Life spans of appliances and appliance accessories aren’t what you think
All household appliances have life spans. Even though we hope they’ll keep running for years and years, unfortunately they will fail—and probably when we least expect it or least afford it. So, the question is, when to replace them proactively?
According to Home Warranty of America, the expected life spans of typical home appliances are:
- Refrigerator—13 years
- Dishwasher—9 years
- Range, stove and oven—electric, 13 years; gas, 15 years
- Washer—10 years
- Dryer—13 years
- Water heater—electric, 11 years; gas, 10 years
- Furnace/central heat—15 to 20 years
- Central air conditioning—10 to 15 years
For most of us, it’s only when an appliance fails that we even think about replacing that connecting dishwasher water line, washing machine hose, or range power cord. And even then, we may simply choose to reuse what’s already there in order to save money.
But as it turns out, just as household appliances have life spans, so do those water lines and power cords. Their life spans are years and years shorter than the appliances themselves. So, just like with appliances, the question is, when to replace them proactively?
Certified Appliance Accessories suggests you replace every 5 years. It’s why everything that Certified Appliance Accessories sells has a 5-year warranty.
What and why you should replace every 5 years
Most warranties for appliance accessories like cords and water lines are only 90 days or 1 year! Certified Appliance Accessories made the conscious decision to offer a much-longer-duration 5-year limited warranty, because they strongly believe in the quality and craftsmanship of their products. True, products may last much longer than their warranties, but warranty lengths aren’t arbitrarily chosen.
However, regardless of the manufacturer or warranty, any product will degrade over time, with unpleasant, possibly disastrous results.
How often should you replace washing machine hoses and other water lines?
Whether it’s an ice maker water line, washing machine hose, or dishwasher water line, a water line is in an area that’s hot, damp, and humid. All three factors take their toll on the integrity of a hose’s exterior over time.
Then there’s the quality of the water itself. Chemicals and contaminants in the water such as lime and rust cause damaging buildup on the inside of the hose. Other chemicals can even cause corrosion. Buildup and residues also affect the performance of the washers found on the hose ends.
Another aspect to consider is the on/off character of water flow. Have you noticed how hoses jump, jolt, or vibrate when turned on and off? This weakens their integrity both inside and out—as well as their connections to water pipes and appliances. And with washing machines, not only are there vibrations from the hot- and cold-water supply lines, there are the transferred vibrations from the machine itself.
It’s more obvious when washing machine hoses fail. Dishwasher and ice maker line failures are more subtle to detect because they are hidden from view.
Water, water everywhere is NOT a good thing when a water line fails. So, the “when to replace it” answer is every 5 years.
How often should you replace power cords?
Like water lines, power cords to major appliances are subject to vibration, humidity, and heat, so damage accumulates over time. Speaking of heat, there is external heat due to the environment and internal heat from the electricity itself. Plus, there is the added component of power surges. Power is not always delivered at a constant 120 volts. The fact is, we use AC (alternating current) which ranges from 0 volts to 169 volts. Surges exceed 169 volts.
Those surges can be external, like from lightning or the power company. But they are also generated from inside the home anytime a household device with a motor turns on and off. Why are surges damaging? According to State Farm Insurance:
“Increasing voltage above an appliance’s normal operating voltage can cause an arc of electrical current within the appliance, and the heat generated in the arc can cause damage to the electronic circuit boards and other electrical components.
“Smaller, repeated power surges could be the reason your TV or cordless phone mysteriously stops working. These smaller surges can slowly cause damage, so your computer or stereo may continue to function until the integrity of the electronic components finally erode. This shortens the life span of appliances and electronics.”
Not only do surges damage devices, they also damage power cords. Even something with a surge protector will wear out over time. And let’s not forget about damage caused by mice and rodents—they love to gnaw and sink their teeth into cords.
Simply put, power cords that fail, no matter what the reason, are safety hazards, damaging appliances and causing fires. So, once again, the “when to replace it” answer is every 5 years.
What about the dryer vent duct?
Good news here! There is no reason to replace a duct if it is being cleaned out on a regular schedule. For ducts, Certified Appliance Accessories recommends checking them every six months for lint buildup and cleaning them out. Buildup creates a fire hazard, plus the dryer will not dry as efficiently. Each time the duct is cleaned, check it for air leaks and make sure it is not dented or crushed. The air flow must remain as open as possible. This maximizes the dryer’s efficiency—saving you money on electricity or gas—and extends the dryer’s life.
So, the “when to replace it” answer is possibly never, with good maintenance
5-year limited warranty
As you can see, when it comes to water lines and power cords, although it’s tempting to adopt a replace-only-when-it-fails attitude, it’s best to be proactive. Because failure of one of these appliance accessories can shorten an appliance’s life plus create additional issues such as water damage, electrical fires, appliance damage, etc.
That’s why replacing hoses and electrical cords with Certified Appliance Accessories products makes sense. That way you’ll have a high-quality appliance accessory, plus peace of mind with its 5-year limited warranty.
And, when you replace Certified Appliance Accessories products every five years, you’ll always be under warranty!