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OT - Vintage Refrigerator Worth Fixing?

GlennMGlennM Posts: 1,060
Hi
I have a very old fridge that was purchased new by my parents in the late 40’s or very early 50’s.  It has worked perfectly until the other day and it finally quit. I don’t hear any noise when I plug it in but the light inside still works.  I was considering taking the time to repair it and move it to the garage but I’m not sure how to proceed from here?  Any suggestions?  Around here the repair guys charge a fee to look at your repair and then basically just order new parts at great expense.  I don’t want to waste money on it and find there are no parts available.
In the bush just East of Cambridge,Ontario 
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Comments

  • lkapigianlkapigian Posts: 6,606
    edited June 30
    If you've ever wanted a cold smoker , how's your chance...id snag it in a heartbeat and convert it ..it would be a beautiful Smokehouse 

    It's certainly can still be used as a fridge but it's going to crap out on you when you need it most 
    Visalia, Ca
  • thetrimthetrim Posts: 10,580
    Can you post a picture, please?
    =======================================
    XL 6/06, Mini 6/12, L 10/12, Mini #2 12/14 MiniMax 3/16
    Tampa Bay, FL
    EIB 6 Oct 95
  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 26,043
    if i let mine thaw out too long defrosting i have to put a block of ice in the freezer section and plug it back in. it seems to jump start it. worth trying.
  • KayakKayak Posts: 261
    Why bother? Modern ones use a lot less electricity. They'd have to go to a museum to find parts anyway. I'd convert it into something else or drag it to the curb and call the waste company.

    Bob

    New Cumberland, PA
    XL with the usual accessories

  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 26,043
    Kayak said:
    Why bother? Modern ones use a lot less electricity. They'd have to go to a museum to find parts anyway. I'd convert it into something else or drag it to the curb and call the waste company.

    the modern ones last 10 years before replacing them, the old ones last a lifetime. my shop 1930's ge still has the original  shelving =)
  • ColtsFanColtsFan Posts: 4,438
    lkapigian said:
    If you've ever wanted a cold smoker , how's your chance...id snag it in a heartbeat and convert it ..it would be a beautiful Smokehouse 

    It's certainly can still be used as a fridge but it's going to crap out on you when you need it most 

    This was my initial thought.
    ~ John - https://www.instagram.com/hoosier_egger
    1-XL BGE, 2-LG BGE, KJ Jr, Ardore Pizza Oven, King Disc 
    Bloomington, IN - Hoo Hoo Hoo Hoosiers!

  • speed51133speed51133 Posts: 642
    in terms of a useful fridge, absolutely not. in terms of an antique and nostalgia, I suppose so.
  • pgprescottpgprescott Posts: 13,068
    Lots of people are converting them to smokers. Either offset firebox or pellet mostly. 
  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 26,043
    they make great beer fridges.  ive seen a few airbrushed for the cave

    Details about kelvinator antique refrigeratorcustom paintman

  • alaskanassasinalaskanassasin Posts: 3,127
    Your handle says you live in the bush. I would lay it on its back and use it for dry food storage out in a shed.  Here in Ohio our power company will buy your old freezer or refer for $50 and pick it up.
    South of Columbus, Ohio.
  • TEXASBGE2018TEXASBGE2018 Posts: 2,742
    edited June 30
    I agree with others. Make something out of it if you can’t restore it. I’ve seen guys make toolboxes for their shop out of them. And I’ve also seen people add wheels and make movable pantry’s out of them.


    Rockwall, Tx    LBGE, Minimax, 22" Blackstone, Pizza Party Bollore. Cast Iron Hoarder.

  • JethroBodeenJethroBodeen Posts: 422
    Against the grain here... I'd fix it. The trouble you may run into is that the refrigerant used may be ammonia. If thats the case it makes it much harder. Even if its R12 it may cost a pretty good amount to get it working. Could be a fan motor or something more simple though.....
  • thetrimthetrim Posts: 10,580
    I found this picture of a vintage dishwasher

    Washing dishes by hand for 19 years...then buying a gold and ...
    =======================================
    XL 6/06, Mini 6/12, L 10/12, Mini #2 12/14 MiniMax 3/16
    Tampa Bay, FL
    EIB 6 Oct 95
  • alaskanassasinalaskanassasin Posts: 3,127
    @JethroBodeen if it wont power on refrigerant its not likely the problem. I agree though might be a simple fix

    South of Columbus, Ohio.
  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 33,277
    If you fix the electrical problem and find it low on freon, Hot Shot 2 is an R12 substitute and it's compatible with mineral oil.
    ______________________________________________
    This is my signature line just so you're not confused.  Love me or hate me, I am forum Marmite.
    Large and Medium BGE, Kamado Joe Jr, Akorn Jr, smoker with a 5k btu AC, gas grill, fire pit, pack of angry cats, two turntables and a microphone, my friend.  Registered republican.
    New Orleans, LA - we know how to eat 

