your dryer vent needs to be emptied, you might be able to handle the job effectively on your own.
- Satisfaction. Let’s face it, it feels good to repair your own belongings. Learning how to handle simple fixes around the home can be extremely rewarding.
- Making things worse. While you might be able to handle a simple fix around the house, the reality is that appliances can get complex quickly. If you don’t know what you’re doing, you could actually cause more damage.
- Improper repair. You might find a temporary solution for your appliance’s woes, but you might miss out on the actual root cause. A specialist can determine the proper long-term repair needed.
- Expensive appliance parts. Purchasing parts on your own can get expensive fast. Service technicians are able to provide parts at discounted prices, which can lead to savings for you.
Pros and cons of hiring a technician
- Expertise. When you hire certified technicians, you’ll receive true expertise for the job at hand. From diagnosing a squealing dryer to replacing a complicated part on your dishwasher, a professional knows how to carefully fix the problem without damaging the appliance as a whole.
- Fast diagnosis. You might spend weeks trying to troubleshoot an issue with your appliance, while a pro might only spend minutes determining what’s wrong. When time is of the essence, a professional can quickly help you figure out the problem and find the right solution.
- Quality advice. If you’re feeling uncertain about whether or not you should repair or replace your appliance, a specialist will provide you with the advice you need. They have information about your particular make and model, including estimates on the lifespan of the appliance post repairs. Additionally, if you decide to replace your appliance, they will often offer appliance installation services as well.
- Higher up-front cost. There are undoubtedly many benefits to hiring a pro. However, the number one drawback is that you will face a higher up-front cost. Professionals with their expertise come at a price.
Should you repair or replace your appliances?
Many homeowners struggle with whether they should repair their appliances — or just replace them. The answer depends on a few factors, such as the age of the appliance and if the repair makes financial sense in the long run.
With average repair costs varying greatly by the job, it isn’t always easy to know which route to take. But if your appliance is older than the average lifespan, that’s a sign it might be time to replace it. The following list contains the average lifespans of common household appliances:
|Appliance||Signs it might be repairable||Signs you might need to replace it|
|Dryer||Less than 13 years old, simple fix, such as clogged vent or broken belt||13+ years old, emits smoke or catches fire|
|Dishwasher||Less than 9 years old, simple repair needed, such as clearing lines of debris or replacing an arm||9+ years old, broken control board, constantly dies, lots of rust|
|Fridge||Less than 13 years old, needs coil cleaning or thermostat replacement||13+ years old, there are multiple faulty parts, it’s severely inefficient|
|Washing machine||Less than 10 years old, needs new control panel pieces, still spins||10+ years old, no longer spins, a smell that won’t disappear|
|Oven||Less than 14 years old, still operates efficiently||14+ years old, showing signs of major rust, unrepairable heating element|
|Microwave||Less than 9 years old, needs an extremely inexpensive fix||9+ years old, smoke or sparks, burning smell|
Source: Consumer Reports
When in doubt, consider this old rule of thumb when it comes to repairs: Don’t spend more than 50% of the cost to replace an appliance. In those cases, just get a new appliance.
How to save money on current (and future) repairs
Saving money on appliance repairs doesn’t have to be difficult. In fact, there are steps you can take to save on imminent and future repairs.
Follow these steps to help ensure that you spend less on repairing appliances around the home:
Invest in quality appliances
While a cheap price tag might look appealing upfront, keep in mind that you often wind up spending more in repairs down the road when you purchase a cheap product.
Do your research and shop for trusted brands. Not only will this save you money, but finding parts will be cheaper as well. Brands like Kenmore, Whirlpool and others have been trusted names in the electrical appliances industry for years for a reason.
Think about energy efficiency
Modern appliances come with a lot of great improvements, one of which is improved energy efficiency. Is it worth repairing your 10-year-old dryer if a newer model might cut down on your electricity bill? Keep energy efficiency top of mind. Look for appliances that meet Energy Star rating requirements.
