Thread Number: 52792
Mr Draper, your General Electric Frost Guard Refrigerator is here...
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Post# 751056   4/18/2014 at 21:32 (1,954 days old) by ultramatic (New York City)        

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OK, I wasn't expecting this to happen, well not so soon, but thanks to our intrepid Phil, here it is. A 1964 General Electric refrigerator with "Frost Guard". Hubby showed pictures to the mother-in-law and they both concluded I've gone off the deep end.  So have my parents, and my sister. But they just don't understand 60's COOL.  So be it. It's home and another piece of the puzzle falls into place.

Post# 751057 , Reply# 1   4/18/2014 at 21:38 (1,954 days old) by ultramatic (New York City)        

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While in no means "pristine" it's quite nice actually.


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The middle shelve need's to be "adjusted". Nice and bright inside.


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And baby, it's the swinging sixties!


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Freezer is missing the ice cube trays and shelve. And it's quite small.


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Post# 751062 , Reply# 2   4/18/2014 at 21:56 (1,954 days old) by moparguy (Virginia)        

Nice fridge! Enjoy it! Great swinging 60s!

Post# 751065 , Reply# 3   4/18/2014 at 22:20 (1,953 days old) by ultramatic (New York City)        

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Thanks Jeff!

Post# 751072 , Reply# 4   4/18/2014 at 22:47 (1,953 days old) by redcarpetdrew (Concord, CA (But my heart will always be in sweet Nevada!))        
Your family says YOUVE gone off the deep end...

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I'll spin that statement into what it SHOULD say...

Your family doesn't like it so, IMHO, THEYVE gone off the deep end! How's that? LOL!

That is a absolutely fantastic machine which buried the needle on the 'cool-o-meter' .you'll spiff that right up in no time. When the family visits, tell them that if they can't stand the coolness then stay out of the kitchen!


Post# 751076 , Reply# 5   4/18/2014 at 23:16 (1,953 days old) by retropia ()        

Sharp-looking fridge; I like the chrome trim around the doors. Perhaps it was designed that way to accept optional door panels?


Post# 751077 , Reply# 6   4/18/2014 at 23:17 (1,953 days old) by hydralique (Los Angeles)        
Gorgeous Refrigerator . . .

It reminds me of my old and much missed '66 Frigidaire. Remember that swimming is best at the deep end!

Post# 751079 , Reply# 7   4/18/2014 at 23:17 (1,953 days old) by A440 ()        

It's Beautiful!
One of my most favorite GE Refrigerators.
Please tell us what you think about it.
Will it be your main refrigerator?
Happy Easter.

Post# 751083 , Reply# 8   4/18/2014 at 23:23 (1,953 days old) by A440 ()        

Jeff or John or Tom....
Correct me if I am wrong...but wasn't the Refrigerator section completely sealed off from the freezer section on these? (besides the water from the fridge coils)
For some reason this was a big seller in my neighborhood when I was a child. I remember all of the neighbors talking about how amazing it was to keep fresh vegetables and fruit in this particular model. If I remember correct only the freezer had the fan, and the fridge part was cooled solely by the coils on top.

Post# 751085 , Reply# 9   4/18/2014 at 23:31 (1,953 days old) by ultramatic (New York City)        

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@Andrew, thanks! Hubby said to his mother. "Well at least it isn't pink." LOL!


@Doug, I thought about that too when I saw it, but I don't think that was being offered yet. Thanks!


@Hydralique Thanks, but I'm not a good swimmer. LOL!


@Brent, It's a bit on the small side, but it will have to suffice until I find a bigger one. Wink 3 lights in the fridge compartment. Love it! Thanks!



Post# 751086 , Reply# 10   4/18/2014 at 23:32 (1,953 days old) by ultramatic (New York City)        

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Your right Brent, the freezer does have the only fan.

Post# 751088 , Reply# 11   4/18/2014 at 23:42 (1,953 days old) by ultramatic (New York City)        

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A question for all those experts out there: Is "Frost Guard" GE's term for "Frost Free"?

Post# 751097 , Reply# 12   4/19/2014 at 01:03 (1,953 days old) by rp2813 (Too many people know the way)        

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AFAIK, "Frost Guard" was GE's term for "frost free."


After reading Brent's post, this type of system sounds like a great hybrid.  One thing I really like about my '57 Combination is opening the door to the fresh food section and not hearing a fan whirring.


Louie, your fridge seems to be the perfect size for the back-up role I'd be using it for, with a more viable freezer than that of my Combination. 

Post# 751100 , Reply# 13   4/19/2014 at 01:33 (1,953 days old) by ultramatic (New York City)        

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Thanks Ralph. I like the term "Frost Guard" better. Smile


Well, until I find a larger, white, left hinged, bottom mount with Frost Guard, this will be the one for now. And something tells me I'm in for a LONG wait. Ralph, I only saw one shot of your combination, an interior shot at that. Have you posted any more pictures of it?

Post# 751116 , Reply# 14   4/19/2014 at 04:55 (1,953 days old) by ultramatic (New York City)        
Couldn't help myself...

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Post# 751125 , Reply# 15   4/19/2014 at 07:00 (1,953 days old) by pulltostart (Mobile, AL)        
Oh Yeah!

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Contratulations! Another example of some fine General Electric styling. Please update us with pics after you clean her up.


Post# 751130 , Reply# 16   4/19/2014 at 07:23 (1,953 days old) by turquoisedude (Ogden & St-Liboire (where??), QC, Canada)        

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Glad you got it, Louie! That is a very stylish fridge indeed. I miss the swing out shelves (had a 57 GE growing up. It's in really great shape, too. Congratulations!

Post# 751134 , Reply# 17   4/19/2014 at 07:30 (1,953 days old) by gansky1 (Omaha, The Home of the TV Dinner!)        

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That is a great interim refrigerator, stylish and functional!  ;-)  You may even find that you needed less space than you thought initially and grow to love it.  The swing-out shelves are really nice, my favorite thing about these GE's.


 Congrats on your new leap into insanity, as others may see it, we're be behind you 100%.  

Post# 751140 , Reply# 18   4/19/2014 at 08:15 (1,953 days old) by mayguy (Minnesota)        


Post# 751176 , Reply# 19   4/19/2014 at 10:54 (1,953 days old) by cfz2882 (Belle Fourche,SD)        
50 yrs of ford mustangs.

ford mustang now 50 yrs old-closest I have came to owning one was back in 1985 when a '65 fastback 289 2v/4 spd was a contender for my first car-white and blue,it had the base falcon style dashboard.In pretty decent shape,they wanted $2500 for it.I bought a 74 nova for $250 instead.My favorite mustangs are 71-73 fastbacks;more of a "GT"type car than the"ponycar"smaller,mid-'60s generation of mustang.

Post# 751178 , Reply# 20   4/19/2014 at 11:03 (1,953 days old) by retropia ()        
Ice Cream

Well, Louie, if this General Electric refrigerator's freezer can hold all of the ice cream that Betty required during her "Big Betty" days, it should be of adequate size for most households.


Certainly we know that the refrigerator does a good job of keeping whipped-cream-in-a-can fresh and delicious.


Post# 751187 , Reply# 21   4/19/2014 at 11:30 (1,953 days old) by hydralique (Los Angeles)        
Defrost System . . .

Does this unit have the GE reverse cycle defrost system or conventional electric resistance heaters? While the reverse cycle (aka heat pump) design is more complex it sure is clever and eliminates problems with the resistance heaters. I had to deal with the latter on my '66 Frigidaire, not a hard job but a PITA as it took numerous adjustments of the heater position under the freezer floor to make it work consistently and not slowly frost up.

Post# 751205 , Reply# 22   4/19/2014 at 12:15 (1,953 days old) by rp2813 (Too many people know the way)        
Defrost systems

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I think John L. covered the defrost mechanism in the original thread Phil posted about this fridge in Shopper's Square.  Apparently the larger model had the more reliable system in John's opinion.


Louie, here's a shot of my fridge toward the end of its initial cleaning prior to moving into the house.  The grille at the bottom wasn't yet installed, but otherwise the exterior was ready to go at this point.


It's the 12 cf model so is fairly short as well as being only 30" wide. 



Post# 751208 , Reply# 23   4/19/2014 at 12:20 (1,953 days old) by rp2813 (Too many people know the way)        
Happy Easter

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The colored eggs are a year-round installation, but this weekend is an ideal time to share . . .



Post# 751220 , Reply# 24   4/19/2014 at 13:32 (1,953 days old) by danemodsandy (The Bramford, Apt. 7-E)        

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Your new fridge - long may it wave - was designed for a world without today's Big Kahuna package sizes. Milk came in quarts, not gallons. Oh, you could buy half-gallons, but that was huge back then.

Pop came in single-serve bottles, not monster two-liters. Juice was little cans of concentrate, not big jugs of Tropicana or Sunny D. Frozen vegetables were little cardboard boxes of same, not ginormous plastic bags. A TV dinner was small, not like today's "Hungry-Man" sizes. A frozen pizza was eight inches across; they didn't try to emulate the dimensions of pizzeria pizzas. Pot pies were little 7-ounce things, not today's one-pounders.

