Thread Number: 46416
Interesting Coldspot Fridge
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Post# 677346   5/5/2013 at 01:29 (3,944 days old) by rp2813 (Sannazay)        

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The fridge is the star of this ad on Craigslist.  I've never seen this model before.  It has my favorite SR logo.  If I had the room, I'd grab it.


Posting a picture here for the archives.

CLICK HERE TO GO TO rp2813's LINK on San Francisco Craigslist

Post# 677408 , Reply# 1   5/5/2013 at 12:06 (3,943 days old) by bluejay (Havre de Grace, MD)        
I'd snatch this up too...

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if it were on the east coast. :) It matches our stove perfectly!

Post# 677573 , Reply# 2   5/5/2013 at 23:25 (3,943 days old) by retropia ()        

Is that color a pale yellow? It's hard to tell from the photo.

Post# 677773 , Reply# 3   5/6/2013 at 20:58 (3,942 days old) by combo52 (50 Year Repair Tech Beltsville,Md)        
Early 1960s Coldspot Refergerator

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This was a very good refrigerator that was built in the 1962-4 era, this was a time period that Whirlpool really started to hit their stride of building great refrigerators that continues to this day. But if you are considering putting a Frost Free ref into daily use that is this old you should first get a windmill to supply cheap power. LOL. And if you are a very good refrigerator technician you can change out the compressor, fan motors and defrost timer to make it considerably more energy efficient but you will still have a 50 year old ref. Unlike many of the cool 50 YO washers, dryers and DWs that are being found most refs this old have been running all 50 years of their existence and you will likely have interesting serious problems keeping it running properly.

Post# 677794 , Reply# 4   5/6/2013 at 23:11 (3,942 days old) by ovrphil (N.Atlanta / Georgia )        

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Ooh, great looking frig - love the design and lines. Naturally, beauty....costs.

Post# 677816 , Reply# 5   5/7/2013 at 02:03 (3,942 days old) by washer111 ()        

Very nice looking refrigerator - shame they didn't include extra pictures


Whilst I would change some parts of the refrigerator out, say condenser fans, and maybe defrost timers if it defrosts in excess of every 6-12 hours, changing the compressor out seems like asking for trouble. You may save energy, but the amount of money saved doing this ends up being defeated by the cost of doing it. I don't think replacing the defrost timer would save much, if any energy at all... Although that's just my personal opinion.


I think that whilst a number of older designs from the 70s and 80s (give or take a few years) could be efficient, or in-efficient. It seems to be dependant on the features and layout of the refrigerator, not to mention thickness of the cabinet and quality of insulation. Today, we're seeing better insulation, undersized refrigeration units and thermostats that can only be set "correctly" when tweaked "secretly" - which may explain the better efficiency, although it doesn't apply to all units, necessarily.  

This post was last edited 05/07/2013 at 06:13
Post# 678019 , Reply# 6   5/7/2013 at 19:34 (3,941 days old) by rp2813 (Sannazay)        

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I think this fridge would be more efficient than its equivalent bottom freezer model.  Top freezer models typically were/are.  If it has the same defrost system as a BF, not only is there a heating element on the evaporator, but the freezer floor is also heated in the depressed areas that channel defrost water to the drain, which is located nearly in the center of the freezer floor.  The floor heaters often failed, and Sears provided a retrofit kit that consisted of a trough mounted below the evaporator with a flat tongue-like covered extension from the bottom middle of the trough that routed the water directly out to/over the floor drain opening.  The entire trough assembly was heated by flexible cording that was connected to the same terminals behind the liner trim that supplied power to the failed floor heater.


This retrofit system worked well.  It had to be installed on two early 60's Coldspot bottom-freezer models that my sister owned.  One was installed by a pro, the other one I did myself back around 1980 since I recognized the symptoms and knew the retrofit was available.  I can't say whether it used more or less power than the floor heater.  


BTW, my first attempt resulted in connecting the trough heater to the terminals that operated the interior light instead of the floor heater.  I guess in a way, that would have provided lightning fast old-school defrosting -- with the door left open. 

Post# 678081 , Reply# 7   5/8/2013 at 02:44 (3,941 days old) by PhilR (Quebec Canada)        

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I have a Wattmeter installed on my 1963 Frigidaire 16 cu-ft bottom-freezer that still runs on it's original components (compressor, defrost timer...) since January and while it's not energy efficient compared to newer models, it's not that bad either. My current estimates for a year of operation is $102.53 at the rate of $0.075/KWh. So it should cost about $258.24 per year at the actual rates in NY state (the state with the most expensive rates), $170.88 per year in Maryland and $158.61 in the average US according to the chart in this link:


Post# 678092 , Reply# 8   5/8/2013 at 04:10 (3,941 days old) by washer111 ()        
How Bad is Bad?

