Thread Number: 73980  /  Tag: Refrigerators
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Post# 977405   1/7/2018 at 22:42 by Stan (Napa CA)        

stan's profile picture
Many years back , this old girl had the ports changed and recharged with 409 A
Had to be recharged about 5 years ago, and has been doing fine until now.
Now she's over cooling? And I don't think is cycling off.
Do I need a recharge, or do I have a bigger problem?
I'm calling the same Co out of Berkley that did the recharge, and see if they come and check.
I'm not sure if I'm getting a even frost over the freezer either?
Any ideas from the refrigerator guys here?

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Post# 977410 , Reply# 1   1/7/2018 at 23:26 by RP2813 (The Big Blue Bubble)        

rp2813's profile picture

Sounds like a cold control issue. 


Check out the monitor top forums in the link.  Travis is on that site a lot, and he knows the most about these machines.


Post# 977422 , Reply# 2   1/8/2018 at 00:28 by Stan (Napa CA)        
Thanks Ralph

stan's profile picture
I thought of Travis, and looked through some old threads here to see if I could email him, but when I tap on his profile nothing happens? Is he still a member here? I may have to join the MT forum in order email him.
Reading through the MT forums and there are some suggestions of heating up things with a hair dryer ect to loosen a possible oil clog. I'm going to try as I can't see it hurting anything.

BTW my fan run smooth and quite so...

Post# 977428 , Reply# 3   1/8/2018 at 01:42 by RP2813 (The Big Blue Bubble)        

rp2813's profile picture

Stan, Travis isn't a member here anymore.


If that is your current e-mail address displaying in your profile, I can send you his e-mail address.   I didn't see his e-mail information in his profile on the MT site.


I'm not so sure if the oil clog problem would apply to your system.   On the MT site, your fridge would be covered on the "FEA Machines" board under the "Technical" heading.  I found a discussion about the thermostat on that board.  Here's the link:


Post# 977441 , Reply# 4   1/8/2018 at 08:26 by panthera (Rocky Mountains)        

panthera's profile picture

Best of luck - these are really well loved (and deservedly so) machines, so I'm sure there'll be someone who can help you sort it out.

I'd check whether the cold-control had stuck in permanently 'on', too. Easiest way to do that - unplug the refrigerator, turn the cold control all the way to the warmest setting, wait five minutes, plug it back in. If it turns on at once, it's very likely the cold control or the wiring to it.

Post# 977461 , Reply# 5   1/8/2018 at 12:17 by Michaelman2 (Atlanta, GA)        
Willing to assist

michaelman2's profile picture
Stan, I have communicated to Travis your post/situation. He advised “ absolutely I will help him, you can give him my contact information. Anyway, your initial assessment was correct, if anyone knows about refrigeration and especially refrigerators of that generation, Travis knows. He also sent to me his latest find ... talk about a true “find”.

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Post# 977464 , Reply# 6   1/8/2018 at 12:51 by Stan (Napa CA)        
Thank you Ralph, Panthera, and Mike

stan's profile picture
Woke up this am worrying about the old girl in the kitchen, mostly about the possibitly of have to move her out!
(takes three men and a boy to move)
The link Ralph provided seems like it may fit my situation?
It's been turned off all night but not un plugged, I've unplugged per Panthera's suggestion, but since it at room temp now..if I turned it to lowest setting,and plunged in, I would expect it to kick on?
Panthera, can you elaborate further? Should I turn on, get it cold then try as you sugested?
Mike, that's some find that Travis has! Did someone put wood veneer on that! I'd like to see how it turns out when he finishes it.
If you all don't mind I'd like his email, or give him mine, hopefully he can diagnose
Thanks guys

Post# 977465 , Reply# 7   1/8/2018 at 12:57 by Stan (Napa CA)        
Pics of switch/ and or thermostate

stan's profile picture
Assuming it serves as both?

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Post# 977467 , Reply# 8   1/8/2018 at 13:29 by RP2813 (The Big Blue Bubble)        

rp2813's profile picture

Stan, the thread in that one link I posted covered how the cold control operates.  Turning it to "OFF" will almost always shut things down, but turning it to the warmest setting may not.  The thermostat has a spring and a bellows that close the contacts for cooling, and open them when the set temperature is reached.  


Also mentioned is a small piece on the cold control shaft that's held in place by a set screw.  Unless you've been messing with the temperature setting a lot, I doubt this component is the culprit.


It sounds to me like you can still follow Keven's instructions by turning the cold control to the warmest setting and then plugging the fridge back in.  I would leave it at that setting and see if it shuts off at some point -- I'd say that if it's still running after 30 minutes to an hour, the cold control's contacts are staying closed instead of opening when the set temperature is reached.   Travis can help you check for the source of the problem.  It might be something as simple as a broken spring, which was what caused my '39 Westinghouse to stop running completely, and was easily fixed.


I'll send you Travis's e-mail address.

Post# 977468 , Reply# 9   1/8/2018 at 13:30 by Michaelman2 (Atlanta, GA)        

michaelman2's profile picture

Sent info to your email address.

Glad the other remedies look promising. I’ll ask Travis to send me the photos of that incredible refrigerator once the restoration is complete.

Yes, someone glued wood vaneer on top of the beautiful original porcelain. It looks to be quite a project, however, the intensive labor will be worth the effort.

Post# 977486 , Reply# 10   1/8/2018 at 15:32 by Stan (Napa CA)        
Thanks Mike and Ralph

stan's profile picture
Got his email. I just let it run for a hour and it did not cycle off. Here's a pic of the freezer that appears to be foisting un even.
Now that it's cold I'll unplug, wait a while, set to low, and plug in.
Want to have as much info as I can when I contact Travis
Thanks again guys

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Post# 977491 , Reply# 11   1/8/2018 at 16:24 by Stan (Napa CA)        

stan's profile picture
Got back to me, and will email me later with some suggestions!
I'm wondering if it needs to be recharged since the frost dose not get to the temp sensor?
I let Travis know this, so I'll wait and see what he thinks.
What do you all think?

