How do I defrost my old house FRIDGE?

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Joined: Fri Sep 18, 2009 9:26 am

How do I defrost my old house FRIDGE?

Post by imaluma »

I feel a bit silly I don't know where to begin. I've only moved in a couple months ago and it already needs to be defrosted. This little tray that slides in and out say on it: "When defrosting lift back edge of chiller and slide to rear of cabinet". What exactly is the chiller? Is it the tray itself? I'm guessing I just unplug the appliance and slide that tray back and empty it as the ice melts. I wonder what the slide out above it is for. It seems like it comes out but does not move back. It has a hole near the rear which looks like it will line up to drain right into the tray below if it is slid back. And does the tray below have another function? It seems like a decent spot to store meats since it's right next to the freezer and super cold. Maybe I have this all figured out but I just want to be sure.

Here are some pics (I hope)
Oh, forget it. Here is a link to the album, I made it public. ... 1524302746

I also wonder about the efficiency of this thing. I am being chastised by some who believe it uses two or three times as much power as a newer fridge. But I am also hearing that since it does not have any sort of auto defrost function it uses less power. So I deduce that the rule I am being told in new(er) fridges with auto defrost they should be replaced every five years but these older fridges are a different animal and don't really apply? I think I might have to replace the seals on the door, since when I open it up along the top of the freezer there is always some dripping condensation. I think the seal is not tight near the top. Unless this sort of thing is typical? How often should I need to defrost it before I assume there is something wrong and might need it serviced? Have I asked too many questions?

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Re: How do I defrost my old house FRIDGE?

Post by TinyOldHouse »

I have no idea on the defrosting, but its my opinion that using things up and repairing them is a MUCH better use of our world's resources than replacing, regardless of energy use. I'm sure there are a FEW exceptions to that.... but in general, that's how I live.

Using your fridge and keeping it in functional condition keeps it out of the landfill AND a new fridge requires energy and resources to make, which could be saved if you just keep your old one.

Or maybe I'm just trying to justify my superfrugality. :lol:

But seriously, there's more to think about than just the ongoing energy use when considering what is wasteful!
See what we are doing now!

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Re: How do I defrost my old house FRIDGE?

Post by raymanretro »

You have a treasure! The older fridges use less power because they dont have automatic defrosters and condensation heaters and other gimmics. To defrost it simply unplug the fridge and try to catch all the water. The tray below the freezer is made to divert the water so you can catch it in a coffee can or something. I put a small hole in my pan to let the water run out and use a plastic milk jug with the top cut out and the handle left on so I can get it to the sink easier. You will have to store your food while doing this because the door needs to be open to let the ice melt..

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Re: How do I defrost my old house FRIDGE?

Post by moonshadow317 »

To make it defrost quicker I remember my Mom placing a pot of boiling water in it but don't try to remove the ice by chopping at it. It's tempting but you will puncture a hole in the soft metal and destroy the fridge.

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Re: How do I defrost my old house FRIDGE?

Post by rehabbingisgreen »

Cool fridge. We used to put pans of hot water in the fridge to defrost it. As the ice melts off the fridge sometimes you can get it off in pieces.

I have to tell you I think you are BRAVE for haivng that carpet! I had a similar colored carpet and I had a no shoe rule, no eating or drinking rule, no dogs on the carpet, and I was right on anything on the carpet cleaning it up. I kept it spotless for a long time.

My oldest son was sick. I gave him pepto and it happened that he didn't make it to the bathroom before he vomited PINK all over the hallway walls and carpet. :shock:

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Re: How do I defrost my old house FRIDGE?

Post by imaluma »

HA! The carpet came with the house so brave or not it's what I got. I have a no shoe policy but it's hard to maintain a no food policy since I don't yet have a dining room table. But I have a good herbal carpet cleaning recipe that is magical and I figure I'll leave the carpet as long as it lasts then I'll finally be able to pull it up and see what's hiding underneath ;)

So I guess I'll need to put all the food in a cooler? And I'll need to do that every couple months? eeek.

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Re: How do I defrost my old house FRIDGE?

Post by Sombreuil_Mongrel »

I had an old avocado green (40+ years) fridge in my old upstairs kitchen, it was the one that went away when I reno'd my kitchen downstairs, and made the old apt. kit. into my TV room. The old downstairs fridge I moved to the basement for drinks, etc.
Well, with one brand new high-efficiency fridge and the 20 year old one in the basement, and the really ancient frosty one gone (good riddance) my electric usage was cut by a third, no joke.
To be honest, at the same time I replaced the washer and dryer with hyper-efficient Bosch front-loaders, the washer heats its own water and only uses 4 gallons per wash. That old fridge never seemed to shut off, was noisy as heck, and heated the room up.

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Re: How do I defrost my old house FRIDGE?

Post by thomas4square »

I have a 50's GE and it is great. I have read that they use less power also due to the non defrost. I have noticed with mine that the motor very seldom runs especially when the ice is built up, and when it does it is hardly noticable, much quieter than a new fridge. Our has a defrost setting, but i think all it does is turn it off. All i do when i defrost is turn it to setting and leave it for a few hours. As long as you dont open the door the food should be fine, as the chunk of ice will just pretty much come out in a giant chunk. I also use a plastic dull paint scraper to help it if need be.

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Re: How do I defrost my old house FRIDGE?

Post by KathyJB »

That thing you put lunch meats in is probably what the water from the ice drains in to? Seems I remember mom carefully pulling it out with a lot of water in it. She used a pot of hot water to hurry up the ice melting. I bet you could use a hair dryer to get the ice to separate from the sides.

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Re: How do I defrost my old house FRIDGE?

Post by matchbookhouse »

Ditto what Kathy said. Given my natural clumsiness, it took me years to learn how to get the lunch meat tray to the sink without spilling it all over the floor. I also used a plastic spatula to help pry the ice away from the freezer sides after the pan of boiling water was left in the freezer section for a while. Gosh, this thread reminds me of the early years on my own, living in old houses with old appliances. I always said that I wanted a frost-free refrigerator then; now I want a 1920s-30s monitor top to go with the house. Whoda thunk it?

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