Learn When to Ditch or Fix an Appliance

8:10 pm

by Jennifer Freeman

When to ditch or fix an appliance.


Broken Appliances

Appliances can be frustrating when they do not work properly. Here are a few tips & guidelines to help you know when to ditch or fix your appliances:


  • Keep it~ if it leaks or if the glass pitcher cracks.  If it leaks and you sure the bottom is screwed on tightly?  Check the gasket (the rubber piece at the base of the pitcher) if it’s damaged, order it for $1-$4.   If the pitcher  is cracked call the manufacturer and order a replacement pitcher or check on Amazon.
  • Junk it~ if it smells like it’s burning when you turn it on.  It’s likely a fuse has overheated and shorted out, which can cost $15-$20 to repair, it’s smarter to just get a new one.


  • Keep it~ if the lever jams. Food is probably stuck inside. Unplug the toaster and turn it upside down to shake food out.
  • Junk it~ if it won’t heat up.  It could be the cord or the heating element has stopped working and either problem would be costly to repair; get a new one.


  • Keep it~ if it isn’t picking up dirt or if you smell burnt rubber or hear a groaning sound, change the bag or replace the filter.  Check the hose and see if it is clogged.  If it isn’t picking up dirt, you can use an air compressor to blow the vacuum out and clean the inside of the vacuum.   Unplug the vacuum and check for something wound around the roller bar; this causes the smell/sound. If the belt is damaged  you may need to order a new one, try Amazon.com or check the owner’s manual about calling the manufacturer for replacements.
  • Junk it~ if it doesn’t turn on. The motor might be broken, and if it’s no longer under warranty, a repair may be very expensive.  You can get an estimate but rarely is an estimate free. I suggest buying a new one.


  • Keep it~ if the carafe breaks.  Call the manufacturer to find out how to order a replacement carafe, or try Amazon.com Small Appliances
  • Junk it~ if it starts to brew slowly or it won’t turn on or heat up.  If it’s brewing slowly the heater has likely become coated with minerals
    from water, which can be expensive to repair; buy a new one.  In the future, once you get a new machine, clean it with a brewing of 50% vinegar/water every few months. This vinegar/water mix will help prevent the build-up of minerals and help your coffeemaker last longer next time.    If it won’t turn on or heat up then the on/off switch could be broken.  You’d need a repair person to mend it, which can get expensive; buy a new one.

I have ordered small parts from the manufacturer many times, so I could continue to use my appliances, from new blades for food processors, new drain plugs or wheels for a large portable fan. Often the manufacturer has sent the part for free or for minimum shipping cost.  Once my 3 year old floor sweeper was no longer holding a charge and just by calling and talking to the manufacturer, I was looking for a new battery pack, instead they replaced for free!  It was worth $100!!

Amazon has been a go-to place for me for some parts also.

Do you have anything to add to this article or suggestions?  Please share your tips on when to ditch or fix an appliance.

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