What is the Life Expectancy of a Washing Machine?

When considering the replacement of an older washer, there are some different factors to consider that determine life expectancy. This article discusses life expectancy of washers and some of the variables to consider before buying a new replacement.

Average Life Expectancy

The average washing machine bought today for a home has a life expectancy of around 11 years for a front-loader and 14 years for a top-loader.

Factors That Determine Life Expectancy

The 11-14 year figure is based on typical home usage, which is about 400 loads a year for a family. This comes out to a lifespan of about 5600 loads, so if you do significantly less laundry per year, you could extend the life of the machine by several years.

Parts Wear Out

Unfortunately, the older a washing machine gets, the more likely it is that parts will wear out. The rubber used in water hoses, belts and seals can wear out and crack over time, no matter how many or how few loads of laundry you do. This means that doing half as many loads per year than the average will probably not double the lifespan of your washer, though it would extend it.

Should You Replace Your Old Washer?

When thinking about the costs and benefits of replacing an older washing machine, be sure to remember that newer washing machines, particularly front-loading washers, use significantly less electricity, water and detergent than many older top-loading models. Squeezing another couple years out of an older top-loading washer may actually cost you more than it would to simply replace it.

Making Washers Last

There are some things you can do to give your washer a longer life. For example: –Read the manufacturer's instructions for loading and operating the washer. –Don't overload the machine. –Fix an unbalanced machine right away. Running a washer off-balance for extended periods will cause extra wear and tear on the parts that will shorten the life of your washer.