Refrigerator Handle [How to/Problems & Solutions]

Over time, a refrigerator handle may come loose or fall off. And while it looks like a big deal, it usually is not. There are easy ways to fix the refrigerator handle problem.

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How to Fix a Loose Refrigerator Door Handle

First, determine which door handle is loose if your refrigerator has more than one handle. When you do, find the set screw on the inner top part of the door handle. The screw loosens and makes the handle loose.

Using a hex wrench, turn the screw in a clockwise direction to make it tight. Afterward, shake the handle to ensure it is tight and no longer rattles. Also, check other handles to ensure none is loose. If there is an additional loose handle, follow the same steps to tighten it.

However, if the handle has a missing screw, purchase a new screw. Before doing that, have your refrigerator name and model number handy. These replacement parts are usually model-specific, and you don’t want to spend money on the wrong parts.

When you have the right screw for the door handle, insert it into the screw hole and tighten it with the hex wrench. Turn the screw in a clockwise direction until it is secure. Then, give the handle a firm shake to ensure it is tight.

Some refrigerators don’t have screws on the handle. If yours have no visible screws, it may be the type that comes off when you push it firmly up and off the mounting studs. Grab the loose handle with both hands and push it upwards. When it comes off, check the studs at the top and bottom; they may be loose. You will need to tighten them to make the handle tight again.

This video demonstrates how to fix a loose refrigerator door handle…

How to Replace a Refrigerator Handle

Do the following to replace a refrigerator handle:

Determine whether or not your refrigerator door handle has screws holding it in place. Some refrigerators have handles with screws, while some don’t. The models without screws on the handle come off by simply tugging firmly upwards and lifting them off the mounting fasteners.

If your refrigerator has a visible screw, take a look at the bottom and top parts. That way, you will know whether or not there is more than one screw. And if the handle has a cap on it, use a flat-head screwdriver to pry the cap off before accessing the screw. You will have to open one door before you can work on the closed one if your refrigerator is a side-by-side or a french door model.

Using an Allen wrench, loosen the handle’s screw or screws, turning the wrench in a counterclockwise manner. Then, remove the old handle and set the new handle in the place of the old one. If the refrigerator is a side-by-side or french door model, the screw on that handle must face the second door.

Ensure the handle is positioned so that the screw hole lines up with that on the door. Insert the screw and tighten it, turning the wrench in a clockwise manner. If there is a hole at the bottom, tighten it with the wrench until the handle is secure. Set the cap back on the handle and snap it into place.

However, if a bracket secures the refrigerator door handle, then press the bracket’s tab and hold it against the refrigerator door. While doing this, lift the handle to release its bracket. Remove the handle and put the new one into the bracket. Finally, firmly push the handle down so that it locks into place.

Important Note

These steps apply if a refrigerator door handle broke off or is no longer usable. But if the handle fell off, you can check to see whether or not it is still functional. If the screw is in place and the handle just came loose, you can follow the steps above to tighten it on the refrigerator door.

Refrigerator Door Handle Hits the Wall – What to Do

Check the user manual for the refrigerator to see if there are instructions for adjusting the door swing. Some refrigerators are designed to open no further than 130 degrees. But if that angle is too wide for the room, you may adjust it to a lower angle. That way, you will be able to open the door without the handle hitting the wall.

But if your refrigerator is not designed with an automatic doorstop, you can reach the manufacturer to see if there is an option for a manually-installed doorstop. Basically, it is a doorstop pin that you insert to keep the door from opening too wide.

Other Options

You can fashion your own doorstop at home using items around. Or purchase floor stops and wall bumpers. These tend to have rubber heads and stick to the surface or wall to keep the wall and door from damages.

Another option is to use furniture to stop the refrigerator door handle from hitting the wall. Consider placing a couch or any other soft furniture piece between the door and the wall. However, this option may not work if your refrigerator is in the kitchen or in a position where you can’t fit furniture. A doorstop remains your best bet.

If all else fails, consider reversing the door so it swings away from the wall. It is not easy, but you can reverse the door as most refrigerators have reversible doors. Consult the user manual for the refrigerator to determine how to do it, and follow the instruction.

Refrigerator Handle Shocking – How to Fix

If the handle of a refrigerator shocks you, it may indicate that the grounding wire is broken or loose. Three wires go to electrical appliances, including refrigerators. They are a hot wire, typically black, a safety ground wore, typically green, and a neutral wire, typically white.

Check the safety ground wire; you will need the help of a qualified electrician. They should take a look at the circuit breaker to determine if the fault is coming from there.

Another possible cause is the weather. You will know this if the handle shocks you seasonally. If that is the case, check whether or not it happens more during winter. You may have to increase your home’s humidity with a humidifier. But if that is not the case, check other possible causes.

Check the wall outlet into which the refrigerator goes. Most refrigerator manufacturers indicate the suitable outlet for their refrigerator, so ensure you are using the correct type. Again, your user manual will state the type of wall outlet the refrigerator needs. You can also use a surge protector to prevent shocks. Additionally, replace the refrigerator’s power cord if you notice signs of fraying or damage.

