Appliance reliability is obviously important. You do not want to buy a $1,500 refrigerator or $5,000 pro range and have problems right away. Most problems are not repaired well anyway as there are few decent service techs in this industry.
So initial quality is especially important when buying an appliance.
It is almost more important to us. We service what we sell with 25 service techs on the road. We can only sell reliable brands with decent product support.
In fact, we sell fewer brands than any competitor and only the brands with solid technical support and fair exchange policies.
Warranty service calls (repairs within the first year) have dropped from 18% in 2014 to 12.55% to 11.66%.
In 2017, they are up slightly to 12.61% but have been better lately due to changes in the last 6 months.
So like last year, we will explain the methodology, review reliable products, and look at the most reliable brands for this year. This should carry over to 2018.Short on time? Get our free Appliance Buying Guide
One of the benefits of having a huge service department is data collection. We will be in approximately 130-150 homes today fixing appliances, with a good portion being less than a year old and under warranty.
That is 650 homes per week (at least) or roughly 34,000 calls yearly (not including homes with multiple calls). That’s the math behind this post.
It is sales generated versus warranty service calls within 1 year.
I should tell you this article is consistently unfair. Any time a service tech is sent to your house, it counts as a service call. It does not matter what the call actually is.
Often times it’s a simple adjustment, but it counts as a call if you need us to perform any kind of service within the first year.
Lastly, we do not scrub the data, so there is no distinction between a major or minor call.
Most Reliable Products
The most reliable brands will be in the most reliable categories like disposers, hoods, and microwaves.
Laundry and dishwashers are generally reliable, but some are way better than others. If you are looking to buy warranties (another odd industry purchase), those five categories are probably not worth the purchase.
Disposers: 989 Sold / 0 Repaired
I always thought a disposer would have issues given the task. I guess not. We sold approximately 989 disposers without a single repair or over 2,000 in the last two years with one repair (actually my house).
Range Hoods: 2910 Sold / 68 Repaired
No surprise here. A hood moves air. That does not seem that difficult. Broan, Best, Yale Brand, and Faber were all under 4%. Only XO was over 10%.
Sharp was fewer than 4%. Most companies had few problems with their microwaves too. Once again, it is older, refined technology.
Grills: 452 Sold / 9 serviced
Kalamazoo, Weber, Coyote, and Hestan were less than 2%. The only exception was Lynx at just over 15%.
One Final Word
Last year, we started posting the most reliable products like French door refrigerators, top load washers, front load washers, wall ovens, gas ranges, electric ranges, and pro ranges as well.
The brands at the top of this list sell fewer refrigerators and pro ranges and more reliable appliances like dishwashers as well as laundry.
For example, the basic Frigidaire is very reliable, but their Gallery and Pro lines of more French door refrigerators and more complicated cooking need three times the repairs.
Reliability is about numbers. Many companies like Speed Queen tout build quality, but the numbers do not back the story.
That said, let us look at the most reliable appliance brands for 2017-2018.
Most Reliable Appliance Brands of 2017
3,973 Sold | 628 Serviced - 15.80%
Their older cooking products should work. However, they are skewed to the mostly higher repaired refrigerators and pro ranges. 16% is excellent for any company in these categories.
2,845 Sold | 440 Serviced - 15.47%
Their front control ranges work well for a high-end range. Their mix is mostly dishwashers with some refrigeration.
1,992 Sold | 307 Serviced - 15.41%
This company does sell some microwaves, but does sell mostly complicated wall ovens and pro ranges….so this is remarkable.
6,499 Sold | 727 Serviced - 11.19%
Bosch is possibly the best affordable luxury brand for reliability, style and value. They also handle issues well (at least in the Boston area).
367 | 38 Serviced - 10.35%
Gaggenau is the best overall product sold in term of overall design. However, it is complicated to operate initially and hard to install (we will show you both).
2,449 Sold | 267 Serviced - 10.9%
Editor’s note: We do not sell the so-called “energy efficient” top loads on universal recall.
The problem with Samsung is not reliability. They have issues with problems with no national service network. It is not a difficult brand to fix according to our techs.
1,967 Sold | 153 Serviced - 7.78%
Their dishwasher and laundry require almost no service, but they now sell a full suite of appliances, so the service rate is higher.
2,699 Sold | 195 Serviced - 7.22%
Their laundry is incredibly reliable as well as parts and support. Our shift to Maytag/Whirlpool has resulted in almost half the service calls from last year.
2,573 Sold | 160 Serviced - 6.22%
Although the mix is more weighted with dishwashers, cooking and less featured refrigerators, Frigidaire is still one of the most reliable brands in every product group. Unlike in years past, this does not include Pro and Gallery which need almost 20% service within the first year.
917 Sold | 49 Serviced - 5.34%
Given the number of complaints on the internet, you would not expect LG to be so high on this list. 5% is pretty good for a brand even weighted towards laundry.
528 Sold | 21 Serviced 3.97%
Amana is mostly very simple appliances, microwaves and dishwashers.
5,886 Sold | 21 Serviced - 3.56%
Whirlpool is our inexpensive builder line skewed to laundry and simple ranges as well as top mount refrigerators. This is their third year being number 1. Their line especially laundry is solid but unspectacular.
Twelve percent of service within the first year is very low. You have to remember these are just the clients who call us. There has to be a percentage who do not know or forget that we offer warranty service free.
You will see higher rates from online stores because the freighting adds a certain percentage. Installation can play a part as well, so be careful.
Now you know the most reliable brands. However, if you buy a whole kitchen, there is a good chance you will still need service. Bosch, Thermador, and Whirlpool's brands (Jenn-Air, KithenAid, and Maytag) have the best tech support and part availability.
Samsung, and especially LG, have bad reviews all over the internet because they do not have the infrastructure to support their growth. The product works. Their logistics need to be beefed up.
Most of these brands, unlike automobile manufacturers, offer very little service. Finding a retailer who can fix appliances in your local area is so important because the products and technology are evolving.
Have questions on appliances? Read the Yale Appliance Buying Guide with the 10 most frequently asked questions, the best time to buy appliances as well as detailed profiles of all the brands. Well over 200,000 people have read a Yale Guide.
My goal has always been simple: I want Yale to be the best retail experience anywhere. I have tried to create a compelling environment for customers and employees alike
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