Kitchen appliances fail...and they never fail when it's convenient, or when you've got extra money just laying around waiting to be spent. Sometimes it's smartest to repair your appliances, and sometimes it's best to buy new. But how do you make that decision? Knowing the expected lifespan of an appliance can help.
For example, I just found out the hard way that a refrigerator is supposed to only last 7 to 9 years (although other sources say as long as 17). And certainly, we've all had that fridge we inherited in an apartment or house that keeps chugging along after heaven only knows how long. Stoves have the longest lifespan...a gas range can last almost 20 years. Garbage disposals, on the other hand, will last about 10 years and microwaves even less; here's a full list of typical appliance lifespans.
Kind of a bummer when these things break, since they cost a ton to replace and are pretty much essential to day-to-day life (trust me, living out of a cooler on the back porch, especially with little kids in the house? SO not fun!). To avoid costly repairs or replacements, make sure you're maintaining your appliances properly: keep them clean, check door seals and hoses, and follow any other maintenance suggestions in your owner's manual.
Would you rather repair or replace a big-ticket item when it goes bad? And what's the longest you've known an appliance to keep going....anybody have grandma's stove still cooking away?