1930s? Hotpoint Refrigerator


Premium Member
Feb 12, 2023
Model Number

I was wondering if anyone could help me get my old refrigerator running again. From what I can find online, my refrigerator is a 1938 Hotpoint. There are 3 main problems I'm having

One is I want to rewire the refrigerator, the relay is destroyed and the wiring on it is degraded. What gauge of wire would be recommended to rewire it?

The 2nd issue I'm having is that the fan motor and fan itself are missing. What would be the best replacement for it?

The 3rd issue I have is how should I go about seeing if it still has freon in it, and how would I go about refiling it. What freon should I use? I'm also unsure where the service port is, or if I should just add a puncture fitting to allow service. Thank you for your time.


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DO NOT ATTEMPT refrigeration work!

sulphur dioxide.jpg

The label says it uses sulfur dioxide refrigerant which is poisonous and can not be changed or recharged AFAIK. DO NOT OPEN the refrigeration system!

What would likely be needed is replacement of the evaporator, condenser and compressor to ones designed to use modern refrigerants.

Dan O.
In your opinion then, would you go about rewiring the refrigerator and sourcing a fan, or would you straight go for sourcing modern parts. I am unsure whether or not the system is still charged.
In my opinion I would toss it... to a hazardous products reclaiming center.

You can rewire it if you like. The wiring might be 14-16 gauge. I have no idea what motor and fan would be suitable without seeing the originals and no idea of an appropriate relay, sorry. You can try asking some of the restoration companies at the following link:

LINK > Appliance411 Links: Restoration

BTW. No one in the forums here will likely help you with the refrigeration system. It is a specialized field requiring specialized tools and often a license.

Dan O.
One of the companies at those links does the whole 'refrigeration system change-out' on units they sell. They might be able to give you an idea what's involved.

Good luck

Dan O.
This is a 1940 model and Dan is absolutely correct about the Sulphur Dioxide (SO2) refrigerant! I would also like to add that SO2 becomes highly corrosive when exposed to air. If the refrigeration system was leaking I can guarantee that everything inside of the system is rusted and corroded, including the compressor, beyond repair. If you do decide to try to get it running just to see if it still works, do it outdoors! If the system starts leaking, the smell of the SO2 will literally drive you right out of the house! Personally I'd look for another vintage refrigerator. But good luck to you with whatever you decide.
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