If you'll watch your package sizes, you'll find that fridge more than adequate.

Post# 751222 , Reply# 25   4/19/2014 at 13:44 (1,953 days old) by epixstar128 (toledo)        

I have this fridge one year older and its got hot gas defrost. Its not complicated at all comp has a high side and low side. It takes the hot gas from the compressor and just opens a solinoid to direct feed it to the coil.

Post# 751224 , Reply# 26   4/19/2014 at 13:47 (1,953 days old) by epixstar128 (toledo)        

Louie open tge back panel up and look for a wiring diagram. One was installed in mine snap a pic and we can see what kind of defrost system it is.

Post# 751231 , Reply# 27   4/19/2014 at 14:50 (1,953 days old) by Yogitunes (New Jersey)        

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just beautiful......

remember when fridges came with those built in egg racks......nice touch for adding color Ralph....

this reminds me of the joke, does the little light stay on when the door is closed?.....there was also a cartoon of this little sliding door that allowed you to look inside and see a tiny man running to hit the switch once the door was closed

Post# 751253 , Reply# 28   4/19/2014 at 16:42 (1,953 days old) by ptcruiser51 (Boynton Beach, FL)        
Frost Guard

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According to my GE factory rep when I worked at THD, it works this way. Most GE and Hotpoint models have a timed defrost cycle where the coils will heat up to melt rime buildup. About 10-15 min. before the cycle starts, the fridge will drop the temperature about 5 degrees or so to compensate for the heat generated during the cycle. This is to eliminate things like nasty ice crystals forming on top of ice cream or inside boxed frozen vegetables. I think Maytag used a similar system but the name escapes me.

One thing I noticed on the models in this thread is the new Trimwall design which was introduced around 1964. It used a new type of insulation to keep the walls thin, thus increasing interior capacity.

My mom had a 1966 model GE top-freezer that said "Frost Guard" on the freezer handle. It was the same one as was in the coffee break room at Sterling-Cooper on "Mad Men". They sold it with the house in 1993 - never a repair.

Post# 751321 , Reply# 29   4/19/2014 at 22:13 (1,952 days old) by ultramatic (New York City)        

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Hey thanks for all the well wishes guys! I fired it up this morning after giving it 8hrs for the oil to settle back into the motor. It's cooling like nobodies business. I placed a bottle of water in the freezer and it was frozen solid in 3 hours. Needless to say, I'm damn impressed with it's performance. And boy is it quiet! I'll be posting more pictures in a bit.

Post# 751324 , Reply# 30   4/19/2014 at 22:16 (1,952 days old) by ultramatic (New York City)        

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Sandy, I have memberships to Costco, BJ's and Sam's. I think I better keep the chest freezer after all. Tongue out

Post# 751336 , Reply# 31   4/19/2014 at 23:11 (1,952 days old) by ultramatic (New York City)        

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The light tower is elegantly simple:


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Everything well fitted, with quality materials. The liner is all one piece, porcelain steel, as are the vegetable/fruit crisper bins.


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And even more lights.


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And design everywhere.


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Yeah baby, YEAH!


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While I do like a lot of things hard, butter isn't one of them.


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The worst I've found, where the basket attaches to the freezer door. Cry


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Post# 751339 , Reply# 32   4/19/2014 at 23:24 (1,952 days old) by A440 ()        

Great pictures Louie!
The shot of the fridge coils reminded me of loving to see the frost on them when I was a kid. Growing up in the heat / humidity of New Orleans, our fridge would frost so much that you could not see the coils any longer. It never had an issue with keeping the correct temp. I am sure my opening the door to stare at them was one of the reasons they would get so frosty! The fun part was watching it cycle the defrost! It would instantly start to melt and the water and frost would slide to the catcher tray in the back. Then I would love how the water would simply flow down the back of the fridge wall and under the crisper and down the hole to the pan beneath the unit. (metal pan at that)
You have given me the itch to start looking for one! I think it would be so much fun!

Post# 751345 , Reply# 33   4/20/2014 at 00:02 (1,952 days old) by ultramatic (New York City)        

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Thanks Brent. I used to do the same thing when the coils frosted up! LOL! We had this model when I was 4 or so. Lasted until the the late 80's.


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Post# 751351 , Reply# 34   4/20/2014 at 00:46 (1,952 days old) by A440 ()        

Louie thanks for the picture. That appears to be the GE I grew up with.
Ours had the coils in the Fridge part, and had a small fan on the left hand upper corner of the freezer. Would this be the same model?
It was such a fun Fridge!

Post# 751404 , Reply# 35   4/20/2014 at 08:32 (1,952 days old) by ultramatic (New York City)        

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Hmm, I don't remember seeing a fan in the freezer section for that particular model.  And Happy Easter Brent!

Post# 751405 , Reply# 36   4/20/2014 at 08:35 (1,952 days old) by ultramatic (New York City)        

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I gotta' ask, where in the world could I find a replacement for the damaged plastic inner panel for the freezer door? And the missing ice try shelve? It really mars an otherwise a very good condition refrigerator.

Post# 751406 , Reply# 37   4/20/2014 at 08:45 (1,952 days old) by epixstar128 (toledo)        

If it helps man i snap a few pics of my two trays

Post# 751407 , Reply# 38   4/20/2014 at 08:45 (1,952 days old) by epixstar128 (toledo)        


Post# 751415 , Reply# 39   4/20/2014 at 09:22 (1,952 days old) by lorainfurniture (Cleveland )        
I had a pink bottom mount.

I remember looking at the defrost system which was the "heat pump" design. Sadly it suffered compressor failure..

I still have the matching pink stove.

Post# 751426 , Reply# 40   4/20/2014 at 10:00 (1,952 days old) by ovrphil (N.Atlanta / Georgia )        

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Even if today's refrigerators are loaded with electronic coolness(albeit questionably reliable) and energy efficiency...I can't seem to leave some of the 50's and 60's behind...and this GE refrigerator still stops me cold (ha), staring at it more now that I can see the details. Thanks for posting pics, and it's great, just great to see the enthusiasm. Your family is just missing out. :-)

Post# 751427 , Reply# 41   4/20/2014 at 10:06 (1,952 days old) by aldspinboy (Philadelphia, Pa)        

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Wow very nice Lou !

Loving the swinging shelfs.

Whats going in there ..

Darren k

Post# 751461 , Reply# 42   4/20/2014 at 13:21 (1,952 days old) by ultramatic (New York City)        

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Oh wow Eric, I thought the shelve was a one piece affair. No Idea it had various pieces to it. THANKS!


BTW, cool KA dishwasher!

Post# 751462 , Reply# 43   4/20/2014 at 13:25 (1,952 days old) by ultramatic (New York City)        

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Beautiful stove Eugene! What year was your bottom mount?

Post# 751463 , Reply# 44   4/20/2014 at 13:29 (1,952 days old) by ultramatic (New York City)        

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Thanks Phil. Funny, now that it's working away, there has been a change of tune, now they LIKE it.


Thanks Darren! The shelves are my favorite feature. No more "lost" items!



Post# 751465 , Reply# 45   4/20/2014 at 13:38 (1,952 days old) by epixstar128 (toledo)        

Thank . Louie that's my kdI 19 i will keep a eye out for at thift stores for you for those trays.

Post# 751466 , Reply# 46   4/20/2014 at 13:44 (1,952 days old) by rp2813 (Too many people know the way)        
" . . . now they LIKE it."

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Of course they do.  Sometimes it just takes some people a little longer to realize they can't find comparably nifty features on modern appliances that were offered on those manufactured 50 or more years ago.  What's not to like about articulated shelving and a butter conditioner, showcased with glamorous lighting effects?

Post# 751477 , Reply# 47   4/20/2014 at 15:16 (1,952 days old) by lorainfurniture (Cleveland )        

I never did check the year, but it was the match to the stove, and the set of drawers. I just remember it looking exactly like the one pictured, with the crazy defrost system and all.

I really hope to find a nice top mount pink ref one day. Likely I'll just have to make one.

Post# 751484 , Reply# 48   4/20/2014 at 16:03 (1,952 days old) by norgeway (mocksville n c )        
I wouldnt care if it cost

Twice as much to will keep food better and last 10 times as long as a new fridge will, and in the long run you will save money!

Post# 751489 , Reply# 49   4/20/2014 at 17:25 (1,952 days old) by danemodsandy (The Bramford, Apt. 7-E)        
Eugene (lorainfurniture):

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I really like your pink Americana - it's one of the really early ones.

The Americana is a configuration that I've always enjoyed, even though I can't have one myself, because of the PyroKitty™ cooktop pushbuttons. My cat friend, Marty, would be romping and stomping on them before you'd know it.

Post# 751497 , Reply# 50   4/20/2014 at 18:13 (1,952 days old) by lorainfurniture (Cleveland )        

I'm not a fan of the push button controls either, but the stove does sooooo much I can look past the bad design..

I would like to find the rotisserie attachment if possible. That would really be awesome.

