This site is an archive of For the latest information about Susy and her adventrures, visit the Cultivate Simple site.
Thank you for all your support over the years!

To Fix or Not To Fix

March 26th, 2015

I love my stove, absolutely love it! It’s not a spring chicken, it’s been cooking our food for many years, probably 13 or more. Unfortunately the control panel is starting to go. First the number 5 quick working, no problem, I can bake things at 249, close enough, right?
my stove 1
Then the timer started to work intermittently – ACK. I use the timer on the stove constantly, no really, it use it 10-20 times a day and not just for cooking. Whenever I’m doing something that needs timed, or whenever I want to remind myself to do something, I set the timer. If I put wood in the wood stove, I set the timer to remind myself to check the fire and close the damper. Life without the stove timer will be interesting. Luckily, I can use the timer on my iPad, though not as convenient as the stove timer.
Now I have to decide if it’s worth getting a new control panel for the stove to the tune of $400 and maybe $150 more if the touchpad needs replacing too – YIKES. We love using to buy parts to repair our own appliances. Over the years we’ve saved loads of money fixing them ourselves. Sometimes however, it’s not necessarily worth what it will cost to fix an old appliance. I’ve been saving money for a new stove for quite a while, I sure hate to lose this beauty though. She’s been a wonderful kitchen companion for many years. It’s only a matter of time before the oven won’t turn on, so I have to decide soon.

Do you ever repair your appliances yourself?

11 Comments to “To Fix or Not To Fix”
  1. Yolanda on March 26, 2015 at 6:37 am

    Yes, my DH is very good at fixing things, but when the cost of repair (or a series of repairs) nearly outstrips the cost of something new, then we will save up and get the new. I am sorry about your stove. :(

    Reply to Yolanda's comment

  2. Sara on March 26, 2015 at 7:26 am

    I love repair clinic! We had a dryer issue recently and saw now they even have videos showing how to take things apart, so handy! So yeah, we fix things, but it’s a really hard call when the part is expensive and the appliance is older. I am currently milking a dying stove (that I do NOT love at all, so the decision is easier) and saving up for a new one. I’ve decided this next one will not have any computer panels ;)

    Reply to Sara's comment

  3. Marina on March 26, 2015 at 8:02 am

    I agree with Sarah, but it so hard to find anything without computer panels.

    I was going to say, go with Kitchenaid, but you know that already:-).

    I fix anything non electrical that I can get parts for, but I leave the non basic electrical stuff to the trained, don’t trust myself. I do very well on lamps and vacuum, though.

    Perhaps you could get a small kitchen timer to save your stove one.

    Good luck!

    Reply to Marina's comment

  4. Deb on March 26, 2015 at 8:50 am

    Definitely older is better, anything sans computers. We buy locally for parts though rather than pay shipping. or hubby and son make the part needed since we don’t have computer operated things. Our propane range is probably 20 yrs. old. We got used and it requires no electricity to run. We were ready for Y2K. My hubby and son fix all our appliances and alwasy have. Although when our fridge went a couple weeks ago we had to buy new. What a shock for someone who does not buy new things. I don’t use a timer for hardly anything. Certainly I never forget to check the stove or close the damper, maybe because of 20 yrs. with this wood stove and years before of others. Couldn’t imagine setting a timer for that and if I needed a timer a $2 or less one from WM does the trick. Can’t afford IPODS so have no idea how that works. LOL Sometimes new is the way to go. if our stove gets problems we will try to fix it ourselves as we hate spending the money for someone else to repair or buy new as that is even worse. But not all can be repaired.

    Reply to Deb's comment

  5. Misti on March 26, 2015 at 9:50 am

    Right after we moved into our house 3 years ago the dishwasher stopped working. Chris was in the field a lot then but was finally able to determine it was the electrical panel, which he was able to order parts for and fix. Now, this wouldn’t have been a problem if it was just me and him at home, but I had a steady stream of guests that first month helping to unpack and to visit, so handwashing was a real pain in the butt!

