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How Long Do Washing Machines Last?

A collage of washing machine along with its parts.

Among the hundreds of devices sold worldwide, some are more popular than others. The reason why these products are chosen more often may be due to their cost and space efficiency or their environmental friendliness.

Sometimes a single appliance can serve multiple purposes, such as a combination of washer and dryer. Some people choose washers and dryers, while others buy washing machines and drying machines separately. Although both versions serve the same purpose, there are certainly differences.

There are several reasons why a person buys a washer dryer combo instead of a standalone washer.

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Past Years

A washing machine at home.

Are we victims of the “it was better before” syndrome? With each washing machine failure, we tell ourselves that the previous machine had lasted longer. In 2010, washing machines of all brands operated for an average of 10 years.

In 2018, their average lifespan was no more than 7 years, according to the experts. A state of affairs which scandalizes them all the more as the machines are ultra-widespread in most homes: 97% are equipped with them, and 2.7 million new models are sold each year.

The duration of use of washing machines has decreased by more than 30% in less than 10 years, from ten years in 2010 to seven years old in 2018.

The Parts

A man holding a washing machine part.

The spare parts which would make it possible to repair these devices are made inaccessible and very expensive by the manufacturers, in particular the parts known to be the most sensitive to wear and need to be changed frequently.

This is the case for electronic cards, which would cause 30% of the breakdowns, and would cost at least 200 dollars or more. The question is raised whether this is “the intentionality of irreparability” for machine designers like the Koreans LG and Samsung.

Electronic Card

Another problem is electronic cards. It is suspected that certain manufacturers are making them inaccessible. LG and Samsung coat their cards in a layer of resin.

Currently, manufacturers do not want to repair card components because skills in microelectronics are required. Handling can damage them, but you can always choose to replace the card.

Why is the Machine Leaking?

Depending on whether there is a leak from the washing machine from the bottom, from the front, or from the back, there can be a wide variety of causes: loss of tightness of certain pipes, a defective seal, a damaged part, a clogged drain, or a simple overload problem. If the machine is leaking, it may be time to either repair it or buy a new one.

Lack of Maintenance

A man's hand cleaning the washing machine.

60% of breakdowns are linked to a lack of maintenance of their machine by their owner, and that half of the time, no spare parts are necessary to repair it. It, therefore, intends to raise consumer awareness of these themes while admitting that “everything is not their responsibility.”

Manage and Maintain

Many things could damage the washer/dryer. A washer/dryer should not run more than it should; about 2-3 loads per day are enough. Always install the washer/dryer using a professional, as improper installation can lead to machinery problems.

Never fill the machine with more clothes so that they are at their maximum. If you do not manage and maintain your washing machine, it won’t last long.

The Cost

A couple choosing a washing machine at store.

This is especially true since this reduction in the lifespan of washing machines has financial consequences for the consumer. It would cost them an additional amount of money per year.

It needs to be mentioned that the disastrous ecological footprint of these devices is another consideration, releasing 1 million tons of Co2 into the atmosphere each year.

Malfunctioning

How do you know if a washing machine is dead? If your washing machine makes a noise and seems to start, but you do not hear the water coming into the machine, the washing cycle will not be able to be done correctly…

  • The laundry is poorly spun.
  • Water is standing at the bottom of your washing machine.
  • Your machine smells bad.

The Wear and Tear

When the washer/dryer is overloaded with clothes, it will work overtime to wash all the clothes properly. This can lead to the machine breaking down sooner than it should.

Never use too much detergent, and some machines should be washed by hand. Never put these clothes inside the machine, and the most important of them is never to put sharp objects inside the machine and let them spin.

Clean the washing machine dispensers and maintain the dryer vent by cleaning the lint often. Normally, the minimum lifespan of a washer/dryer combo is around ten years if not maintained properly, and the average lifespan is around 12-15 years.

Conclusion

At the national level, the useful life of a washing machine is, on average, seven years as of June 2018. According to the manufacturers, the lifespan of a washing machine would be around 11 years. It is quite difficult to give a precise duration for a washing machine.

So, it is safe to say that the average lifespan of a washing machine is an average of 11 years. If yours has just (or threatened) to give up the ghost, know that since your last purchase, these devices have evolved a lot.

For most people, the maximum lifespan when the washer/dryer is properly maintained is approximately 20 years. Like all other appliances, when properly maintained, they last longer than they should.