Thread Number: 71880  /  Tag: Refrigerators
56 year old Coldspot Fridge blowing fuses..
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Post# 950852   7/31/2017 at 00:38 by MattL (Flushing, MI)        

My cousin has a 1961 Sears Coldspot fridge in aqua blue that has been running continuously since it was first installed.  The other day he said he found the lights out in several rooms and the fridge not running. Older home with fuses and apparently wiring that spans several rooms when it should not. Any thoughts on what could cause the fridge to start blowing fuses all of a sudden?


My first thought would be one of the heaters perhaps burned out  and is shorting against the cabinet.  One other option is that he put the wrong size/type of fuse in the box.  I suggested a slow blow type fuse to handle the load of the compressor starting up.

Post# 950861 , Reply# 1   7/31/2017 at 01:56 by rp2813 (The Big Blue Bubble)        

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Matt, can you elaborate on how they concluded that the fridge was the culprit?  Is it possible that the fridge is fine and that the home's wiring has reached the point where it can't handle the initial draw? 


Let us know if a slow blow fuse helps.

Post# 950931 , Reply# 2   7/31/2017 at 14:34 by kb0nes (Burnsville, MN)        

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I'm assuming that the unit is running and cooling as long as the fuse holds?

There is very little that could cause a _working_ refrigerator to draw excessive current. If it is a self-defrosting model then it is possible that the defrost heater has shorted which could blow the fuse when it goes into defrost.

Personally I'd suspect that something somewhere else in the home was added to that branch making the fuse inadequate for the power drawn. This will require investigation of everything on that branch.

As for the aging wiring causing the problem, that can't happen either unless it has shorted somewhere and then it wouldn't likely be intermittent.

Everyone should own a Kill-A-Watt meter anyhow, so this would be a great time to get one to see what the unit is actual drawing.

Post# 950998 , Reply# 3   7/31/2017 at 23:51 by MattL (Flushing, MI)        

It's a bit of a puzzle...  He's a distance away, otherwise I'd go through things and find the issue.


If the fridge is off, and the other stuff on the circuit is on, all is OK.  Turning on the fridge blows the fuse, so he concluded the fridge was to blame.  Typical early 50's circuit, spread across several rooms, really bad design.  He has the microwave on the same circuit, and has been able to use it and the fridge and assorted lights for years without issue.  Said the fuse has not been replaced in several decades. 


The fridge is a bottom freezer Coldspot circa  1961 in turquoise.

Post# 951004 , Reply# 4   8/1/2017 at 01:01 by rp2813 (The Big Blue Bubble)        

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Sounds like a beautiful fridge.  I hope the trouble can be resolved.

Post# 951023 , Reply# 5   8/1/2017 at 06:33 by turquoisedude (Ogden & St-Liboire (where??), QC, Canada)        

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Odd....  Of course the fridge is probably a '6' so you shouldn't be plugging in more than '1'.... LOL 


OK, Green Acres references aside, does the refrigerator blow the fuse if just the interior lights are on or does it pop when the cold control is turned on?    


When I got my 55 Coldspot freezer a couple of years ago, it was in running condition; however when I got it home and inspected it, the power cord and internal wiring were nice and crispy.  It would have blown fuses, too if I had plugged it in when I first got it.    Perhaps some of the internal wiring in the '61 has deteriorated and if, by chance, the fridge got moved, that may have caused the problem.  

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Post# 951078 , Reply# 6   8/1/2017 at 11:19 by MattL (Flushing, MI)        

My hunch is the fridge is not long for this world....


BTW, it's sitting right next to a Tappan 400 range.

Post# 951236 , Reply# 7   8/2/2017 at 07:57 by retro-man (nashua,nh)        

Well thinking about this, a way to possibly tell if its the refrigerator or the house wiring or overloading a circuit would be to plug the refig into a heavy duty extension cord and plug that into a different circuit with less feeding off of it. This way if it blows a fuse then it would look like that is the culprit. If not then look onto other things like overloaded circuit or wiring problems.


Post# 951288 , Reply# 8   8/2/2017 at 12:27 by MattL (Flushing, MI)        

I talked to him last night, he hasn't had a chance to do much as he is working.  He's using a 70 year old fridge in the basement...


Anyway suggested turning the defrost timer so it's not activating the heater, I recall having a similar problem years ago with the same type of fridge.  The heater may have burned out and is shorting out. 

Post# 951326 , Reply# 9   8/2/2017 at 17:54 by cornutt (Huntsville, AL USA)        

The microwave is on the same circuit? In that case, I have a suspicion that the circuit was over-fused to begin with. At some point the oversize fuse blew, and now that he's putting in fuses of the proper rating, they are blowing regularly.

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