All Things Appliance

New Washing Machine Longevity

Monday, September 23, 2019 • Rob Tope • washing machines
New washers aren't built like they use to be!

Is eleven years a long time?  I suppose it's all a matter of perspective.  For a house fly eleven years would not even be a concept that ever zipped through miniscule brain as their average life span is roughly 2 to 4 weeks.  For a gray squirrel with an average lifespan of 6 years an eleven year run would be extremely improbable if not downright impossible.   

For a washing machine, now that's another story altogether.  You'd expect that washing machine would be staring middle age in the face at 11 years of age.  All of those manufacturers like Whirlpool, GE, Samsung, Frigidaire, LG, etc. must surely design a washing machine that should last 20 years plus with very little maintenance, right?  Wrong, dead wrong.  Eleven years is the average amount of use that you'll get out of that brand spanking new $1,200 whirlpool cabrio topload washer before it gives up the ghost.......assuming you only wash 8 loads a week which is the avg number of loads per US household each week.  If you wash more loads or overload your washer for each load you'll do worse (on the flip side if you wash less loads or smaller loads then you'll do better, duh!). 

In my experience as an owner of a used appliance store I feel that 11 years may even be a bit optimistic for washing machines manufactured in the past five years or so.  The physical components such as the suspension rods, transmissions and tub bearings are just not up to the challenges that the typical american household places on them.  And then you have the electronics, yes, the ELECTRONICS which are incorporated into just about every new washing machine made today.  From lightening strikes to critters (i.e. roaches) crawling over the circuit boards to moisture intrusion, electronics have it hard in a washing room environment.  Our scrap yard has approximately 125 washing machines sitting in it right now and a large majority of those machines are the newer models.....many less than 5 or 6 years old.   And alot of those aren't the cheap $399 machines either! 

What is your point Rob, you say?  Hell I don't know what my point is.  It could be that manufacturers seem to be making inferior washers compared to the ones made a decade or so ago or it could be that americans are harder on their machines now than families were in the past.  I'm just not smart enough to figure it out. 

What are your thoughts and experiences with today's washing machines vs older models?     

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