Washing machine spare part suppliers
What to expect from and how best to deal with washing machine spare part suppliers, as well as what information you need from the washing machine
Many people buy appliance spares online these days but even so, finding the right washing machine part isn't always straight forward. This page contains advice on what information you need from your washing machine to obtain the correct spare part.
This page contains free useful advice, but if you are in a hurry and just want to buy parts for washing machines you can use the spares box in the right column.
Buying washing machine spare parts advice - avoid the pitfalls
- What is the difference between spare parts suppliers and a normal retail shop?
- Is the model and serial number all I need?
- Are numbers on the actual part any use?
- How to find a spare part - what information you need from the washing machine
- Where to find the proper model number and serial number on a washing machine
What is the difference between spare parts suppliers and a normal retail shop?
Buying spare parts for a washing machine is different from buying products in a normal shop. Also, there are common mistakes made, that can overly prolong, and add stress to, the whole process of buying a spare part for your washing machine.
Spares companies that sell parts to both the trade and the general public from trade counters can sometimes seem a bit unfriendly and it may feel slightly intimidating if people from the trade are also being served. Staff see the same faces from the trade all the time and build up a relationship with them. The trade always know which spare parts they want, what they are called, and often even the part number. Members of the public don't usually know what the part they require is called, and rarely - if ever - know what the part number is.
Notices up in stores make it plain you will get no guarantee unless the part is fitted by a "qualified engineer", and unlike with "normal" retailers, you can't take a part back after buying it unless you can prove it is faulty, which normally involves them sending the part back to the manufacturer for testing first.
Members of the public often don't even have a proper model number either, they assume that the name and number written on the front of the washing machine is the model number when often it isn't. They also don't realise that some manufacturer's use product numbers, serial numbers and other numbers from the washing machine (such as date codes) to identify spare parts - and therefore having the make and model number is sometimes not enough. (related advice: avoid common spare parts pitfalls )
Sometimes customers drop an old part on the counter and expect them to find a replacement. The reality is, they often can't without the right numbers, unless it's a very common part.
Finally, many members of the public misdiagnose the fault on their washing machine in the first place. They often want to buy parts that they don't actually need, or know how to fit. This causes parts suppliers to refuse to guarantee any parts sold to the general public because so many come back when they fit the part and the fault is still present.
Basically, most spare parts for washing machines are supposed to be bought by repairmen in the trade, who then fit them for the customer and give the guarantee. You can buy spare parts for DIY repairs, but you need to be forearmed with the right information and you need to understand how these suppliers work.
If you go to a spares supplier and they don't stock the part, you may have to wait a while. Ordering parts from a trade counters is not usually an express service. They tend to add parts to a list to be ordered at the end of the week or when it gets large enough.
Local repair shop
Buying washing machine spare parts from your local repair shop is another option. However, they will stock far fewer parts, and may not be keen on ordering parts they don't stock. As they make their living repairing and (or) selling washing machines, they may be reluctant to help you to bypass their livelihood. However, many repair shops can be very helpful, some accept that many people are capable of fixing their own washing machine and realise if you can't buy a part from them you will get it elsewhere anyway. It's possible they may try to talk you in to letting them repair your machine, or put you off fixing it yourself. This advice could be genuine, and worth following, or it could be biased.
Buying spare parts online
The advantages here are obvious, order from your own home, out of office hours and at weekends. Disadvantages are that you can't always see a good picture of the spare part and you have to rely on email or telephone for queries. However, many thousands of people are buying washing machine spare parts online, particularly if they work and can't get out to try and physically buy one. Another advantage is that online spares companies tend to stock far more parts or at least have the facility for you to order the part you need immediately. ( Buy spare parts for washing machines and any other appliance at 4Washerhelp )Go to top of page
Is the model and serial number all I need?
Sometimes, but in many cases, no. Logically you'd expect that knowing the make and model number of a washing machine would be enough to be able to identify a spare part but it's more complex than this. Many washing machine manufacturers use other numbers to identify spare parts. Read some manufacturers put a model number on the front of the washing machine which is useless for locating spare parts to find out more.Go to top of page
Are numbers on the actual part any use?
