If you have a piece of equipment that has broken down and is out-of-warranty, you may be wondering if it’s worth fixing or if a replacement is a better option, and like most of us, your tendency might be to keep repairing it for much longer than you should. This can actually end up costing you a lot of time and money in the long run. But how do you determine if you should repair or replace something?

The No.1 'Rule of Thumb'

Based on industry standards, the decision to replace or repair an item of equipment is based on the cost of the repair, compared to the cost of replacement, considered along with the age of the equipment itself. Generally if the cost of the repair is 50% or lessof the cost for replacement, and the equipment life-cycle expiration is 50% or lower of its expected life-cycle, the equipment will be repaired.

12 Top Considerations

However, there are other factors that need to be taken into consideration and the decision has to be made on a case-by-case basis including, but not limited to:

  1. The equipment's service history
  2. Performance and reliability
  3. Overall condition
  4. Functional importance
  5. Any critical risk the equipment may cause if out-of-use, repaired, or replaced
  6. Likely ongoing operating costs
  7. Impact on productivity and/or quality
  8. Cost of unscheduled downtime, including collateral costs (health, safety, environmental, etc.)
  9. Decommissioning or/and disposal cost
  10. Associated cost to research and purchase a replacement
  11. The capital cost of the replacement equipment, including the cost of money
  12. Any training costs on replacement equipment


The decision to repair or replace is not always straightforward. However, by working alongside a qualified expert, it is possible to make an informed decision.

Remember, the best decision on whether to repair or replace can only be reached by evaluating the equipment in the broadest possible terms. By taking a long term view, not only of the cost and life-cycle of the equipment, but the additional top 12 considerations listed above, you are well placed to make a good decision in terms of cost, performance and sustainability.