Putting new parts in an old 1950ish Frigidaire

Alec Thomas

Premium Member
Joined
Jul 4, 2020
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3
Location
Seattle, WA
I have a 1950ish Frigidaire that I want to refurbish. Is it possible/ a good idea to put more modern parts in so it doesnt use up as much electricity and is a bit safer? I also know that the freon used back when it was made is very dangerous but I'm not sure if that would be worth taking out. It is also worth noting that the fridge does work as is, the main concerns are safety and energy efficiency. If anyone has any insight or reasources they could point me to on the subject or anything to help me better understand fridges in general that would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.
 

Dan O.

Appliance Tech
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Ontario, Canada
Alec Thomas said:
I have a 1950ish Frigidaire that I want to refurbish.


The model number should be stamped in black ink on the back of the cabinet. If you post it, we should be able to tell its rough age more accurately.


Alec Thoma said:
Is it possible/ a good idea to put more modern parts in so it doesn't use up as much electricity and is a bit safer?


It might be possible but is not a good idea, besides the expense at $500+.

Is it a frost-free model or manual defrost? If manual defrost (most likely in that era) it likely uses less power than a more modern frost free model. You can check its energy consumption with a meter like this.

LINK > Kill A Watt Meter



I also know that the freon used back when it was made is very dangerous but I'm not sure if that would be worth taking out.


Very old refrigerators might use ammonia. A 1950's model won't. It will use R12 which is only dangerous to the ozone layer if vented into the open air.

Alec Thomas said:
It is also worth noting that the fridge does work as is


I'd suggest you leave well enough alone and concentrate on the cosmetic parts and making sure the door is sealing properly.

JMO

Dan O.
 
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Alec Thomas

Premium Member
Joined
Jul 4, 2020
Messages
3
Location
Seattle, WA
Thanks for the advice, i will definitely look at the seal. I think i will leave the electronics as they are but i think i will ground the plug.
 
G

Guest

Guest
I have two 1950 Frigidaire DM-90P refrigerators. All good advice on here! A refrigerator from this time period will only use excessive energy if the door gasket is in poor condition and not sealing correctly. You will find that your Frigidaire will use less than half the energy as a modern refrigerator and keep your food colder besides. My Frigidaires use about 1 KWH per day, on average, each. To check the door gasket put a strong flashlight in the refrigerator and close the door. Darken the room and inspect the gasket area. If you see light shining through the gasket area the gasket is leaking. If the gasket is in good condition you can adjust the latch for a better seal. Or if the gasket is worn out try Antique Appliances in Georgia for a new one. They have a website. Please post pictures or the model number of your fridge. I'm sure we'd all like to see it. Here's a picture of mine. Hope that helps!
 

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Alec Thomas

Premium Member
Joined
Jul 4, 2020
Messages
3
Location
Seattle, WA
Those fridges look great! I am a high school student working on this restoration as a summer project so any help is appreciated!

My fridge is a 1950 model MM-110, see photos below. The gasket was leaky and when I took it off I found a lot of rust at the bottom of the door. The insulation was bad along the bottom of the door so I took that out too.
IMG_4790.jpgIMG_4794.jpgIMG_4872.jpg
For the gasket I found the following potential replacement (P10433) which seems to match up with the the dimesions of the original. I'm not sure if this is the original gasket, but if anyone has any experience with these gaskets, i would love to know if this would be a proper replacement. Here is the original gasket and the P10433 schematic.
IMG_4889.jpgthumbnail.jpg

Did you repaint your fridges? I was thinking of using appliance spray paint but i don't have much experience with that so i dont know how well it would work.

I am also looking at replacing the door insulation, possibly with rigid foam insulation. Does anyone have any insight on the best insulation product to use? I still have the old insulation but its looking pretty ratty!
One final question is about removing the door handle. Have you been able to do this? I have seen pictures of the same fridge with the handle taken off but I have no idea how to remove it. There are threaded screws on the inside of the door, but there is no real way to get a screwdriver into the handle from the outside.
IMG_2541.jpgIMG_2539.jpg

Thanks in advance for any advice as I figure out this restoration!
 
G

Guest

Guest
Thank you and your Frigidaire is in nice condition too! Thanks for sharing the pictures!! No, I didn't need to repaint them. They have porcelain finishes. The letter P at the end of my model number designates that. The porcelain wears like iron! Your model number decodes as follows: M=Master Series, M=1950, 110=11 Cubic Foot Capacity. No P on the end tells us it has a painted finish. That door gasket appears to be the correct one. When you install it, the seam goes at the bottom center. You'll need to make cuts at the bottom corners to make it fit. You can use the old gasket as a pattern for that. To remove the door handle, the cover on the handle, that's closest to the edge of the door, needs to be removed. You can carefully use a flat blade screwdriver or similar tool to remove the cover. Under the cover you will see the screws securing the handle to the door. Best of luck to you with your restoration project! I hope it turns out great!! Hope that helps!
 
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