Having your washer stop working isn’t as bad as, say, having the refrigerator conk out. Or, heaven forbid, the microwave. After all, you can get by with a broken washer for a while, by using a neighbor’s or going to a coin laundry. But that routine gets old eventually.

You might be tempted to kick your broken washer to the curb and start over with a new model, but that’s not always the best decision. Sometimes, it makes more sense to repair a broken washing machine rather than replacing it, if the repair part is still available.

To decide what makes most sense for you and your washer, consider these questions.

How old is your washing machine?

Keeping in mind that the average lifespan of a washer is 10 to 12 years, the decision needle swings sharply toward replace when your washer is more than 10 years old. This breakdown is likely to be the first of several, as the washer’s components age.

Of course, the cost of the repair is a factor, which brings us to our next point.

How much will fixing your washing machine cost?

If a repair costs nearly as much as a new washer, then the decision is obvious — replace the broken washer. But it’s typically more economical to fix the washer when it needs a minor repair such as a new locking mechanism for the lid or door.

When the washer approaches the end of its useful life (over 10 years), then you may need to replace the washer even when it’s facing a minor repair because other components may wear out soon and some replacement parts may no longer be available after 10-12 years.

How long can you wait for your washing machine to work?

How urgently do you need a functioning washer? If the repair part you need is backordered, or if you can’t get a repair appointment soon enough, it might be faster to buy a new washer.

Are your washing machine and dryer stacked?

When you have a dryer stacked on your washer and the dryer works okay, the decision to repair or replace comes down whether a compatible replacement washer is available. If you can’t find a compatible washer, weigh whether the cost of the repair and the age of the set justify replacing both the washer and the dryer. Opt to repair the washer if you can’t find a compatible replacement and don’t want to buy a new dryer.

If you decide to have your washing machine repaired

If repairing your washer makes the most sense economically, Appliance Repair Near Me can connect you with local appliance repair technicians who are well qualified.