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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.
If the label can't be found in any of the usually obvious places then it may have been removed or just come off. Some appliances have a secondary backup rating plate on the rear of the machine but don't rely on this being the case on every appliance because these are normally only on built in units. Refrigeration appliances also carry a secondary rating plate on the back of the machine but that relates to the refrigerant gas and pressure, this information is only of use to qualified Gas systems engineers.

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.





1 On the under side of the Hob. To view it, either open the cupboard unit door or if there is a drawer directly below it then remove it.
2 On the control panel or along the edges


1 On the inside of the main oven door
2 On the inside edge of the door frame.
3 On the hinged edge of the door.
4 Behind the Top oven door. (If your model has one)
5 Behind the drawer or door at the base of the cooker (If your model has one)
6 Behind the back panel

Locations 1, 2 and 3 also apply to buit in ovens as well

1 On the upper section of the hood vent
2 Along the underside edge of the hood vent
3 At the back of the vent tube
4 Inside the filter housing (If your Cooker hood is the flat type)

1 On any of the inside edges of the door.
2 Under the kick panel on the front of the machine.
3 On the inside edge of the cabinet normally covered by the door.
4 At the back of the appliance.

1. On the inside edge of the door
2. On the lip around the door opening
3. On the back panel

1. Inside the Refrigerator behind one of the salad drawers
2. Around the outer edge of the door opening
3. On the inside edge at front or top of the door (Fridge or Freezer)
4. On the back of the appliance
5. On inside at the bottom

1. On the back of the body
2. On the front of the cleaner
3. Underneath the cleaner
4. Behind the drop down handle (Older models)

1. On the back of the kick plate
2. On the inside edge of the door
3. On the facing edge of the door opening
4. Behind the pump flap (Not all machines have these)
5. On the back of the cabinet

1. On the inside edge of the door
2. On the facing edge of the door opening
3. On the back of the cabinet
4. Behind the lower filter cover