What are Serial numbers and where to locate them
Ordering the correct spare part for your domestic appliance is becoming increasingly more dependant on giving all the relevant information at the point of purchase, whether that is online or from a shop.
In a large number of cases you may get away by just knowing the model number of your appliance, especially on older machines. In some cases it is necessary to have the serial number as well, which determines when the appliance was actually made, because during the production life of a particular model there could be a number of different alterations to one or more components which may not be interchangeable.Therefore without knowing when the machine was made you could get a part that either doesn't fit or doesn't work on your particular appliance.
Another area for confusion is that manufacturers within a defined group may not always use the same descriptive term for there serial numbers or as in the case of Bosch and Neff (Use this link) they call the model number an E-NR number, and an FD number is the date code so both these numbers are required before searching for a part. Some other manufacturers, such as Electrolux AEG and Zanussi use a Product Number Code (PNC) as well as a Model number to identify the correct machine. They may also require the serial number as well so it's best to take all the numbers on the rating plate for these manufacturers.
The Indesit group consisting of Ariston, Creda, Cannon and Hotpoint amongst others, have also adopted the serial number plus model number system to define the correct component for a particular machine. However on these machines the model number is usually preceded by one or more letters i.e WMA30P. In this case the WMA is the model range and 30 being the actual model within that range. The 'P' at the end donates the colour, in this case POLAR WHITE.
Model ranges are also covered by names such as AQUALTIS or ULTIMA. Hoover and Candy also use model ranges such as NEXTRA or OPTIMA but they also need the 8 digit model number beginning with a 3 as well as the serial number also of 8 digits. With this information to hand you can usually get the exact part for your appliance.
Locating a model or serial number is not
that difficult really, because there are only a certain number of places
they can be put. The thing to avoid is making the task even more arduous
than it is by unscrewing panels or removing the top. No manufacturer places
a serial number behind a panel that has to be unscrewed, and you can usually
find all the relevant numbers on the same label.
In the case of cookers you will probably need to degrease the area around the door because the numbers there sometimes get covered in grease from the oven. The following chart will help you recognize the most common location places for these labels and where to look for them.