Not very often. Occasionally a meaningful number may be printed on a drive belt, and it does no harm to note them down, but the majority of numbers found on a washing machine part are manufacturer's numbers. The manufacturer does not supply the spare part to us, it supplies them to the washing machine manufacturer, and they supply them to us using their own part numbers.Go to top of page
How to find a washing machine spare part - what information you need from the washing machine
Locating the correct spare part can be straight forward, but the truth is that if you don't have the right information to give a potential supplier it can be very time consuming and difficult. Here are common errors people make when trying buy a washing machine part
1: They don't have the proper model number
This is the most common error. The "model number" written on the front of a washing machine is often misleading. These phrases often refer to the model range of the washing machine and its top spin speed. (Details of how to get the proper model number are in the next section below)
2: They assume the person serving them will know which part they need
The person serving behind the counter, is not an expert on washing machines. They are unlikely to know much about them and their knowledge tends to be confined to what they have learned through fetching parts for the trade. The job that they are doing doesn't require any knowledge of washing machine spare parts, they simply fetch them (hopefully after being given a part number) Many people bring in an old part, place it on the counter and request a new one. Unless the part required is a common part, the person behind the counter is likely to shrug their shoulders and ask which make, and what model it's from. With the proper model number, they can attempt to look it up on their system.
3: They assume the number printed on the old part will do
In the vast majority of cases, a number printed on a part is useless for identifying a replacement. Numbers printed on parts are usually the numbers of the company who made the actual part for the washing machine manufacturer. Washing machine manufacturer's use their own part numbers and it's rare for the washing machine manufacturer's part number to be printed on a spare part. It does sometimes happen, just not very often.
4: They don't realize the importance of serial numbers, and other numbers available on the washing machine
Many parts need a product number, a date code or serial number to correctly identify a replacement. These numbers are not usually put in customer friendly places. They are intended for engineers. With some makes of washing machine, it's quite possible to have the old part in your hand, the model number and the serial number, but still be unable to buy a new part because they need a product number or some other number from the back of the washing machine.Go to top of page
Where to find the proper model number and serial number on a washing machine
The model number is usually essential. Don't make the mistake of assuming that the name and number on the front panel is all you need, because most often it's not the proper model number at all.
You can't buy many parts for some makes of washing machine using only the model number. Examples of this are AEG, Bosch and Zanussi, who all need special numbers located on the rating plates, also, Indesit, have important extra letters in the model number at the back of the machine. Hotpoint also often need a date code, which is the first two numbers of the serial number.
The safest bet by far is to write down not only the model number, but the serial number and any other number on the rating plate. Especially note the following -
- Zanussi and AEG use Production numbers (usually beginning with 9)
- Bosch use an E-nr number and Fd number
- Indesit model numbers are on the front but they often have extra letters on the back of the machine (or behind the door) which can be vital - and the serial number is often vital
- Hotpoint and Creda use the model number and date code (first 2 numbers of the serial number)
- Many other washing machine manufacturers use the model number and the serial number
Where are the model / serial numbers and rating plates?
Often at the back of the washing machine but fortunately, modern washing machines tend to put the model and serial numbers in more accessible places. The current trend is to put a small rating plate with the model and serial number behind the door, either on the shell near the door seal or on the back of the door itself.
Some model / serial numbers may be behind the filter door (if a filter is fitted) or even behind the kick strip at the front base of the machine.
Most washing machines have model/serial numbers at the back of the machine, either as the only one, or as a duplicate of one elsewhere on the machine. Sometimes the rating plate at the back of the machine has numbers not available elsewhere.
The most important thing is to get as many numbers from the washing machine as possible. To be on the safe side, try to get all numbers from the rating plate that look like production numbers, serial numbers or date codes. If you cannot find this information without moving the washing machine, and moving it is awkward, try the model number first as it could be all that's required anyway.
If in doubt, phone the supplier before trailing down, or before disturbing your machine unnecessarily. If you have a Hoover or a Hotpoint washing machine, then the model and serial numbers should be behind the door (unless it's very old)
Finding model numbers on appliances (Detailed advice including diagrams of how to find the model and serial numbers on a range of white goods appliances)
Don't get the idea that obtaining a spare part is extremely difficult though, many parts are straight forward to obtain and you can buy most common washing machine parts at this spares site 4Washerhelp
If you haven't already done so, you can find out the important difference between genuine and non-genuine spare parts for washing machines here Genuine parts adviceGo to top of page
Further washing machine spare parts advice
- Knowing what to expect, and being armed with the right information, can save a lot of hassle, time and wasted journeys. If you haven't already done so, you can find out the important difference between genuine and non-genuine spare parts for washing machines here Genuine spare parts advice
- Advice on how to deal with and use washing machine spare parts suppliers
More on next column ...
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This section gives spares help for washing machines but if you simply want to find a reputable repairman then try this section - Find a reputable washing machine repairer and get advice related to finding a repairer
More diy washing machine repairs adviceFull list of DIY washing machine help (parts 1 - 8)
Main Buying Section: Buying washing machines