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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Recently purchased a vintage GE fridge from an auction with plans on restoring it.

Got it home, and looking through the wiring, it was extremely old. Any movement of the wire and the insulation just dropped off. I could run my fingers down it and strip the insulation off. Wish i could do that on the job :eek: :eek:!!

Anyways, im trying to get this thing back up and running before i start the full restore.

Inside it has- Spring switch that turns on a light when door opens. A thermostat for the freezer section, and a thermostat for what i believe goes to the actual fridge or might be just to the butter dish holder :blink:?

Those wires trailed down to what i believe is a relay? To control the condenser. Here is a photo of it below. (Dismiss the newer wires, thats from when i was going to try hooking it straight up to power and see if it works.)

From that photo you can see the wires that come straight from the condenser. The bottom of it you will see a screw not being used and labeled as #4.

Wondering if anyone has messed with these old fridges. Know of where i can find a schematic for it? Not positive where to land wires, and don't really want to fry it. Having a hard time finding anything on the fridge at all really. No nameplates with motor info or anything on it that i'm seeing.

Any help is appreciated. Heres a photo of the actual fridge as well.
 

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animal lover /rat bastard
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the really vintage one's use blocks of ice. get one of those and throw that junk in the trash.
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
That black box is what's called a hot wire relay.It unhooks the start winding to the compressor.Refrigerators are not that complicated why don't you just draw your own diagram?
Draw my own diagram, as in to show whats wired up in it? All that stuff i have wired already. It's basically that relay that im not sure on. Wires were previously dissconnected and don't know exactly where they go.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
the really vintage one's use blocks of ice. get one of those and throw that junk in the trash.

One mans trash is one mans treasure. I enjoy tinkering in the shop and rebuilding stuff. I myself love vintage items. This fridge is no exception, i think it is very neat. Once i get the wiring done, surface prep and paint will be in store. Doing a ford blue and white theme. Polishing up all the old chrome.

Once done we will see whose saying that i should toss it in the trash.:whistling2: :jester:
 

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One mans trash is one mans treasure. I enjoy tinkering in the shop and rebuilding stuff. I myself love vintage items. This fridge is no exception, i think it is very neat. Once i get the wiring done, surface prep and paint will be in store. Doing a ford blue and white theme. Polishing up all the old chrome.

Once done we will see whose saying that i should toss it in the trash.:whistling2: :jester:
I like ford blue but I would do it up original.
 

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Regarding the diagram... Every fridge that old I have ever run into has a schematic glued onto the back or on the access cover (possibly on the inside.) Not always super readable after years but... Although it may be missing on yours, I am thinking you would have seen it.
 

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That device is an old-style potential relay - used to start the split-phase compressor motor. If you need to replace it, you will need to try to find one that is calibrated to the compressor motor torque curve, or get an electronic one that has a threshold adjustment on it. If it needs refrigerant leak repair and/or recharging, you'll need to find someone who can lend you a vacuum pump, a set of gauges and has a license to work with R-12. Having said that, I wouldn't be surprised if the damned thing works once you get the wiring squared away. BTW, see if its new enough to have a defrost timer; often times the little synchronous clock motor gets gummed up and stops when the cam tries to lift the contacts - leaving the unit stuck in defrost mode. So many fridges go to the landfill DOA because of this easily repairable issue.
 

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That's not an old model it doesn't have a step pedal to open the door
at the bottom!

:)
 

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If it needs refrigerant leak repair and/or recharging, you'll need to find someone who can lend you a vacuum pump, a set of gauges and has a license to work with R-12.
Be careful, it may be charged with ammonia. Many moons ago I wanted a compressor out of an old fridge that was behind the building where I worked so I cut the lines. BIG PROBLEM! It just happened to be sitting below a huge wall fan that cooled the shop and I evacuated the entire building. :bangin: :sweatdrop:
 

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I pretwist and then use wire nuts. Solder pots rule.
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If the diagram isn't glued to the back, check the frame as it's sometimes rolled up and slipped inside it. I would almost bet it's an R-12 unit. I don think it's an ammonia unit as GE was building them during WW2 and later. I after your done wiring it and it doesn't work, you might want to change it to an R-22 unit. R-12 is pricy but not as bad as 22. What ever it is a local repair shop could help you with the freon as you won't be able to buy it with out your EPA cert. Post the model number if you can.
 

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8V71 said:
Be careful, it may be charged with ammonia. Many moons ago I wanted a compressor out of an old fridge that was behind the building where I worked so I cut the lines. BIG PROBLEM! It just happened to be sitting below a huge wall fan that cooled the shop and I evacuated the entire building. :bangin: :sweatdrop:
Ammonia absorption cycle units do not have a compressor; they use a heater to drive the absorption cycle instead. Some are even gas powered.
 

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8V71 said:
Be careful, it may be charged with ammonia. Many moons ago I wanted a compressor out of an old fridge that was behind the building where I worked so I cut the lines. BIG PROBLEM! It just happened to be sitting below a huge wall fan that cooled the shop and I evacuated the entire building. :bangin: :sweatdrop:
Ammonia absorption cycle refrigerators do not have compressors; they are powered by a heat source instead.
 

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If the diagram isn't glued to the back, check the frame as it's sometimes rolled up and slipped inside it. I would almost bet it's an R-12 unit. I don think it's an ammonia unit as GE was building them during WW2 and later. I after your done wiring it and it doesn't work, you might want to change it to an R-22 unit. R-12 is pricy but not as bad as 22. What ever it is a local repair shop could help you with the freon as you won't be able to buy it with out your EPA cert. Post the model number if you can.

R22 doesn't work well with normal operating evaporator temperatures below 40 degrees, to start with R407 and R410a are taking over R-22 systems.


Most refrigeration systems use R134a, which in some states doesn't require a license to handle that I know of.
 

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hopefully it doesn't use methyl chloride as a refrigerant either. nyuk nyuk
 

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meadow said:
R22 doesn't work well with normal operating evaporator temperatures below 40 degrees, to start with R407 and R410a are taking over R-22 systems. Most refrigeration systems use R134a, which in some states doesn't require a license to handle that I know of.
Your right about the lower temps affecting them. But the older fridge didn't use these "modern" gas mixtures.
Your also right about "state only" sales restrictions. We buy in larger volume and are not restricted by state restrictions.

I wonder if that GE he has is the same as the old Chrysler fridges from the same time frame? Those things were tanks and almost indestructible. I think I remember back in the late 80's one of our old timers telling me that when we were replacing a unit in an office lunchroom here.
 
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