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Old 08-11-2012, 07:20 PM   #1
AluminumGerbil
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Default Vintage Kegerator repair

I acquired a 1940's(as best as I can tell) Philco refrigerator and so far I have gutted the shelves, pounded out some dents, bent the coiles that were in the shelves up against the back wall and put in 2 taps in the doors. About to sand and bondo the outside and hopefully give it a nice paintjob, but first my question...

I plugged it in after bending the coils to verify that it is still cooling well, but the cord is dry rotted and large chunks of the rubber sheathing are falling off. Same goes for the coating on the wires inside so I definitely don't feel safe running this fridge until I get the cord replaced, but I don't know anything about electrical safety. I can't tell the gauge of the wires in the cord, but I know it has 2 wires inside, no ground. Can I use an 18ga power cord from a PC? It appears to be about the same size, but should I just go with bigger gauge wire to be safe? If I used a PC power cord what should I do with the ground wire? Any help is appreciated.

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Old 08-11-2012, 07:31 PM   #2
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I acquired a 1940's(as best as I can tell) Philco refrigerator and so far I have gutted the shelves, pounded out some dents, bent the coiles that were in the shelves up against the back wall and put in 2 taps in the doors. About to sand and bondo the outside and hopefully give it a nice paintjob, but first my question...

I plugged it in after bending the coils to verify that it is still cooling well, but the cord is dry rotted and large chunks of the rubber sheathing are falling off. Same goes for the coating on the wires inside so I definitely don't feel safe running this fridge until I get the cord replaced, but I don't know anything about electrical safety. I can't tell the gauge of the wires in the cord, but I know it has 2 wires inside, no ground. Can I use an 18ga power cord from a PC? It appears to be about the same size, but should I just go with bigger gauge wire to be safe? If I used a PC power cord what should I do with the ground wire? Any help is appreciated.
you should look into grounding the fridge. people have been electrocuted to death in some cases from those fridges. I forget how to ground them but you can look it up. as for gauges. anything around the same size gauge hopefully the same or slightly bigger is best.
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Old 08-11-2012, 07:44 PM   #3
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Did some reading, but here's a question. The plug is not polarized so how will I know which wire is supposed to be hot and which is not?

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Old 08-11-2012, 07:50 PM   #4
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Did some reading, but here's a question. The plug is not polarized so how will I know which wire is supposed to be hot and which is not?
If you replace the plug with another plug, you can literally just put the wires exactly how they were in the original plug. If your wanting to ground it get a plug with a 3rd prong ground not negative. it will make it easier to wire in a ground.
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Old 08-12-2012, 01:20 AM   #5
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The old fridges are all metal, just screw the ground to the metal near the compressor

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Old 08-12-2012, 04:38 AM   #6
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Great! Thanks for the info, but do I still completely disregard which wire is hot and which is neutral since it's non-polarized?

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Old 08-12-2012, 03:34 PM   #7
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Great! Thanks for the info, but do I still completely disregard which wire is hot and which is neutral since it's non-polarized?
As a sanity check you might want to make sure neither lead has a low-impedance path to the fridge chassis. As long as that's the case you should be fine arbitrarily wiring up a polarized plug (and I'd go with the recommended three-prong plug with the green wire solidly connected to the fridge chassis).

There really doesn't need to be a designated "hot" lead to an AC motor, as you could swap the two leads and the motor will spin exactly the same. "Hot" would be an artificial construct in that context...

Cheers!
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Old 08-13-2012, 02:28 AM   #8
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Many thanks for all the great advice. I will run to the hardware store tomorrow for something a little beefier. Can't wait to tap my first keg once it finishes carbing.

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