Thread Number: 73594  /  Tag: Refrigerators
Vintage vs Modern Refrigerator-Freezers
[Down to Last]'s exclusive eBay Watch:
scroll >>> for more items
Post# 971880   12/6/2017 at 06:45 (344 days old) by johnrk (BP TX)        

I recently purchased the September, 1960, Consumer Reports on EBay. What fun to read these! Unlike today, regardless of whether one agrees with ratings, there is so much more comprehensive content than we ever see these days, where 'the beef' has been replaced with silly color photos and logos. We car lovers have seen exactly the same trend in car and motorcycle magazines.

I bought this issue because they test frostless refrigerator-freezer units. As they note, they were very new at the time; before then the freezers required defrosting. We're always reading on here about the quality of the washers and dryers back then; CR notes that nearly half of their purchased samples required service calls! As they state, this number far exceeded their calls for washers, which they say are traditionally the most trouble-prone of major appliances. They found that faulty operation of the fans was the most common problem, though intermittent melting of water on refrigerant tubes, defective timers and defective thermostats were also problems frequently seen. That, and as they stated, simply "slipshod assembly and inadequate quality control."

They state there are four types of freezer defrosting seen: 1) 24-hour timer, where it defrosts once daily, and optimally, that time can be set for the middle of the night when the home is cooler and no one is opening the freezer door. 2) 12-hour timer, which meant that one cycle would be during waking time. 3) defrosting when the compressor is running, on a timer. 4) defrosting according to the freezer door opening 20 times.

Does anyone here know how our modern freezer defrosting cycles work? I don't, that's for sure. I do know that, though my Whirlpool stays at roughly around zero as I have it set (have a thermometer in there) it does fluctuate some. and, as stated, stuff in the freezer door does stay warmer. When I used to keep a separate freezer, I purchased an upright and then replaced it with a chest because the temp fluctuated too much with the upright.

Post# 971954 , Reply# 1   12/6/2017 at 13:32 (343 days old) by rp2813 (The Big Blue Bubble)        

rp2813's profile picture

My mom's '75 Coldspot used to defrost every twelve hours.  The timer was easily accessible behind the front grille and could be set using a blade screwdriver (or a fingertip if the grille was off) for when you wanted it to defrost.  I had it set at 2 PM/AM because I couldn't think of any other time of day where access would likely be minimal.


Our 2009 KitchenAid seems to defrost whenever it thinks it needs to.  There's no rhyme or reason.  Sometimes I'm having breakfast and I hear it popping/hissing/draining, and the next day I'll hear it closer to lunch time, or at some other interval that indicates it's not on a set schedule. 


We have a digital display inside the refrigerator door that indicates temperature on both sides.  It holds steady at 0 and 37, but at the end of the defrost cycle, it might display 10 or 15 for the freezer.  Changes in the fresh food section are negligible. 

Post# 971955 , Reply# 2   12/6/2017 at 13:43 (343 days old) by johnrk (BP TX)        
Come to think of it,

I'm not sure about when my Whirlpool does it. I know at times the popping noise, particularly late at night if I'm at the kitchen table, is loud enough to make me jump and wonder whether something's wrong. This unit, about 3yrs old, it definitely the noisiest I've ever owned.

Post# 971956 , Reply# 3   12/6/2017 at 13:50 (343 days old) by rp2813 (The Big Blue Bubble)        

rp2813's profile picture

Our KA is very quiet.  The only time it's noisy is when it first kicks in after defrosting.  Then it makes a buzzing sound that fades away over a span of about 30 seconds.

Post# 972022 , Reply# 4   12/6/2017 at 19:19 (343 days old) by washman (Butler, PA)        
Me neither

washman's profile picture

my contractor grade, Lowes sourced Frigidate 18.2 Cu ft makes it's presence known on the defrost cycle. Temps warm to almost 50 deg in the food section, and approach 30 deg in the freezer. In addition it is a noisy beast. Make sounds akin to what you'd hear in a 50's Sci Fi movie.  It works, that is about all I can say and I'd be very hard pressed to get another one when (not if) this one bites the dust.

Post# 972026 , Reply# 5   12/6/2017 at 19:33 (343 days old) by cuffs054 (MONTICELLO, GA)        

Washman, you speak the truth! I can hear mine from the bedroom when it defrosts.

Post# 972031 , Reply# 6   12/6/2017 at 19:59 (343 days old) by wayupnorth (On a lake between Bangor and Bar Harbor)        

wayupnorth's profile picture
My 22 year old Whirlpool 18 has the same pops and bumps defrosting itself but still works fine. I had a GE 16, 2 door square manual defrost 60's something that I should have kept. Quiet, cheap to run, better capacity and just defrost once a year.

Post# 972148 , Reply# 7   12/7/2017 at 13:38 (342 days old) by mjg0619 (Scranton, Pennsylvania)        

mjg0619's profile picture
I have a higher end stainless steel Frigidaire top freezer model that I bought earlier this year. It's very quiet when it runs and I don't recall hearing any obtrusive noises when it does its self defrost thing. The capacity is wonderful and IT. IS. COLD.

  View Full Size
Post# 972154 , Reply# 8   12/7/2017 at 13:59 (342 days old) by rp2813 (The Big Blue Bubble)        

rp2813's profile picture

When I last visited Nate, he had a new Frigidaire TF that would make a sort of moaning sound when it ran.  It wasn't an indicator of trouble; that's just how it sounded.

Forum Index:       Other Forums:                      

Comes to the Rescue!

The Discuss-o-Mat has stopped, buzzer is sounding!!!
If you would like to reply to this thread please log-in...

Discuss-O-MAT Log-In

New Members
Click Here To Sign Up.

Discuss-o-Mat Forums
Vintage Brochures, Service and Owners Manuals
Fun Vintage Washer Ephemera
See It Wash!
Video Downloads
Audio Downloads
Picture of the Day
Patent of the Day
Photos of our Collections
The Old Aberdeen Farm
Vintage Service Manuals
Vintage washer/dryer/dishwasher to sell?
Technical/service questions?
Looking for Parts?
Website related questions?
Digital Millennium Copyright Act Policy
Our Privacy Policy