A good way to find reliable appliance parts is to request original equipment manufacturer parts through the appliance manufacturer. OEM parts are specifically designed to be used with the appliance in question and do not void the warranty of the appliance when they are used.
General, aftermarket and universal appliance parts are best used only when the appliance manufacturer has discontinued OEM parts for the appliance. The reason for this is because general, aftermarket and universal appliance parts are made by companies other than the appliance's original manufacturer. Therefore, the appliance's manufacture cannot cover these replacement parts under their warranty and their use may in fact void the current warranty on the appliance.
However, once a manufacturer has discontinued manufacturing OEM replacement parts for an appliance, customers may have to turn to general, aftermarket or universal replacement parts to fix the appliance. Some reputable online replacement part retailers include RepairClinic.com, EasyApplianceParts.com and PartSelect.com. All three of these websites carry a large inventory of replacement parts for all kinds of appliances. The inventories are generally organized by model or part number. The websites also provide customers with assistance in locating an appliance's model number or specific part number, as well as troubleshooting tips and repair information.