It is important to note that modern refrigerators use computer chips to control the defrost system, ice maker, and temperature control. If you have this type of refrigerator and fail to correctly plug it into the wall outlet, you may get shocked.

Static electricity may also build up in your clothing. And you may feel it when you touch metal or electrical appliances. While it is not much to be concerned about, you may want to touch a coin or put one in your pocket to ground you before touching the refrigerator.

Check out these other articles…

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Refrigerator Handle Turned Yellow – How to Clean

How you fix this problem will depend on what caused the change in color and how bad it is. Sometimes, the only fix is to repaint or replace the door handle. But you may try scrubbing the handle; it may restore the original color.

However, the color change may be due to chemicals. And if that is the case, you can use a chemical mixture to reverse the effect. To do this, you can get a cleaning solution such as Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. Or you can make your own cleaner at home.

Mix equal parts of water and vinegar or make a baking soda and water paste. Then, use it to scrub the handle to remove the yellow color. A denture tablet may also work; unmount the handle from the door and soak it in the tablet for some hours.

These cleaning methods may not restore the original color, especially if the handle used to be white. But you can try rubbing hydrogen peroxide gel or cream on it. A thin layer will do. If you need more, you will have to purchase the liquid one, and it does not come cheap.

After coating the handle with the cream, put it in a plastic sealable bag or use a plastic wrap. Then, put the handle out under the sun for at least 6 hours, making sure to turn the bag so the sun rays hit every part of the handle. The plastic wrap or bag prevents the cream from drying onto the handle.

Clean off the cream and rub a fresh batch if you notice it getting foamy during the sun exposure. Afterward, rinse the door handle with clean water to remove the hydrogen peroxide cream. If the yellow color remains, start the process again.

Can Refrigerator Handles Be Removed for Delivery?

You can remove refrigerator door handles for delivery. Sometimes, the door at the refrigerator’s final destination is not wide enough to fit the appliance if the handles remain on the door. So, delivery personnel removes the handles so they can fit the refrigerator through the door. In some cases, they also remove the doors.

That is part of the reason why you need to measure all the entries to your home before you buy a refrigerator. The same applies to the place where you plan to set the refrigerator in your home. With the measurement, you will know what will fit comfortably and if the store needs to make some adjustments.

How to Make Refrigerator Handle Covers

Here is how to make covers for your refrigerator handle:

1. Select a Fabric

Cotton is great, but it won’t hold as well as denim or felt. So, when choosing the fabric, remember that the door handle is a refrigerator part you often use. You want something that won’t easily out but will still look good in your home.

You won’t need much of the fabric you choose; a yard or less will do. Then, select a matching thread color. If you want some contrast, select a different color.

2. Cut and Sew

If the fabric is larger than you need, cut it to size and fold its hems. Measure about three inches from where you folded it and cut a strip of twenty-six inches through the folded layers. Straighten the strip and lay it down so that the color part faces up.

Now, sew hems measuring one inch each on the strip’s short ends. On the long ends, sew half-inch hems. You can use a straight stitch, depending on the fabric you use. But note that a fleece fabric will work better with a zig-zag type of stitch.

3. Fix Closures

Choose the type of closure to use for the cover. Preferably, hook-and-eye closures should be your choice. They are easy to use yet fasten tightly. Ensure none is attached before you begin to attach them to the cover. Then, sew the hooks on one side of the strip and the eyes on the other side.

When sewing them to the cover, create spaces between each one, about five inches of space. And make sure the hooks lie flush to the fabric’s edge so that you cannot see them when the cover is in use.

Once you are done, cover the handle of the refrigerator with the cover. Set the closure to rest on the back of the handle, facing the refrigerator door. The cover should not be tight; otherwise, it will rent too quickly.

How to Paint Refrigerator Handles – Quick Guide

Here is how to pain the handles on a refrigerator:

Prepare a work area by covering a flat surface with newspapers or disposable cloth. Unmount the door handle from the door of the refrigerator. You may have to use a Phillips screwdriver or an Allen wrench, depending on the type of screws on the handle. In some cases, you just have to push the handle up and off the door.

Next, lay the handle down on the flat surface. Get a bowl or bucket with some warm water and add mild dish soap into the water. Clean the door handle with soapy water and leave it out to completely dry.

When the handle is dry, roughen its surface with fine-grit sandpaper; the rough texture makes it easier for the primer to stick. Clean off the dust from the roughening process and spray a latex primer on it. Hold the spray can about eight inches away from the refrigerator door handle when doing so.

Give the primer time to dry; the time will depend on the instructions on the label. Then, spray acrylic spray enamel on the handle. The type you use will depend on the color of the refrigerator cabinet. As with the primer, ensure you hold the spray can about eight inches away.

After spraying the first layer, give the paint some time to dry before spraying a second layer. This time, give the handle a few hours to completely dry. Then, take the handle and reattach it to the refrigerator door. Use the tool employed to remove it.

Recap

It is pretty easy to fix or replace a refrigerator handle. But you must use the correct tools and replacement parts. Always request parts using the refrigerator brand name and model number. Using the wrong parts may cause complex problems.

If you are unsure how to fix any part of your refrigerator, including the handles, contact the manufacturer or hire a professional. Don’t force it; you may damage the refrigerator beyond repair.

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