DIY: How to Repair a Refrigerator Door Gasket
A refrigerator is one of the most used appliances your home. Meal after meal and day after day, the seal around your fridge door can become ripped, cracked or loosened due to common wear and tear. When the damage is bad enough, cold air can escape the unit and warm air can enter, meaning your appliance will be less efficient, more expensive to operate and could potentially spoil foods and ingredients prematurely.
Instead of buying a new fridge or calling a repairman, tackle this easy job on your own. If you want to know how to repair a refrigerator door, below are the necessary materials and steps to help you diagnose, repair or replace a faulty gasket (also known as a refrigerator seal).
What You'll Need:
Step 1: Diagnose the Problem
Diagnosing a faulty refrigerator door gasket is simple. One key indicator is that the refrigerator "runs" more frequently than usual. Another red flag is a refrigerator or freezer door that won't stay shut. You can also visually inspect the seal inside the door. Check for condensed moisture or black mold. Both are usually signs of a faulty gasket. The most obvious signs will included chips, tears or uneven sections of the gasket itself.
Step 2: Remove the Old Gasket
Once you've determined that the gasket needs to be replaced, you'll need to remove the old one before installing the new one. Since the whole process can take up to an hour, it's a good idea to remove foods from your fridge or freezer and store them safely away in a separate appliance or inside a portable cooler while you work. When you've stored the food safely, start removing the gasket by lifting the seal itself to reveal the metal retainer and screws that hold it in place. Evenly loosen the retainer screws using your hex head nut screwdriver until the seal slips easily out of the retainer.
Step 3: Prepare the New Gasket
It's not uncommon for a new gasket to have kinks and uneven sections. Gaskets with excessive kinks may need to be soaked in warm water for a few minutes, but a standard hair dryer generally will provide enough heat to help reshape troublesome sections by hand.
Step 4: Install the New Gasket
When the gasket has been properly reshaped, simply slide the lip of the seal into the metal retainer where you removed the previous part. Once again, you'll need the hex head nut screwdriver to tighten the retainer. Make sure not to overtighten the screws.
Step 5: Check Your Work
Try closing the door once the new seal is securely in place. Check for uneven areas where the seal meets the refrigerator and re-apply the hair dryer to soften up the material before reshaping it to shut more evenly.