Thread Number: 79418  /  Tag: Refrigerators
1962 GE Spacemaker TC469 Refrigerator - "Repaired" - still does not work. NEED HELP!
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Post# 1033361   5/22/2019 at 06:58 by kelly0721 (Lakewood, Colorado)        

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A year ago I sent my refrigerator out to be repaired and finally got it back this past week, but it still does not work. The compressor was replaced with a Panasonic R134A DGH66C94RAU compressor, but the fridge still has the same problem it originally had. When plugged in it gets cold, but after a few hours the compressor shuts down and everything defrosts. The compressor does not seem to be connected to the fan any longer, but the repairman said that this new compressor did not need a fan. I have included photos of the new compressor and just to the right of the compressor in front of the fan, as well as the data sheet for the compressor. I am beyond frustrated after waiting a year and getting the refrigerator back with the same problem! If additional photos are needed, I will have my son help me move it from the wall and take more. If anyone has any ideas of what I need to do to get this working, I would appreciate it. Thanks!

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This post was last edited 05/22/2019 at 08:50

Post# 1033368 , Reply# 1   5/22/2019 at 09:51 by cfz2882 (Belle Fourche,SD)        
fan must run

the condenser fan must run regardless of what compressor is installed or the condenser will heat soak,overloading the compressor.Also the rear cover must be in place so air drawn by the fan circulates over the condenser properly.If the rear cover is missing,a new one is easy to make-just make sure it is open or vented behind the fan baffle.

Post# 1033370 , Reply# 2   5/22/2019 at 10:09 by turbokinetic (Northport, Alabama USA)        

This is a very sad situation. I would assume you've contacted the repairing shop and they have not been able to provide any satisfaction for you? I would first give them the chance to make it right.

In agreement with the sentiment above; the condenser fan must run. Period, no exceptions. If the compressor runs without the fan, the condenser will overheat. This puts way too much load on the compressor. It will then overload and trip.

Regardless of whether or not the wiring for the fan is directly connected to the compressor's terminals (like the original) it must be connected so that it runs when the compressor is running.

The rear cover of the fridge must also be in place for the condenser to be cooled by the fan. The cover directs air through the condenser.

While it is true that some modern compressors don't need a fan to blow across the compressor HOUSING; that does not eliminate the need for a condenser fan.

I have a feeling that once the fan is running, the compressor will most likely function normally.

Post# 1033371 , Reply# 3   5/22/2019 at 10:24 by combo52 (Beltsville,Md)        
GE TC469 Ref

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I am in total agreement with replys # 1 & 2

John L.

Post# 1033374 , Reply# 4   5/22/2019 at 10:51 by kelly0721 (Lakewood, Colorado)        
fan must run

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That is what I thought. How do I get the fan running again with this new configuration? Are there any parts I need to purchase? If so, should I purchase the original parts or new parts that work with the new compressor? I do have a cover, it was removed to take photos. I just plugged it in and I don't see the fan running at all. I have included new photos with it running.

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Post# 1033375 , Reply# 5   5/22/2019 at 10:56 by kelly0721 (Lakewood, Colorado)        
fan must run

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turbokinetic, It is very sad. I had the repairman return it after a year being gone. He told me that he had consulted an "old timer" who said that it did not need a fan. When he returned it he said he did not know what else he could do and could not fix it. It took me nine months just to find this guy who could not fix it. Every other repairman refused to do it. I am beside myself with what to do next.

Post# 1033377 , Reply# 6   5/22/2019 at 11:02 by combo52 (Beltsville,Md)        
Oh Boy

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The wiring is a mess, and the installation of the compressor is very sloppy. the fan motor just gets connected to the black & orange wires going to the compressor, the fan and compressor are wired in parallel.

It looks like an original condenser fan motor, if it has three wires instead of two like newer fan motors you will need to replace the CFM with a newer 2 wire motor.

John L.

