Thursday, May 17, 2012

Farewell, Kelvinator

Today, if all goes well, we're bidding a fond farewell to the Kelvinator in the camp. I'm not sure just what vintage that refrigerator is, but it's got to be about the same age as the  model pictured in the ad, which is from 1940. I have a hard time picturing any appliance made today lasting for over 70 years, but our Kelvinator is still muddling along, sort of.

Unfortunately, although it may work, it works inconsistently. There's a real fine line between "not cold enough" and "everything freezing solid." It  has a freezer just barely big enough to hold two ice cube trays, and, despite its ability to freeze lettuce on the bottom shelf, it can't manage to prevent a pint of ice cream that's actually in the freezer from turning to soup. It also takes up more than its fair share of floor space in a camp that's not especially big. Considering that the amount of usable space inside the thing isn't much bigger than a dorm fridge, it's massive (it easily takes up as much space as a modern 15-cubic foot fridge, but has barely 6 cubic feet of interior space) and, the one reason someone is willing to haul it away, it  sucks up a lot of electricity when it's being used.

We noticed an ad in the REA magazine informing members that turning in old, energy-sucking appliances, like our ancient refrigerator, would garner us a small credit. Given how difficult it is to get rid of an old refrigerator (landfills and scrap metal yards won't take them unless you can prove the Freon's been removed), we would have been happy just to have them haul the beast away -- the credit is a bonus.

The S.O. and I were wondering, though, just what happens to the refrigerators once they're collected from people's homes. Where do old refrigerators go to die? Our assumption is that their fate must be similar to that of cars traded in during that "cash for clunkers" program a few years ago -- the crusher, the shredder, and a slow boat to China -- but who knows?*

[*rhetorical question. I know perfectly well that if I were sufficiently curious I could Google it and learn more than I ever wanted to know about appliance recycling.] 


  1. You sure got good service out of that.

    Here old fridges go to the landfill and you pay them about a ten dollar fee to remove the freon, then they are added to the scrap iron pile to be recycled.

    But some folks just cut the lines, maybe remove the compressor, and take them to the auto wrecking yard to be recycled.

    I have an old one out in the yard to store gas and such in.

  2. Even better, the refrigerator was free. We've only had it for about 10 years.

    I want it to go to a wrecking yard because it's so old it's got one of those kid killer latches on it. I know you can disable them, but if it's not going to be used as a fridge, it should just get shredded.

  3. Any old fridge put outside for removal is supposed to have the door removed from it, in these parts anyway.

  4. I'm a little curious to see if the guys coming to pick up the refrigerator take the door off before loading it. It has to be in the house, plugged in, and running when they get here, no doubt to make sure it's still a functioning refrigerator and eligible for the credit for retiring it and not just a piece of junk we had sitting around.

  5. Well whatever yo do don't buy a Kenmore. Whirlpool moved their plant in this small city down to Mexico and 1,500 Hoosiers lost their jobs.

    I'm sure Mitt Ro0mney would have approved...

    Oh, and take the door off so a kid can't get trapped inside. I remember that happening on our block when I was growing up.

  6. I think they take the doors off just to make sure no one gets locked inside and then to the dump they go.

  7. Ah, to get a small credit for a new one on an old one that you got for free...

    Carry on.... Rolls eyes.

  8. So Sarge, what brand do you recommend? Maytag? Oh wait, they're a branch of Whirlpool Corporation. Frigidaire? They're a branch of Electrolux, a Swedish company. GE/Hotpoint? Really? Granted, they still make appliances in the USA, but GE has reduced its American workforce by one fifth since 2002.

    BTW, all three vendors make various Kenmore appliances. There's no easy way to tell which Kenmore is made by who unless you are familiar with each vendor's product line, and even then often the Kenmore version of the product will have some slight difference to make it "better"... so yes, Sears is as good a place as any to buy a refrigerator. Well, if they haven't gone out of business altogether by the time you get there...

  9. Our old gas range bit the dust: the oven knob froze up. The stove was so old that there were no parts available - the company was no longer in business.
    We bought a new one: it looks pretty but is flimsy in comparison.
    the ol'Buzzard


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