Restoring vintage fridge

Discussion in 'Your Vintage Home' started by tuppence, Aug 3, 2013.

  1. tuppence

    tuppence Practically Family

    Messages:
    532
    Location:
    Hellbourne Australia
    I have a vintage Kelvinator Fridge, model number 245 (may be different in U.S.A)
    Link to fridge picture that is exactly the same as mine.
    http://cdn.homebrewtalk.com/attachm...fridge-convert-into-kegerator-9532n0k_20.jpeg
    I am having to defrost the freezer every month to six weeks. I need to replace the freezer seal , but can't find any one who supplies the seal in Australia. If anyone can offer a link to some place in America that has the seals or has any other advice I would be extremely grateful.
     
  2. Stanley Doble

    Stanley Doble Call Me a Cab

    Messages:
    2,772
    Location:
    Cobourg
    Is there an Australian made fridge with a similar seal?

    One thing I have done in a similar situation is to substitute an automotive door seal. I happened to use one from the door of a Chevrolet pickup truck. There are many different shapes. If there is an antique car show there is usually a section for vendors of old car parts, and there may be a seller of door rubbers. They have different shapes that come on a roll and can be cut to any length.

    The car door rubber is black rather than gray but may be better than nothing.
     
  3. LizzieMaine

    LizzieMaine Bartender

    I have a Kelvinator about ten years older than that one, and had to do exactly what Stanley suggests -- there isn't a lot of repro-part support for refrigerators that aren't GE, apparently.

    The easiest thing to do is get some self-adhesive weatherstrip at the hardware store and just stick it around the perimeter of the old seal. It won't win you any points at the Antique Refrigerator Show, but it'll keep you from having to defrost quite so often.
     
  4. tuppence

    tuppence Practically Family

    Messages:
    532
    Location:
    Hellbourne Australia
    Oh great, I will look out for the vintage car shows, I know we have them occasionally. Thank you Stanley Doble and once again LizzieMaine you have come to my rescue. Weather seal I would never have thought of that.
     
  5. Giftmacher

    Giftmacher One Too Many

    Messages:
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    Location:
    Hohenmauth CZ
    If the gasket is not completely rotten, user guide for my refrigerator recommends use a sheet of paper to locate leak spots and underlay it with a pieces of rubber, for example from old bicycle tubes. Here it should be noted that most of Czechoslovak fridges in the 50's had had gasket shape of a small "e" like this, so I'm not sure if it will help you.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2013
  6. LizzieMaine

    LizzieMaine Bartender

    Another thing that might work if your problem is low spots on the existing gasket is to use some "Liquid Tape" rubber compound on it -- just brush it on the leaky places to build up a surface, and then coat the whole gasket with it to give it a fresh, grabby coating. It's not the neatest solution, but it does work.
     
  7. dhermann1

    dhermann1 I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
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    Location:
    Da Bronx, NY, USA
    Lizzie, I wonder if they even know what weather stripping is in toasty Australia. ;)
     
  8. dhermann1

    dhermann1 I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
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    Location:
    Da Bronx, NY, USA
    Tuppence: I wonder what the rules are in Australia for the type of coolant it uses.
     
  9. tuppence

    tuppence Practically Family

    Messages:
    532
    Location:
    Hellbourne Australia
    Giftmacher, I found a place in America and I even think Australia that sells a gasket that looks like yours. Sadly mine is not the same.
     
  10. tuppence

    tuppence Practically Family

    Messages:
    532
    Location:
    Hellbourne Australia
    Dhermann , I'm not sure what the rules are, needless to say that no-one in Australia supplies it.
    The problem was that I had a cosmetically perfect fridge that died last year, and nobody was willing to fix it. I managed to find a beat up version of it in working condition, we refinished the fridge, and used the fridge and freezer door from my old fridge, as one was damaged and the other missing. I even think maybe I could tighten the freezer door a little. The old fridge would only need defrosting a couple of times a year.
    We do have weather stripping in Australia, It's only toasty here because I have the heater on, but I'm not sure what liquid tape is.

    I will try and eat through the freezers contents this week and see if I can get some decent pictures of the seal to upload here.
    Thanks for your input:)
     
  11. LizzieMaine

    LizzieMaine Bartender

    Liquid Tape is a rubberized liquid compound that electricians use to seal wire joints -- you brush it on and it hardens into a flexible, waterproof seal. You'll find it in the electrical section of any good hardware store -- it comes in a brush-in-top metal can, and one can of it will be more than enough for most any household job. It's very handy stuff.
     
  12. Stanley Doble

    Stanley Doble Call Me a Cab

    Messages:
    2,772
    Location:
    Cobourg
    This is a last resort but maybe you can make a seal of silicone. Lay a bead of silicone seal on the old gasket so it squishes against the fridge when you shut the door. Leave it to harden overnight. Tape wax paper to the fridge first so it can't stick. It might help to adjust the door latch out or loose a bit, then move it back after the silicone sets. This will apply a little pressure and make it seal better.
     
  13. tuppence

    tuppence Practically Family

    Messages:
    532
    Location:
    Hellbourne Australia
    IMG_0086.jpg IMG_0087.jpg IMG_0081.jpg
     
  14. tuppence

    tuppence Practically Family

    Messages:
    532
    Location:
    Hellbourne Australia
    Well I'm not quite sure what happened there; I fail at uploading pictures.
    The gasket goes around the outside edge of the freezer. I'm not sure where to put the silicon/liquid tape/ weather strip. And just on the crazy off-chance anyone has seen something the same, I added a pic of the gasket profile. The short edge is 6mms and the flat edge is 11mms wide. Thanks
     
  15. Stanley Doble

    Stanley Doble Call Me a Cab

    Messages:
    2,772
    Location:
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    Have you tried asking the oldest appliance dealer or repair shop in town?
     
  16. lolly_loisides

    lolly_loisides One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,846
    Location:
    The Blue Mountains, Australia
  17. tuppence

    tuppence Practically Family

    Messages:
    532
    Location:
    Hellbourne Australia
    Thanks LoLLy I'll give them a try :)

    Stanley, appliance repair stores are pretty rare down here. Most people just throw their broken appliances out because it's cheaper to buy a new one.
     
  18. Stanley Doble

    Stanley Doble Call Me a Cab

    Messages:
    2,772
    Location:
    Cobourg
    They are rare around here too but I know of at least 2. One is an appliance store run by a 90 year old guy who inherited the place from his grandfather, I am not kidding, and none of them ever threw anything out.

    The other is run by an eccentric hippie type who collects and restores ancient appliances.

    If you don't have such screwballs excuse me, eccentrics where you are, go to the appliance stores anyway and see if they can order parts.

    The shop itself may not have a single part for anything but I guarantee you, they have a computer and it is connected to the database of the manufacturer they sell for. If the manufacturer has the seal in their warehouse, the dealer can order it for you.

    You would be surprised what parts you can get in this way.
     

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