If you're considering buying a used Kenmore washing machine, be sure to confirm the machine's age. According to a 2007 study by the National Association of Home Builders and Bank of America Home Equity, the average life expectancy of a washing machine is 10 years, so it's important to know exactly how old the washer is before purchasing it. Ask the seller if you can look at the washing machine's serial number, and you'll be able to determine the machine's age.
Find the serial and model numbers on the Kenmore washing machine you’re considering buying. There are several possible locations, including the back of the cabinet (near the top) or on the front or side of the machine’s base. For top-load machines, other possible locations include under the lid, on the right rear rim of the washer tub, and along the top of the control panel. On front-load washers, the serial number also might be found inside the door or on the door frame.
Determine which company manufactured the machine by checking the model number. Kenmore is the brand name Sears uses for its appliances, but its washing machines are actually manufactured by Whirlpool or Frigidaire. The companies use different numbering systems. Kenmore washers made by Whirlpool are identified by model numbers beginning with “110;" the model numbers of Frigidaire-built washers begin with “417.”
Locate the serial number on a Kenmore washer made by Whirlpool. The second letter of the serial number identifies the year the machine was manufactured. For instance, “L” represents 2001, “M” means 2002 and, continuing through the alphabet, “Y” means 2009. The two numbers following the letter identify the week of the year that the washer was built.
Find the serial number on a Frigidaire-made Kenmore washer. It begins with two letters, followed by several numbers. The first number represents the year of manufacture. In more current models, the number "2" represents the year 2002, "3" represents 2003, "4" represents 2004, and so on. The next two numbers identify the week of the year that the washer was built.
Based in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Elizabeth Grace is a freelance writer. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in public relations from Pepperdine University, and has 15 years of experience developing marketing campaigns for universities and multinational corporations.