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Frigidaire Freezer from the 50s and YT relay


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9 replies to this topic

#1 KroMagnon

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Posted 17 April 2007 - 02:31 AM

I read the post “1950's Frigidaire compressor relay” http://applianceguru...m1/11619-1.html from January 2007 with much interest because I have a 1950’s Frigidaire chest freezer that has failed.  I have named it “Old Frosty”.  Much of what was in that post may be useful to me but I would like to ask the forum for some assistance.  

First of all, I don’t have the model number on Old Frosty (groan).  There are several places where some sheets of paper have fallen off the freezer, so I wonder if that was the model number.  I’ve looked all over the thing except underneath it (!)  The best I can do is a little stamped thing on the side, under the kick plate, that is shown in the image below.  I cannot find the “14be 4407” referenced anywhere so I guess it is a serial number and of little help. Old Frosty has a YT relay (it says ‘YT RELAY PATENT PENDING’) with a part number 6580937.  The capacitor says “Mallory 7542949 130-156 MFD” (I guess this is a 156 microfarad capacitor??)  Again, though, I haven’t found these numbers anywhere and our local parts place also was not able to help.

I want to save Old Frosty for a variety of reasons, mostly convenience (its easier for me to spend a little time here & there working on it rather than taking a lot of time to get a new used one as I don’t have a truck and moving Old Frosty would be a royal pain).  For the last 11 years he would sometimes quit working.  I have an external thermostat on it as he would lager homebrew for me as well as store kegs & bottles.  Sometimes I would notice the light on but no compressor running.  A little kick to the front of Old Frosty would start the compressor running again and everyone would be happy.  But now kicking is no good.

I know sometimes people can get compressors starting by tapping them with a rubber hammer.  However, the compressor is in the back of the unit and the kicking only seemed to do any good near the front, where the relay & dial-switch-thermostat (and capacitor) are.  So I am thinking of replacing the YT relay with a 3n1 like in the post “1950's Frigidaire compressor relay”.  Does anyone think this is worth trying?  Or, would you say the problem is the compressor with 99% certainty?

Or, is there some way I can “override” the relay TEMPORARILY and see if the compressor will start?

Then, my next question: what rating of 3n1 should I get?  The freezer is 14 cubic feet, I think (see the other image).  My basic horsepower calculation gives a number that seems reasonable (110 volts*4.5 Amps/2) / 750 = 0.32 or 1/3 HP, but I’d like someone’s knowledgeable opinion on this.

And, my final question is more of a comment: the advice in the other post is so close to what I want, I’ve already decided this is a great forum.  The whole beer theme makes it even more so.  I’ve been homebrewing for over 15 years now although the last few years have been harder to get time for it with children & a wife with some medical issues lately.  However I still have the “bug” and its bothering me to no end to not have a working beer fridge.

THANKS!!!!

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#2 Keinokuorma

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Posted 17 April 2007 - 09:12 AM

Guess you're best off with first trying to determine the integrity of the compressor. Measure resistance of the windings after detaching the relay. Should be a low ohm reading between each of the three possible pairs. The highest should be roughly the sum of the two lower, these are the start and run terminals. The third is common (ideally to be hooked to Neutral on the power grid). If you get a high or open reading from any of the terminal pairs, you have a bad compressor.

The capacitor must be good too in order for the comp to start and run correctly. You can replace it with a suitable bipolar cap that is inside the ballpark of 130-156 microfarads. Try to get one that can handle around 200V.

As it regards the "hack starting" scheme... it should be performable, but you could save yourself the danger and try with a 3in1.

If it works with the 3in1, that may need to be the final repair... it is unlikely that you'll find an authentic start relay for a vintage comp like this...

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#3 Pegi

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Posted 17 April 2007 - 09:17 AM

You would kick it at the front and it would start running, are you sure there is or is not voltage to the compressor when it is supposed to be running?  Could you have a defective cold control???  Bad wire somewhere???  CF-14K looks like a valid model number on that silver tag...
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#4 Scottthewolf

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Posted 17 April 2007 - 09:37 AM

Ah yes, back when model numbers were simple.  C for Chest, F for Freezer, 14 for 14 cubic foot,  K  for sales feature desgnation.
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#5 Budget Appliance Repair

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Posted 17 April 2007 - 09:10 PM

As Scottthewolf says, that is the model# CF-14k and the one below is the serial#.

I would be more inclined to believe you have a cold control problem as Pegi says.

The cold control(t-stat) should only have two wires going to it. An easy test would be to just carefully connect those two wires together and tape them up then plug the freezer back in and see if it runs. If so, then the cold control/t-stat is your problem.
William Burk (Willie)
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#6 KroMagnon

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Posted 17 April 2007 - 09:55 PM

Great, thanks for all the advice.  Also thanks for pointing out the model number, although a few on-line databases don't show it anyway.  Pegi, I did check the voltage and the switch (thermostat) seems to be OK (I did this a few days back).  So I've taken the relay out and it looks like the compressor does show continuity, although it kind of bounces around a lot.  I fiddled with the relay some and I guess I could put it back in and try the "short out the thermostat switch" option.  I will either try that next or just bite the bullet and get a 3n1...I'm not sure when I'm going to get back to this, it may be a few days so it may be nice to have the part and just return it later.  I'll keep everyone posted, thanks for the advice!!!


#7 KroMagnon

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Posted 24 April 2007 - 06:09 AM

OK, I bought the 3in1 (from here!) and got it in last Friday, but I didn't get to hook it up until last night.  For testing I just wired it in, bypassing the internal thermostat.  (I've got an external thermostat on the freezer anyway).  And LO! IT WORKED!!! The compressor started OK, and after a minute made a rather scary noise, but that went away after another 30 seconds or so and then it just hummed away.

So I guess the compressor is fine, for now anyway, and the problem was either the relay (which is totally broken now thanks to my inquisitive nature), the capacitor, and/or the thermostat switch.  I couldn't really check the latter in isolation because I had cut the capacitor wire to check the compressor terminal resistance, and blah blah blah. 

I will probably wire in the indicator light so that it turns on when the external thermostat has kicked on, but that just goes between the line & neutral so its no biggie.

Two final questions or opinions sought:

I may NOT wire in the internal thermostat, however, since the external one will be set lower anyway. Anyone see an issue with that?

And, what's a thermal overload, and should I get one? or is the "O" in RCO good enough?  I don't want Old Frosty to turn Old Fiery and burn down the house.

THANKS!!!


#8 Keinokuorma

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Posted 24 April 2007 - 09:28 AM

Luckily these old time compressors were still built to last - hopefully they even last with the 3in1... many new compressor brands are just rubbish.

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#9 KroMagnon

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Posted 24 April 2007 - 12:20 PM

is a 3in1 "hard" on a compressor for some reason? why? (I have no alternative, just curious)


#10 Keinokuorma

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Posted 24 April 2007 - 07:50 PM

Some brands have had issues while some others haven't.

Read this topic: http://www.appliance...rum1/11587.html

By that, older comps would be safer. Only if it continues to draw excess current and becomes very hot to touch, you could have to consider another solution. Have good ventilation around the comp, and a smoke alarm in the room to be sure. A closely matched thermal overload kit could be wired in, even if it couldn't be clamped to the side of the comp, it will detect excess working current.

If I did sealed system jobs, I could consider swapping a new comp on my decades old freezer, but probably wouldn't do that for a customer. I would either have to bill as much as or more than a new decent unit would cost, or I would have to do several jobs to newer units very cheap after that.

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