What would a nice, similar capacity model be using (based on EnergyGuide, or actually tested figures)?


I don't imagine  1/8 or 1/4 of the energy. Perhaps more along the lines of half? My calculations indicate approximately 1270 kWh per year, about 33% more than our Fisher and Paykel N388 (450L) Food Freezer, and about the same as a relative's Westinghouse "W I D E L U X E" (RJ545 or RJ454) from around 1992 which is quite small compared to your Frigidaire models.

It is using just over double our F&P C450 (Fresh Food) fridge's consumption, 545kWh a year (My values are government tested) from 1999 (Same as the freezer).


Combined, our F&P pair use almost 1500kWh a year - equivalent to AU$330 @ 22c/kWh - so your model isn't doing too bad, considering our freezer isn't exactly full (Lol). Both F&P models use a Matsushita Electric (Made in Singapore) compressor, the fridge uses a 300w heater and defrosts every 6 hours of operation. The freezer has a 900w heater and defrosts every 12 hours of operation (Timer cycles with thermostat). The freezer is set warmer than factory, since that is like -11.2ºF (-24ºC) - too cold. I've clocked it back to 0ºF (-18ºC). The fridge is just a tad colder than factory, which is perfect. 


So really, some models from recent are worse than models from 40 years ago. VERY INTERESTING!

Post# 678096 , Reply# 9   5/8/2013 at 04:26 (3,941 days old) by retromania (Anderson, South Carolina)        

I love Sears Coldspot!!! So many people around here had Sears appliances. Like I posted before, my parents wouldn't buy anything but Frigidaire and I always wanted something Kenmore. Anyway, I love that fridge and I LOVE that GE wall oven. Both look minty in the photos. Not bad prices either.

Post# 678111 , Reply# 10   5/8/2013 at 07:15 (3,941 days old) by combo52 (50 Year Repair Tech Beltsville,Md)        
Early 1960s WP Built Sears Coldspot Ref

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These were very solid performing refs in their day, but they not only use an excessive amount of power they are also the reason that No Frost refrigerators got a bad reputation for poor food preservation, running 70% of the time and for the way they heated up kitchens in warm climates. The freezer floor of the Sears TF ref was just a stamped piece of aluminum with  the evaporator coil directly under it and pressed into the evaporator coil was a 600-700 watt heater. This heater was turned on twice a day and heated this whole area to at least 50F and much warmer in some areas [ many customers reported saying it was hot to the touch if they caught it in a defrost cycle ] needless to say it didn't do the frozen food sitting directly on top any good.


The thing that does in these refs as time goes on is this evaporator sits in a galvanized steel pan and it gets rusted pin holes in it as time goes on [ Frigidaire has the same problem with both their TF and BF and upright freezers models from 1958-about 1970 ] this leads to a big mess when the defrost water keeps leaking into the insulation below for years, it is very difficult to fix. WP did not have this problem with their BF and upright freezer models.


As mentioned the bottom freezer version would be even a little worse in terms of energy use, mainly because of having a bigger freezer section and having the colder freezer section near the hot condenser, pre-cooler and compressor. And Phil R is correct that his Frigidaire is probably a good deal more economical to run that a WP built FF ref of this vintage, the FD has a static condenser and to FDs credit they almost always were more economical to operate that most other brands.


111 the single best thing to make an older ref like this more efficient would be to replace the compressor, the compressor in this older ref consumes at least 350 watts of power when running compared to just over 100 for the same capacity compressor today. From there you can reduce the condenser fan motors consumption from about 40 watts to 5-6 watts but using a state of the art new ECM fan motor, likewise the evaporator fan M can be changed from 25-30 watts to about 4-5 watts draw. The twice a day timer can easily be changed to once a day by changing the timer [ I did this hundreds of times over the years ]. If you wanted to be a little more clever you could do as my Brother did years ago and use a 7 day timer and have the refrigerator only about twice per week, he and his partner did this for over 10 years on their primary ref [ a 1966 WP TF model ] Other things that could be done would be switching off some of the anti-sweat heaters if you lived in a dry climate and in the case of a ref like the Sears CP in question that has only fiberglass insulation you could pull the liner out and replace much of the fiber-glass with foam slabs of insulation. 


