How to repair and restore a vintage refrigerator ?

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My grandmother's rounded top refrigerator worked perfectly for over half a century until my husband put a hole into it while defrosting, and all the coolant leaked out. I am so sad as it is part of happy childhood memories of cooking with my grandmother in her farmhouse kitchen here in Mississippi. I am looking for someone who can repair it or other ideas .
  15 answers
  • Janet Pizaro Janet Pizaro on Feb 23, 2016
    See if this will help you. www.ehow.com/how_7600304_repair-vintage-refrigerator.html

  • MN Mom MN Mom on Feb 23, 2016
    You could contact Jones Refrigeration in Brandon.

  • Bluemyrtle45 Bluemyrtle45 on Feb 23, 2016
    Repair the hole and get it recharged but before doing that make an inquiry to your electric company as to how much it costs to run that refrigerator. They are energy guzzlers. You might be surprised as to how much it costs a year. We had two of them at the cottage and when they went we just had an emotional good bye and moved on to a new one that saved us a lot of money.

    • Djd Djd on Nov 05, 2018

      This is for you, Do not listen to these people that say they are energy hogs. These vintage refrigerators take about 3.5 amp when compressor kicks on. These refrigerators were made in the years when max power to house was 60 amps. Now we are standard 200 amps. I used amp meter to measure compressor usage, its 3.25 amps. The guy that had two in his cottage, probably had no a/c on to cool down cottage, cause he was not there. They will run all day, in a heat soaked house trying to keep up. Do not mistake frigs from vintage times with the frigs from 70's and 80's. Whole different system. If you use them cause of sentimental reasons, or cause they are neat looking. Get them fixed and use them. Do not listen to these people. Energy hogs they are not.

  • Linda Duty Linda Duty on Feb 24, 2016
    I just watched this done on a show called Salvage Dawgs. They are a salvage company out of Roanoke, Va. If you ever get a chance, go to their place and you will be amazed. I went last year and hope to go again this year. Their show is on the DIY channel or you can watch some of their past episodes on line. They love to repurpose things. Hope this helps.

    • Kathy Meador Wells Kathy Meador Wells on Feb 24, 2016
      @Linda Duty I love that show. I am so sad that we don't have DIY on our package. They make the most unusual things and I love it. I want to work for them!

  • LD LD on Feb 24, 2016
    Even if you can find someone to repair the refrigerator, you will find that it is a electricity guzzler, so why not consider repurposing the refrigerator, so you can still use it in a new way. My first thought would be, how can I turn this into a storage cabinet, for it would definitely become a conversational piece.

    • See 1 previous
    • Djd Djd on Nov 05, 2018

      Do not listen to these people that say they are energy hogs. They truly know nothing about These vintage frigs, and just repeat false statements that they heard. These vintage refrigerators take about 3.5 amp when compressor kicks on. These refrigerators were made in the years when max power to house was 60 amps. Now we are standard 200 amps. I used amp meter to measure compressor usage, its 3.25 amps. The guy that had two in his cottage, probably had no a/c on to cool down cottage, cause he was not there. Probably had a dry rotted door seal, and freezer was a solid ice block cause he never took care of it. They will run all day, in a heat soaked house trying to keep up. Do not mistake frigs from vintage times with the frigs from 70's and 80's. Whole different system. If you use them cause of sentimental reasons, or cause they are neat looking. Get them fixed and use them. Do not listen to these people. Energy hogs they are not. This message is for you LD.

  • Lee Williams Lee Williams on Feb 24, 2016
    I use mine for wine storage. The perfect size.

  • DORLIS DORLIS on Feb 24, 2016
    I like the storage ideas. If you can produce, you could store the jars in it.

  • Susan Bechamp Susan Bechamp on Feb 24, 2016
    Endless uses for even a non-working vintage fridge. My neighbor reworked his 1940's model and set it in his man cave to hold his guns and ammo and keep them out of sight from his grandchildren. There are two deadbolts to keep it secure. He also has a chest freezer gutted and painted to look like a Cocoa Cola chest and stores camping gear in it. No mice can open that door to chew on sleeping bags or the tent.

  • Ranger Ranger on Feb 24, 2016
    We plan to put one on our back porch for either storing dog biscuits, our outside footwear, empty plant pots, or just use as an extra outdoors cupboard. I am going to attach hooks to one side for umbrellas.

    • See 1 previous
    • Djd Djd on Nov 10, 2018

      Ranger if that vintage frig works you are making a big mistake attaching hooks to one side for umbrellas. People out there will buy your vintage frig for 100 bucks if it is restorable, even if it does not run. They restore them, fix them and paint them and sell for 1000 dollars and more.

  • Cj Avery Cj Avery on Feb 24, 2016
    I would call. Around repair places see if any can work on it. They will have to change the freon as they don't make the old kind anymore. My sister has her mother in laws they store can pop and wine in it in their family room. Though they are work horses. If you can not repair it you still can place ice in cooler and put inside to use once in a while or some of the brilliant repurpose posts on here by the others.

  • If this is a special refrigerator, I would find someone to fix it. It may cost you, but what a cool refrigerator to have and the memories are priceless. I would google refrigerator repair (for vintage) and start calling around- there are guys out there who do this. Good luck

  • Teresa Teresa on Feb 25, 2016
    Please be careful refrigerant unless you have know about it. But there are people out there with parts and you could find out if someone who has been in the repair business would help with information I have used this method of asking for knowledge and you find the best help around when they give you there experience. hope this helps http://store.antiqueappliances.com/ http://www.antiquestoves.com/toac/about.htm

  • Duv310660 Duv310660 on Feb 26, 2016
    I totally understand the appeal; with an old farmhouse I would love to own one to complete my kitchen decor... HOWEVER, they are true energy hogs, and if you are concerned about energy bills and/or consumption, you may wish to consider repurposing the unit!

  • Djd Djd on Nov 05, 2018

    Do not listen to these people that say they are energy hogs. These vintage refrigerators take about 3.5 amp when compressor kicks on. These refrigerators were made in the years when max power to house was 60 amps. Now we are standard 200 amps. I used amp meter to measure compressor usage, its 3.25 amps. The guy that had two in his cottage, probably had no a/c on to cool down cottage, cause he was not there. They will run all day, in a heat soaked house trying to keep up. Do not mistake frigs from vintage times with the frigs from 70's and 80's. Whole different system. If you use them cause of sentimental reasons, or cause they are neat looking. Get them fixed and use them. Do not listen to these people. Energy hogs they are not.

  • Djd Djd on Nov 05, 2018

    As long as you got a good door seal, Which you can buy and replace from online stores that make a new and improved one., These things do not use much energy to run. You pay $1000 - $2500 for frigs these days, They last 12 plus years then you buy another one. You need two frigs these days, The vintage ones are great second frigs. I have mine in a room surrounded by cabinets off of main kitchen. Looks new. It is a second frig from 1959, my grandmother gave me, They are estimated to run 80 plus years, with no repairs. I unplug mine to defrost, and walk away. Never using a tool for that very reason of damaging a line. They thaw out in a few hours pan fills up with water. Wipe coils dry with rag, plug back in...