how long does a washing machine last

How Long Does A Washing Machine Last?

Ian Mutuli
Updated on

If you're toying with the idea of repairing or replacing your washing machines, there are a couple of factors you should consider. For example, when it comes to repairing, keep in mind the minimum repair costs charged by professionals, then compare it to the cost of getting a new washer.

Again, this will depend on the age of your washing machine. It will make more sense to have it repaired if it is new, especially if you're happy with its performance. However, for older washing machines, say above 7 years, getting a new washer will be cheaper than having it serviced. In addition, you will get newer models that are more water and energy-efficient.

That said, be on the lookout for these signs to determine if you need to replace your washing machine.

1. Inefficiency

Efficiency is important to consider when deciding whether to keep or toss your current washer. In addition, you need to factor in the running costs involved over the period your washer will last you in terms of energy, water and detergents used.

For example, newer models are more energy-efficient compared to traditional consumer washers. As a result, you will find washing machines with an Energy Star seal to signify that they use less water and energy. Additionally, a "HE" symbol means that the washer has a high-efficiency rate.

The type of washing machine will also affect its efficiency. For instance, front-loading machines use less detergent and water than top-loading washers. However, they're more expensive than the traditional washers, making it important to factor in the number of loads per week.

2. Leaking

Leaking is among the signs that your beloved washing machine is on its last legs. However, before jumping to this conclusion, it is important to check the culprit causing the leakage. This could be a crack in the hoses or a loose connection.

Overfilling the cycle loads without leaving room for shaking, spinning and turning could result in leakage. If this is is the case, controlling the leakage will be an easy fix and your washer will be good for a while longer.

Unfortunately, a cracked tub could be the reason your washer is always leaking. Seeing as this will call for a major and expensive fix, you will be better off getting a new washer, especially if you've had the older one for a while.

3. Noise

Excessive noise from your washer is another indicator that needs to be replaced. The turbulent noise could result from overloading the washing machine or using the wrong setting. If you have confirmed these two and the noise is still there, check if the washer is on a level surface.

An unbalanced washer could result in noise. Therefore, level it out by putting something under one of the feet. Additionally, you could stop the cycle and readjust the laundry load to ensure that the clothes are evenly distributed.

If the turbulent noise persists, call a professional and insist on getting a price estimate before committing to the repairs. The chances are that your washing machine is experiencing issues with the drum or motor mount. Since these parts are expensive to repair, it will be prudent to replace the washer.

4. Movement

If you notice any movement when your load is on, this could be a sign that you need to ditch your old washer. Ideally, the washer should remain still when cleaning, spinning and rinsing your clothes. But, first, be sure to check that it is on a level surface.

Washing machines with excessive movement are likely to pull themselves out of the connecting plug or slosh water outside the unit. So if you have had the washer for a long period, it may be time to say goodbye.

5. Tub Doesn’t Fill Up

A tub or drum that doesn't fill up with water could result from a delay in the start or a problem with the cycle. If you have checked to confirm that there are no blockages in the hose blocking or turning off the water, call a professional repair to get his opinion. If the repair costs are high or close to the cost of getting a new model, it's time to bring a new appliance home.

6. Expensive Repairs

Washing machine repairs can be expensive. However, if you have done more than one repair on your unit, it only makes sense to go for newer models than more repairs. In addition, unless you can do the repairs yourself, going for a new machine will ensure that you get quality and efficiency.

How To Ensure Your Washing Machine Last Longer

how long does a washing machine last

Caring for your washing machine helps extend its longevity. While you do not need to do much maintenance, there are a few tips that will make a big difference and ensure your washer lasts longer. These include:

1. Do Not Overload

Overloading your washing machine strains the interior and the motor, prompting it to start failing early. Conversely, underfilling your washer wastes time and energy on a cycle. For this reason, it's best to stick to the maximum recommended load by the manufacturer. Doing so ensures that you're getting the most out of your washer while saving time and energy.

2. Check the Hoses

Another tip to ensure that your washing appliance lasts longer is regularly checking the hoses. Doing so ensures that their fittings are tight and there are no cracks or bulges on the hoses. In addition, check that there's enough space behind the washer for the hoses, so they don't crack prematurely.

3. Don’t Use Too Much Detergent

Using too much detergent will not clean your clothes any better. Instead, it acts as a lubricant and prevents your clothes from getting clean. In the long run, this damages your machine and reduces its lifespan.

4. Maintenance Washing

A monthly maintenance wash ensures that your washer is functioning optimally. To do this wash, you need to add 1/2 cup of detergent or bleach and run the full cycle between 140 °F and 194 °F with no clothes. In addition, you can use 2 cups of vinegar in place of the detergent. After the cycle is complete, your washer should smell new.

5. Clean the Interior

Although the washing machine's interior looks clean, dirt and grime may be present in the rubber seals and hoses. For this reason, it's important to regularly clean the interior to remove dirt and mineral deposits from detergents, clothes and hard water. In turn, removing this buildup before it becomes a big problem helps enhance the appliance's efficiency.

6. Level the Washer

Leveling the washers helps prevent any movement when in use. The combination of vibrations, a spinning drum and an unbalanced machine can cause the washer to move during a cycle. This is damaging to the appliance and risky for the things around it.

7. Empty the Tub

Removing clean clothes after the cycle is done will help prevent mold from growing in the tub. In turn, this will extend the longevity of your washer.

8. Leave the Door Open

Leaving the door open after washing one or seven loads is important in maintaining your washing machine. Doing so ensures that no smells develop over time. In addition, it's advisable to clean the door after a wash.

Ian Mutuli

About the author

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.