Post# 751502 , Reply# 51   4/20/2014 at 18:45 (1,952 days old) by danemodsandy (The Bramford, Apt. 7-E)        
Eugene (lorainfurniture):

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Rotisserie parts turn up on eBay, so if I were you, I'd set an automatic eBay search so that you'll get updates when they're listed.

By the way, Marty's middle name is Eugene!

Post# 751556 , Reply# 52   4/20/2014 at 23:50 (1,951 days old) by A440 ()        

Who truly knows the in's and out's of these GE Refrigerators?
There is always speculations....but never any answers.
I am just curious.
The answers always seem "run-around".

Post# 751667 , Reply# 53   4/21/2014 at 14:36 (1,951 days old) by lorainfurniture (Cleveland )        
I took it apart completely.

The defrost system is similar to some commercial equipment used today. There is a probe that attaches to the coils, when that is satisfied, it releases a solenoid to allow the hot liquid to circulate through the evap.

It's quite simple, but the problem is once you have a problem, you need to open up the system. In my case with my compressor failure, I couldn't even swap out the compressor. It is very specialized. All I could have done was convert it to a more modern system but I simply did not have the time to do all that.

Post# 751668 , Reply# 54   4/21/2014 at 14:37 (1,951 days old) by lorainfurniture (Cleveland )        

Do you have any question about this unit? I am somewhat familiar with it

Post# 752282 , Reply# 55   4/24/2014 at 01:57 (1,948 days old) by ultramatic (New York City)        

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I turned off the GE and I noticed later the interior had gotten quite warm. I touched the coils and they were very warm. Is this normal when you turn it off at the dial?

Post# 752284 , Reply# 56   4/24/2014 at 02:36 (1,948 days old) by rp2813 (Too many people know the way)        

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It kind of sounds like the defrost cycle was happening even though you turned the dial to the "OFF" position. 


I can't imagine the defrost timer would override the cold control, but you never know.   The defrost timer does run independently of the cold control, so I suppose it's possible it could kick in the defrost heater even though the control was set to "OFF."


I don't know where the defrost timer is located on the GE, but if you can locate it, you can probably rotate it manually and see if it does turn on the coil heater even though you have the cold control at the "OFF" setting. 


If that's the case, you'd need to unplug the fridge if you don't intend to be using it for any length of time.

Post# 752299 , Reply# 57   4/24/2014 at 05:27 (1,948 days old) by epixstar128 (toledo)        

Was your butter softner turned to soft ? Its just a electric heater in the door and runs even with the thermostat turned off.

Post# 752454 , Reply# 58   4/24/2014 at 21:24 (1,948 days old) by lorainfurniture (Cleveland )        

There is no defrost timer on this fridge. There is a defrost "probe", and a solenoid that releases the hot gas in to the evap.

Perhaps when you shut it off the solenoid deactivated and allowed some hot gas to migrate in. Those units are well insulated, so a little bit would keep it warm for a while.

Otherwise you might have shut it off while it was defrosting. I don't know much about how they operate because mine never worked. I did completely dismantle it, and I can tell you for sure, no defrost timer.

Post# 752457 , Reply# 59   4/24/2014 at 21:33 (1,948 days old) by epixstar128 (toledo)        

The hot gas bypass whould close way before it got too warm . I did the same thing when i first got my combo. Left the thermostat off and the inside got to 80 in my 65 degree basment. I felt the butter condisner and it was still giving off heat even with the thermostat off.

Post# 752458 , Reply# 60   4/24/2014 at 21:48 (1,948 days old) by ultramatic (New York City)        

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Yep Eric, it was on soft. Perhaps that contributed to the heat build up.  The dial is on 1 now until I can completely turn it off  for a thorough inside cleaning. I have to some how address that broken plastic panel on the freezer door that attaches to the wire basket. Wish I could find a replacement.


I'm not sure what happened Eugene, only that the coils became very warm. The minute I switched it on, they started to cool.

Post# 752462 , Reply# 61   4/24/2014 at 21:57 (1,948 days old) by lorainfurniture (Cleveland )        
I just trashed the fridge last summer.

Or I would have had every part you would need. I do have the cold control still.

Post# 752464 , Reply# 62   4/24/2014 at 22:01 (1,948 days old) by rp2813 (Too many people know the way)        

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I'm confused.  John said this fridge (30" wide) didn't have the hot gas system, but the larger size did.   That's why I mentioned a  defrost timer.

Post# 752466 , Reply# 63   4/24/2014 at 22:04 (1,948 days old) by ultramatic (New York City)        

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What a shame Eugene. I wouldn't even know where to start to look for one. Cry

Post# 752470 , Reply# 64   4/24/2014 at 22:44 (1,947 days old) by epixstar128 (toledo)        

The later models of this size went to electric. Heating defrost i belive after 65 or 66. The units with exposed coils just scream hot gas defrost by design. My guess whould be exposed coils=hot gas defrost

Post# 752472 , Reply# 65   4/24/2014 at 22:54 (1,947 days old) by combo52 (Beltsville,Md)        
1964 GE Bottom Freezer Frost Guard Refrigerator

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Hi Louie, love the new refrigerator hopefully it will work out well with the Coloric range.

Questions and answers

This GE Ref has hot gas defrost, the later 30 1/2 " models without the coils in the top of the refrigerator section had resistance electric defrost. All GE 34" wide bottom freezer refs had HGD with a single evaporator in the back of the freezer, these had two evaporator fans and two thermostats [ one in each section to control temperatures ]

This ref has a timer to initiate a defrost cycle after 12 hours of compressor running time has accumulated. It does not cool a little colder before going into a defrost cycle.

This ref has two evaporators, the Freon travels through the freezers E first then through the E in the top of the fresh food section. On this type refrigerator the frost melts off the FF E every time the compressor shuts off and to keep frost from accumulating on the ends of the FF E there is a little electric heater on both sides of the FF E, these little heaters are ON whenever the compressor is off, this is why when you turn off the cold control the FF E actually gets warm.

The advantage of this type of refrigeration system is no taste or odor transfer from ref to freezer sections. The main disadvantage is there is no separate temperature control for each section.

Even though GE used there own compressor on these HGD refrigerators you can install a normal compressor if it fails. I have a 1960 GE Frost Guard up-right freezer that had a bad compressor when I found it almost 30 years ago, my brother Jeff installed a regular compressor in it and it works perfectly to this day.

These were good performing refs if everything was working correctly, but dual evaporator refs were prone to more temperature issue problems. A ref like this will easily use 3-4 times as much power as a new ref of equal capacity, and other than not transferring ref odors into the ice in the freezer does not keep food any longer than a new refrigerator, Louie I would keep your little chest freezer for foods that you want to keep in the freezer long term.

Enjoy your new classic, John L.

Post# 752482 , Reply# 66   4/25/2014 at 00:04 (1,947 days old) by washer111 ()        

The defrost system you mention John was common on Kelvinator "Cyclic" models here in Australia for many years - except the freezer was typically manual defrost. 


When the fridge cycled off, very small heaters assisted defrost on the "U" coil in FF section (It followed the left, rear and right hand walls), into a little gutter, then onto the compressor to be evaporated. 


These fridges without the frost-free, even with thirstier compressors, are very quiet, even older models still running and probably use very little electricity for their age. 

Its a shame that models like this were discontinued; Manual defrost freezers are much better for food, and save so much energy - and I consider it quite wasteful to have a electric "frost-free" refrigerator compartment, like in our large refrigerator-only model, which defrosts every six hours (Fan-on + a 300w heater). 

Post# 752487 , Reply# 67   4/25/2014 at 00:14 (1,947 days old) by ultramatic (New York City)        

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Hey thanks John! I'm very happy with it, and can't wait to see it together with the Caloric and the Maytag!

Post# 752490 , Reply# 68   4/25/2014 at 00:32 (1,947 days old) by rp2813 (Too many people know the way)        

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John, thanks for explaining both systems and their pros & cons.

Post# 753055 , Reply# 69   4/27/2014 at 08:26 (1,945 days old) by lorainfurniture (Cleveland )        
Defrost timer?

John, is that what that "probe" thing that is located in the top of the freezer compartment? I thought that to be a sensor of sorts, but I can easily See how it could be a temperature activated defrost timer.

Post# 753087 , Reply# 70   4/27/2014 at 11:23 (1,945 days old) by combo52 (Beltsville,Md)        
1964 GE Bottom Freezer Frost Guard Refrigerator

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The orignal defrost timers on GE FF freezers was a timer combined with a capillary sensor bulb, the sensor halted the defrost hot gas valve operation when the bulb was warmed to a temperature well above freezing, somewhere in the 45F-55F degree range, it varied by model etc. Toward the end of GE hot gas defrost refrigerators they simplified the system by just using a 12 hour, 10 minute defrost timer, this seemed to work very well as HGD refrigerators defrosted very quickly. These capillary defrost timers have been NLA for many many years so if it fails we just use a 12 Hr 10 Min timer as a replacement.

I have never figured why new refrigerators do not use HGD with the quest for energy efficiency today, not only does using the compressor use far less power than a resistance defrost heater, 150 watts for a compressor vs 300-500 watts for a defrost heater, and the HGD method puts the heat exactly where needed [ the frozen evaporator tubing ] so the air around the evaporator and the freezer itself warn up less, AND HGD is much faster since again the heat is applied exactly where the frost has formed.

