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Old 01-13-2009, 06:25 PM   #1
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Default anybody know much about antique refrigerators?

i love the look of the old rounded top ge fridges, and would like to make a kegorator out of one, and i actually found one local for sale.

what i'm concerned about, is if the fridge "dies" and being as it's like aover 50 years old i think, is it pretty much scrap metal at that point? or can a fairly able DIY'er fix about any issue it'd have, or at least are there places around that can fix them for cheap?

right now it's keeping cold just fine, and it's not terribly expensive either, just wondering.

thanks.

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Old 01-13-2009, 07:51 PM   #2
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I don't have much to add, except for a picture of my Westinghouse fridge that I use for fermenting.



One of these days, I'm going to have to get around to painting it.

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Old 01-13-2009, 08:21 PM   #3
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I don't have much to add, except for a picture of my Westinghouse fridge that I use for fermenting.



One of these days, I'm going to have to get around to painting it.
sweet! that's what i'm talking about! i'd love to make one of those into an old kegerator. my lhbs has an old fridge set up to a kegorator like that.
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Old 01-13-2009, 08:24 PM   #4
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It could be a pain, but one might be able to find a cheap mini-fridge, gut it and add it's components to the old shell. I recently did something similar, but installed it in a new construction frame as a fermentation chiller/"portable" beer serving cart. The trickiest bit would be that you'd have to cut an opening large enough to put the cooling coil into the old shell. I didn't have to do that with my build. Depending on the mini-fridge, for mine, I was able to take the freezer compartment and bend it open flat, then you'd only need a slot about 2"X16" to fish the flattened coil in. I'd just configure the heat exchanger where the old one was. You'd probably want to add some kind of hardware cloth protective screen over it as mine was pretty soft metal and would be very easy to break if not well protected.

There's a few pics in my gallery of the process

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Old 01-13-2009, 08:24 PM   #5
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The one at Great Fermentations? I saw that one when I was in town last month. Pretty sweet, and it did wonders to do distract me from the $500 conical nearby.

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sweet! that's what i'm talking about! i'd love to make one of those into an old kegerator. my lhbs has an old fridge set up to a kegorator like that.
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Old 01-13-2009, 09:15 PM   #6
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The one at Great Fermentations? I saw that one when I was in town last month. Pretty sweet, and it did wonders to do distract me from the $500 conical nearby.
yep, that's the one i'm talking about. ever since i saw theirs, i've wanted to make one out of an old fridge like that.
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Old 01-13-2009, 09:44 PM   #7
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There really isn't much too them. So if it were to die I think it wouldn't be too bad to repair. The hardest part about it would probably be finding a compatible compressor, since that is really the only thing to worry about going out. Someone trained in refrigeration appliance repair should be able to replace the compressor flush the system and recharge it.

Those old things tend to last forever though. They are built a lot better than anything made today although not terribly energy efficient. I have an old latch handle Frigidare in my garage that about 4' tall that I store yeast in during the summer. That little bastard weighs as much as a new full size fridge and my dad bought it for $5 at an auction. I replaced the wiring in it cause it was a little scary and it is still running great. I actually have to run it on close to the lowest setting or it will make beer slushies.

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Old 01-13-2009, 11:48 PM   #8
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the biggest problem is most of the weatherstripping is worn out causing them to run alot. also they are power hungry as they are old technology. and some of them are Ammonia based for refrigerant so if one of the lines break your family will be unhappy. (my buddy broke one of these when his wife was pregnant and the whole house had to be evacuated for a couple hours)

i had one and tossed it as it just wasted too much energy and i couldn't find weatherstripping to replace the door seal. there are new one's on the market that look old but they are a lot of money.

if you find one that the door seal is in good condition i would buy it and use it. there is nothing cooler then those old unit's with the big latching handle's.

dave

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Old 01-14-2009, 12:59 AM   #9
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I know one thing about these antiques; they're typically NOT GROUNDED, resulting in a potential deadly electrocution hazard. Due to the age of the unit, the wiring has a good potential of being frayed and charging the whole damn thing.

I used to have one of these non-grounded fridges for a kegerrator. Do yourself (and your family) a favor and run find a good, unpainted spot on the frame or housing to attach a ground wire. A single strip of 14GA romex will work. Run that wire over to a water pipe and attach it w/ a "country boy" or similar grounding clamp.

These things have caused electrocution death in more than one individual.

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Old 01-14-2009, 02:46 AM   #10
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All I know is this one stay damned near freezing even on the 'warmer' setting...


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