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Repair Or Replace? 4 Factors To Consider When Your Refrigerator Is Broken

When your refrigerator experiences problems, there's always that underlying fear that it will be unrepairable and you'll have to dig deep to buy a replacement. But how can you be sure? Here are the four top factors to consider when you're looking at refrigeration repairs.

Repair Cost

The most obvious factor that you should consider when trying to determine if you should repair or replace your refrigerator is the cost of the repair. As a general rule, professionals suggest replacing your unit if the cost of the repair is more than half the cost of a new appliance. But you'll have to do some research to determine what that price is. You can't rely on the price you paid for your current fridge when it was new as a reliable indicator. Markets fluctuate. You need to research the fridge you'd like to replace it with right now to find out what it will cost you today. And of course, you'll have to consider your own finances. If you can only afford the repair and not a new fridge, your choice is simple, but there might be more repairs down the road.


Another huge factor is the age of the refrigerator. Some professionals recommend that, if your fridge is younger than eight years and the cost of the repair is minimal, you should opt to have it repaired by an expert. If it's older than 15 years, you should opt for replacement. However, if the age of your fridge falls between those two markers, then you'll have to consider the other factors at play.


What does an icemaker have to do with choosing to repair or replace your fridge? Surprisingly, quite a bit. The problem is that fridges with icemakers are more than twice as likely to need repair during their lifespan than a fridge with a top or bottom freezer and no icemaker. The icemaker has complicated mechanics that can affect other parts of the fridge, and therefore the risk of malfunction increases. If your fridge has an icemaker, you need to consider that repairing now might not be the end of your problems, but your refrigeration repair tech can offer advice on this subject.

Type of Refrigerator

Another major factor is the type of refrigerator you own. If you have a built-in custom model, then it will likely cost you less to have the unit repaired than to replace it with another built-in custom model. Additionally,  a recommend a five-year repair window exists for side-by-side refrigerators, meaning you should absolutely have it repaired before five years, and then consider the issue on a case-by-case basis after that. For bottom freezer models, the window for absolute repair is seven years, and it's a three-year window for top freezer models.