I have asked many people who work with design and building home refrigeration appliances and have never gotten a answer, if anyone out there has a good reason why they don't use HGD any longer I would love to hear it.

John L.

Post# 911716 , Reply# 71   12/18/2016 at 21:55 (978 days old) by Ultramatic (New York City)        
And a week before Christmas...

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The G.E. stopped cooling.



Post# 911717 , Reply# 72   12/18/2016 at 21:59 (978 days old) by Ultramatic (New York City)        

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I'm not sure if it's the condenser fan, thermostat, defrost timer...I turned it off, to let it defrost. I do need to remove the freezer basket to gain access to the fan.

Post# 911720 , Reply# 73   12/18/2016 at 22:11 (978 days old) by Ultramatic (New York City)        

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The heater kicked in, the frost is beginning to melt.

Post# 911725 , Reply# 74   12/18/2016 at 22:45 (978 days old) by rp2813 (Too many people know the way)        

rp2813's profile picture

Yeah Louie, that looks more to me like it didn't know when to quit cooling! 


The serpentine coil on mine was growing a thick layer of frost a while back and it was due to the cold control having gone bad.  Not the same defrost system as yours (no heater involved) but the coil had built up much more frost than usual, and the fridge wouldn't stop running.


At least the frost on yours formed an even layer.  If it was all on one section of the coil, that would be bad news.


Keep us posted!

Post# 911734 , Reply# 75   12/18/2016 at 23:53 (978 days old) by Ultramatic (New York City)        

ultramatic's profile picture



Well, turned it back on. Compressor kicked in, evaporator fan in freezer section did not. So I suppose it's the fan.

This post was last edited 12/19/2016 at 04:38
Post# 911737 , Reply# 76   12/19/2016 at 00:47 (978 days old) by rp2813 (Too many people know the way)        

rp2813's profile picture

You mean the evaporator fan inside the freezer, right?  The condenser fan would be under (outside) the freezer way in back -- it blows warm air over the condensate pan and out the front of the grille.  If the condenser fan stopped working, the fridge -- and freezer section in particular -- would have trouble cooling down to the set temperature.  Ice cream firmness is a good indicator.


And if the freezer has a door (drawer) switch, did you push it to see if the fan would run?  On some early frost free systems, they used such a switch so the freezer's evaporator fan would cut out as soon as the door/drawer was opened.


Either way, I hope you can find an exact replacement or one that won't require major modifications.

Post# 911760 , Reply# 77   12/19/2016 at 04:37 (978 days old) by Ultramatic (New York City)        

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Yes, my mistake, the evaporator fan isn't running. The evaporator fan would run, regardless on whether the freezer door was open or closed. Come to think of it, I don't feel the condenser fan running either. The coils are cold in the refrigerator section now. Just barely some frost on them, the few things I left inside are cold. 

Post# 911776 , Reply# 78   12/19/2016 at 07:17 (978 days old) by combo52 (Beltsville,Md)        

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Hi Louie, What quit cooling? the ref or freezer section?Was the evaporator in the back of the freezer section also badly frosted over?


If the freezer section fan is not running when the compressor is running in cooling mode the door operated fan switch may be bad, test this first and it is OK to bypass if no replacement sw is readily available.


The condenser under ref should be running whenever the compressor is running except it may not run when compressor is in Hot-Gas-Defrost mode, the early models the CF did not run in defrost later they did.


With all the frost you had in the ref section the food should have been pretty cold and even freezing some. If the food was freezing [ in the ref section ] you may have a bad cold control, unfortunately if not you have a weak compressor, was the compressor ever changed on this ref? If not you have a serious problem on your hands.

Post# 911780 , Reply# 79   12/19/2016 at 07:52 (978 days old) by Ultramatic (New York City)        

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Hi John. They are actually cooling. I noticewd the heavy frost build up first. The evaporater fan stopped working. I noticed the fan for the last few months was making a clanking sound. To my knowledge the motor was never changed.

Post# 911814 , Reply# 80   12/19/2016 at 14:13 (978 days old) by rp2813 (Too many people know the way)        

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I've replaced evaporator fans before, but on Whirlpool/Coldspots.  It's probably not a big deal to get at it on your GE (presuming the drawer can be easily removed for access), but finding a fan that's an exact fit might be a challenge.  If only the motor is bad, you may be able to re-use the existing mounting brackets for a new motor (with similar specs) or find a universal fit replacement assembly and be back in business without hitting a bunch of snags.


On our '70 Whirlpool top-mount, even though the fan was running slowly, it managed to keep things cool.  My experience told me that the air movement should have been stronger, so I finally took the time to install a new fan.  What a difference!  I have to assume it increased efficiency, or at the very least provided more even temperature distribution throughout the fridge and freezer sections.

Post# 911818 , Reply# 81   12/19/2016 at 15:06 (978 days old) by Ultramatic (New York City)        

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That's my thinking Ralph. The condenser fan is running. Only the evaporator fan has stopped. My dad said it was a simple fix. We're going tomorrow to find a replacement fan. I'll be taking the old one out for reference as soon as I remove the freezer drawer.


John, I believe the only switch at the freezer drawer is for the light only. When the evaporator fan was operational, it ran regardless whether the freezer drawer was open or not.


The coils in the refrigerator continue to have slight frost on them, they seem fine. The refrigerator section is cold. The freezer section is too, but not as it should be.

Post# 911851 , Reply# 82   12/19/2016 at 21:23 (977 days old) by Ultramatic (New York City)        

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The coils are cycling normally now. No more heavy frost build-up. The refrigerator continues to cool fine. The evaporator fan is still nonfunctional. How odd the refrigerator section is back to normal.

Post# 911931 , Reply# 83   12/20/2016 at 12:20 (977 days old) by kenwashesmonday (Haledon, NJ)        

If the bearings aren't worn, these little evaporator fan motors can often be serviced. They are very similar to the motor in an older record player.

The link below is a great video on servicing this type of motor. The only part I disagree with is his choice of oil. Sewing machine oil or Zoom Spout turbine oil works much better.

CLICK HERE TO GO TO kenwashesmonday's LINK

Post# 911972 , Reply# 84   12/20/2016 at 21:05 (977 days old) by Ultramatic (New York City)        

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Hey thanks Ken, I had no idea you could repair them. Something I will definitely keep in mind.

Post# 954078 , Reply# 85   8/22/2017 at 21:44 (732 days old) by Ultramatic (New York City)        
Of course this would happen now.

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Well then, the GE has stopped cooling. The coils just get cool. No frost build up. The refrigerator was working normally, even the freezer fan was working as it should. The motor is running, but won't cut out. I've turned it off, and moved everything to the other GE and the floor freezer.


So, is it a bad compressor? Cold control?

Post# 954082 , Reply# 86   8/22/2017 at 22:24 (731 days old) by combo52 (Beltsville,Md)        

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Hi Louie, unfortunately if all fans are running along with the compressor you have the classic weak compressor, a newer compressor can be fitted to these refs but it is quite a job and you need a good experienced tech to do it.

Post# 954092 , Reply# 87   8/22/2017 at 23:59 (731 days old) by rp2813 (Too many people know the way)        

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This is sad news, but if anyone can find a similar replacement, it's you, Louie!


It's events like this that make me wonder, should I ever find the BF Frost Guard Combo of my dreams, if it would be wise to find a place to store my '57 Frosts Freely Combo in case the Frost Guard model ever failed.

Post# 954218 , Reply# 88   8/23/2017 at 12:40 (731 days old) by Ultramatic (New York City)        
I always knew this was going to happen eventually.

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Thanks John, Ralph. Before it stopped cooling, it had gone back to freezing the cooling coils. I've decided to have it repaired. A bottom mount near me is pretty hard to come by, but one that is right side swing, rare indeed. My dad could fix this, but it just too difficult for him at his age.


I may find someone to repair it. The old appliance parts store, where I got the oven safety valve, may know of someone. Fingers crossed.

Post# 954256 , Reply# 89   8/23/2017 at 15:55 (731 days old) by rp2813 (Too many people know the way)        
Somebody has been spoiled by the GE design team!

rp2813's profile picture

Louie, I hope you can find a guy to get that beauty back up and running properly.  If you do, you shouldn't have to worry about cooling issues for a very long time.  It's a fabulous fridge, and regardless of its energy consumption even with a new compressor, better than anything you could find new today and worth the cost of keeping it going as your daily driver.

Post# 954258 , Reply# 90   8/23/2017 at 16:03 (731 days old) by turquoisedude (Ogden & St-Liboire (where??), QC, Canada)        

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Geez, I am sorry to hear this!  I still have pangs of regret about the '64 Frost Guard I briefly had - it also wouldn't cool properly and there was less than zero possibility of finding someone to repair it....  

Post# 954294 , Reply# 91   8/23/2017 at 23:46 (730 days old) by Ultramatic (New York City)        

ultramatic's profile picture



Yeah, I have to admit I am smitten with the GE. Seeing those frosty coils, all porcelain interior, those swinging selves. Yeah I got it bad. Certainly someone in NYC knows how to repair these. It will have to wait a bit as I am currently on vacation with my spouse.

