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How long should your washing machine last?

Wrecked washing machine

How long your washing machine lasts is one of the main considerations when shopping for a new model – so how about putting expected lifetimes on washing machines?

According to research by WRAP, the average consumer expects a washing machine to last six years before it needs replacing.

It has also found that a product’s lifetime is one of the highest buying considerations, just behind reliability and quality, but more important than price. It’s something that the Which? Convo community has been discussing at length on this faulty washing machines debate.

Manufacturer warranties too short?

While washing machines do not currently come with lifetimes, they do have manufacturer warranties. However, these often cover just a one or two year period. Would you feel hard done by if your machine broke just outside this warranty period?

I would. Two years seems a much shorter time than a washing machine should last, even if I’d paid a relatively small amount of money for it, say less than £250.

Lifetimes for washing machines

One solution could be to decree that all washing machines should have a minimum lifetime, perhaps three or four years, ideally with a manufacturer warranty to match?

Or perhaps it would be better for manufacturers to apply expected minimum lifetimes to their own machines – and have the freedom to give different life expectancies to different machines?

That means if I’m in the shop, I might see a cheap washing machine for £250 that the manufacturer expects to last a minimum of two years. But next to it could be a near identical machine that costs £450 and has an expected minimum lifetime of five years. That would give me a clear basis to consider paying more for the pricier model, or to save some money but lower my expectation as to how long it will last.

Manufacturers on lifetimes

So why are lifetimes not already in place? We asked LG, Bosch, AEG, Miele and Indesit how long they would expect their own washing machines to last.

The responses vary but almost all mention the same problem – there are a lot of factors that affect the potential lifetime of a washing machine, making it very difficult to predict. Such factors include:

• Correct installation.
• Where in the house washing machine is installed (a machine may not last as long as it could do if placed in a garage without central heating).
• Over/under loading.
• Frequency of use.
• Detergent usage.

Of those that provided a figure, Miele came back with the strongest answer, saying that all their machines are tested to last 20 years. But Miele does not offer a free 20 year warranty. Instead, a small handful of models have a free 10 year warranty. Five year warranties are more common, but the remaining machines have the standard two year Miele warranty.

Indesit, which also owns Hotpoint, came back to say they’d expect their washing machines to last seven to eight years, with consumers looking to replace within five to six years to pre-empt the need to replace. The standard warranty for an Indesit/Hotpoint model is one year.

When I asked why the warranty length was so much shorter than the expected lifetime, a spokesperson from the company said that warranty length is an ongoing discussion, ‘but there are some retail outlets who like to sell their own extended warranty’. Of course, a documented expected lifetime will be very helpful when exercising your rights under the Sale of Goods Act once the warranty has expired.

Do you think that all washing machines should have a minimum lifespan, or that manufacturers should be able to set their own life expectancy? Or both?

Do you think manufacturers should give minimum lifespans to their washing machines?

Yes - manufacturers should provide minimum lifespans for their own machines (85%, 1,741 Votes)

All washing machines should have the same minimum lifespan (11%, 228 Votes)

No - manufacturers should not have to prescribe a product lifespan at all (3%, 70 Votes)

Total Voters: 2,039

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Martin McDevitt says:
3 March 2015

i bought a washmachine 11 months ago,i have had repaires out 8 times,including,suds running down my drawer,water on the floor,newdrum,i have got really fed up now and iserved the suplyer with a for sles of goods act 15 days ago.i gave the place 5 days to refund my money.what should i do now as it certainly not fit for purpose


I am glad you have taken the tough action. Can you let us know what washing machine model and the retailer. Neither deserves to be hidden.

Simon Hambleton says:
7 July 2015

I purchased a Samsung WD1704 washer dryer in October 2012. when purchased these unit had a RRP at £600.00 so has a high value. it was sold with a manufactures 5 yr parts and labour warranty. Its now broke down, Samsung the washer only had a 2yr warranty. They wont even send an engineer out to tell me what is the problem. Trading standards are now involved as i feel the product has a poor build quality and also the warranty was not made totally clear to me when i purchased.

Think again before you purchase a Samsung product.

Liam Hartley says:
18 March 2016

Yep, Unfortunately, Samsung are shocking for their appliances and they do not stand behind their machines or warranties.

Jessica Jones says:
13 September 2015

I bought my beko second hand for £180 in 2009. Zero problems and love it to bits for what does at this price. After six years service its decided to start leaving me.
The door no longer stays closed when the drum is empty, i have a large crack above the draw.
Whilst occasional wholes have been appearing in clothes recently I shall miss this product when it gets skipped.
Having never been let down, I can recommend only using liquid not powder, whilst putting your machine on a hot wash at least twice a month.
At work I clean our mileles are put on every week for hot washes as they are in constant use. It can safe your machine.

I also would not waste any money on purchasing those horrible anti smellie crystals their advertising at five pounds a tub in asda. Just put a scoup of bicarbonate of soda in your washing machine and stick it on an empty hot wash. the smell is just as nice.


Which?’s current top 40 best buy washing machine list is headed by 11 from Samsung, Zanussi and LG. Out of 13 brands these come, respectively, 6th and 7th= in Which?s Reliability table. 10% points behind the leader. So just how does a Best Buy come with iffy reliability? A best buy should surely offer value for money, which includes lasting well for it’s price (none of these were cheap).
I’d like to know just what Which? mean by reliability. Does it mean lasting a certain time without breakdown and, if so how long? Just how is it assessed?


I was sitting at my computer this evening and I heard my washing machine going,which I thought was strange as I hadn’t turned it on. I went to check and it was on fire the machine door was open and it had switched it self on. It was on fire around the door locking mechanism luckily I had small fire extinguisher that I used after I had turned off the main switch. I am going away for month next week so dread to think what could have happened if it happened while I was away.
The Machine is an Indesit PWDC 8125W

Liam Hartley says:
18 March 2016

:O That’s why I always, always turn appliances off at the plug when not in use.