Post# 977493 , Reply# 12   1/8/2018 at 16:29 by RP2813 (The Big Blue Bubble)        

rp2813's profile picture

I guess it depends on how much it's overcooling.  Are contents freezing?  If so, then I don't think there's a lack of refrigerant.


On the other hand, if it's running constantly just to try and maintain optimum temperature (37-40), then the refrigerant may need topping off, so to speak.  If the system has a leak, it's an itsy bitsy teeny weeny one considering how long it goes before needing a charge.

Post# 977496 , Reply# 13   1/8/2018 at 16:55 by Stan (Napa CA)        

stan's profile picture
Some things were freezing!
The un even frost has me worried. The idea of cracking open the switch (Travis may have me do?) to look inside makes me a bit nervous..dont want to break anything

Post# 977517 , Reply# 14   1/8/2018 at 19:15 by RP2813 (The Big Blue Bubble)        

rp2813's profile picture

It could be a combination of a refrigerant issue as well as the thermostat. 


If Travis has worked on models like yours, and I'm sure he has, he'll know how to open up that housing without damaging anything.

Post# 977538 , Reply# 15   1/8/2018 at 21:25 by panthera (Rocky Mountains)        

panthera's profile picture

I suspect you'll get a firm diagnosis before it gets to that point. Several of us suggested the warmest temperature test. You can wait until the refrigerator is truly cold, cold, cold. Unplug it for five minutes. Turn the thermostat to the warmest setting. Plug it back in. If it comes on and runs non-stop, then it's very likely that either the cold-control has jammed in the 'on' setting or there's a short in the wires to it, overriding it.

It's all fixable - remember, nothing in these was throw-away cheap junk. Even a failed part has a modern equivalent or workaround. It'll all be good.


Post# 977547 , Reply# 16   1/8/2018 at 22:47 by Stan (Napa CA)        
Thanks Panthera for the encouragement

stan's profile picture
I'm going to test again, I notice each time I run it, the frost pattern is getting smaller..I think?
Or I'm going stark raving crazy. Or both! Ive looked at it too much today!
But it's got me wondering.. if I ran it a while... could I even get it cold again? I kinda don't think so?
I'll see, if that's the case, then recharging will be in order. Hopefully the same co that did it for me before will again.
Ralph, thanks. I hope its not that thermostat!

Post# 977559 , Reply# 17   1/8/2018 at 23:45 by RP2813 (The Big Blue Bubble)        

rp2813's profile picture

Stan, did you try the hot water trick in the freezer?  With fridge shut off/unplugged, place a shallow metal pan in the bottom of the freezer (be sure it's not warped and makes good contact with the freezer bottom) and pour a generous amount of boiling water into it.  You should hear gurgling, which provides a sort of temporary re-charge effect.   Repeat if you want -- once you get no gurgling sounds, you're done. 


This might be enough to dislodge any blockage in the refrigerant lines and restore a proper frost pattern.  Once the gurgling stops, turn on the fridge and check if there's any difference in the frost formation.


With a little luck, you might solve one problem.  The thermostat is a separate issue that Travis can guide you through troubleshooting.

Post# 977563 , Reply# 18   1/9/2018 at 00:50 by Stan (Napa CA)        

stan's profile picture
I did, but not exactly like that.
I didnt use boiling water, I put hot tap water into the glass pan under the freezer, it's the pan that normally is used to catch water during defrost, along with a towel placed in the freezer with a pot of hot tap water. Didn't hear a thing, but honestly didn't think to listen. Waited a hour, then ran for a hour and shut off, now there is no frost patten at all and won't cool. So it's lost it's charge.
I guess the over cooling and freezing night before last was the old girl causing confusion! If it was still over cooling, then what Panthera said would make perfect sense.
Guess I could try boiling water, but now the lack of cooling reminds me of why I needed a recharge some years back. No leak could be detected back then. but as Travis has pointed out.."the leak is still there" He suspected... even with the over cooling, that it need a charge.
Now let's see who will come!

Post# 977605 , Reply# 19   1/9/2018 at 09:30 by panthera (Rocky Mountains)        
Sounds reasonable.

panthera's profile picture

Here's a link to a manufacturer of 409A. This link leads straight to their 'find a distributor' app, which will return the phone numbers and names of companies close to you (more or less) who handle 409A.

There's several in my area, and we're the least populated state in the Union! Maybe this is a good place to start? I put in one of your town's zip codes - you can play with the others, if this didn't work out.


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Post# 977620 , Reply# 20   1/9/2018 at 10:43 by Stan (Napa CA)        
Thanks Panthera

stan's profile picture
That may come in handy. I'm going to call the same outfit that came before and see, but if they won't then..who knows. IIRC it only took 3 ounces to fill.
Dose that sound right? Anyone know the capacity ?
Also seems like the dude that filled it last said that the 409a had a sealing quality to it? But I could be wrong? Anyone know?

Post# 977695 , Reply# 21   1/9/2018 at 22:23 by Stan (Napa CA)        
Up date

stan's profile picture
Was able to remember the name of the outfit that recharged some years ago..
Cooper&Hawkins. They don't normally service residential fridges, but since it's a antique, and I'm a returning customer, and I knew what refrigerant had been used..long story short, there coming next week to recharge with the 409a. There going to add dye, return in two weeks to check for leaks. Women who answered the phone said if it had a leak, it could not be repaired. I'll see what the service guy says about that though

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