Post# 954358 , Reply# 92   8/24/2017 at 11:34 (730 days old) by ovrphil (N.Atlanta / Georgia )        
Not the kind of ending...

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we want to hear about. I can relate...have that beautiful '64 Frigidaire just being used to house baking pans, etc. My wife is crying, "Can't we get it fixed?" And I say, "Yes, but the cost is lotto money, relatively speaking!" I sure
hate to hear that this happened, Louie, as much as anyone who has a soft place for these vintage beauties.

Keeping my fingers crossed. Have a good remaining time on vacation.


Post# 954835 , Reply# 93   8/27/2017 at 12:32 (727 days old) by Ultramatic (New York City)        

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So, I turned on the GE and behold, it's cooling again. I guess somewhere had frozen solid and the cooling had stopped? So the compressor is OK? I hope.

Post# 958270 , Reply# 94   9/20/2017 at 09:40 (703 days old) by Ultramatic (New York City)        

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After working fine, again it has stopped cooling. The coils in the refrigerator get cold, but no frost forms. I hear the compressor humming but I noticed I don't feel the warm air flow coming out of the bottom grill. I've emptied out the refrigerator to see exactly what is going on. I'll keep you posted.


One other thing. When I shut it off, I feel the compressor shudder.

Post# 958316 , Reply# 95   9/20/2017 at 14:01 (703 days old) by rp2813 (Too many people know the way)        

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Louie, if you don't feel the warm air from the front grille, it's the condenser fan that's not running, and it's a fairly easy thing to extract and perhaps repair -- I'm not so sure about replacing if it's a specific design.  It might just be bogged down with dust and dirt accumulation.


The behavior of your fridge is right out of the textbook for a bad condenser fan.  You'll find the fan at the back of the fridge on the same side as the pan that the defrost drain tube empties into.

Post# 958328 , Reply# 96   9/20/2017 at 15:45 (703 days old) by Combo52 (Beltsville,Md)        
Bad condenser fan motor?

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This certainly could be a bad condenser fan motor, it's very easy to get down on the floor take the grill off and look back there with a flashlight to see if it's turning.

If the compressor is running and the fan is not it also might be in the defrost cycle, it could be getting stuck in the defrost cycle.

Louis what is the temperature of the freezer when the refrigerator is having this problem?

Post# 958350 , Reply# 97   9/20/2017 at 18:45 (703 days old) by Ultramatic (New York City)        
Thanks guys!

ultramatic's profile picture



I found this fan stuck against the housing. It will not turn. This is in the freezer compartment. Could this be the culprit?


Post# 958360 , Reply# 98   9/20/2017 at 20:10 (703 days old) by Combo52 (Beltsville,Md)        
Stuck freezer fan

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Will not have any thing to do with ref operation but freezer will not work well.

Post# 958361 , Reply# 99   9/20/2017 at 20:13 (703 days old) by Ultramatic (New York City)        
Thanks John.

ultramatic's profile picture



Well I discovered why it wasn't turning. Whomever "serviced" this "forgot" to reinstall the retaining screws, so the fan was drooping, it's blades striking the housing. I'll fix this first then I dive in further to see the other fan.




Another thing, even though it is "OFF", the refrigerator section is getting real warm. The heater for the coils is operating. I guess it's best to unplug the refrigerator?

Post# 958395 , Reply# 100   9/21/2017 at 00:15 (702 days old) by rp2813 (Too many people know the way)        

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I think that heating phenomenon is normal.  Something about a heater associated with the serpentine coil coming on whenever the compressor isn't operating.   I'm surprised that this still happens even with the cold control set to "OFF" but I think John may have stated in another thread that it was designed that way, and that you have to unplug to stop the heating.


I agree with John that on your model, the freezer fan being impeded wouldn't have any effect on the fresh food section.


Generally speaking, with a dead or faulty condenser fan both sections would be impacted.

Post# 958410 , Reply# 101   9/21/2017 at 05:48 (702 days old) by Ultramatic (New York City)        

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I spent the evening trying to find screws that would work for the freezer fan. After that, I noticed the rolling basket of the freezer was misaligned.  At some point, the prior owners removed it, and didn't reinstall it correctly. I thought so what the hell. Fixed that and gave the freezer a good scrubbing. Well all this time, the refrigerator was off, so I turned it back on to see if the freezer fan was working again (it was and whisper quiet). To my surprise, the condenser fan started right up as well, I felt the warm breeze coming out of the front grill. And the coils started to get cold and freeze again. I'll pull the back cover off later today to see what gives. Perhaps it's just debris that blocking the fan.

Post# 958441 , Reply# 102   9/21/2017 at 12:23 (702 days old) by rp2813 (Too many people know the way)        

rp2813's profile picture

Good report, Louie! 


Maybe the condenser fan motor is just tired, and after running a while it either slows down or stops.  At least it's easy to check by just standing in front of the fridge.

Post# 958458 , Reply# 103   9/21/2017 at 14:12 (702 days old) by Ultramatic (New York City)        
Thanks Ralph

ultramatic's profile picture



Well I spoke too soon. Within 30 minutes of turning the refrigerator on, the fan stopped and the cooling did also. Later today, I'll get to the bottom of this.

Post# 958491 , Reply# 104   9/21/2017 at 16:25 (702 days old) by Combo52 (Beltsville,Md)        
Refrigerator problems

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Hi Louis, the question is the fan quit running underneath is the fan still running in the freezer, is the compressor still running etc. this problem may be very easy to figure out but we need to know what's going on everywhere to even make a reasonable guess as to what is malfunctioning.

Refrigerators can be confusing to figure out but they're actually extremely simple appliances if we just know what's going on.

John L.

Post# 958493 , Reply# 105   9/21/2017 at 16:48 (702 days old) by Ultramatic (New York City)        
Hi John

ultramatic's profile picture



The compressor is running. But the fan quits after about 20 minutes. I haven't looked back there yet. The freezer fan is fine. But the freezer is also not cooling.

Post# 958505 , Reply# 106   9/21/2017 at 18:16 (702 days old) by rp2813 (Too many people know the way)        

rp2813's profile picture

Sounds like it's time for a new condenser fan.  It could be so much worse.  The hard part will be finding an exact replacement.

Post# 958538 , Reply# 107   9/22/2017 at 00:54 (701 days old) by Ultramatic (New York City)        

ultramatic's profile picture



Well I opened the back, other than the expected large amounts of dust, the fan appears to be OK. No obstructions, rotates freely. So; Bad fan or perhaps something else?





Post# 958540 , Reply# 108   9/22/2017 at 01:18 (701 days old) by rp2813 (Too many people know the way)        

rp2813's profile picture

It may rotate freely when not receiving power, but does it operate reliably when the fridge is running?

Post# 958544 , Reply# 109   9/22/2017 at 02:29 (701 days old) by Combo52 (Beltsville,Md)        
Possible bad condenser fan motor

combo52's profile picture
Condenser fan motors can be intermittent an operation when they're failing.

The good news is this is an extremely common condenser fan motor fits 90% of all refrigerators with condenser fan motors built over the last 60 years.

If this is an original condenser fan motor it may have three leads, but it can be replaced with any to lead condenser fan motor.

When I rework these old refrigerators I always install one of the new electronic condenser fan motors that only uses a fraction of the electricity.
John L.

Post# 958547 , Reply# 110   9/22/2017 at 03:06 (701 days old) by Ultramatic (New York City)        

ultramatic's profile picture



Running normally. Lets see for how long.


Post# 958550 , Reply# 111   9/22/2017 at 03:39 (701 days old) by Ultramatic (New York City)        

ultramatic's profile picture



I don't think it's the fan. However it's certainly going on and off a lot. It's starts to cool, then click, the fan goes off.

Post# 958552 , Reply# 112   9/22/2017 at 04:04 (701 days old) by Ultramatic (New York City)        

ultramatic's profile picture



OK, the fan goes on for about a minute. Then off for about 3 minutes. I raised the cold control from 2 to 6. No effect. The compressor starts and stops in unison with the fan.


Another thing, the drain for the refrigerator coils are clogged. What would be the best way to unclog them?


Thanks in advance.

This post was last edited 09/22/2017 at 04:19
Post# 958560 , Reply# 113   9/22/2017 at 05:34 (701 days old) by kenwashesmonday (Haledon, NJ)        

Without the back cover in place, the condenser coils will not cool, and the compressor will overheat and shut off.

Post# 958603 , Reply# 114   9/22/2017 at 15:06 (701 days old) by Combo52 (Beltsville,Md)        
Condenser fan motor on an old GE refrigerator

combo52's profile picture
The condenser fan motor on this refrigerator is wired through the compressor relay and if it's a three wire fan motor relay actually starts the fan motor.

Unfortunately it sounds like the compressor itself is having some problems, the thing to do now is put an amp meter on the compressor or the whole refrigerator and if the power draw is over about 4 A compressor shorted and it has failed or is failing. There's a very small chance It's just a bad overload or relay.

Yes the refrigerator should have a back on it to operate properly, but the compressor will not overheat in just a few minutes with the back off it will run with the back off it's just not ideal in the long run.

