Monitor Top GE Switch

jcharlesmith

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I recently acquired a GE monitor top that was working until I moved it to my home. Some how during the move the bakelite knob for the On/Off/Defrost switch broke. it looks like the knob has a part that snapped and fell into the switch. I went to try to remove the switch to see if I could retrieve the other part of the knob but decided I better do some investigating first. I read in some older posts to this forum that a replacement thermostat is available and that others put one of the knobs in as a dummy while the other was used with the new thermostat. Might that work in my case? I am a super duper new to retro appliance repair although I do have some experience with vintage stereo repair. I know, different animal. Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated. Jason.

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rickgburton

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Anytime you need to replace a part that is 80-90 years old, you're almost guaranteed to have problems. Finding that thermostat is going to be next to, if not, impossible. If the thermostat is not damaged try to repair it first. The Ranco A30-180 thermostat kit should work but they are also hard to find. Out of stock at both RC and APP.
 

jcharlesmith

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Thanks for the reply Rick. My concern is that to work on the switch I need to remove the whole thermostat box which means I have to remove the capillary and I am worried I will damage it.
I don't suppose you have seen a diagram of how that switch fits in to the thermostat have you?

I do see that the Ranco thermostat is available at SupplyHouse if i do end up damaging the capillary. supplyhouse.com/Ranco-A30-180-Ice-Machine-Control-w-42-Capillary
 

jcharlesmith

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I have another question for anyone who has worked on these. I need to build a new electrical supply cable and am curious if anyone was able to find a source for the inline male plug?
 

rickgburton

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OK my friend, let me try to explain this better. I've worked on a lot of vintage machines in the past and on a machine as old as yours I can tell you, there are no parts or replacement parts available for that machine. The best you can do is find someone selling an old one for parts. GE made the monitor top for 20 years so the design stayed the same but the style changed from year to year. The thermostat for one 5 years older than yours may not have a long enough capillary or might not mount the same. The Ranco control is an ice machine control. It's the only one I could find with the cut-in and cut-out temperatures close to what they should be. There's a wide swing between the two temps. It won't work as well as the original. When you're done it will make ice cubes in the freezer and keep your pop cold but that's about it. When I say keep your pop cold, what I mean is, if you took one out at the beginning of a cycle it might be cool. If you took one out at the end of a cycle it might be almost frozen.

People usually buy these vintage machines to either refurbish, restore or retrofit them. There's a bit of a myth that seems to follow these machines with people thinking they are worth a lot of money because they're old. Completely restored they can fetch upwards of $10K. Retrofitted I've seen them go upwards of $1K. Refurbished (like what you want to do) or not working, $100.

The wires are very brittle. The less you touch them the better. I don't know how you "build" a new electrical supply cable. If you're talking about the power cord any of the home centers will have one. An inline male plug can probably be replaced by two wire nuts.
 

jcharlesmith

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Rick,

I went the route of soldering a 2nd male plug into an appliance cord and heat shrinking a sleeve on that. Works great.

I understand that there is little value in what I am doing to anyone other than me. This was my wife's grandfather's that he had for the last 60 years. He kept semi cold beverages in it which is what we intend to do with it as well. I need to put a new gasket on the door, rebuild the hinges, work on the door latch and clean it. We just want it because of the family history and are not trying to get rich! It is operable even with the on/off knob missing. Of course it only maintains the temp at 50° but I am going to see if I can fish the broken part of the knob out and repair it. Maybe that will help.

I appreciate all the knowledge you are will to share!

I don't know how you "build" a new electrical supply cable. If you're talking about the power cord any of the home centers will have one. An inline male plug can probably be replaced by two wire nuts.
 

rickgburton

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There are a few places online that sell universal door gasket material. antiquevintageappliance.com has some parts for old machines but you'll need to keep checking back with them.
 
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