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How to order parts for an appliance: washer, dryer, refrigerator, etc.

Updated on September 14, 2010

The model Number

Ordering parts is pretty simple. You will need the model number of the appliance. Most appliances have the model number located on a tag visible when the appliance door or lid is open. Some of the appliances have numbers that are separated with a period (dot). For example, Kenmore model numbers always start with three numbers followed by a dot and then a longer number. For Kenmore, model numbers that start with 110. are made by Whirlpool.

You will not need the serial number, or stocking number. The only number that is needed is the model number.

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Part Description and Name

Next you will need the name of the item, such as the timer knob, the timer, the start switch, or the belt. There are a few online services that allow you to look up the part with the use of keywords. These services are quite good because there are good photos to guide you. You must be cautious though because some of the items are difficult to identify without the model number, even if a photo is furnished. For example, belts are difficult to identify because they all pretty much look the same but only one will work on your appliance.

Sometimes when you have removed the part from the appliance you will find a part number. The part number will be helpful if you do not know the exact name of the item. Some part numbers will not be helpful, especially with older machines and the original equipment is not available but third party parts are in abundance. With Whirlpool the parts are listed as factory specified parts and marked with an FSP. Some parts are listed as OEM which indicates original equipment manufacturer. If there is a choice, I would recommend FSP or OEM parts. Often these are not available and therefore you would need to use a substitute.

Common Dryer Parts needed for Whirlpool Kenmore Dryers

Ordering by phone

Most parts houses deal with repairmen who order daily. Be sure to tell them that you are a novice and may need help in identifying the item you wish to order. Most of these people are good with the public and will be helpful.

On line parts stores are quite often too generic for my tastes and searching for parts is difficult. Just think of all of your appliances taken apart and making a list of all the parts. You will have thousands of parts and they all have to be numbered and stocked. Then imagine all of your neighbors having the same thing. Combine the whole neighborhood's parts and list them separately. The idea is daunting. This is why I prefer to deal with a person rather than a parts listing.

Locations that have most parts, your local appliance retailer, sears, and search the yellow pages. A google search for appliance parts will reveal a long list of parts suppliers.


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    • SteveoMc profile image

      SteveoMc 7 years ago from Pacific NorthWest

      Nellieanna, Once again you come to me urgent support. Bless your poetic heart! Nice to see you coming by. BTW you never did tell how the visit went with those great grand kids.

    • Nellieanna profile image

      Nellieanna Hay 7 years ago from TEXAS

      Where were you when my dryer door gasket first stretched out too big to stay in place? (It's still missing, though, so all is not lost!)

      It is a most useful hub and I'm voting it so - and obviously for some of us, is perennially timely!! Now to locate those numbers - well at least the dryer's - and see about ordering a gasket. Or. . . maybe a new dryer! On the other hand, considering how effeciently this old one has operated with a part missing, maybe it's too good to relinquish!

      Thanks, Steve. You're irreplaceable!! ;->

    • SteveoMc profile image

      SteveoMc 7 years ago from Pacific NorthWest

      What could be more machines! Yippee!

    • BJBenson profile image

      BJBenson 7 years ago from USA

      TOL bought me a new washer and dyer yesterday to be delivered to our new home in Ohio. I am so excited.

    • SteveoMc profile image

      SteveoMc 7 years ago from Pacific NorthWest

      drbj thanks for the comment and continued support, you know I love it. If you are going to try to do it yourself anytime with an appliance, you will need parts. The parts I listed from Amazon are very good prices indeed. Drum supports are $5.40, about half of what a parts house sells them for. If you can repair your dryer for $10.00, then you will be saving a fortune.

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 7 years ago from south Florida

      What a really useful hub, Steve, I never would have thought of this subject as fodder for a hub. But it is important information that anyone can use for an appliance that needs parts. Especially in out society where said appliances seem to be manufactured to become obsolete in a very short time frame.