Post# 1033378 , Reply# 7   5/22/2019 at 11:08 by kelly0721 (Lakewood, Colorado)        
Oh Boy

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I just want to cry. I wanted this fridge so badly and tried everything I could to get it running. I printed out all the suggestions from this site, told him what was thought to be wrong with it and he just ignored me. I even referred him to this site to ask questions if he was stuck. He ignored that too. After he quit giving us monthly updates after a year, I asked him to bring it back to me. I am so bummed. :(

Post# 1033379 , Reply# 8   5/22/2019 at 11:23 by turbokinetic (Northport, Alabama USA)        

Kelly, again I really feels bad that you've had this experience. As a service engineer, I know that we all eventually encounter something we can't fix. The fact of the matter is, it is something which becomes apparent after, at most 2 or 3 different repair attempts. None of this should take more than a few weeks of testing and adjusting to either fix it, or make the call that it's not going to happen.

There are several very good folks here who could make this work like new again. It's one of the problems with our country being so large and spread-out. Good repair people are few and far-between.

I don't know how technical you are; or if you have a family member or friend who is technical. It seems that the sealed system is working, if it will start cooling and frost up. At this point, it seems as if the hard part is done and the remaining problems would be fairly easy to remedy.

As John said, the condenser fan and the compressor each have two wires. The power supply to the compressor comes from the circuitry inside the fridge and provides power on the two wires, which appear to be the orange and black.

The condenser fan motor should have one of it's wires connected together with the orange compressor wire; and its other wire connected to the black compressor wire. Both the fan and the compressor share the same power feed.

The newer fan motors just have two wires and will hook up as explained above. Some of the really old ones had three wires, and will not work without the original compressor in the circuit.

Check these things:
1 - Does the fan spin freely? If you spin it by hand it should take no effort to turn, and it should take a few rotations to stop after you push it.

2 - Does the fan have 2; or does it have more wires?

The good news is, that these fan motors are fairly easy to source, if it's a 3-wire motor or if the motor is bad.

Post# 1033381 , Reply# 9   5/22/2019 at 11:26 by estesguy (kansas)        
R134a compressor

Can you use an R134a compressor in place of one that was R12 to start with? With the small amounts of refrigerant and capillary tubes, refrigerators are very temperamental creatures to begin with.

Post# 1033383 , Reply# 10   5/22/2019 at 11:33 by turbokinetic (Northport, Alabama USA)        

Yep, an R134A compressor can be used. There may be a few trade-offs but in general R134A will replace R12 in a system like this.

Post# 1033384 , Reply# 11   5/22/2019 at 11:46 by RP2813 (Too many people know the way)        
You're almost there -- don't give up!

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I'm casting another vote for the fan needing to run.  It's fairly easy to make that happen, even if it requires a new fan.  They're not expensive and are commonly used among various makes of refrigerators so you don't have to track down a genuine GE part or anything.


One thing to make sure of is to get the blade assembly along with the fan motor.  I replaced the fan motor on my '57 GE and the replacement motor didn't have the same mounting for the blade as the old motor.  I had to make alterations to the fan blade and it still was compromised in its performance.


First, check your fan motor to see how many wires it has.  If it has only two, then just connect those to the compressor leads as instructed above.  If it has three wires, remove the fan motor (you may have to remove the blade first -- it's probably held by a simple zip-nut), which is best accomplished with a small socket wrench or a nut driver.  Examine the motor to see how the blade gets locked into place, and make sure the replacement motor has the same configuration.


Usually, fan motors have connectors on the ends of the wires that slide onto their associated connectors on the relay block.  I don't see a relay in the pictures above, but I assume there has to be one.   You'll find the compressor's orange and black wires connected to it, and likely there will be additional unused connectors for the fan wires on those same terminals.

Post# 1033387 , Reply# 12   5/22/2019 at 12:00 by Combo52 (Beltsville,Md)        
Replacement condenser fan motors

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The commonly available condenser fan motors have wiring attached to it, also the original fan blade should be used it just Hass to be modified slightly by folding the tabs over Iíve done it hundreds of times itís better to use the original fan blade.

You can use whirl pool part number 833697 as a replacement

Post# 1033393 , Reply# 13   5/22/2019 at 13:43 by kelly0721 (Lakewood, Colorado)        

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turbokinetic, The fan moves freely. It has three wires as seen in the attached photos. In the photos I label where each wire goes from the fan to where they end up.

I have called the repairman who I convinced to fix my vintage Maytag W/D and he agreed to come out to look at the fridge. I was worried he wouldn't be okay with looking at it because I have been turned down so many times by other people. Hopefully, he can figure out what to do. I am going to print out all the suggestions from everyone on this thread for him.