    My husband will definitely attempt to fix anything himself if he can. He goes to YouTube and various forums for just about anything.

    But, yes, sometimes it’s just time to buy something new.

    Reply to Misti's comment

  6. Nebraska Dave on March 26, 2015 at 10:14 am

    Susy, I always evaluate whether to fix or buy new. My aging appliances are getting to the point where new will be an option. The microwave is a given for new instead of repair. It’s just been replaced last year. I seriously doubt if it will last 15 years like the last one did. The electric cook stove is a 1965 model which makes it 50 years old and still works great. It’s not fancy and, yes, it’s that ugly two tone green so popular in the 1960s but, hey, it works. I’m not an advocate of replacing things until they just die and can’t be resuscitated. I have replaced an oven element and a panel push button control switch but other than those two relatively inexpensive items, the old girl has performed magnificently. The clothes washer and drier are almost 20 years old and have had some minor repairs but are working great. The refrigerator is 30 years old and works good so far. The dish washer or sanitizer as I call it …. well …. it’s been replaced three times in 30 years. Parts are so expensive and new dishwashers are so cheap that it isn’t worth the effort to repair an old washer. Yeah, so the answer is “Yes, I do repair when I can.”

    Have a great appliance repair/replace day.

    Reply to Nebraska Dave's comment

  7. Caroline on March 26, 2015 at 11:31 am

    I wish I had the know how to fix my own appliances!!!
    As for the stove, with a $400+ repair tag, that’s when I’d call it a day and buy a new one. My current range can’t keep a steady temperature, nor does the temperature match what the dial says. I’m pretty sure it’s from the late 70’s. I’m looking forward to getting my tax refund and purchasing a shiny new flat top. We’re trying to add value to our house so we can sell and move in 5 or so years, the stove we have now HAS to go.

    Fortunately, we’ve been able to fix our furnace (and by “we” I do mean my dad!) the last few times it acted up. That was not a purchase I was prepared to make.

    Oh, and as for the stove timer? The one on ours is incredibly annoying and not reliable. I use the microwave just above the stove instead. Mostly for timed cooking, but also for potty training!

    Reply to Caroline's comment

  8. Chris on March 26, 2015 at 11:46 am

    Oh that’s a bummer about your stove…maybe it will just hang in there, minus a few handy items for quite awhile longer.
    Yes, we always try and repair things too before buying new. The good thing about newer appliances is they are much more energy efficient than the older models, so they will actually save you money in the long run and of course save precious energy, which for us is a very important factor when buying new.

    Good luck with ole Betsy…or whatever her name is! :)

    Reply to Chris's comment

  9. Lorna on March 26, 2015 at 12:30 pm

    I prefer fixing old whenever possible; I’ve had such bad luck with new appliances! We recently bought a new stove and it’s already ‘not working’ just four months in. In fact, I was just about to dig out the paperwork to call it in when I saw you post. . .

    Reply to Lorna's comment

  10. Tommy on March 26, 2015 at 5:41 pm

    this is a sore-spot for me. I thoroughly believe the technology-driven system that we live in purposefully designs and produces components and products that will die within a very short timespan. They catch people in a “just buy a new one” mentality, and you’re stuck. I had a pool heater die after just 2.5 years, and the pool repairman echoed my sentiment—he sees it continually in newer products. These things have a shelf life of only 2 years max, with the idea that the consumer will have to buy a new one. To that end, I am thinking about buying a home warranty policy so that at least I won’t have to buy new products every couple of years.
    It seriously pisses me off! I feel helpless because you can’t buy anything new as it will stop working within a few short years. (I-phones included in that–my wife’s iphone stopped working after 3 years, and the advice at the apple store was, “well, just upgrade.”)

    Reply to Tommy's comment

    • bonnie knox on March 27, 2015 at 7:25 am

      I know what you mean, and it makes me feel old to say “they don’t make things the way they used to.”

      Reply to bonnie knox's comment


This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

Read previous post:
I Spy….

I spy a spot of bare ground in my back yard! Of course this is a high spot in the...