How to Fix a Refrigerator Door — Detailed Guide

 

How to Fix a Refrigerator Door
Photo by Ernest Brillo on Unsplash

When your refrigerator door doesn’t close properly, you can fix it yourself. Your refrigerator door can be fixed by cleaning the gasket and replacing the old seal.

So, your refrigerator has spent years in your kitchen. It works great and the doors close properly. But after a while, everything changes. Your refrigerator door refuses to close and cold air leaks from the damaged door. What do you do when this happens?

Of course, you don’t leave the door that way, else you lose a lot of money because your refrigerant level drops. You can call a technician to fix the door for you, but this will cause you extra money. So, the best way to save your money and also get your refrigerator in good condition is to fix it yourself.

In this article, we would look at what causes the refrigerator door to get damaged. We will also guide you on easy ways to fix a refrigerator door.

How to Fix a Refrigerator Door – Reasons the Refrigerator Door Won’t Stay Closed?

So, you’ve been trying to shut your refrigerator door. Maybe you’ve even called friends to help you take a look at it. There are a few reasons your refrigerator door isn’t closing. We would be taking a look at them below.

  1. The hinges are not aligned –

When you’ve used your fridge for a long time (years typically), you strain the door hinges. So, they get loose and the door begins to fall. When you have to pull the refrigerator door up before closing it, then something is wrong with the hinges. You can easily fix this by using a screwdriver to adjust and tighten the hinges.

  1. Your fridge is too full –

So, you have a lot of items and a small fridge. You then stock up your refrigerator until these items are pushing the door open. You are wasting refrigerant by doing this. Moreover, the items you’ve stored in there are not well spaced, so they will not get cool. In a short time, everything will be spoilt. When there’s too much weight on the door, it won’t close properly. So, remove some items from your refrigerator.

  1. The fridge isn’t level –

Stand far away from your refrigerator and look at it. Is it tilting forward? If your refrigerator is tilted forward, the door wouldn’t close. These days, most refrigerators come with adjustable leveling legs. So, try to fix the door by adjusting the feet of your refrigerator.

How to Check Your Refrigerator Door Seal

Sometimes, your door may appear closed, but cold air is leaking from it. How is this possible?

The refrigerator door seal is responsible for keeping cold air locked in the fridge. When the seal does not make complete contact with the refrigerator case, warm air will enter your refrigerator. As a result, your refrigerator would not be able to maintain the proper temperature.

To test your refrigerator door seal, you can simply use a currency note (e.g. a dollar bill).

Put the dollar bill between the door seal and the refrigerator. Then, close the door. Afterward, try to pull the paper out. If you don’t feel any tension and the paper comes out freely, then you need to change the seal.

Also, you should inspect the door seal for cracks. The seal has to remain as flexible as it was when purchased. So, ensure that you clean it regularly to maintain its flexibility and prevent odors.

Watch this video to learn why your refrigerator is leaking and how to fix it:

How to Fix a Refrigerator Door – Procedure to Follow

As mentioned above, when the seal or gasket is broken, it weakens. It stops being as efficient as it once was. So, once you’re sure that the gasket is the problem, here’s how to replace your refrigerator door gasket:

  1. Buy a new gasket –

When purchasing a gasket, you have to get the one made specifically for your refrigerator. Although there are places you can get fit-all gaskets, it is difficult to fit them to your door’s configuration. For those who don’t know their refrigerator model number, cut out a small section of the gasket. Take this sample to the appliance dealer. You’ll be given the right gasket for replacement. This sample can be glued back in its original position on the old gasket until you’re ready to change it.

  1. Make your new gasket pliable

After purchasing the gasket, you don’t set it around your door immediately. Instead, you let it sit for about 24 hours in the room. This is to adjust the gasket’s pliability by bringing it to the correct humidity and temperature. You can also soak it in warm water for a while to make it flexible.

  1. Remove the old gasket

Your door gasket is usually held in place by materials such as clips, adhesives, or screws. A retaining strip may also be put in place to provide a fastening guide and shape it. Some refrigerators also have panels at the edge of the door which holds the gasket in place. To remove your gasket safely, first, remove all the fasteners and strips. This way, the gasket will come off easily.

Meanwhile, note that you should not remove the entire panel at once. Remove the fastener on one side at a time. Also, if spring clips are holding the gasket in place, don’t pry with force else you’ll end up removing the mountings.

  1. Clean the area

When you finally succeed in removing the old gasket, you have to clean the mounting area. Use detergent and water to get rid of the stains around the door. For refrigerators using adhesive to keep the gasket in place, remove stubborn adhesives with mineral spirits or fine steel wool. Then, clean with detergent and water.

Frigidaire 241872513 Gasket

Click here to check out refrigerator gaskets like this Frigidaire Refrigerator Door Gasket on Amazon

 

 

 

  1. Replace the gasket

Begin at the top of the door. Start at once side, then continue down the sides until you fix the new gasket completely. Use your hands to smoothen the gasket into place. Some refrigerator manufacturers tell you to use gasket cement when replacing the door seal. If your manufacturer says this, purchase gasket cement to secure the gasket to the door. Ensure that there are no lumps or bumps. Your gasket should be smooth and lie flat.

  1. Fasten it in place

Before you could remove the old gasket, you had to remove fasteners, retaining strips, or panels. Put them back in place after fixing the new gasket. So, you can be sure that the gasket won’t fall off. If your gasket does not conform to the door jamb, tighten or loosen the mounting bolts. Leave the gasket that way if you can’t adjust it. It will conform to the door jamb on its own.

  1. Test

Test your new door seal and ensure that cold air will not leak from your refrigerator.

Check out this video for tips on how to repair a refrigerator door gasket:

 

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Conclusion

One of the major problems with refrigerator doors is the seal. When the seal is bad, warm air seeps in. Then, your refrigerator stops getting cold. When this occurs, knowing how to fix a refrigerator door is important.

Changing the gasket of your refrigerator might seem like a difficult task, but it’s not. You can replace the gasket by following the same steps you took to remove the old gasket.

Meanwhile, to ensure your new gasket lasts longer, clean it regularly. Cleaning helps maintain its flexibility and prevents odors.

Find out how to remove your refrigerator door

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