But if when the compressor shuts off the evaporator fan is still running in the freezer it's not the cold control etc.

John L.

Post# 958625 , Reply# 115   9/22/2017 at 17:54 (701 days old) by Ultramatic (New York City)        

ultramatic's profile picture



I'm putting the GE on it's side in order to vacuum/clean the coils underneath. I'll pop the back back on and see what happens. Switching out the compressor sounds daunting for me. My dad has done this countless times, and he could walk me through it, but I simply don't have the equipment for the job. If worse comes to worse, I will have to call a repairman.


The fan appears to have only two wires. Originally, the problem was the coils in the refrigerator frosting up and not defrosting. Then that problem fixed itself with me turning the refrigerator off. It worked OK until again it's started to frost up. Again I turned it off. Again it's started to cool OK. The third time it did this, it had stopped cooling altogether. The coils would get cold, but not frost over. This is were we are at now.

Post# 958631 , Reply# 116   9/22/2017 at 18:53 (701 days old) by rp2813 (Too many people know the way)        

rp2813's profile picture

Gee, now it's starting to sound like the cold control has gone squirrely.   You could try extracting the control, removing the wires, then connecting them together to see if the thing stays running and properly cooling.

Post# 958642 , Reply# 117   9/22/2017 at 19:43 (701 days old) by Ultramatic (New York City)        

ultramatic's profile picture



I'll try that Ralph. I put the GE on it side and boy were the coils clogged with filth. I got out as much as I could with the vacuum and a brush. Some spots were too tight for the crevice tool to reach. I can't imagine how you could clean this without putting the refrigerator on it's side. Too narrow behind the front grill. Anyway, it's upright now, back panel reinstalled, waiting for the oil to return so I can restart it again.





Post# 958649 , Reply# 118   9/22/2017 at 20:55 (701 days old) by Combo52 (Beltsville,Md)        
Cleaning the condenser coil on this old GE refrigerator

combo52's profile picture
It's always a good idea to clean the condenser but it won't make any difference with this problem.

Is the evaporator fan in the freezer stopping when compressor stops or not?

It doesn't sound like a bad cold control it's a very simple thing to figure out just have to see what's working and what's not.

It's not necessary to let the refrigerator stand upright for a long time after you've had it on its side, the worst thing that will happen if the oil ran out of the compressor is it will take a little longer to start very unlikely.

John L.

Post# 958651 , Reply# 119   9/22/2017 at 21:17 (701 days old) by Ultramatic (New York City)        

ultramatic's profile picture



I don't know what to think. There is frost on the refrigerator coils, real frost. The freezer fan is working. So far, I haven't noticed the compressor cycling on or off. The refrigerator and freezer are cooling down. Lets see in a few hours.

Post# 958658 , Reply# 120   9/22/2017 at 23:01 (700 days old) by Ultramatic (New York City)        

ultramatic's profile picture



So far, so good. It's been running for about 2 hours. The refrigerator section is COLD. Frost continues on the coils. Freezer fan is working and freezer is working normally. That very warm draft I felt coming out of the grill originally has been replaced with a much cooler, strong breeze. If anything, that vacuuming of the coils certainly increased airflow greatly.



This post was last edited 09/22/2017 at 23:41
Post# 958666 , Reply# 121   9/23/2017 at 00:30 (700 days old) by Ultramatic (New York City)        

ultramatic's profile picture



After 90 minutes, almost frozen solid. When I open the freezer drawer, the freezer fan stops.



Post# 958668 , Reply# 122   9/23/2017 at 00:45 (700 days old) by rp2813 (Too many people know the way)        
Looks good, Louie!

rp2813's profile picture

A thick accumulation of dust and cat hair on the condesner killed the compressor on my sister's refrigerator.  I don't think she ever vacuumed under there.  Maybe that's all your fridge needed.


I agree that there's no way to remove all of the dust from the condenser with a vacuum or a brush.  The crevice tool is limited in where it can reach, and there are areas that can't be cleaned even with a brush that's supposedly designed for this purpose.  I do what I can, every six months to a year, and that seems to be enough.   Not just on the '57 Combination, but also the '09 KA, which supposedly doesn't require vacuuming, but I do it anyway. 

Post# 958677 , Reply# 123   9/23/2017 at 01:20 (700 days old) by Ultramatic (New York City)        

ultramatic's profile picture



I'm hopeful Ralph. However, I haven't noticed the compressor cut out yet. The frost continues to accumulate. I hope it's doesn't go back to what it was doing originally. Perhaps my moving the refrigerator back up vertically jogged some loose connection somewhere.

Post# 958679 , Reply# 124   9/23/2017 at 03:03 (700 days old) by rp2813 (Too many people know the way)        

rp2813's profile picture

Check it in the morning.  I realize it's already morning, but you know what I mean.  Big frost free fridges can run for quite a while to get cabinet temperatures down to normal.   My '57 Combo accumulates far more frost on the serpentine coil after it has been shut down for defrosting than it does during normal operation.


Having said that, the latest behavior you've described seems to implicate the cold control.  They were the weak link in GE refrigerators from this period.

Post# 958759 , Reply# 125   9/23/2017 at 16:38 (700 days old) by Ultramatic (New York City)        

ultramatic's profile picture



Still cooling like nobodies business. A LOT of condensation water in tray.

Post# 958777 , Reply# 126   9/23/2017 at 18:26 (700 days old) by rp2813 (Too many people know the way)        

rp2813's profile picture

Well then, it must be stopping for the defrost cycle at least.  But is it cycling off in between defrosts? 


This could be tough to figure out if the problem comes and goes.   If the fans are working properly, the cold control might be suspect.  Maybe there's just a loose wire?

Post# 958805 , Reply# 127   9/23/2017 at 21:33 (700 days old) by Ultramatic (New York City)        

ultramatic's profile picture



It's defrosting normally, and yes, it cycled off.  Loose wire, cold control?



Post# 958825 , Reply# 128   9/23/2017 at 23:44 (699 days old) by Ultramatic (New York City)        
Still working fine.

ultramatic's profile picture



I decided since it was empty to give a good cleaning.







Post# 958839 , Reply# 129   9/24/2017 at 01:29 (699 days old) by rp2813 (Too many people know the way)        

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It sure sparkles!  I'd want to keep that thing running too -- if the door swung the opposite way.

Post# 958882 , Reply# 130   9/24/2017 at 11:02 (699 days old) by MayfairPink (Palo Alto, CA)        

Beautiful! What do you use to clean the interior? Thanks.

Post# 958894 , Reply# 131   9/24/2017 at 12:35 (699 days old) by Ultramatic (New York City)        
Thanks Hue!

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Nothing special to clean it with. Any good spray cleanser will do. I use 409 and a small brush to get into the joints and corners.

Post# 958951 , Reply# 132   9/24/2017 at 22:31 (698 days old) by Ultramatic (New York City)        
Still working fine.

ultramatic's profile picture



My dad had mentioned that if the coils were extremely dirty, that would had an effect on cooling, thus the compressor would overheat and cycle on and off continuously. As for the heavy frost build-up on the coils, it seems there is an issue with the cold control, but more like something loose. Anyway it seems to had resolved itself, for now. I cleared the drain tube of the coils in the refrigerator section with a stiff wire. It was clogged with some sort of chalky material. Now the water drains normally.


A few pic's of the rear of the refrigerator. The water intake for the self filling ice trays seems to have never been connected. I'd LOVE to have this feature operational, but I am missing the ice tray self in the freezer. frown





This post was last edited 09/24/2017 at 22:54
Post# 958954 , Reply# 133   9/24/2017 at 23:39 (698 days old) by rp2813 (Too many people know the way)        

rp2813's profile picture

If only I had known.  About a year ago there was a yellow GE bottom freezer sitting curbside for a few weeks not far from me.  It had the ice feature, and IIRC, the shelf was there.  The fridge was in really bad shape and stunk to high heaven; too far gone to bring back and there was no way of knowing if it even ran.   More of a project than I could take on.

Post# 958956 , Reply# 134   9/24/2017 at 23:52 (698 days old) by Ultramatic (New York City)        

ultramatic's profile picture



Damn. No worries Ralph. Perhaps John may have one? Calling John!


It would had been nice if my GE had the second roll out basket in the freezer. I guess it was not available on the smaller models.



Post# 959092 , Reply# 135   9/25/2017 at 18:35 (698 days old) by Ultramatic (New York City)        
Since the original pic's were deleted...

ultramatic's profile picture







Automatic ice tray filler spout and one of the guides for the missing shelf.


Post# 979512 , Reply# 136   1/22/2018 at 21:09 (579 days old) by Ultramatic (New York City)        

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Time to finally replace the cold control. Is this the part number, L3 012?





Thanks in advance guys.

Post# 979521 , Reply# 137   1/22/2018 at 23:46 (578 days old) by combo52 (Beltsville,Md)        

combo52's profile picture

Hi Louie, the Pt# would start with WR like all parts for GE refs.


Best way to get correct Pt# is to look it up from the Model #.

