A refrigerator plays a vital role in how the refrigerator functions. This fact makes it crucial to check the gasket whenever there is frost buildup inside the refrigerator.
How Does a Refrigerator Gasket Work?
The gasket in the door of a refrigerator adheres tightly to the cabinet to create a seal. Cold air cannot escape and warm air cannot enter. When a gasket is in good working condition, it creates a barrier between the cold internal temperature and the warm external temperature. It traps the air and uses its pressure to create a tight seal.
Door Gasket on a Refrigerator Is Leaking – How to Fix
If you find that the door gasket on a refrigerator is leaky, the only fix is to replace it. A leaky door gasket cannot be repaired.
But before replacing it, ensure the gasket is the problem and not incorrectly closing the door. If there is an item or shelf sticking out, it may look like the gasket is no longer working. It takes a while before a door gasket wears out, except for poor use.
Open the refrigerator and inspect the contents. Be sure all the racks, shelves, and bins are seated correctly, and all the items within are correctly stocked. Storing too many items in the refrigerator makes it difficult to close the door. So, you may have to reduce the contents to ensure nothing is keeping the door open. It also helps with air circulation.
Next, check the door bins. Packing the door too full weighs it down, and keeps it from sealing properly. Not only will it affect the sealing, but it will also affect the hinges. Therefore, rearrange the contents to reduce the load on the door.
Now, check the gasket for looseness. A loose door seal will have the same effect on your refrigerator as a leaking one. The only difference is that you can fix a loose one. Using a small flat-head screwdriver, push the loose areas of the gasket back into place. Ensure it is sitting correctly, close the door, and wait for results.
Finally, check the gasket for dirt. A dirty door gasket does not seal tightly. As a result, it creates a gap through which warm air replaces cold air, causing frost buildup and reduced cooling. Clean the gasket thoroughly, along with the cabinet. It may help with the sealing problem.
If nothing fixes the gasket, and the internal temperature keeps getting compromised, replace the gasket.
How to Change a Refrigerator Gasket
To change the gasket on a refrigerator door, do the following:
Disconnect the refrigerator from electric power or turn off the circuit breaker. Soak the new gasket in warm water to loosen it and make it more pliable.
Next, pull the old door gasket, starting from the top. Peel it up and off the door so that you can see the gasket retainer under it. When you can see the retainer, take a hex head screwdriver and loosen the screws holding it to the door.
Once the screws are loose, don’t take them out. Simply check the plastic liner under the retainer to ensure it is loose. Then, slide the gasket out; the liner secures the gasket to the refrigerator door. While removing the gasket, gently handle the liner. Most are too brittle and may break if you are rough.
Start from the top of the door to fix the new door gasket. Position a corner and push it over the retainer. Now, slide the gasket behind the retainer and push it in around the door. Ensure the gasket fits snugly into the door and no part is loose or hanging out.
Now, tighten the loose retainer screws, but don’t make them too tight. Just tighten enough to hold the liner and retainer in place without hurting the gasket. Close the door and open it a few times to examine the gasket. If all appears to be working, reconnect the refrigerator to electric power and give it some run time to check the effectiveness of the gasket.
This video is a demonstration of how to change the gasket on a refrigerator door…
Check out these other articles…
Cleaning a Refrigerator Gasket – Guide
If you want to clean the gasket on your refrigerator door, pour some mild soap into warm water. Many people prefer using a mixture of one tablespoon of baking soda and one quart of warm water.
Get a lint-free cloth and wipe the gasket using the mixture. Go in a firm but gentle manner; you want to remove all the stains, including the stubborn ones. The design of a gasket means it has folds. Those folds have crevices between which dirt can comfortably hide. It is important not to overlook them if you are to do a thorough job.
To reach the crevices between the folds, you need a toothbrush. Find an old one that you won’t use anymore. Dip it in the cleaning solution and use it to gently scrub between the folds. It helps to eliminate foul odors and improve the sealing capacity of the gasket.
Afterward, clean off moisture from the gasket, so it does not freeze and cause more problems. Ensure no item is in the way before shutting the refrigerator door.
Refrigerator Door Gasket Gets Hot – Quick Fix
Some refrigerators have a heater or hot line that keeps condensation away. The heater can cause the gasket to become hot, but not excessively so. Therefore, if you find that the gasket is too hot, there may be an overheating problem with the compressor or coils.
Inspect the coils and clean them if they are significantly dirty. While cleaning them, clean the compressor, too. Dirt can act as a cloak on the compressor and prevent the dissipation of hot air. As a result, it overheats and shuts down or runs non-stop to cool the refrigerator.
Afterward, consider moving the refrigerator in order to create space for proper air circulation. Poor air circulation is part of what causes overheating, which can affect the door gasket. When the condenser coils need to dissipate hot air but don’t have the space to do so, the air gets trapped in the refrigerator and affects cooling.
Maintaining a refrigerator gasket keeps it functional for a long time. It helps to avoid spillage on the gasket. And if you accidentally spill, clean the liquid immediately. If you are unsure of how to replace a leaking refrigerator gasket, watch the video in this article or chat with us using the chatbox to your right. We will connect you to an appliance technician for immediate assistance.
Remember to buy a gasket using the brand name and model number of your refrigerator. It is true that there are gaskets that have a universal fit. But it is best to have one that is specifically made for your refrigerator.
Disconnect the refrigerator from electric power before removing and replacing the refrigerator gasket. The same applies to any type of refrigerator repair.
Refrigerator Gasket – FAQ
What Does a Refrigerator Gasket Look Like?
A refrigerator gasket, which is the same as the seal, looks like a rubber strip, easy to fold and twist when it is not in the door.
Need expert help? Click here to use the chat box on this page to speak with a verified appliance technician right away. No need for expensive in-home service calls. No appointments. No waiting.