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Post# 1033394 , Reply# 14   5/22/2019 at 14:05 by turbokinetic (Northport, Alabama USA)        

Wow.... that is a mess of wiring! The three-wire fan motor will need to be replaced with a two-wire one. As for the wiring configuration; the defrost system is probably incorrectly connected as well. Hopefully John will be able to advise on the wiring configuration for the hot-gas defrost valve. I'm not extremely familiar with this system and can't advise "off the top of my head" so to speak.

It's very good you have someone who's coming to look at it! That's great news!


Post# 1033398 , Reply# 15   5/22/2019 at 16:21 by kelly0721 (Lakewood, Colorado)        

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Yes, it is quite a mess of wiring back there.

I am very relieved to have Anthony (my repairman) on the case. He was so helpful with my Maytag set. I am sure he will know what to do. :)

Thank you for all your advice!

Post# 1033400 , Reply# 16   5/22/2019 at 16:54 by turbokinetic (Northport, Alabama USA)        

You're welcome. I'm glad to be helpful! John has more experience than I do on the Spacemakers. He did post the part number for a 2-wire fan motor. You may want to highlight that for Anthony, as well. His company quite likely h as one in stock.

Hopeful to see a favorable outcome on the repair!

I did send you a PM as well.

Post# 1033404 , Reply# 17   5/22/2019 at 17:45 by goatfarmer (South Bend, home of Champions)        

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One thing you can try. If you have the room, start the 'fridge, and place a small portable fan behind the refrigerator, blowing on the condenser.. It can run continuous, won't hurt anything. See if the situation improves.

Post# 1033609 , Reply# 18   5/25/2019 at 18:02 by sfh074 ( )        
I bet .....

this one would work. Looks like it will mount right in using the original tri-mount arms.

And yes, the back cover must be installed for the fan to work. It pulls air from the bottom front thru condenser coils, around compressor and thru the fan from left to right side. The motor turns CW to pull air from compressor side and across the fan motor to the right side.

Post# 1033621 , Reply# 19   5/25/2019 at 20:13 by Lorainfurniture (Cleveland )        

Would you mind divulging how much you paid for that repair?

Post# 1033816 , Reply# 20   5/28/2019 at 15:46 by Supersurgilator (Indiana)        

The only thing that I'm curious about is if this is the exact same issues it was having before, why the compressor was replaced? I guess its possible that the original compressor may have been ok and it was the fan motor that died? Not that it matters at this point but was just curious. Keep us updated on the outcome!

Post# 1033836 , Reply# 21   5/28/2019 at 20:53 by turbokinetic (Northport, Alabama USA)        

I'm really hopeful to hear a positive result from the technician visit!

Post# 1033861 , Reply# 22   5/29/2019 at 10:31 by sfh074 ( )        
David ....

I second that.

Post# 1033867 , Reply# 23   5/29/2019 at 13:24 by norgeway (mocksville n c )        
I can tell you one thing

If John Lefever had fixed it you wouldn't have these problems and it would look as good as the factory soldering and wiring.

Post# 1033875 , Reply# 24   5/29/2019 at 15:00 by kelly0721 (Lakewood, Colorado)        

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Hi everyone,

I am sorry it has taken me so long to get back to this thread. My repairman just left, so I finally have an update to share, but I read everyone's comments and wanted to answer all the questions first. The update on the fridge is below my answers. :)

Combo52: Thank you for the reference to the Whirlpool part. Is this something I could purchase from you?

sfh074: Thank you for the link to the part on eBay. I appreciate your input. :)

Lorainfurniture: We paid him $300 for the compressor, which is what it cost him. He did not charge us for anything else as he did not get it running.

Supersurgilator: The compressor was replaced as the consensus was that it was probably going out. I had several repairmen out who thought that was at least part of the problem. They refused to fix it, but those were their thoughts. I was really hoping the gentleman who took my refrigerator for a year would have been able to figure that out for me!

Norgeway: I don't doubt that! If Mr. Lefever was in Colorado I would have had him do the repair in a second. He knows what the heck he is doing. :)

Update: Apparently, the wiring is a mess and has to be rewired so the fan can be connected. The overload is broken too, so that has to be replaced. After he has all that taken care of then we will address replacing the compressor with one that was recommended by Combo52 (John Lefever) way back when I first purchased the refrigerator. I had printed out his recommendation for the first repairman, but he apparently was not willing to take anyone else's advice and installed this crappy Panasonic compressor I did not want. Hopefully, it will all be fixed soon so I can finally bring it into the kitchen instead of having it sit in the garage.