Post# 979526 , Reply# 138   1/23/2018 at 01:11 (578 days old) by Ultramatic (New York City)        

ultramatic's profile picture



Hey John! Thanks will do!

Post# 979539 , Reply# 139   1/23/2018 at 04:24 (578 days old) by Ultramatic (New York City)        
Model TC474YD W

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Post# 979540 , Reply# 140   1/23/2018 at 05:11 (578 days old) by Ultramatic (New York City)        

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I can't find matching date codes for this G.E.. O being what month? And Y 1965?

Post# 979555 , Reply# 141   1/23/2018 at 09:46 (578 days old) by ken (Ulster Hgts, NY)        

ken's profile picture
According to info I saved from another thread, which was attributed to Ken (bajaespuma), GE put the letter code in the model number between 1961 and 1968. So, for your fridge, Y is 1964 and D would be February. Like you say O was never used for either month or year designation. To confuse things more the GE chart, from GE's website, I have shows a two letter code to designate year only between 1961 and 1968

Post# 979597 , Reply# 142   1/23/2018 at 16:08 (578 days old) by Ultramatic (New York City)        
Thanks Ken!

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I saw that chart. Thats why I was so stumped.  Nice to know the manufacture date is February, 1964. 


I got the part number or numbers:


WR9X211 or WR9X403


These may be used: GC135, GC404, GC307

Post# 979611 , Reply# 143   1/23/2018 at 18:25 (578 days old) by Ultramatic (New York City)        

ultramatic's profile picture



I found a NOS WR9X403 and ordered it. Keep tuned.

Post# 979749 , Reply# 144   1/24/2018 at 16:58 (577 days old) by Ultramatic (New York City)        

ultramatic's profile picture



Thank you for these charts Ken!





Post# 979759 , Reply# 145   1/24/2018 at 17:40 (577 days old) by ken (Ulster Hgts, NY)        

ken's profile picture
You're welcome. It can get confusing if you have a GE from the 60s. And like I mentioned above GE's chart shows a two letter code but the other reference I found from another thread here uses only one.

Post# 979818 , Reply# 146   1/24/2018 at 22:57 (576 days old) by leefree (Los Angeles)        
Great thread

leefree's profile picture
Beautiful fridge. Somewhere there is an ice tray shelf with your name on it!

Post# 979869 , Reply# 147   1/25/2018 at 10:30 (576 days old) by Ultramatic (New York City)        

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Thanks Leon! Yeah, I'd love to find one, and finally hook up the self filling ice tray feature.

Post# 980009 , Reply# 148   1/26/2018 at 13:53 (575 days old) by Ultramatic (New York City)        

ultramatic's profile picture



As I wait for the cold control, I've decided to change the door gaskets. Any idea where I can find this particular type?




Post# 980191 , Reply# 149   1/28/2018 at 04:51 (573 days old) by Ultramatic (New York City)        

ultramatic's profile picture



Well the new cold control is in. An easy swap. However the sensor bulb line was a lot longer than the original. I just tucked the extra length in the refrigerator wall. I hope this does not effect it. It's cooling now. Lets see if this did the trick. Also decided to put some casters on this heavy beast.







Post# 980195 , Reply# 150   1/28/2018 at 05:47 (573 days old) by Ultramatic (New York City)        
Looks like it wasn't the cold control.

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It stopped cooling. When the compressor cycles off it stops with a loud clunk. After awhile, it cycles on again. Fans are working. The coils get some frost, but then cycles off too quickly. Perhaps the compressor thermal cut off is going bad? This does not bode well.

Post# 980199 , Reply# 151   1/28/2018 at 08:02 (573 days old) by retro-man (nashua,nh)        

Oh that is not a good sound. That usually means the compressor is on its way out. I had a fridge that did that for awhile and my repair man did not even come out to look at it. He heard it over the phone and said let me save you some money. Go out and get another one. It lasted for about 6 months like that but I got rid of it before it stopped. Good luck with this one.


Post# 980227 , Reply# 152   1/28/2018 at 09:51 (573 days old) by Ultramatic (New York City)        

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If it is indeed the compressor, I will replace it. Because of the rarity of the door swing and lets face it, these are not growing on trees around here. An expensive proposition, I know, but I have no choice. I will make sure it's not something else before I purchase a new compressor. Ah the price of loving vintage.

Post# 980294 , Reply# 153   1/28/2018 at 18:31 (573 days old) by cuffs054 (MONTICELLO, GA)        

Ultra, good to hear you won't give up! I was thinking about the auto fill ice tray. I might like that better than a true ice maker. Mine throws cubes all over the freezer. I wouldn't mind dumping a tray, it's the refilling that a pia.

Post# 980321 , Reply# 154   1/28/2018 at 22:32 (572 days old) by funktionalart (Rison, AR)        
Compressor replacement options for these GE's...

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I have what I *think* might be the same compressor in my 1960 Combination like Louis'. And I wonder....if someone found they actually needed to replace that in one of these, what is directly compatible and fits properly in these cabinets? Surely something like a run-of-the-mill Embraco would not easily adapt in there...or would it?

  Photos...       <              >      Photo 1 of 3         View Full Size
Post# 980331 , Reply# 155   1/29/2018 at 01:07 (572 days old) by Ultramatic (New York City)        

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I am not sure what compressor may actually work/fit but I am fairly certain a new mounting bracket will have to be fashioned.

Post# 980370 , Reply# 156   1/29/2018 at 07:40 (572 days old) by combo52 (Beltsville,Md)        
Replacement Compressors For Older Style GE Refs

combo52's profile picture

Newer Embraco type compressors will fit, you either have to fashion a mounting bracket or find one of the kits they used to sell to do this installation.


Hi Louie, you should be careful putting wheels under a GE ref like this, the ref needs to be against the floor for proper cooling of the compressor, if you lift it even a 1/2" the compressor may overheat, if you want to lift it on wheels you need to fashion a metal or plywood bottom panel to cover the bottom.


About door gaskets for these older GE refs, DON"T replace unless they are BAD and you can find ones that are an exact fit.


John L.

Post# 980373 , Reply# 157   1/29/2018 at 08:00 (572 days old) by Ultramatic (New York City)        

ultramatic's profile picture



Hi John! I was wondering whether mounting wheels on the refrigerator would effect the cooling. I'll remove the wheels and mount it on an appliance dolly with a plywood floor. As for the compressor, would you know which would be the correct fit (if it comes to that)?


The door gaskets are fair. They are split in some places and the one around the bottom of the freezer drawer had a small piece hanging.


Hope to see you soon!

Post# 980410 , Reply# 158   1/29/2018 at 11:55 (572 days old) by rp2813 (Too many people know the way)        

rp2813's profile picture

Louie, the 1970 Whirlpool we had for many years as a garage fridge had a mended area on a gasket when I bought it in 1990.  Some sort of white caulking or sealant was used, and it was still intact almost 20 years later when we passed it along to Dave's daughter and son-in-law (my '57 Combination replaced it).


I wonder if a compressor from an early frosts-freely Combination would have the same specs.  Those units are a lot more common than the Frost Guard ones, it seems.   If you go with a brand new Embraco, I sure hope it's as silent as the original.

Post# 980440 , Reply# 159   1/29/2018 at 15:07 (572 days old) by Ultramatic (New York City)        

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The repair man is coming tomorrow. He came highly recommended from my neighbors. I spoke with him and told him the patient is over 60 years old. He was surprised to say the least. Anyway, we'll see what the verdict is tomorrow.

Post# 980611 , Reply# 160   1/30/2018 at 15:39 (571 days old) by Ultramatic (New York City)        

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Well the tech came and went. The coils were real dirty again and the thermal cutoff was packed in dirt. The refrigerator came on and started to cool and cycled off quickly. Suggested I wait a few hours and start it up again, I may get "lucky" and the packed dirt was the culprit causing the compressor to get too hot and shut off (the thermal cutoff is good). If not, the compressor would need to be replaced and he balked immediately at the complexity of the project. So most likely I'm back to square one. 

Post# 980691 , Reply# 161   1/31/2018 at 07:14 (570 days old) by Ultramatic (New York City)        

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I don't want to jinx it, but so far, so good. Temperature is almost normal inside after a few hours. There is frost again on the coils. No more cycling every few minutes.




Post# 980715 , Reply# 162   1/31/2018 at 10:23 (570 days old) by ken (Ulster Hgts, NY)        

ken's profile picture
Fingers crossed Louie. Considering the alternative you just may luck out with this.

Post# 980721 , Reply# 163   1/31/2018 at 11:03 (570 days old) by Ultramatic (New York City)        

ultramatic's profile picture



Holding steady at about 37F. Coils are defrosting normally.




Post# 980742 , Reply# 164   1/31/2018 at 13:18 (570 days old) by rp2813 (Too many people know the way)        

rp2813's profile picture

This is good information.  It seems that just doing the annual or semi-annual vacuuming of the condenser isn't quite enough.  Is the thermal cut-off accessible from the front with a crevice tool or plain old coil brush?  I wouldn't even know what to look for.


Maybe my '57 doesn't have the same type.  It's been running fine for almost 8 years with just coils being vacuumed once a year on average.