Perform regular maintenance
From clearing out your dryer’s lint trap to wiping down your refrigerator’s coils, there are simple tasks you can perform to keep your appliances in better condition, leading to fewer repairs.
Look at your warranties
When you purchase an appliance, odds are good that it comes with a warranty. Not only that, but your home warranty might cover some of your major appliances as well. Check your policies, research all applicable warranties before spending your own money on repairs.
Ask for quotes
Take your time to research costs before you commit to any service technician. To do that, you need to request price quotes from several (at least three) appliance repair specialists near you.
How to hire an appliance repair technician
When it comes time to hire a professional for appliance repair service, you might feel overwhelmed. The good news is that by following a few simple guidelines, you can hire the right pro for the job.
Use these tips to hire an appliance repair service for any job around the home.
Licensure and credentials
First things first: Make sure they have the proper licensure and credentials needed to get the job done.
Not sure what occupational licensing you should be looking for? Check out Thumbtack’s Smart Hiring guide, which contains links to state occupational licensing board websites. This can help you determine what licensure and credentials are needed in your area to operate as an appliance technician.
Customer reviews and reputation
One of the best parts of having the internet at your fingertips is the ability to research a company before you hire them. What type of customer reviews does a technician have? How is their online reputation?
If you find a specialist is charging well below the average price for repairs but has a slew of negative reviews online, you might not be saving yourself anything by hiring them. Always vet a company prior to hiring them for a job to ensure you receive great service.
Ask lots of questions
When it comes to hiring a professional, never feel bad about asking them a lot of up-front questions prior to their visit. For example:
- Ask them about their experience. Have you ever worked on the make and model that I own?
- Ask them about their service and consultation fees. Will I be charged a base price regardless of the job at hand?
- Ask about potential discounts. Are you offering any specials or deals for new customers?
- Ask them how quickly they can come to your home. Do you offer same-day service?
Get several price quotes
Request free estimates from at least professionals you’re considering. It never hurts to ask as many questions as possible before you pay for a specialist's time.
Find an appliance repair specialist near you
Appliance repair FAQs
When it comes to appliance repair, many homeowners have a lot of questions. From inquiries about how long their fridge should last to questions about the costs associated with repairs, the following are the most frequently asked questions about appliance repair.
Why is appliance repair so expensive?
The answer is twofold. For starters, you’re paying for the expertise that a specialist brings to the job. They spent a long time learning what it takes to quickly diagnose an issue with your appliance. While their work may look simple to you, the reality is that you’re paying for their experience and efficiency.
Additionally, there are many hidden costs that you never think about when a specialist shows up on your doorstep. They are paying for insurance, liability, truck maintenance and potentially even an office. All of these costs add up and contribute to that baseline fee you pay for a repair tech to show up at your house.
What is the average lifespan of a refrigerator?
The average lifespan of a fridge is 13 years, according to Consumer Reports. For this reason, if your refrigerator is nearing the 13-year mark and starting to show serious signs of disrepair, it might be time to consider purchasing a new unit rather than fixing your existing one. This is particularly true if the compressor has gone out, as these are extremely costly to replace.
How many years does a dryer last?
You should expect your dryer to last around 13 years. Older dryers are also less efficient than modern units. So if you have a 12-year-old dryer that has become less reliable, it might be time to replace the entire appliance. However, if you have a relatively new dryer, a simple repair can ensure that you get years more of use.
What is the average life expectancy of a dishwasher?
Dishwashers have an average life expectancy of nine years. After dishwashers pass the nine-year mark, odds are good that you’ll be facing an increasing number of issues with the unit. Additionally, how well maintained the dishwasher has been will contribute to the total years of use.
How long do washing machines last?
Washing machines should be expected to last around 10 years. The total length of use you get from your washing machine will depend on the brand frequency of use. Higher-quality models might live well past the 10-year mark, whereas cheaper base models might last less than a decade.