Dishwasher Lifespan

Grasshopper writes:

How long do dishwashers last? Specifically a Frigidaire Ultra Quiet I. What is the point (dollar amount) where you would buy a new dishwasher instead of repairing the old? Daughter dropped a glass in dishwasher – pump quit in agony after grinding on glass chips – dishwasher full of water.

I’ve used your website to fix my 20 yr old wash machine and drier. Your wisdom is appreciated.

According to my illuminating and inspiring epistle, “How Long Should Appliances Last?” the half-life for built in dishwashers is about 13 years. You should read the linked article carefully because the concept of appliance half-life originated here at and you’ve not heard of it before.

Another salient point to consider in your repair vs. replace deliberations is whether or not you’ll be doing the repair yourself. Obviously, doing it yourself greatly tilts the economics in favor of repair over replace.


2 thoughts on “Dishwasher Lifespan

  1. OldMaytagFan

    Atypical lifespan, but I have a Maytag WU-600 dishwasher, made in 1970.

    I scored it 11 years ago and have been using it continuously ever since.

    I have no allegiance to today’s Maytag stuff – like so many things, they don’t built ’em like that anymore. The WU-600 was overcomplicated, but it was built like a tank and still does a great wash.

    Service card:
    – Diaphragm-type water level sensor seized up due to hard water deposits. Replacement still available from Maytag (expensive but still around!); instead, I hacked in a float tower using a combination of parts from later (junked) GE and Maytag dishwashers.

    My fault:
    – Before changing the water level sensor, with the dishwasher’s circuit OFF, I accidentally bumped the sani-cycle thermostat while wiggling the sensor to get the dishwasher to fill. Good spark show when plugged in; scavenged a new thermostat off a junked Admiral dishwasher and installed it.

    – I must be crazy, but I love this thing and have moved it three times. The movers think I’m nuts each time. I have one of those woefully underpowered GEneric (capitalization not accidental) plastic tub dishwashers someone paid me $20 to haul away; fixed it in about 10 minutes. When time permits, I’ll put the GE into service, disassemble the Maytag, and have its tub and racks sandblasted and refinished.

    (Note that I’ve also got vintage Maytag washers and dryers; until the mid 1990s, most Maytag stuff was built to last and usually worth fixing.)

  2. OldMaytagFan

    Oh yeah, and the WU-600. It makes the floor shake. It makes the lights dim when it starts a wash. It uses loads of hot water. It breaks glasses if you’re too stupid to figure out how to load a dishwasher.

    And it takes fried eggs off a poorly-seasoned cast iron frying pan.

    I swear, I’d marry it if it were legal.

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