  • 20stone20stone Posts: 1,877
    A curing chamber comes to mind, but it needs to run some for that. 
    (now only 16 stone)

    Joule SV
    GE induction stove
    Gasser by the community pool (currently unavailable)
    Scale (which one of my friends refuses to use)
    Friends with BGEs and myriad other fired devices (currently unavail IRL)
    Charcuterie and sourdough enthusiast
    Prosciuttos in an undisclosed location

    Austin, TX
  • GlennMGlennM Posts: 1,060
    Here’s a photo 


    In the bush just East of Cambridge,Ontario 
  • lkapigianlkapigian Posts: 6,606
    edited July 1
    GlennM said:
    Here’s a photo 


    She’s a beaut Clark.....just take it, you’ll figure out what to do with it 


    Visalia, Ca
  • JethroBodeenJethroBodeen Posts: 422
    I would be fixing that for sure. Simple controls on that thing. Electrical issue wont be hard to narrow down....
  • CtTOPGUNCtTOPGUN Posts: 573
    If you hear no noise at all I would think the culprit to be an open thermostat. Simple to test without a voltmeter. Just unplug fridge and connect wires from each side of t-stat together. If it runs when plugged in, you can find a t-stat that will work at a refrigeration store. Johnstone Supply. Grainger. Many others. If it has a slight humm and a light click intermittently it may be the starting relay on the compressor. There are universal 3 in 1 relays that can be used as replacements for near all relay/overload setups of any vintage.
    LBGE/Weber Kettle/Blackstone 36" Griddle/Turkey Fryer/Induction Burner/Gasser/28" Blackstone Griddle

     BBQ from the State of Connecticut!

       Jim
  • GlennMGlennM Posts: 1,060
    CtTOPGUN said:
    If you hear no noise at all I would think the culprit to be an open thermostat. Simple to test without a voltmeter. Just unplug fridge and connect wires from each side of t-stat together. If it runs when plugged in, you can find a t-stat that will work at a refrigeration store. Johnstone Supply. Grainger. Many others. If it has a slight humm and a light click intermittently it may be the starting relay on the compressor. There are universal 3 in 1 relays that can be used as replacements for near all relay/overload setups of any vintage.
    Thank you, that was the information I was hoping for. I hear no noise so I will try the thermostat first. I would love to clean up the paint and use this as a summer beer fridge for the garage !
    In the bush just East of Cambridge,Ontario 
  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 26,043
    with these it could be as simple as corrosion where the plug bolts on, i would start there. remember to jump start it with ice in the ice box, ive had to do that with a few different fridges. ive never had a fridge newer than the 1970's
  • HotchHotch Posts: 3,542
    Could possibly be a start capacitor gone open?

    Large BGE, MiniMAX BGE, 2 Mini BGE's, R&V Fryer, 36" Blackstone Griddle, Camp Chef Dual Burner 40K BTU Stove
    BGE Chiminea
    Prosper, TX
  • thetrimthetrim Posts: 10,580
    @lkapigian I think we should all chip in and buy your fridge for @lousubcap
    =======================================
    XL 6/06, Mini 6/12, L 10/12, Mini #2 12/14 MiniMax 3/16
    Tampa Bay, FL
    EIB 6 Oct 95
  • GlennMGlennM Posts: 1,060
    with these it could be as simple as corrosion where the plug bolts on, i would start there. remember to jump start it with ice in the ice box, ive had to do that with a few different fridges. ive never had a fridge newer than the 1970's
    What is the reason for the ice?
    In the bush just East of Cambridge,Ontario 
  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 26,043
    GlennM said:
    with these it could be as simple as corrosion where the plug bolts on, i would start there. remember to jump start it with ice in the ice box, ive had to do that with a few different fridges. ive never had a fridge newer than the 1970's
    What is the reason for the ice?

    seems to get things flowing in some fridges, i came about it by accident with a dead fridge and needing it to chill some beer. i put ice and beer in the freezer and the fridge started working again in a few hours. the fridge was shut down in a rental apartment for a month
  • lkapigianlkapigian Posts: 6,606
    GlennM said:
    with these it could be as simple as corrosion where the plug bolts on, i would start there. remember to jump start it with ice in the ice box, ive had to do that with a few different fridges. ive never had a fridge newer than the 1970's
    What is the reason for the ice?

    seems to get things flowing in some fridges, i came about it by accident with a dead fridge and needing it to chill some beer. i put ice and beer in the freezer and the fridge started working again in a few hours. the fridge was shut down in a rental apartment for a month
    ^^^^^^^^^^This,let the ice do the heavy lifting and absorb some of the heat, gives extra capacity
    Visalia, Ca
  • JethroBodeenJethroBodeen Posts: 422
    @JethroBodeen if it wont power on refrigerant its not likely the problem. I agree though might be a simple fix


    @alaskanassasin didn't read the no noise part just "should I fix it or not".
  • GaryLangeGaryLange Posts: 402
    I would fix it just to have something to remember my parents with! Every time you look at it you'll remember your Mom or Dad opening it to get something!
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