Appliance Life Expectancy

How long should an appliance last?

Most appliances and small electrical products have fairly predictable life expectancies. Depending on the original cost, manufacturing quality, and how heavily it is used, an appliance may last a longer or shorter period than shown in the following table.

Nevertheless, it´s useful information, especially if you want to make sure you get your money´s worth. Just knowing that the microwave is going to die after only 10 years, or that you need to budget for a replacement for your gas range after about 20, helps plan for the inevitable expense. And if you are buying used appliances, it´s a good indicator of how long you can expect a five-year-old top-loading washer to last.

The following table shows average life expectancies for common household appliances. This information has been derived from different sources including manufacturers´ websites and consumer resources, and is intended only as an estimate. Care and maintenance as well as proper installation also play big roles in performance and longevity.

Major appliances

Appliance Expected life in years
Microwave oven 10
Garbage disposal 10-12
Trash compactor 10
Water heater, gas 11-13
Water heater, electric 13-14
Water heater, tankless (on demand) 20+
Smoke detector 10
Refrigerator, side by side 14
Refrigerator, top mount 14
Refrigerator, bottom mount 17
Refrigerator, single door 19
Refrigerator, compact (dorm type) 5
Washing machine, top load 14
Washing machine, front load 11
Dryer 13
Range, electric 17
Range, gas 19
Dishwasher 10
Cooktops 13-20
Air Conditioner (room size) 10


Information contributed by Contractor Nexus and the Sensei at