The Broken Refrigerator in Your Kitchen: Should You Repair or Buy New?

Last updated on August 13, 2023

So it happened – your fridge broke down. Now what? The initial reaction of any DIYer is to try to fix it. But should you buy instead? Let’s find out.

The refrigerator is one of the most essential kitchen appliances of them all, so if and when it breaks down, it’s only natural to panic! However, if you are thinking about buying a new model, rather than simply getting it repaired this time around, hold on to your wallet for a bit!

What's Inside

How Do You Know It’s Time to Buy?


The million-dollar question is, how does one know when it’s time to buy a new refrigerator? How do you know if your refrigerator is at its life end, or you are simply giving in to the urge of buying new electronics? The answer is simple; you need to rule out all the possibilities of the problem being repairable first. If a simple repair job can help you save hundreds of dollars, why shouldn’t you opt for it?

Rule Out the Filter Problem


Let’s take the example of Whirlpool refrigerators, which are well known for being some of the world’s finest products in terms of both performance and energy efficiency. If you have one, then you should hold on to it for a good few years at least. Unfortunately, people often decide to change their entire refrigerators simply because of a faulty filter. Instead of wasting money on new refrigerators, people should first be looking to simply change their filters and see if that solves the problem. Typical signs of malfunctioning ice and water filter in any refrigerator are as follows:

  • The indicator light should tell you in advance that it’s time to change the filter
  • In older models where the indicator isn’t present, you should be changing your ice and water filter every six months
  • Sometimes, the indicator light may not be working, so if it has been more than six months, change your refrigerator filter anyway
  • A significantly slower water flow indicates that a filter change is in order, as it’s getting clogged
  • Odd colored water/ice is definitely a sign that its time to change the filter!
  • A hard or strange taste indicates the filter is not doing its job and you need to start looking for a new one
  • If it smells bad, throw the water away and change the filter
  • If the refrigerator starts making more noise during water dispersion than usual, it might be a sign of filter issues or an issue with the dispenser itself

The rule of six months is golden though, be it for Whirlpool filters or for filters from any other brand.

Signs that You Need a New Refrigerator

new fridge

There are only so many years that a refrigerator can go without needing a change, of course, so look for the following signs to know if it really is time to buy a new refrigerator!

  • A filter change doesn’t solve the problem and the repairman can’t figure it out either
  • Food is spoiling a lot faster, even after a check for leaks and paying for a refrigerant refill
  • You have had to repair the refrigerator multiple times last year
  • It has been well over a decade since you bought it

Now that we have given you both sides of the story, at least you can make an informed decision. Reduce plastic waste by holding on to your refrigerator for as long as possible, but do keep it well maintained at all times.

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