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Thread: 1950's GE combination refrigerator help?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Location
    Salisbury, Mo
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    6

    Default 1950's GE combination refrigerator help?

    Just picked this guy up but it has an issue...

    The compressor will kick on for a bit and you can hear a gurgle and I was waiting to feel the coils get cold...nope, kicks right back off..

    The paper diagram on the rear to help me make out what is what and where is gone...so that can't me...

    Thoughts on the fix? Or someone have a diagram?

    sorry for sideways photos, won't let me edit them..
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 20181102_120636.jpg   20181102_120644.jpg   20181102_212233.jpg  

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    NY
    Posts
    910

    Default

    Well you have a bad compressor or a bad relay. This model probably has a remote relay mounted behind the kick panel under the door. If not then the relay is attached to the compressor. I had an old 1950's GE refrigerator that survived Sandy and was under 4 feet of water . Several months later the relay failed. I wired in an 3 in 1 hard start relay and the baby is still working great. I would be very surprised if your compressor was bad. Those compressors were built to military specs and can survive a nuclear bomb
    However if the 3 in 1 can't start the compressor nothing can. As a test you can buy a 3 in 1 and wire it to the compressor and then plug the 3 in 1 into an extension chord. Plug the extension chord into any outlet and see if the compressor starts. If it does then you have to figure out how to wire the 3 in 1 into the existing wiring harness in the refrigerator. If the refrigerator has a remote mounted relay it will be tricky finding the correct wires to tap into without a wiring diagram. If the relay is mounted to the compressor then the 2 wires going to that relay are the power source for the 3 in 1. On a remote relay you will have to find the 2 wires that supply 120 Vac when the thermostat is closed and breaks the voltage when the thermostat opens.

    Here is the hard start: https://www.appliancepartspros.com/pro-3-in-1-tj90rco410-ap4503017.html

    You will probably have to cut the the terminal ends off on the relay and direct wire it to the compressor since your compressor probably does not have the 3 pin terminals that modern compressors have. The trickiest part is figuring out which terminals on your compressor are the start, run and common terminals. An ohm meter makes like easy here. Measure the resistance between any 2 terminals and write down the value on paper. Find the 2 pins that give you the highest resistance. The remaining pin is then the common pin (labeled "C" on the hard start relay diagram) . Then measure the resistance between the common terminal on the compressor and each of the other 2 remaining terminals. The pin that shows the higher resistance with the common pin is the start winding pin and the remaining pin is the run winding pin.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Location
    Salisbury, Mo
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    Default

    Thanks for that! Yesterday, I messed around with it a bit more....I pulled the cold control and bypassed that....had the same issue...

    I then went to the relay, like you mentioned and pulled it out....I cleaned the points/contacts and fired her up....still the same issue...but I watched what the relay was doing and held a pair of the points closed for a bit...got some smoke in the relay, suppose something was burning off?

    I let go and the compressor stayed on....plus the fridge coils started frosting over...

    I went to put it back in and one of the eyes broke from a wire.....grrrr!

    I then noticed two chewed marks on the wires from mice...and exposed/broke strands..

    Click image for larger version. 

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    I am going to do a little rewiring down here, suppose I don't need any special wire? and put the old relay back to check temps in the fridge...

    Like you said get the 3-n-1 hard start relay and wire it in...I hope finding the correct wires isn't to bad, I found a diagram from a fridge a few years older but near identical components...which should help...then on to finding gaskets..

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    NY
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    See what happens after you repair the wires. If you still have the same problem then the 3 in 1 is your best bet.
    As for the wire size, try to use the same gauge stranded wire that is in there now.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Location
    Salisbury, Mo
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    Well it is working!

    I replaced the two wires and plugged her in....still got the odd cycling...

    then I realized I had the original start relay upside down....had no idea they were directional?

    Plugged back in and started working like a charm...

    Just checked the freezer temp after setting say an hour its at 2 degree, fridge at 30...

    I'll say that it is working...

    I wonder if I just want to stick with the original relay or get a new one?

    Also wondering how deep I want to get into rewiring it? Alot of that wire is hard as a rock and very fragile at the connection points...

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    NY
    Posts
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    Default

    I would like to say that if it works don't fix it but as a former airline mechanic I know that is not a good strategy. Replacing the wires should be relatively simple. If you can still get the relay then replace it.

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