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shocked 12-02-2011 10:15 PM

Vintage Refrigerator: help with electrical wiring
I have an antique refrigerator that has been healthy and with me for 15 years. It's slightly modified to keep larger steel barrels of refreshment cool whilst dispensing from the magical spout! Anyway, I moved the fridge a couple feet while plugged in; in doing so, the old wires were somehow compromised causing a quick zap to the wall socket. The wire was fried, brittle and cracking open in many spots upon investigation. Whether that was before or after the zap doesn't really matter… So, I discovered what I think is a very odd wiring system under the fridge. There was one wire coming from the compressor being plugged into another wire with a dark-brown dense-plastic little plug/socket/box. So the compressor stills works and if I plug that wire into the wall socket, all power is a go and the unit fires right up and starts cooling.

The other wire is somewhat of a mystery because it disappears into the unit wall of the fridge. I assume that this wire powers the light, light switch and thermostat. What I don't know is what wire is hot and not. There is no ground wire visible. The wiring at hand has no color coding; i.e. black and white.

How do I rewire this power line so that thermostat, light and light switch work again? I'm not looking to rewire the entire unit, just the visible pieces on the underside of the fridge. As the wires get a couple inches off the floor and closer to their internal opening point, they begin to get softer/more pliable/meaning far, far less brittle. So I just want to splice into them at that point with new wiring. I can't understand which wire is supposed to be hot or not and connect to what.

Please feel free to ask any questions. I will post a picture too.

I really appreciate any assistance with this urgent, thirsty matter!
Thank you,

Not "shocked" yet

Jacques 12-03-2011 05:32 AM

Well, repectfully; concerned only for your safety; if you don't know how to check for 'hot' do you think you should be splicing wires? there's a certain skill set involved here.

pokey 12-03-2011 09:47 AM

I would not splice wires in the back of the unit. you can find where the old wires land and maybe replace from there. you may have to expose some innards to determine. just splicing exposed wires in back does not sound like a good idea

shocked 12-03-2011 10:51 AM

Thanks for your replies!
I get it. That's why I have not completed or taken the "risk" at adding a new power cord, and am asking for assistance.

FYI, there is no longer a power cord for this second set of electrical needs. It was fried. Brittle, broken, cracked, exposed internal wiring. Fried. I cut it off to reveal that there is no colored sheathing inside this power cord to determine what wire is what. Make sense?

I have a new power cord ready to splice into these exposed wires, but I don't know which wires are hot or not because there is no color coding on the internal wire sheathing.

Again, thanks for the concern and safety measures. Very respectful and appreciated! I get it.

Jacques 12-05-2011 07:15 AM

The identified conductor [lettering/ribbed] on power cords is the neutral. when stripping wires do not cut-inadvertantly-any of the strands. that would change the wire size.

shocked 12-05-2011 11:45 AM


Originally Posted by Jacques (Post 786438)
The identified conductor [lettering/ribbed] on power cords is the neutral. when stripping wires do not cut-inadvertantly-any of the strands. that would change the wire size.

Jacques, I get that and have used printing, color strip and ribbing for that identification before. This cord has nothing but two wires, no sheathing, no color, just two wires twisted inside with twine.

Jacques 12-06-2011 06:36 AM

That is old. early 50's? any id #'s?. if you check [ohmmeter] which one goes to thermostat and then to comp-that's prob line side..if i were you i'd contact people who restore these old appl-internet chat rooms? see what they have to say re; re-wiring..

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