Thanks for everyone's advice. I really appreciate you all. :) I will post further updates once I have something to report.


Post# 1033892 , Reply# 25   5/29/2019 at 19:44 by turbokinetic (Northport, Alabama USA)        

Thanks for the update! Looks like you have someone who is going to make a path forward which will set you up for years of good service from this fridge.

Post# 1033893 , Reply# 26   5/29/2019 at 19:56 by RP2813 (Too many people know the way)        

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Maybe you can sell the Panasonic compressor back to the guy who thought it was a good idea to install it (unless the current guy you have working on it can get it back to proper operating condition even with the Panasonic).

Post# 1033920 , Reply# 27   5/30/2019 at 00:13 by kelly0721 (Lakewood, Colorado)        

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David, I think you are right! It is nice to work with someone who is excited about the project and knows what he is doing. I think I am finally on the right path. Thank you very much for all your suggestions and moral support!

RP2813, You are funny. I would definitely sell it back to him if I could be in the same room with him again. I am so stinkin' mad I don't think I could bear it without some choice words for "Mister I don't think I need to listen to anyone or ask for help." I will eat the cost. It was a lesson well learned not to work with someone who is so uncooperative again.

Post# 1033939 , Reply# 28   5/30/2019 at 06:17 by Combo52 (Beltsville,Md)        
Compressor change

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Hi Kelly, sorry you went through this mess. Itís obvious that the guy who worked on this does not enjoy his job, weíve always had the best luck with techs that liked what theyíre doing. It always bothered me when we went to service training twice a year that half the guys were totally On interested in what was going on and would rather talk about last nights football game.

The Panasonic compressor that was used is not the problem, they made pretty decent compressors. I would use something a little newer that has a run capacitor on it if youíre going to all the trouble you might as will put in a higher efficiency one so everything stays cooler underneath there.

John L.

Post# 1033954 , Reply# 29   5/30/2019 at 10:26 by kelly0721 (Lakewood, Colorado)        
Compressor Change

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Thanks John, I will definitely relay this new information to my repairman. My repairman, Anthony looked at it yesterday and remarked that he was surprised that this compressor was used, especially because I care so much about the quality of products used to refurbish this antique. He called it a "two year compressor". That upset me because I was planning on refurbishing this refrigerator so I could use the rest of my life, not for two years. I gave the last "repairman" a printout of your suggestion from 2017 you made to use a 850-1000 BTU compressor from a larger refrigerator from around 1988-1994. I was totally caught off guard when the refrigerator came back with this Panasonic compressor.

Post# 1033958 , Reply# 30   5/30/2019 at 11:15 by estesguy (kansas)        
GE and Panasonic

I wouldn't be as concerned about it being Panasonic, as to the sloppy way it was installed. To me it doesn't even look like its bolted down on the side we see in the picture. GE started using Panasonic compressors around mid 80's, eliminating the "lunchbox" style compressor they had used for years. My friend had a 1985 GE and I had a 2011, both with Panasonic compressors and no issues. I know GE had some compressor problems around the middle 90s, but I think that was from undersizing the compressor in their refrigerators, but not positive.

Post# 1034008 , Reply# 31   5/30/2019 at 22:16 by Combo52 (Beltsville,Md)        
Panasonic compressors

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I would be concerned about anybodyís ability that thinks a Panasonic compressor is a two-year compressor, they might be a decent technician but their reasoning ability is not very sound.

In 1985 GE started using rotary compressors that they built them selves in all their standard refrigerators from around 1985 through 1990, all of these compressors failed within 2 to 10 years max.

The replacement compressor may have been a Panasonic in some cases they used as many different companies as they could get their hands on because they had to replace them all.

John L.

Post# 1034107 , Reply# 32   6/1/2019 at 05:04 by askolover (South of Nash Vegas, TN)        

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GE used to have a compressor plant here in my town!  I worked with people who were laid off when it closed who then came to work at the auto part plant I worked in.  They told me stories about quality issues and the reason GE closed it.  That would have taken place in the late 80's early 90's.  I guess those stories were true huh?

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