After about 6 months with my Kenmore Elite Refrigerator, it was time to replace the water filter. There were two indications that the time had come to replace the filter: 1. The ice cubes were starting to make the water my family was drinking taste like chlorine, and 2. the electronic indicator said so.
Knowing from experience that Kenmore replacement parts can be a lot more expensive than generic (or even other name brand) parts, I decided to check around for the best price on the water filter for my refrigerator. (As a single mom, I need to save money wherever I can.) As a first step, I wrote down the model number of the appliance, then I called the Sears parts number to find out the price would be for a certified Kenmore water filter, compared to whatever alternative brand filters would fit my refrigerator.
I was informed that the Kenmore water filter for my refrigerator would be just under 56 bucks, plus shipping. When I asked for a part number so that I could check around on the price, they told me that no one else sold Kenmore parts — and that if I contacted Pur (the company that makes the water filter) directly, they would simply refer me back to the Sears number. I then asked if Sears could provide me with information on alternate brand filters that would fit the refrigerator so that I could check for less expensive options — and Sears told me there weren’t any. And that if I bought any other brand, it wouldn’t work with my refrigerator and would actually cause DAMAGE to my refrigerator because of differences in design.
Considering the large price tag for the Kenmore filter, I decided to do a bit more research. Using Google, I searched for “Pur Water Filter Kenmore Elite (insert model number here)”. Google pointed me to a website for appliance replacement parts — specifically, a page showing a Whirlpool water filter. There was a list on the page indicating that this water filter would work as a replacement for the SPECIFIC KENMORE PART NUMBER the Sears representative had provided me with.
I now went to Amazon.com — since they often have better prices on many of the things that I buy — and searched for the Whirlpool filter I had found on the other website. The end result: I got TWO replacement filters for my Kenmore refrigerator for the SAME PRICE it would have cost for ONE filter purchased directly from Kenmore. So, I got each filter for HAlF PRICE! (Which is a pretty good thing, considering even the Whirlpool water filters are somewhat pricey.)
Since I belong to Amazon Prime, I received my Pur Whirlpool filters from Amazon two days later. (Amazon Prime helps you save a lot of money on fast shipping.) Just to be sure the Sears representative wasn’t right, I compared all the dimensions and protrusions on the Whirlpool filter with those on the Kenmore Pur filter I removed from my refrigerator. (See photos. Note: the red caps shown in one view were present only to protect the filter during shipment, and I had to remove them prior to installation.) And sure enough, everything appeared to match identically, except for the filter label.
I took great care in inserting the Whirlpool Pur filter (Did you know that Whirlpool is currently the manufacturer of the Kenmore Elite refrigerators sold at Sears?) into my refrigerator, and it went in smoothly and made a little sucking sound as it made its connection. I resent the “replace filter” indicator on the front of the refrigerator, and I was good to go!
I have had no problems with the filter since installing it two weeks ago, and my ice no longer tastes like chlorine.
If you own a Kenmore appliance and want to save money on replacement parts, do your due diligence before buying. Try a Google search or check with an independent appliance repair facility to find out if there’s a non-Kenmore replacement that will work with your appliance. And when you know what model / part number your appliance takes, be sure to check out Amazon.com to see if they have a better price. This advice applies anytime you’re shopping for replacement parts, regardless of the appliance brand — check before you buy, even if the manufacturer tries to convince you otherwise. If you’re like me, you could save a ton and get your replacement parts for half price by purchasing them from the right place.