Thread Number: 81775  /  Tag: Refrigerators
Repairing plastic refrigerator liners
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Post# 1057841   1/16/2020 at 21:31 by sarahperdue (Alabama)        

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Hi Folks,

I've been experimenting with plastic "welding" to repair cracks in the interior of my GE wall fridge. I've cut out pieces from a donor and welded them into the gap with a flat soldering iron. It's better than a gaping hole, but not least not yet. I melted then sanded with 150, 220, 400 and 1,000 grit sandpaper. Pictures below.

Who's repaired a liner and how did you do it?


  Photos...       <              >      Photo 1 of 8         View Full Size

Post# 1057854 , Reply# 1   1/16/2020 at 23:48 by RP2813 (Sannazay)        

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Sarah, that looks really good IMO!


I've done similar things to repair holes in plastic, but they were in hidden areas and didn't need to look as good as what you accomplished! 


I'm impressed!

Post# 1057971 , Reply# 2   1/17/2020 at 20:30 by sarahperdue (Alabama)        

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I appreciate the encouragement!

Post# 1057989 , Reply# 3   1/18/2020 at 00:01 by Northwesty (Renton, WA)        

looks good let us know how it holds up. I have not had much luck with the insides of fridges.

Post# 1057995 , Reply# 4   1/18/2020 at 02:45 by SudsMaster (East of SF, West of Eden, California)        

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Do you know what kind of plastic it is?

If you do, you could get some plastic welding of the same thing to fill in any gaps, if any.

Harbor Freight sells a variety of plastic welding kits.

Post# 1058019 , Reply# 5   1/18/2020 at 09:04 by sarahperdue (Alabama)        
Donor fridge

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Iím fortunate to have a donor door for this project but will consider a kit for the Americana.


Post# 1058022 , Reply# 6   1/18/2020 at 09:42 by goatfarmer (South Bend, home of Champions)        

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Years ago, in the Appliance Service News newspaper there was a person who wrote in on a similar subject. What he did was find plastic pieces a similar color, cut them into small pieces, and put those pieces in a jar with lacquer thinner in it. After a few hours, the plastic had softened, and was like a putty. Put some of that putty into the crack, smooth it out, and let it dry. The lacquer thinner would evaporate, and leave a hard plastic surface. I've tried it on a cracked door liner, worked OK. FWIW

Post# 1058971 , Reply# 7   1/27/2020 at 10:05 by sarahperdue (Alabama)        
Lacquer thinner

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Will try that. I tried a similar recommendation with acetone. The acetone didnít touch the plastic. If the lacquer thinner doesnít work, Iím going to try melting over the lowest heat possible.


Post# 1058985 , Reply# 8   1/27/2020 at 12:28 by robbinsandmyers (Hamden CT)        
Back in my yout

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In the late 70's when I was racing AFX cars at the local hobby shop I was always ripping the bodies off the chassis when I crashed my cars were so fast. I found that by taking any AFX junk body and cutting pieces of it and putting them in a jar of Testors model cement that it made it that much stronger a bond when gluing the posts back on that held the motor assy. It had the brush in cap so I just brushed it on and let it set. It was much thicker than the clear acetone that came in the bottle and held well.

Post# 1059031 , Reply# 9   1/27/2020 at 23:34 by Spacedogb (Lafayette, LA)        
3D printing

Any way you could have the whole door 3D printed? Just an idea I had the NLA door panels for my Mazda RX8 3D printed and they color matched factory color and texture

Post# 1059043 , Reply# 10   1/28/2020 at 08:54 by sfh074 ( )        
If .....

the liner is simply cracked, why not just strengthen the back side of the crack? I once used fiberglass resin and mat to build up the crack from the backside by sanding the plastic so the fiberglass had a surface to attach to. From the front side you could still see the crack but the crack was held together and would not flex at this point. I also noticed the crack was being exaggerated visually because of dust or dirt within the crack giving it a gray line. Once the fiberglass was cured, I used bleach cleaner to clean the crack. The crack basically disappeared and when flexed the crack would not open up. To prevent dirt from possibly entering into the crack again over time I worked carnuba wax into the crack and cleaned the plastic with plastic polish.

Post# 1059465 , Reply# 11   2/2/2020 at 17:58 by sfh074 ( )        
Here is a pic of what I was talking about in my last post ..

using fiberglass to build up the back of the crack. Here is one of the guys at ANTIQUE APPLIANCES in Clayton GA doing a crack repair to a fridge liner.
On the front side, I read somewhere, they rub perpendicular to the crack with MEK and acetone to kinda melt the crack together (or works the softened plastic into the crack), then polish.
It makes the crack on the surface to disappear. The crack is basically still there, but the crack can't open now with the fiberglass on the back side holding it solid.
Just thought I would pass this info along as to how they fix stress cracks on liners.

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Post# 1059778 , Reply# 12   2/6/2020 at 12:54 by LowEfficiency (Iowa)        

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>> 3D printing - Any way you could have the whole door 3D printed? Just an idea I had the NLA door panels for my Mazda RX8 3D printed and they color matched factory color and texture

3D printed items generally aren't considered food-safe without being either vapor-smoothed with solvents or coated in a gap-filling sealant of some sort. The process just creates too many small gaps and pores to be "cleanable". It's not impossible of course, but likely wouldn't be cost effective for something of this size.

For something this large, I would bet that creating a mold and casting a replacement would be a more practical method, especially since the cracked or chipped original could easily be cosmetically repaired well enough to form a good plug/buck to work with.

Either one would only really be last-choice options if repair of the original wasn't possible...

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