How Can You Tell How Old an Appliance Is?

When people buy a new home, they often want to know the age of the appliances. This will help them plan, know what kinds of parts they will need, and have an idea of how much longer the appliances will last. However, sometimes the old owners don’t leave any information that tells them when the appliance was made or purchased. So, is there a way to tell how old an appliance is?

Although there are different methods for dating appliances depending on the brand, most of them have a serial number that you can use to find out when the appliance was made. The first few numbers in the serial number will often indicate the year, month, and week of manufacture.  Once you locate the serial number, you can look it up on an online form and find out how old your appliance is.

Dating your appliances is important because appliances are expensive, and most people need to plan ahead to be on top of their finances. Continue reading to learn how to tell how old an appliance is.

How to Tell How Old an Appliance Is

The key to finding out how old an appliance is is by finding the serial number. However, this method only dates appliances that were made after the 1970s or 1980s. If you have antique models, they are not dated this way. You will need to hire a professional specializing in antique appliances if your appliances are from the 1950s or 1960s.

You need to find the entire serial number on your appliance. Appliances include any of the following:

  • Refrigerator
  • Stove
  • Oven
  • Washer
  • Dryer
  • Dishwasher

Most model and serial numbers will have both numbers and letters, and you need to make sure you enter them accurately when you are looking them up. It can be easy to confuse a Z with a 2 or confuse an S with a 5. Make sure that you are careful when you write down these numbers to find out how old your appliance is.

How to Find Out How Old Your Appliance Is by Manufacturer

Although most appliances have the date of manufacture included in the model or serial number, the part of the number that tells you when the appliance was made will not be the same for different brands. Take a look at how to find the date in some familiar brands.

1. GE

Like most manufacturers, GE contains the age of the appliance in its serial number. Most of their kitchen appliances have a number tag on one of the inside walls. GE has a helpful page to help you find the GE model and serial number for specific appliances.

After you find the serial number (you don’t need the model number) it is time to decipher the age of your appliance. For GE appliances, the first alphabetic character tells you what month it was made, and the second one tells you the year. Below is the table that GE put together to help us determine how old our appliances are.

For example, the serial number for our refrigerator that came with the new house we purchased in April 2020 is DR404450. Using the table below, I can see that it was manufactured in February 2020. Notice that the letter R can be different years, but in my case, it can only be 2020, the year we purchase the house. Hopefully, you can tell which year it is as well.

  • D=February
  • R=2020, 2008, 1996, 1984, 1972, 1958

GE Manufacturing Month and Year Chart

LetterMonth (first letter)Years (second letter)
AJanuary2013, 2001, 1989, 1977, 1944
DFebruary2014, 2002, 1990, 1978, 1947
E1969, 1948
FMarch2015, 2003, 1991, 1979, 1949
GApril2016, 2004, 1992, 1980, 1950
HMay2017, 2005, 1993, 1981, 1951
LJune2018, 2006, 1994, 1982, 1970, 1954
MJuly2019, 2007, 1995, 1983, 1971, 1955
N1972, 1956
P1973, 1957
RAugust2020, 2008, 1996, 1984, 1972, 1958
SSeptember2021, 2009, 1997, 1985, 1973, 1959
TOctober2010, 1998, 1986, 1974, 1960
VNovember2011, 1999, 1987, 1975
ZDecember2012, 2000, 1988, 1976

2. Whirlpool

Whirlpool includes brands in their family, such as Sinkguard, Roper, KitchenAid, and others. They also acquired Maytag in 2006, so models of Maytag appliances made after 2006 are included in their brand. They have a specific pattern in the serial number of the appliance that can help you determine the age.

The first character is always a letter and tells you the code for the manufacturing division. The second character can be a letter or a number and lets you know what year it was made, and the fourth and fifth characters are two numbers that tell you the week of the year when it was made.

You can go to this page to figure out where to find the serial number for your Whirpool appliance.

For example, a Whirlpool appliance with serial number FK2901287 was manufactured in 2000 (K=2000), week 29 (July), and it was unit number 1287 for that week.

Whirpool Manufacturing Month and Year Chart

Codes prior to 1990


Codes from 1990 to 2021


3. LG

For LG appliances, the first digit tells you the last digit of the year when it was made. The second and third numbers let you know the month. If the year is “6,” you may need to use other factors to determine if it is 2016 or 2006. However, you should be able to find out.

This is the page within the LG website that tells where to locate the serial number for your appliance.

4. Samsung

Samsung also uses the serial number to embed the date of manufacture. If you have a 15-digit serial number, the eighth digit will be the year, and the ninth digit is the month. If the serial number has 11 digits, the fourth digit is the year, and the fifth digit is the month.

Date Code Search Tool

How Can You Tell How Old an Appliance Is? - Date Code Search Tool

If this is all a little too confusing for you, Appliance 411 has created and maintains an online form to tell you the month and year your appliance was manufactured. Just click the picture below to go to their site.

Click the image on the left to go to Appliance 411 search form. Enter the brand name, appliance type, location (US or Canada), model number, and serial number. And you’ll get how old your appliance is. Just like with manual calculations, sometimes this form will not be able to tell you the precise manufacturing year. It will give you the potential years for the given code and you will have to choose the most likely or in some cases, contact the manufacturer.

Final Words

When you buy a new home, you might want to know how old your appliances are. You can figure it out by looking and decoding the serial number of the various manufacturers. You can also use an online form and enter serial and model numbers for your appliance.

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