Post# 980772 , Reply# 165   1/31/2018 at 17:01 (570 days old) by Ultramatic (New York City)        

ultramatic's profile picture



Well it's safe to say the compressor was not the issue, nor the cold control or the thermal cutoff. The G.E. is working exactly as it did when I cleaned the coils last year. The only difference now was the coils AND the thermal cutoff were cleaned. Temperature wise it is still holding at about 37F. I find it amazing that just a simple cleaning did the trick. Needless to say, I am thrilled it was not compressor, not just because of the expense that was going to incur, but also by the reluctance of undertaking such a project by the "professionals".


I am investing in some specialty brushes and a thin wand for the vacuum cleaner to keep this from happening again.

Post# 980822 , Reply# 166   2/1/2018 at 06:47 (569 days old) by retro-man (nashua,nh)        

So did the cleaning get rid of the clunk of the compressor when it shuts off or is that still there? Interesting series of events here.


Post# 980840 , Reply# 167   2/1/2018 at 10:00 (569 days old) by Ultramatic (New York City)        

ultramatic's profile picture



It certainly did. Whisper quiet now. I suppose the loud clunk when it cycled off was the result of an overheated compressor.

Post# 980866 , Reply# 168   2/1/2018 at 14:06 (569 days old) by ovrphil (N.Atlanta / Georgia )        

ovrphil's profile picture
Happy Endings! This was a good revelation for those with similar vintage refrigerators.

And the only colds you want are in the fridge, not within yourself, right?

Post# 980868 , Reply# 169   2/1/2018 at 15:11 (569 days old) by Ultramatic (New York City)        

ultramatic's profile picture



You bet Phil! Believe it or not I am still battling this pneumonia. But far better now.

Post# 990723 , Reply# 170   4/14/2018 at 17:26 (497 days old) by Ultramatic (New York City)        
I give up.

ultramatic's profile picture



It started to do the same thing. Just stopped cooling, compressor cycle very short, coils start to cool, then "THUNK", compressor stops. I am so sick of this shit.

Post# 990793 , Reply# 171   4/15/2018 at 07:32 (496 days old) by retro-man (nashua,nh)        

Refer to reply #151. Sorry about that Louis. Just do it and be done with it.


Post# 990818 , Reply# 172   4/15/2018 at 12:24 (496 days old) by Ultramatic (New York City)        

ultramatic's profile picture



I unplugged it for a few hours. It's back to working again normally. How I wish I could find a real appliance repair man.

Post# 990838 , Reply# 173   4/15/2018 at 14:33 (496 days old) by RP2813 (Too many people know the way)        

rp2813's profile picture

Louie, if you're allowing yourself to see my posts, this sounds like a cooling issue under the box as opposed to inside it.  If you've followed John's advice and removed the rollers, then maybe the condenser fan isn't running at full RPM.  I think that fan plays a role in cooling the compressor as well, so this could be the source of the trouble, particularly since weather is warming up.  I'm finding my computer's CPU fan is whirring more often lately due to warmer indoor temps.


I hope you can figure this out.  It's too nice of a fridge not to try and resolve this problem.

Post# 990849 , Reply# 174   4/15/2018 at 15:36 (496 days old) by Ultramatic (New York City)        

ultramatic's profile picture




Temp has been steadily dropping. It worked fine for 10 weeks. That's why I find it hard to believe the compressor is going bad.

  View Full Size
Post# 990933 , Reply# 175   4/16/2018 at 07:20 (495 days old) by combo52 (Beltsville,Md)        
Compressor Problems ?

combo52's profile picture

Hi Louie, sorry to hear that the ref is acting up again. A test of the current draw of the compressor is in order and a test of its ability to pull at least 28-29 " of vacuum, these tests are detailed in GE refrigerator service manual.


In my experience I have never seen a GE combination refrigerator built from about 1956-1963 that is still operating properly on its orignal compressor, [ the one exception I know of is Paul's turquoise wall ref in Canada, however it was NIB when he installed it so hopefully it will last quite a few years yet till he has to deal with a compressor replacement ] of course many of these compressors were already replaced back in the late 60s and through the 70s, but if anyone wants to have a GE Combination ref built in this time period check if it has already had the improved compressor installed.


John L.

Post# 990963 , Reply# 176   4/16/2018 at 11:30 (495 days old) by Ultramatic (New York City)        

ultramatic's profile picture



Hi John, as always thanks for the advice. I'm going to have to call in a tech to perform these tests since I don't have the equipment nor the know how to perform them myself. Now the real issue is finding one that is willing to perform this AND repair the GE. I highly suspect this GE has the original compressor, if so, then it is remarkable that it has lasted so long. So far, temp is steady at 36F in the refrigerated section. It seems to "reset" itself after I unplug it for a few hours.

Post# 991446 , Reply# 177   4/19/2018 at 18:27 (492 days old) by Ultramatic (New York City)        
Feeling hopeful...

ultramatic's profile picture



New tech went bonkers over the GE, hell, he went bonkers over the Maytags, the Caloric's, the KitchenAid and the Whirlpool. Anyway, tomorrow he returns to run a full diagnostic.

Post# 1005323 , Reply# 178   8/29/2018 at 04:34 (360 days old) by Ultramatic (New York City)        

ultramatic's profile picture



So it's back to square one. That damn tech never came back. I've been so busy with other issues this has been placed on the back burner. I am still putting out feelers for a knowledgeable repair tech in the New York metro area, so far, no luck. I'm reposting some images of the refrigerator since so many had been lost to that damn storage site.






Post# 1009802 , Reply# 179   10/5/2018 at 20:59 (323 days old) by Ultramatic (New York City)        

ultramatic's profile picture



I just turned it back on, to measure the AMP draw. It should be 6.6, at the moment it's only drawing this:



  View Full Size
Post# 1009804 , Reply# 180   10/5/2018 at 21:17 (323 days old) by Ultramatic (New York City)        

ultramatic's profile picture



It's cooling, the the AMP draw is now up to 7.125 and climbing.

Post# 1009807 , Reply# 181   10/5/2018 at 21:50 (323 days old) by Ultramatic (New York City)        

ultramatic's profile picture



Hit's over 8 amps, then cycles off. Interior barely cool. Doing the same thing it was doing when last on. Pretty sure the compressor is toast.

Post# 1009813 , Reply# 182   10/5/2018 at 22:40 (322 days old) by combo52 (Beltsville,Md)        

combo52's profile picture

Amp Draw should be an absolute maximum of 6.6 with both evaporator fan motors running, it is likley that the compressor has a slight short in its windings which is a fatal defect. This would cause it to run very hot and trip out on the OL protector, as well as consume a lot more power.


The thing we like to do with ref of this age is to put a modern 1000 BTU compressor in them which only draws about 2 AMPs or a little less, A modern compressor will not only save a lot of electricity but will work just as well and last much longer.


We have had very good success with Embraco compressors which are made in Brazil by Whirlpool.


John L.



Post# 1009817 , Reply# 183   10/5/2018 at 23:34 (322 days old) by Ultramatic (New York City)        
Thanks John.

ultramatic's profile picture



So, if it's nothing else, I'll have to go the new compressor route. I can't let this refrigerator wind up at a recycling center.

Post# 1009919 , Reply# 184   10/6/2018 at 18:42 (322 days old) by Ultramatic (New York City)        

ultramatic's profile picture



John, what model of Embraco compressors should I be looking at? Thanks in advance.

Post# 1028476 , Reply# 185   3/30/2019 at 23:24 by ovrphil (N.Atlanta / Georgia )        
I hope....

ovrphil's profile picture
You got this special fridge working again, Louis. (?) Did you find a tech?

Post# 1028495 , Reply# 186   3/31/2019 at 02:44 by Ultramatic (New York City)        

ultramatic's profile picture



Not yet Phil. But I hope to have it running before the end of Spring.

Post# 1028532 , Reply# 187   3/31/2019 at 11:37 by ovrphil (N.Atlanta / Georgia )        
Reply # 186

ovrphil's profile picture
Louis, if your GE was a anything but a fridge, one would think you are a doctor saving a person/pet's life. I hope as much as you that you can get it running up again - the Japanese believe even appliances have souls. Yours must be at your side saying, "Thank you ..for standing by me!".

Post# 1029441 , Reply# 188   4/10/2019 at 08:58 by Ultramatic (New York City)        

ultramatic's profile picture



I am beginning to hear quotes of $900 and more if it's a compressor replacement. Good God I can buy two working vintage refrigerators for that price. So far, none of these "techs" aren't even sure what is exactly wrong with it. The battle is real folks.

Post# 1029442 , Reply# 189   4/10/2019 at 09:07 by Ultramatic (New York City)        
If it is the cmpressor...

ultramatic's profile picture



Would the be the correct model?


This is an EMBRACO Refrigeration Compressor FFI12HBX1 1350 BTU 1/3 HP HST

H.P. 1/3+
Volts 115
Amps  5.80
Phase 1
Hertz 60
Torque HST
Refrigeration R-134A
Foot 6.5" x 4"
Nominal Capacity (BTU/HR) at Application Low Temp @ -10= 1190 BTU



  View Full Size

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