Ways to troubleshoot an antique Hotpoint refrigerator include unclogging the defrost drain, replacing the defrost system and changing the temperature control thermostat. The exact repairs required depend on the specific model.
A clogged defrost drain can cause a refrigerator to leak water. Defrost water then overflows the drain pan and makes its way to the bottom of the unit.Fix the problem by thawing any ice blocking the drain. Remove the rear panel to access the defrost drain and flush it with hot water using a turkey baster.
A faulty defrost system can cause the freezer to be cold, but the refrigerator warm. The defrost system is responsible for melting away ice and frost on the evaporator coils. A faulty system causes frost build-up on the coils, and stops the flow of cool air into the unit. Fix the problem by testing the defrost system and replacing it if needed.
Finally, a faulty temperature control thermostat can cause the refrigerator to freeze food. The thermostat is responsible for allowing power to flow through the condenser fan, evaporator fan and compressor. Fix the problem by testing the thermostat and replacing it if needed.
Having access to the correct spare parts if vital for this sort of troubleshooting, so check sources and suppliers before beginning these tasks.