But as this Cool Old Sears ref stands it easily uses FOUR times the power of a new 16 cubic foot ref and would not keep frozen or fresh food nearly as well. And since WP went to their current ref designs 20 years ago [ all foam cabinets and doors ] these refs are holding up much better than the 1960s-1970s ever did, I have little dough that the current simple TF models will easily last in excess of 30 yeras if given reasonable care.

Post# 678131 , Reply# 11   5/8/2013 at 09:59 (3,940 days old) by PhilR (Quebec Canada)        

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As much as I like older frost-free refrigerators, I have to admit you're right about their issues (I never owned a pre-1970's Whirlpool or Coldspot so I rely on your info about them but your comments on Frigidaires are 100% right!).

My 1963 Frigidaire refrigerator also has just an aluminium panel on the freezer floor without insulation above the evaporator. In 1964, they added a thin layer of foam insulation (at least on models with the new foam-insulated cabinets) to prevent freezer floor heating during the defrost period. On older bottom freezer models with the evaporator located under the freezer floor and no insulation above it, only ice trays should be placed directly on the freezer floor to avoid heating food packages during the defrost period. I think one of the worst things would be to store frozen pizzas there as their package fits there quite well if you remove the ice trays and they defrost quickly... Ice cream sandwiches wouldn't do too good there either!

1963 FRIGIDAIRE bottom freezer

Post# 678170 , Reply# 12   5/8/2013 at 14:22 (3,940 days old) by ovrphil (N.Atlanta / Georgia )        

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PhilR - are the ice trays typically designated to reside in that location or are you doing this to offset rising temps during defrost? It looks like there wouldn't be any other place and it does double duty, but I thought of an array of cold packs, as an alternative. I'm not familiar with what I'm looking at there on the door, but is that an ice bin to hold the freshly made ice, if one wanted to store the ice?

Combo52 - this is enlightening info - why would anyone not want to investigate a way to make their "vintage" frig's more energy efficient...and maybe help out with parts replacement if you can add newer, more commonly available energy-efficient componentry?

interesting, inspiring and helpful info - thanks

Post# 678178 , Reply# 13   5/8/2013 at 15:21 (3,940 days old) by rp2813 (Sannazay)        

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That is indeed an ice bin.  Lay a tray on top of it with open end facing down and use the lever to loosen the cubes so they drop into the bin.  That is why you see those tabs on the ends of Frigidaire ice trays from the period.  I have always wondered what type of stress this activity placed on the freezer door hinges.

Post# 678186 , Reply# 14   5/8/2013 at 17:01 (3,940 days old) by retromania (Anderson, South Carolina)        
We had one....

We had one those funky ice extracting bins. Our's had a lid. Mom kept it when we got a new Fridge. She would store extra ice in it. I don't know what happened to the trays. Guess they went out with the old fridge.

Post# 678202 , Reply# 15   5/8/2013 at 18:04 (3,940 days old) by washer111 ()        
Thanks John

Thanks for the elaborated response. Helped me understand what you were getting at :-) It certainly seems like these older FF models could be a handful for the intrepid homeowner! I can testify that you only *really* need to defrost once a day in a freezer - I've skipped the defrost on our Freezer when its hot to save it working so hard to bring the temperature back afterwards. I think you could probably push ours to every 1.5 days, in mid humidity, after that, it starts to struggle anyhow...


Ovrphil, I think the reason people don't bother replacing compressors is they: a). Want to keep the refrigerator "All Original" - perhaps hold better value b). Don't want to disturb anything, because it is working. Remember the adage "If it ain't broke, don't fix it"

I'm not sure of the cost, though I imagine it may very well be worth more than the refrigerator itself - which could also explain why someone was reluctant to "fix" a working fridge

Post# 678248 , Reply# 16   5/8/2013 at 22:19 (3,940 days old) by PhilR (Quebec Canada)        

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Phil, yes the ice trays were supposed to reside on the freezer floor (see the ad below).


My Turquoise 1961 fridge had it's compressor replaced with a piston-type Tecumesh compressor. This was a modification that Frigidaire technicians often did in Canada as Frigidaire started to install Tecumseh compressors on many of it's Canadian models in the mid-1960s and many TEC AE compressors have GM Frigidaire parts numbers! It works well but it seems to be quite a job to fit there!

The only thing I don't like about my fridge that had been converted is the sound it makes. Not that it's noisier than my other fridges with the Meter-Miser but the sound isn't the same and it bothers me. 


Ralph, the freezer doors and hinges on these fridges are quite solid, the parts that are subject to stress are the lever mechanism on the ice server, the ice server itself which could crack and the ice tray separators/mechanism that can distort... Frigidaire sold ice tray wax in spray cans to help removing ice cubes from them but I never used it! I either put some water under the trays before releasing them, or better, I release them just after the defrost period!

