Have you noticed that your fridge is running more often or not feeling as cold as usual? One of the most common culprits is a damaged rubber seal (gasket) on the outside of your fridge door. Replacing the door seal is one of the easiest repairs for a fridge, and you can do it on your own. Keep reading, and we’ll help walk you through everything you need to know about removing the old gasket and installing a new gasket.
[Edit]things you should know
- Lift the edge of the refrigerator door seal and unscrew the screw on the metal retainer.
- Pull up and away from the fridge door to remove the seal.
- Purchase a new seal from the manufacturer of your refrigerator that matches your model number. Push the new gasket into the groove in the door and screw it back in.
[Edit]Knowing when to replace door seals
- Inspect your fridge door seal for damage or tears. Open your fridge and look at the rubber seal around the perimeter of the door. If you notice that the rubber has any large cracks or holes, it’s time to replace it.
- If you see any mold on the gasket, that’s a good indication that the damage may not be visible.
- Fridge gaskets keep cold air in and heat out of the fridge. If your seal is cracked or damaged, the temperature in the refrigerator can rise and the food inside can spoil more quickly. This will also cost you more money in energy.
- Slide a dollar bill between the gasket and the fridge to check for a loose seal. Place the dollar bill between the refrigerator door and the refrigerator, and close the door on it. Then, try to lift the bill straight out of the seal. If you feel the dollar stretching a bit, your gasket is still in good shape. If the bill wears out quickly or has moisture on it, it’s time to replace the door seal.
- Alternatively, check for excess ice or moisture build-up inside your fridge and freezer. Moisture is created when warm air from outside seeps through the seals in your fridge and condenses into water droplets. Fixing the seal will help prevent ice build-up.
- If you don’t see any problems but your fridge is still not working properly, check other fridge components like the condenser to see if they are working properly.
- Try repairing minor cracks in an old gasket with silicone sealant. Apply a drop of silicone sealant to the edge of the crack. Close the refrigerator door slowly and leave it closed overnight. Check the door seal again in the morning to see if the sealant has filled the crack.
- Silicone sealant only works to repair minor cracks, and it is not a permanent solution. Eventually more cracks and gaps will form in the door seal, so you’ll need to replace it then.
[Edit]obtaining and preparing a new seal
- Buy a door seal that matches your fridge. Check your refrigerator’s manual or look for a sticker on the inside of your fridge to find the exact model number. Look for a new gasket at a hardware store or on the manufacturer’s website and make sure the one you get matches your door size.
- Refrigerator door seals usually cost between $30–50 USD
- If you can’t find the owner’s manual, search online for your refrigerator’s make and model to find the correct gasket.
- If the gasket is bent, tape it down for 1-2 days. Lay the gasket flat on the floor or table. If any area looks bent or raised, tape it down so it stays flat. Leave the gasket in place for at least 1 day to allow it time to flatten to the proper shape.
- Alternatively, set light objects on the gasket to keep it in place. Just be sure the objects aren’t so heavy that they press the gasket down.
- Soak corroded areas of the gasket in warm water. Heat a bowl of water in your microwave so that it is warm but not boiling hot. Gently submerge the corroded portion of the door seal into the water and let it soak for a few minutes. Then, rub the gasket with your fingers to straighten the rubber. Dry the gasket completely before installing it.
- Heating the gasket makes it more malleable so it is easier to reshape.
- Lift the edge of the door seal to check the metal retainer. Unplug your refrigerator to save energy while you work, then open your refrigerator door and grasp the bottom inner edge of the gasket. Pull back the gasket to see if there is a metal retainer, which is the flat piece screwed into the fridge door. If the retainer is with a screw, have a hex-head screwdriver ready.
- If there isn’t a metal retainer, the gasket will slide off your refrigerator door easily.
- Loosen the screws on the metal retainers without removing them. Lift up the sides of the seal to find the bottom screws. Turn the screws counterclockwise to loosen them slightly. Just be sure not to back the screws all the way out so you don’t lose them. Work your way around the entire door, removing the screws.
- Screws secure the gasket between a plastic door liner and the actual fridge door.
- Pull the gasket out of the door. Once all the screws are loose, hold the door seal by one corner. Pull the corner up and away from the fridge door so that it slips easily behind the plastic liner. Just be careful not to apply too much force as some plastic liners are quite brittle and may break if you are too hard.
- If the seal is stuck or stuck on your fridge door, slide a putty knife down to help loosen it.
- Throw the old gasket in the trash or contact your local waste collection service to see if you can recycle it.
- Insert the new gasket into the groove on your refrigerator door. Place one of the corners of the gasket on the top of the refrigerator door. If your fridge door has a metal retainer, push the lip of the new gasket into the back of the retainer. Otherwise, use your thumb to push the gasket into the groove around the perimeter of the refrigerator door.
- It’s okay if the gasket doesn’t flush perfectly right away as you’ll be able to make minor adjustments to correct any warping.
- Pry out a stubborn seal on the back of the liner with a screwdriver. If the lip doesn’t slip into the groove on your fridge door, push it in with a flathead screwdriver. Slide the tip of the screwdriver between the door and the liner. Hold the gasket down with your other hand so you don’t pop the seal with it before removing the screwdriver.
- After inserting the screwdriver into the back of the liner, push it forward slightly to help the gasket slide in.
- Screw the metal retainer back on if your fridge has one. To tighten the screws, turn them clockwise until they feel snug. Walk around the perimeter of your refrigerator door to secure all screws.
- Avoid over tightening or over tightening the screws so you don’t damage the liner.
- Dust baby or talcum powder around the door seal. Take a little powder in your hand and rub it into the edges and corners of the new gasket. The powder helps reduce friction and prevents the door seal from warping when you open and close the door.
- Rub petroleum jelly on the seal along the hinged part of the door. Take a finger-sized amount and spread it over the surface of the gasket along the hinges. Spread the petroleum jelly in a thin, even layer.
- Petroleum jelly helps keep the door seal sliding on the front of your fridge so it won’t bend or twist when you open and close the door.
- Open and close your fridge door to check for a gap in the seal. Close your fridge slowly and inspect the gasket for any corroded areas. Run your finger around the sides of your fridge door to make sure the seal sits snugly against your fridge. Then, open the door to make sure the seal isn’t pulled or bent against the fridge.
- If you see rust in the gasket, try heating the rubber on low with a hair dryer to help it fit better against your fridge.
[Edit]Things you’ll need
- hex-head screwdriver
- replacement seal
- baby or talcum powder
- Petroleum jelly
- replace a door sill
- close the refrigerator door
- clean a refrigerator
- organize refrigerator shelves
- Video provided by RepairClinic.com
- [v161473_b01], 14 July 2020.