Which Appliance Models Are The Most Reliable?

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It’s perhaps the most frequently asked question we get at Repair Clinic, and one that scores of repair technicians hear every day from their customers: “Which _________ [fill in the blank with an appliance model] is the most reliable?” What this question means is which brand or model is going to last the longest; which one requires the least amount of repairs? It’s not an easy question to answer, but we’ll try to offer some tips on the best way to answer this question for yourself.

7 factors that will increase appliance reliability

The reliability of specific appliance models can vary widely depending on the brand, the appliance’s features, and various other factors. Here are seven factors to consider when looking for appliances that require the least amount of repairs:

1) Brand – We all respond to brand name recognition. While marketing is often responsible for giving a higher profile to some brands over others, we will often choose to purchase a brand that our parents trusted or a co-worker or neighbor has recommended. A brand that has been around for decades means it’s popular and, if we can apply Darwin’s survival of the fittest theory to appliances, a brand that has survived for numerous years in the marketplace has probably earned a reputation for reliability. Whirlpool, GE, Bosch, Kenmore, Frigidaire – these are all brand names that have staying power, so, overall, you may have greater satisfaction when purchasing a popular name brand model than one that isn’t popular or has only been on the market for a short time. However, there is another important aspect to name brands to consider: specialization. Just because a name manufacturer has a good reputation for making one kind of product doesn’t mean the same manufacturer can be a dependable choice for another. Without naming names, repair technicians will tell you that a manufacturer that makes a reliable television, smartphone, or laptop computer may not have the same reputation for reliability when it comes to making refrigerators or dishwashers. Not all companies can do everything with the same level of dependability, but if a company that specializes in appliances has a good reputation, you’ll know that reputation is because of those appliances and not some other product.

2) Features – Appliances with fewer advanced features may be less prone to breakdowns. This comes down to what you want as a consumer. Is it important to you that your new refrigerator has an interactive screen and multiple cameras for you to view the contents of the refrigerator shelves remotely? Do you want your refrigerator to dispense hot coffee in addition to ice and water? Would you appreciate the convenience of being able to run your dishwasher by tapping an app button on your phone? While features like smart technology can be convenient, they also introduce more components that can fail. Most newer appliance models have WiFi capability which you can choose to use or not, but the more electronic features an appliance has, the more likely the appliance will have an electronic failure. This usually means the main control board will need to be replaced to get the appliance running properly again. Do some research on how expensive that refrigerator, dishwasher, or range main control board is. An appliance having less advanced features could also mean that replacing the control board will cost less which, ultimately, will allow you to keep the appliance running longer while staying on budget.

3) Maintenance – Regular maintenance and proper care can extend the lifespan of an appliance. This is a crucial aspect when it comes to the reliability of the appliance. All appliances require some maintenance from the user to help prevent component failure. Both gas and electric dryers require the lint filter to be cleaned following every load and the dryer venting to be cleaned out at least once a year. This will ensure good airflow so the dryer’s thermal fuse won’t blow. Refrigerator condenser coils should also be cleaned regularly to reduce how often the compressor needs to cycle on. And, of course, remember that filters, whether they’re air filters for your furnace or air conditioner or grease filters for your range vent hood, should be replaced regularly to keep these units running efficiently. Take some time to read the manufacturer’s guidelines and follow recommended maintenance practices to keep your appliances working their best.

4) Warranty – Look for appliances with longer warranties, as manufacturers are more likely to stand by the reliability of their products when they offer longer warranties. This isn’t always a given; in fact, many extended warranties provided by manufacturers will only cover a couple of the components (for example: standard six-to-ten year washer and dryer extended warranties will cover a broken motor, tub, or drum, but won’t cover parts more likely to fail such as door or lid switches, heating elements, gas valve solenoid coils, water inlet valves, or control boards). One manufacturer well-known for long comprehensive warranties is Speed Queen. Of course, Speed Queen washers and dryers can be pricier than other manufacturers’ products, but the company has built its reputation on dependability.

5) Consumer Reviews – Research consumer reviews and ratings for specific models to see what other users have experienced in terms of reliability and durability. It’s always worth the time to do a little online research before purchasing any major appliance. Consumer Reports, J.D. Power, or websites that specialize in appliance reviews can be a big help in guiding your purchase decisions.

6) Energy Efficiency – More energy-efficient appliances may have a longer lifespan, as they tend to run at lower temperatures and put less stress on components. However, keep in mind that an energy-efficient washing machine or dishwasher, to cite two examples, will likely not use as much water as you may have become accustomed to with older models. This means that your brand-new appliance may take longer to do its job than you were used to.

7) Professional Installation – For complex appliances like built-in ovens or dishwashers, professional installation can ensure that the appliance functions correctly from the start. While Repair Clinic has always supported do-it-yourselfers when it comes to repairs, the reliability of an appliance can be compromised from the beginning if the product isn’t installed by someone with considerable experience. Did you know that a dishwasher’s drain hose needs to be looped above the connection point to the sink drain or garbage disposer to prevent the water from siphoning back into the dishwasher tank? Did you know that if wire nuts are used to join gas oven igniter wiring together, those nuts need to be made of porcelain and not plastic (plastic ones will melt from the oven heat)? You may be very familiar with these aspects of appliance installation – more power to you – but if you haven’t had a lot of experience, let the professionals install that new appliance to ensure reliability.

Even the most reliable appliances require repairs

It’s important to note that even the most reliable appliances built with the best materials will require some kind of repairs during their lifespan. If you do experience an issue, having a reliable and responsive customer service and warranty support from the manufacturer can make the repair process smoother. Check online forums to see which manufacturers provide great customer support. If your appliance is no longer under warranty, and you’re looking to take on a needed repair yourself, you’ve got a repair partner in Repair Clinic.

5 Tips For Your Refrigerator – Tech Tips From Repair Clinic

When the appliance has to be fixed, Repair Clinic will show you how

Since 1999, Repair Clinic has been helping DIYers repair their own appliances. Thousands of “How-To” videos, step-by-step guides, appliance diagrams, and schematics are available via Repair Clinic’s “Videos & Articles” library. Looking for a video and step-by-step guide showing how to install a new ice maker in the model ED2KVEXVB01 Whirlpool refrigerator? Or maybe you’d like to learn how to replace a heating element on a Frigidaire dishwasher (model FGID2466QF7A) or a defective door latch assembly on an Electrolux front-load washer (model EIFLS60JIW1). Select an appliance/model and let Repair Clinic show you how.

Longer-lasting repairs are done with genuine OEM parts

Whatever component you need to replace, you’re going to want to use a genuine original manufacturer equipment (OEM) part for a longer-lasting repair. Genuine OEM parts are specifically designed by the manufacturer to work with the models they’re installed in, often making them more compatible than a generic replacement part. Finding the right OEM part for your appliance is easy with Repair Clinic. Whether you’re repairing a Speed Queen washer, GE dryer, Hotpoint range, or Bosch dishwasher, simply enter the full model number of the appliance in the Repair Clinic search bar to see a comprehensive list of compatible parts. You can then narrow that list down by using the “Part Category” and “Part Title” navigation filters to identify the specific part you need.

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