BBB Tip: A Guide to Buying Replacement Parts for Appliances

Replacing broken parts will extend the life of your refrigerator, stove, washing machine, dishwasher, or other household appliance. However, finding the right part is not always straightforward. You need to consider the type of repair, age of your appliance, and even your warranty terms.

Keep these tips in mind when looking for replacement parts for your appliances.

Tips for buying replacement parts for appliances 

  • Determine if buying replacement parts is worthwhile. Some retailers recommend replacing an appliance instead of repairing if the parts you need cost more than 50 percent of the cost of a new appliance. If your appliance is more than 10 years old, parts may simply not be available. Factor in the cost and logistics of repairing your current appliances to see if it’s worth the time and effort to extend its life. Keep in mind too, that ordering new parts may involve waiting several days for the parts to arrive.
  • Check the appliance warranty and store return policies. If your appliance is relatively new, you may be able to get replacement parts from the manufacturer under the item’s warranty. Usually, parts and labor are covered for at least one year. After that, core parts like washing machine motors or an oven’s heating elements may be covered by a longer warranty. Always check the warranty first to avoid purchasing a replacement part you might be able to get for free and to avoid unwittingly voiding an existing warranty with DIY work.
  • Know when you need to hire a professional repairman. Keep yourself and your family safe by hiring a professional to tackle any replacements that involve electrical, fuel, or plumbing connections. If your appliance’s fuses need replacing or your fridge needs a new compressor, you should call a professional to make the repair. On the other hand, most non-electric parts like microwave trays, fridge drawers and shelves, and certain kinds of filters are safe and easy to replace on your own. Find out what’s involved in the repair before you purchase a replacement part. It may be best to let a professional source and replace the part.
  • Reach out to the manufacturer. Contacting the manufacturer is always a safe bet when replacing appliance parts. You know you’ll get an original part that fits and works perfectly with your current appliance. Before calling the manufacturer, though, have all the appliance model numbers and the part specifications handy. This will save you time when you speak with a representative.
  • Check with locally owned appliance stores. If you are having trouble contacting the manufacturer or they don’t have the part available, try reaching out to a reputable local appliance service center or repair store. They may have the parts you need in stock, even ones that aren’t being manufactured any longer. Even if they don’t, they’ll likely have the expertise needed to give you a few other options.
  • Be careful when shopping for generic parts. Sometimes generic parts are much cheaper than replacement parts made by the appliance manufacturer. This can be a good way to save money, but you should buy generic parts with caution. Double check that the part will fit and function exactly like the original and find out if you can return any part that doesn’t work. In addition, make sure any generic parts you purchase won’t harm the inner workings of your appliance. If you aren’t sure, call an appliance service center to ask for advice.
  • Always make parts purchases from reputable sellers. Avoid getting scammed by making sure any business from which you buy parts is legitimate, and that it has a good reputation and record serving other consumers.Find an appliance repair business near you in the BBB directory. 

 For more information

See BBB’s HomeHQ for tips on caring for your home. Review the BBB Tip: Smart Shopping Online before you purchase appliance parts from online retailers.

Always make purchases from businesses that follow BBB Accreditation Standards and BBB Standards for Trust. If you spot an appliance repair scam, report it to BBB Scam Tracker. Your report will alert others to the danger.


Information courtesy of the Better Business Bureau