View Full Version : Only 52 years and Failing Now

19-08-2002, 03:37 PM
Hello Group,
Have a "Big" General Electric Chest Freezer that was purchased in 1950 and Has already failed. Yes 1950. Only 52 years of service out of this unit!!!
It has never been serviced and only moved three times. The compressor is built like a tank and the fan has lasted all these years without bearing failure.
Now for the problem.....We came back from vacation and turned it on and sure enough, it started freezing. A couple of days after, it had big frost deposit on the wall at the end near the compressor. The rest of the box was warm. It was like a frost free refrigerator with defrost failure.

I tried a trick. I put a hair drier on the frosted area, thinking it was maybe moisture freezing and blocking the refrigant line. It actually helped. The area of frost is smaller and the temp has dropped to a staedy 36 degrees and stays there.

I sure hate to get rid of this old friend, is there anything I can do to fix it. I actually built the room around it and it may not go out the door.

19-08-2002, 07:46 PM
Well, 52 years it must be out of guarantee by now.

If it's an open compressor (belt Drive) the odds are that the seal has leaked. They do that if you turn them off, for a perod of time; they seal better if they are lubricated with oil when running.

What's in it? R 12 or Methyl Chloride?

It could be either from that period.

If it does have R 12, can you still get it? If it's methyl, be careful, the stuff's falmmable.

Either way it may be a terminal leak.....

Lets face it, it's given good service.

I'll guarantee a new one won't last until 2054!

Let us know what it is.

One other thing.... the manufacturers like stories like that, they may want it back.

Good luck.
Falcon GT interceptor (http://www.ford-wiki.com/wiki/Falcon_GT_interceptor)

19-08-2002, 08:58 PM
it's not a belt drive and it uses R12. There are no easily accessable components other than the fan and compressor. I have a can of R12.. What do you think of adding a piercing valve and giving it a shot. The rest of the components are hiding between the outer shell and the inner shell that is stuffed with insulation.

19-08-2002, 10:51 PM
First, it must be determined that the system needs refrigerant.

If the system needs refrigerant, it has a leak. This should be located and repaired.

Then, properly charging a system is a little more complex than simply giving it a shot.

19-08-2002, 11:10 PM

This is my view. Get the help of a refrigeration engineer to assist you. You need to hook it up to gauges and see what the compressor is doing. You mentioned "you started it up" . I feel that the time spent "off" was the culprit. Wax in the capillary tubing has most probably hardened giving the effect of a lack of refrigerant. I am pretty certain the compressor is fine. "Those" compressors that came off the production line then last forever. Remember the "penny pot compressors? "

Change the capillary tubing, change the filter , recharge and youll be away. Lets hope the compressor is good.

Also, your freezer is now a museum piece. The manufacturer would love to get their hands on it. Its worth a lot of money. Treasure it and coax, nurse it back to health.

Good Day

19-08-2002, 11:53 PM
I agree with Aiyub.

If it is 52 years old, never been serviced it's probably worth more as a museum piece with an untampered pedigree.

As it's a sealed system, you will probably do more damage than it is worth. Ignore my previous comment as it's not an open unit.

Why not see what the manufacturer says?
mexico hotels (http://mexicocityhotel.info)

27-08-2002, 03:21 AM
Definitely get a refrigeration technician out to look the unit over... the last unit we had tossed up to us with the frozen pipe had several different viewpoints, about a hundred posts in all and we still don't know exactly what was found by a technician, if one ever went to the site! LOL! :D

T'was fun though!

31-08-2002, 03:56 PM
What is the make and model of the unit? I have a 1936 Book of all makes and models of units reaching into the 1920's including a first edition of the Audels refrigeration and air conditioning guide. I actually still have a tank of sulphur dioxide.
As to the R12 unit, it sounds like waxing in the cap tube, The heat from the hair drier sent it back to the compressor. The cure is to recover the refrigerant, measure it's weight and volume, remove the compressor and dump the oil, replace with new mineral oil, and install a liquid line filter drier. Use the processing tube for access. I would put a test pressure of 100psi in the system after pulling a deep vacuum( to see if it had any small leaks) then pump down to 350 microns, and recharge with exactly what was removed plus the volume of the drier. The sporlan cap tube drier has a built in schraeder, you might want to get one without it for a hermetically sealed system. The real question is do you really want to spend all this effort on an old piece of crap that has outlived its time. Things change, along with efficiency and operating costs.

03-09-2002, 06:23 PM
A 12 ounce can of ***** is just the ticket to send it over the edge. Automotive refrigerant has too much water in it to be used in a freezer. The compressor is too old to be retrofit. use it as a cooler for a couple of more years then throw it away.

09-09-2002, 08:43 PM
I'm intrigued by the statement that "Automotive refrigerant has too much water in it to be used in a freezer" - can you explain?

09-09-2002, 10:01 PM

Do you mind taking a photo of this old beauty and posting here for all of us to see. Some members are referring to "it" as crap, old. throw away , etc

I feel if it has survived 52 years, then it is indeed an old freind. Wish I was there to help you out


13-10-2002, 04:25 AM
most chest freezers have the refregerant lines for the evaporator built into the wall of the inside...you will know this is the case if your frost pattern is around the wall on the inside.unfortunatly for your very old freezer you have 1 of 2 possible problems.1 the evaporator lines have rusted through because in the very old days they were made of steel.2 you have a restriction as someone mentioned ealier.either way my new friend no matter what anyone thinks of this freezer as a museum peice it is not worth wasting any time at all trying to repair.widen the door way an give it a great big push to the nearest dump.of course after the ***** and compressor have been removed.

22-10-2002, 12:42 PM
...there is no explanation for this stupid comment...He must be on crack. He must be one of those plummers that puts frosted letters on his truck one night, and became a shake & bake technician.