Thread Number: 78653  /  Tag: Refrigerators
Candidate/Replacement for '57 GE Combination
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Post# 1026505   3/7/2019 at 15:20 by RP2813 (Too many people know the way)        

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This would be a temporary situation until something smaller and more efficient comes along.  It's listed on Nextdoor for cheap, it's a nice size (29" deep w/handles, 33" wide, 66" tall), but it's going to need cleaning.  I think I'm the only person who has expressed interest, as the ad has been up for a couple of weeks.


I mentioned this mid '80s Whirlpool in the thread about the Combination's demise, and I have some questions.


I don't think it has enough shelves.  Per the seller, it was her grandmother's fridge and she didn't opt for extra shelves.  I didn't realize that enough shelves to maximize storage weren't standard equipment.  Anyway, I'd like to find two more half-shelf units for it.


I'll have to reverse the doors.  I don't want to reverse the gaskets too, but I know that after having situated themselves for 30+ years, they may not want to behave after reversing the door swings.  Can I get away with leaving the gaskets as is, or will there be trouble getting the doors to close easily and/or with achieving a good seal?


I know this Whirlpool isn't the most energy efficient, but it will only be a placeholder until something more interesting comes along.  I'm just tired of making ice runs for the cooler every few days.  We had a full-featured WP side-by-side of similar vintage as our primary fridge for almost 20 years.  We bought it used.  It wouldn't die.  Finally a bottom door post broke and we had an excuse to buy a new fridge. 


Feel free to share your thoughts.






Post# 1026510 , Reply# 1   3/7/2019 at 16:51 by funktionalart (Rison, AR)        
Great Fridges, Ralph...

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I had one of those many years ago...and if I recall correctly, it was among the last of the porcelain lined units made. GREAT fridge (mine was, at least). I'd have another one, definitely.

The'll probably have to trawl craigslist frequently for parts/donor fridges...but those shelves do exist. Someone else up here may be able to verify, but I think they might be common to Kenmore? Anyway, if you can feel confident that it's running decently, I'd grab it--especially if it's cheap.

As regards the door seal issue when changing door swing, all I can think to do is this: *If* you find it isn't sealing properly after the change, and if you don't want the expense of buying a new replacement seal gasket, you could try removing the original and giving it a good soak and cleaning in hot water (maybe even a run through a dishwasher to help soften it up?). After that, refit it and see if it does the trick?

Post# 1026514 , Reply# 2   3/7/2019 at 17:24 by combo52 (Beltsville,Md)        
Porcelain liner WP Bottom Ref

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This ref should have come with 2 more 1/2 width ref shelves, and yes sometimes the gaskets don't fit as well after 30 years if you reverse the doors again.


This ref is unlikely to use more power than the 57 combination and probably less, this WP ref has all foam in the walls and freezer door + it actually has doors thick enough to have a good amount of insulation in them.


The thin doors on GEs ovens and refs were not one of their better ideas.



Post# 1026517 , Reply# 3   3/7/2019 at 18:28 by ea56 (Sonoma Co.,CA)        

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Just a thought, but would one of the full width shelves from the freezer fit in the refrigerator section? If so, then really your problem is solved to a degree. You probably donít really need two shelves in the freezer, and another full width shelf in the fridge would give you lots more storage space.

I canít tell from the photos, but if the freezer shelves arenít held in place with the brackets strips like in the top, then this probably wonít work.

But otherwise, this looks like a good prospect for a second fridge. Iíll bet you can eventually find some more half shelves on ebay.


Post# 1026519 , Reply# 4   3/7/2019 at 19:22 by RP2813 (Too many people know the way)        

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Allen and John, thanks for your informed input!  I hadn't even considered the porcelain liner, but seem to recall that our side by side did have one.  Also, I've always admired GE's thin doors from a design standpoint, but I guess they weren't one of their "better ideas."


I'm going to cross my fingers about the door gaskets and hope that since they're not the "bubble" type like the Combination had, they'll have held their shape better. 


Eddie, that's a great idea, but the fresh food section shelves hang on the back wall (see picture).  The freezer doesn't have that same arrangement.  I think shelves will show up somewhere somehow, and am hoping there's a WP or KM on CL of similar width and vintage (although this design has been in use by WP since around 1960) placed on "curb alert" where I can go pick parts off it. 


Ultimately, I want to find a fridge that isn't much more than 26" deep including handles.  This would eliminate the obstruction the WP would present in the doorway to the basement and back yard.


Post# 1026566 , Reply# 5   3/8/2019 at 08:31 by Steved (Guilderland, New York)        
Half shelf

It looks like there is a shelf under the deli drawer. That would give you the additional half shelf. I had the Frigidaire version of this model. The Whirlpool literature shows ď3 half glass shelvesĒ.

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Post# 1026577 , Reply# 6   3/8/2019 at 12:04 by RP2813 (Too many people know the way)        

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Good eye, Steve!  It looks like this fridge is complete after all. 


I'm still waiting for the seller to get back to me about arranging to see it.  I'm not worried because I don't think anybody else is interested.

Post# 1026613 , Reply# 7   3/8/2019 at 23:44 by sarahperdue (Alabama)        
As efficient as a GE 57 Combo

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Ralph, That's a cool looking fridge.

Forgive me for hijacking your thread, but while y'all have refrigerators on your mind, I'm looking for one for The Pines, my grandparent's house in the country. The house is unconditioned in Alabama, so I've been interested in the fridges from the 50s because they appear to be so well insulated. Also, I read an article somewhere about fridges starting to use more energy moving into the 60s and later... I would never have guess that this fridge would be anywhere near as efficient as the 57 combo.

So, John, anyone--ideas for well insulated somewhat efficient fridge?

The house is currently unoccupied, has no fridge, and I too am tired of taking a cooler every time I go down. Here's a picture of the kitchen. I'm on track to have the sills under the kitchen repaired and the floor replaced by late spring/early summer.


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