Post# 678256 , Reply# 17   5/8/2013 at 22:50 (3,940 days old) by ovrphil (N.Atlanta / Georgia )        

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Love that ad - number 7 looks sizable, but maybe because the human is a kid - just curious, what was the largest size available in the line pictured in the ad (or not pictured, but available?) Did consumers have choices of 21CuFt or larger or were the choices under 20Cu.ft.Really like these ads ...what has happened to the play and color that ads once enjoyed? Jeesh. Thanks for the ice tray info - I see it in the pink one(#7).

I like washers, dryers, and portable washers - but right up there with those, I'd collect all the colors of Frigidaires that were available, if possible. I'm sure you have (or someone here on has a nearly complete set of these.

Post# 678305 , Reply# 18   5/9/2013 at 06:47 (3,940 days old) by combo52 (50 Year Repair Tech Beltsville,Md)        
Great Frigidaire Ad

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Love this Ad Phil R. it really shows what they were building and selling. Even though I like being the Combo Guy my favorite is #11 the all [ most ] all refrigerator, I still wish separate refs and freezers would have caught on more you just cannot beat them for great performance, I have two sets in my kitchen area.


I think that the largest ref in this ad is about 17 cubic feet in total capacity, total capacity of household refs slowly keep going up through the 50s, [ 10-16 CF ]  60s [ 12-a little over 20 CF ] 70s [ 14-28 CF ] 80s- 90s [ 14-30 CF] and in the 2000s sizes are going down a little for mainstream models as the drive for energy efficiency continues to advance, today 16-25 CF refs are most common.

Post# 678442 , Reply# 19   5/9/2013 at 18:27 (3,939 days old) by PhilR (Quebec Canada)        

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The biggest fridge on this ad is the pink one on #7.


I have the exact same but with left hinges and brushed chrome doors.




Here's an ad showing the same model in Turquoise:

frigidaire portrait 1962


It's a 16 cubic feet model and it's 69¾" tall and 32" wide. Still quite big outside for the interior dimensions but better than the previous year's biggest model that had the exact same exterior dimensions but smaller interior. The 1963 Frost-Proof models now lacked the cold plate and second draft fan behind the refrigerator section which helped to increase the volume by 0.9 cu.ft from 14.63 cu.ft to 15.53 cu.ft., or just enough to call it a 16 cu.ft. model!


The other reason for the smallish interiors is that these cabinets had a very high freezer floor which Frigidaire was trying to hide for the first time in 1963 with doors that extended well over the toe panel. All models still had fiberglass-insulated cabinets that year.


In 1964, two models had foamed cabinets with thinner walls and the 16 cu-ft model was shorter by 5" than the 16 cu.ft. 1963 model and it even had a bit more interior space (16.06 cu.ft. vs 15.53 cu.ft for the taller 1963 model) all gained in the freezer section.



Here's an ad showing a larger pic of model John is talking about in the 1963 refrigerator lineup ad also seen paired with a matching Frost-Proof freezer. 




Post# 678466 , Reply# 20   5/9/2013 at 22:22 (3,939 days old) by ovrphil (N.Atlanta / Georgia )        

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Great ads and interesting info, PhilR. Handsome looking frig and the stove isn't too shabby either.
I didn't realise that brushed chrome was an option with that refrigerator or did you find a younger door that worked with it? That look seems to complement the oven door designs.

Lots of changes, weren't there, in the 60's in all the appliances. It was a cool time for cars and appliances..was fun being a kid and teen then. Anyways - enjoyed the ads.

This site is a black hole..waaay to much to view and easy to forget to surface. What year is it? :-)

Post# 678470 , Reply# 21   5/9/2013 at 23:20 (3,939 days old) by PhilR (Quebec Canada)        

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Brushed chrome was an option.

Post# 678476 , Reply# 22   5/10/2013 at 00:28 (3,939 days old) by rp2813 (Sannazay)        

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I've seen Coldspots of similar vintage with stainless doors.  It was likely an optional finish as well.

Post# 678953 , Reply# 23   5/12/2013 at 13:56 (3,936 days old) by norgeway (mocksville n c )        
If you ARE going to use a vintage fridge!

Get one that is NOT self defrosting, they dont run all the time, are quiet, and keep food much better, and are VERY economical to run.

Post# 679439 , Reply# 24   5/15/2013 at 04:13 (3,934 days old) by retromania (Anderson, South Carolina)        
Vintage Fridge

Yes. They are extremely quiet running.

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