What’s In A Warranty? Three Points To Consider Before You Buy Your Next Appliance

It is lovely to see winter come to an end and the first signs of spring appear, but have you prepared your basement for the flood that could occur when the snow melts and has nowhere else to go but into your house? More than one homeowner will descend their basement steps this spring and find their basement under water. Once the water has been removed, it is time to go replacement appliance shopping, and that means making decisions. Warranties are a serious consideration when making the final appliance choice, but what do you really know about warranties? Use these three tips so that your warranty lives up to its promises if you ever need to call on it.

Long Warranties

At first glance, an appliance that offers a long warranty, for example 10 years, may seem more desirable to you than one that offers a five year one. But, is that long-term warranty something you should put a lot of faith in when it comes to making a purchasing decision? Consider these questions before you attach considerable weight to a lengthy appliance warranty:

  • If you have a 10 year warranty, but your appliance stops working when it is 8 years old, does the warranty cover full replacement? Some warranties will give you a new appliance, but others will only give you 20% of appliance value as you have already had 8 years use from it. It pays to carefully read the specifics of the warranty.
  • How financially sound does the company seem right now? Are they a well-known brand that has been around for years? If it is unlikely that the manufacturer will still be in business in 10 years, you should not be relying on the warranty too heavily when you are making your purchase choice.


Warranty exclusions can come as a surprise if you have not read the fine print. The reason why you are having to replace your appliances this time is because of water damage. If your appliance is exposed to water in the future is this covered as part of the warranty? Or will it become part of an insurance claim instead?

Warranties can have a number of exclusions built into them and those exclusions are often directed at the motor side of the appliance. If the motor burns out and it is not covered by your warranty, is the appliance still of any use to you? How much would it cost to replace the motor out of your own pocket versus the cost of buying a new appliance? Both of these questions need to be answered if you are going to rely on the warranty terms when buying a new appliance.

Invoking The Warranty

Another important point to consider when looking at an appliance warranty is what you have to do if you need to call upon the warranty when your appliance fails. Some companies will make you jump through a number of hoops before they will repair your appliance. Look for the following terms when reading the warranty information:

  • Will the manufacturer send a repairer to your home? Or do you need to send the appliance back to the manufacturer for repair?
  • If you need to return the appliance, who pays for the shipping?
  • Does the appliance need to be shipped back in its original packaging?
  • What is the advertised repair time for an appliance? Is it days or weeks before you can expect it to return?

Knowing the answer to these questions in advance means that you are fully prepared if you need to use the warranty that comes with your appliance.

Appliance warranties certainly have their place when things go wrong with a new purchase, but keep these three points in mind before you decide how heavily the warranty will factor into the decision making process for your replacement appliances. If nothing else, you now know important questions to ask when reading the terms and conditions of an appliance warranty, and a little knowledge goes a long way when you are shopping for new household goods.