Thread Number: 72610  /  Tag: Refrigerators
Vtg GE Combo Fridge Advice
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Post# 959271   9/26/2017 at 13:18 by sarahperdue (Alabama)        

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Hi Y'all,

I'm looking at this vintage fridge for my unconditioned country house. The seller is asking $400. I'm considering offering $275. I currently have a 1990s Frigidaire that is rusting everywhere even after a good cleaning, drying and painting...

My thoughts are that the 1950s fridge would fare better because it was built when most kitchens were not air conditioned and because it has more insulation. I've read about refrigerator energy consumption from the 1940s forward, and it sounds like this fridge will also be more energy efficient.

The seller says that it is in great working condition. It looks like the gasket is not sealing well around the lower part of the freezer door.

I know this is a really open ended question--but what things are likely to go wrong and how difficult will it be to repair... Also, any flaws with my reasoning for switching to a vintage fridge?


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Post# 959276 , Reply# 1   9/26/2017 at 14:03 by swestoyz (Waterloo, Iowa)        

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Hi there Sarah -

I had a similar GE combination and it is a great fridge. A bit on the small side for a full family with today's food packaging but it worked well with just myself.

The compressor started getting weak on mine after using it for a year. It wasn't a Freon problem from what I was told and it would stay at the set temp, but ran almost constantly. You may want to check it out to make sure it is running/cooling and cycling on and off with periods of down time before the compressor kicks back in.

I have an NOS gasket (I think for the freezer section) that I'd be willing to sell you if you do buy this one.


Post# 959280 , Reply# 2   9/26/2017 at 14:21 by rp2813 (The Big Blue Bubble)        

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I don't see mechanical latches, but I also don't see the typical GE alnico magnets or the strips they stick to.  Does this box have an early version of magnetic gaskets?


It's a nice fridge, and provides more usable space than later models with spinning shelves.  Depending on how much use it gets, and with a good gasket on the freezer, you probably wouldn't need to defrost it more often than every six months or so.  I can see neither the a drain in the freezer (if it has one), nor the configuration in the fresh food section for condensate there.  Kind of an oddball model that looks early, yet has later treatments, like the door handles.


I would ask the seller to plug it in and make arrangements to see it the following day.  I also don't think it's worth more than $250, and even that's high.   A GE that's a couple of years newer would offer a limited amount of in-door storage in addition to the butter keeper.

Post# 959288 , Reply# 3   9/26/2017 at 15:08 by goatfarmer (South Bend, home of Champions)        

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Yeah, $400.00 is awful strong price for that 'fridge. I, too, would be much happier in the $200.00 range.

Post# 959299 , Reply# 4   9/26/2017 at 15:59 by rp2813 (The Big Blue Bubble)        

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Time is on Sarah's side.  That fridge won't be going anywhere for $400.  There's a similar one that has been on CL around here for many months.  It started at around that same price and is now down to $150.

Post# 959396 , Reply# 5   9/27/2017 at 08:47 by Northwesty (Renton, WA)        
I dunno

But looking on Craiglist here today, there are not any old combination fridges. You definitely want to get one with a separate door for the freezer compartment.

I haven't found that these are all over the place. If you are serious I would go out there and make a deal. I have a 54 GE and it works great. There was a cost in transporting the thing properly, but I wanted a vintage fridge and I needed to get it done right.

Post# 959402 , Reply# 6   9/27/2017 at 09:50 by fridgenut (Cape Girardeau, MO)        
Good fridge...

These are great models and have few problems. With any fridge though you need to have a good working door seal. Especially in an unconditioned space. Otherwise it will pull moisture into the door insulation. Ask me how I know...

At any rate the compressors are long lived. The only problems I've heard about is a buildup of carbon deposits on the hot discharge Reed valve over millennia. A seasoned hvac friend of mine told me about that. He said that GEs fix was to sell a tube of oil with super fine sand to inject into the machine. It would polish all the parts and would knock the carbon off the valves. Very neat stuff.

Post# 959462 , Reply# 7   9/27/2017 at 16:07 by CircleW (NE Cincinnati OH area)        

I'd say this could be anywhere from a '50 - '52 model. This basic cabinet style was used as early as '47, and until the new restyled models came out for '53.

Link is from Aug. '50.


Post# 959475 , Reply# 8   9/27/2017 at 17:03 by rp2813 (The Big Blue Bubble)        

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Tom, thanks for that link.  I guess GE decided against placing the magnets inside the gaskets for a period of about 20 years, which seems odd since that's how everybody else has been doing it for decades.


It seems to me that it would be more difficult to find a replacement of this type of gasket for the freezer unless there's something generic that will work.  I replaced the "bubble" type gasket on my '57 Combo's freezer door and it made a huge difference, cutting defrosting jobs down to less than twice a year.  I also like having the two adjustable magnets on the door to tighten the seal if necessary.

Post# 959752 , Reply# 9   9/28/2017 at 22:27 by appliguy (Oakton Va.)        
To be more specific about the date of this fridge.....

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It is a 1951 model.....I have both the catalog page and the owners manual for this model that confirm that date as being is a link to a copy of the owners manual on eBay.......PAT COFFEY

CLICK HERE TO GO TO appliguy's LINK on eBay

This post was last edited 09/29/2017 at 04:00
Post# 960018 , Reply# 10   10/1/2017 at 08:30 by kenwashesmonday (Haledon, NJ)        

This is interesting. My NH10-HS2 GE combination has 1951 dates on some of the parts, but has the long handles and door latches.

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