Your refrigerator is the single most important appliance in the home. You can survive without AC or hot water if you have to. You can even go without cooking hot meals. But food preservation is an absolute requirement of modern life. It’s one of the reasons it’s so alarming when your refrigerator door stops closing all the way. Perhaps it has stopped sealing shut or you have lately had a hard time getting the seal to take hold.
No matter what issue your fridge door has been having, we can help you find the cause and achieve a solution. Let’s take a look at the top ten ways to repair your refrigerator door when it won’t close, seal, or hold a seal.
1) Clean the Gasket
Most fridge door problems relate to the gasket; that rubber seal that runs all the way around the outside of the fridge and freezer doors. If the gasket is dirty, warped, detached, or hardened with age then it can’t make the seal that will keep your fridge firmly closed with all the cold on the inside.
The easiest fix is simply to clean off your sail which may have built up an interfering layer of grime and grit over time. Take a damp sponge or washcloth and firmly wipe clean the entire length of the rubber gasket on all available sides. A little white vinegar or mild dish soap can help break up grease and residue.A thin layer of vaseline can restore some softness and effectiveness to an older seal.
2) Reattach the Gasket
Older gaskets that have seen many fridge-openings may eventually become twisted or detached in places. This is a sure recipe for a fridge that stops achieving a full seal. If your gasket has come unattached or twisted, you may be able to repair it without buying a new gasket by reattaching the old gasket correctly.The correct method will depend on your fridge model. Some gaskets are connected with adhesive tape while others use gasket cement which is a type of glue for fridge door gaskets.
3) Replace the Seal
If your gasket is old or significantly damaged, you may have to replace it to restore a good seal to your refrigerator. Use the make and model of your fridge to select the correct replacement gasket before you begin.
Remove the old gasket carefully according to the fridge manual. Then clean the gasket groove before following the installation instructions to apply the new gasket. Test the seal when complete to ensure your work was a success.
4) Balance the Feet
Sometimes a fridge stops sealing because the door is hanging unevenly in a way that keeps the gasket from lining up properly. This can often be caused by the floor or the feet of your fridge being uneven. If your floor is not completely even, or your fridge is propped up on something uneven like a rug, then you may need to make adjustments to the feet. Use a bubble or laser level to ensure the bottom of the fridge is even.If the floor is level, be sure that the feet are all the same height and that they support the fridge at an even keel.
5) Tighten the Hinges
With many openings, closings, and heavy milk gallons stored in the door, your fridge door can eventually start to sag at the hinges. Fortunately, you can fix this issue fairly easily. If your hinges are in good working order, all you need to do is tighten them, usually at the top as stress on the door pulls down on the topmost hinge. However, bottom hinges may also need to be tightened to get the balance just right.
You will likely need to first remove the plastic cover over your fridge’s top door hinge before examining the mechanism and following your fridge manual guide in tightening the connection and re-aligning the fridge door.
6) Clear Items from the Door
Another problem may simply be that you have too many heavy objects in the door of your fridge. If the hinge is already as tight as it can safely go and the door still won’t seal, the problem may be that the door is continuously pulled out of alignment by gallons of milk and other heavy items stored in the fridge door.
7) Replace Damaged Hinges
There is also a chance that your door won’t align and seal because the hinges have taken damage. Too much time with a heavy door can warp the hinges and hits to your refrigerator might cause them to bend out of shape. If your hinges are bent, damaged, or rusting through, the good news is that you don’t have to replace your entire refrigerator. New inches can screw in exactly where the old hinges installed and will hold your fridge door in place with new vigor and reliability.
8) Rearrange the Shelves
Sometimes, the problem is as simple as something blocking the door. But it may happen so often that you’re starting to consider these blockages an issue that needs to be repaired. Perhaps full use of your fridge shelves leads to constant door blocking and occlusion of the seal. This problem can usually be solved just by rearranging your fridge shelves. Think about how much space you need and where the door trays stick out.You will likely be able to build a more effective fridge storage design simply by moving where each shelf and drawer slides in.
9) Remagnetize the Door
If your fridge door relies on magnetic power to remain closed, there’s a chance that the original magnetization has faded or been lost over time. For magnetized fridges, a repair service can be called to remagnetize your door.
10) Replace the Door
Finally, there’s a chance that your entire fridge door is the problem. If the door took a hit or was warped by circumstance, it may never form a complete seal or remain closed again. If your fridge door is the problem, you will want to weigh the cost and benefit of replacing the entire door or simply buying a new fridge with all the bells, whistles, and warranties that will entail.