Thread Number: 71570  /  Tag: Refrigerators
1952 Admiral Refrigerator Wiring
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Post# 947031   7/7/2017 at 14:39 by bradfordamps (Atlanta, GA)        

I recently scored what I'm told is a 1952 Admiral fridge for free on CL (model 972). I'm also fortunate that it seems to be running pretty well. I need some advice, though, from anyone who is familiar with the wiring in this or similar refrigerators.

I'm not quite up to the task of replacing all the interior wiring and insulation yet, but do want to get it in a safe, usable condition. I began replacing the power cable and exposed wiring that runs under the fridge because these were pretty well dry rotted.

I made the rookie mistake of not color coding everything before snipping some of the old wire away and am now trying to understand where exactly these wires go once inside the body.

I have attached a drawing of how I 'think' the refrigerator is wired, but am concerned about one main it possible that the door switch would be switching the neutral side? I've read that this is dangerous. My drawing is basically the opposite of the second image (that I found online), but I do know that the compressor is tied directly to the neutral side of power.

Does this seem right or am I off somewhere?

Note: I disconnected the butter warmer, so I'm not including that.

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Post# 947117 , Reply# 1   7/8/2017 at 10:00 by panthera (Rocky Mountains)        
General wiring notes

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It was standard practice to run the 'neutral' or 'identified' conductor un-switched to all the components.  Often, the manufacturers just ran one wire from the connection to the power cord all the way through. Nothing wrong with that.

It is correct that the 'hot' or 'line' side should be run through switches, but I've also seen 1950's and earlier appliances in which this was not the case. Your drawing would work, though UL wouldn't have liked it even then.

It's unfortunate your original wiring needs replacement. Most manufacturers tended to accept a slightly longer run of wire than strictly needed in order not to cause interference with the insulation value or to create paths for condensation to soak the insulation, thus ruining it.

If the wiring underneath is damaged, the wiring inside the case may be, too. Or, it may be in perfect condition - you'll not know until you look. I've never been able to 'fish' new wiring through by hooking it onto the old and pulling, but many here have done so successfully.

I suggest either a grounded line cord or a GFCI outlet for this refrigerator. Congratulations, on a neat find. More pics, please!

Post# 947225 , Reply# 2   7/8/2017 at 20:37 by bradfordamps (Atlanta, GA)        

Thanks for the response. I'm hooking it back up tonight, so we'll see how it goes...

Here are pictures from when I picked it up. I'm sanding it down for paint now as well. It was painted at some point with a brush or roller. I'll post more pictures once it's all shiny.

The interior is not in superb shape, but it works and it was free, so I can't complain!

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Post# 947235 , Reply# 3   7/8/2017 at 22:04 by panthera (Rocky Mountains)        

panthera's profile picture

so worth repairing. Thanks for sharing. Keep sending pics as you progress or post any questions.


Post# 947291 , Reply# 4   7/9/2017 at 10:16 by goatfarmer (South Bend, home of Champions)        

goatfarmer's profile picture

Looks good!

Post# 947772 , Reply# 5   7/12/2017 at 01:59 by MattL (Flushing, MI)        

Correct me if I"m wrong, but I do not believe the plugs on that generation of appliances were polarized.  That would mean depending on how you inserted the plug into the outlet could change what line is "hot"...

Post# 947787 , Reply# 6   7/12/2017 at 06:48 by estesguy (kansas)        
Polarized plug

That's what I was thinking Matt. As a child I had a mid 50's RCA Victor portable record player. The turntable, tone arm, and deck were all metal. When we played it in our unfinished basement, if we touched the metal, and had our bare feet on the concrete floor, we got quite a shock. So we learned to keep feet up, or move the tone arm with the plastic tip that flipped the needles. Oh the product liability nowadays of a machine like that, ha! Super nice looking fridge though, with nice styling lines

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