If the gasket on your refrigerator is damaged, it must be fixed immediately since it will make it harder for the refrigerator to keep a constant temperature. Due to the refrigerator having to work overtime to keep things cold, a damaged gasket may increase your electricity costs. Additionally, it may result in a frost buildup in the refrigerator or freezer as it allows warmer and moister air to enter and circulate
A damaged gasket ought to be replaced with a new one. However, you should be able to fix any minor damage. To learn how to fix or replace the refrigerator gasket, keep reading.
How Do You Know if the Gasket Needs to Be Replaced?
To determine if a refrigerator gasket needs to be replaced, you can look out for the following signs:
- Visual inspection: Examine the gasket for any visible indications of wear and tear, like tears, cracks, or deformities. If you notice any significant damage, it might be time for a replacement.
- Temperature issues: If the refrigerator is not maintaining its temperature properly, it could be due to a faulty gasket. Check if there are air leaks from the sides or corners of the door marked by prominent frost buildup. A damaged gasket can allow warm moist air to enter the refrigerator, making it work harder to cool down by frost and ice buildup on the evaporator and potentially causing food spoilage.
- Condensation and frost: Check for excessive condensation or frost buildup on the inside walls of the refrigerator. It can indicate that the gasket is not creating an airtight seal, allowing moisture to accumulate inside. This can also be caused by excessive water from a clogged or restricted drain, so inspecting the gasket and making sure the door or drawer closes all the way is a must.
- Energy consumption: A deteriorated gasket can increase energy consumption since the refrigerator will be trying to compensate for the warm air infiltration. If you notice a sudden rise in your energy bills, it could be a sign that the gasket needs replacement.
If you observe any of these signs, replacing the gasket is advisable. Some gaskets are easy to replace. Other gaskets can be time-consuming and complicated to replace, requiring removal of the door or drawer and/or removing lots of hold down screws. Having an experienced appliance technician do it for you might be a better option. Robs Appliance Plus would be happy to help you.
If you plan on tackling this job yourself, you can obtain one by putting the model number into a parts seller’s website and finding it on the diagram. You can also contact Robs Appliance Plus. They can find and order your gasket and drop ship it to your home while still charging about the same retail price you would pay if you got it yourself.
What Are Some Common Problems With Repairing a Gasket on a Refrigerator?
When it comes to repairing a gasket on a refrigerator, there can be several common problems that you may encounter. Here are a few:
- Gasket damage: The gasket, known as the door seal, can become worn out, torn, or damaged over time. That can result in air leaks, leading to inefficient cooling and frost buildup. The gasket may need to be replaced to restore proper sealing.
- Incorrect alignment: If the gasket is not aligned correctly, it may not seal the refrigerator door tightly. That can occur due to wear and tear, accidental damage, improper installation, or even food spills creating a sticky area where the bottom of the gasket seals against the appliance and it gets pulled away when the door or drawer is opened. Misalignment can cause air leaks and impact the overall efficiency of the refrigerator.
- Accumulated dirt or debris: Over time, dirt, debris, and food particles can accumulate on the gasket, hindering its ability to create an airtight seal. Regular cleaning is essential to prevent this buildup and maintain the gasket’s functionality.
- Mold or mildew growth: The warm and moist environment around the refrigerator gasket can promote mold or mildew growth. That can lead to unpleasant odors and compromise the gasket’s sealing properties. Cleaning the gasket with appropriate mold removal solutions and adequately drying it can help address this issue.
- Gasket compression issues: The gasket should compress fully when the refrigerator door closes, creating a tight seal. If the gasket has lost its elasticity or becomes compressed too much, it may not seal properly. Adjusting the gasket compression or replacing the gasket may be necessary.
- Warped or damaged door: In some cases, the refrigerator door itself may be warped or damaged, affecting the gasket’s ability to seal. If this is the case, repairing or replacing the door may be required.
- Misaligned door or drawer: Ocassionally, a freezer drawer will leave the factory with the alignment gears one tooth off causing one side to be closer to the refrigerator than the other. Fixing this is a little difficult and you may need to call a professional. Newer refrigerators have a blank spot in the back of the freezer to allow the gears to auto-align. Doors can often be misaligned enough to create a bad door seal due to the refrigerator not being leveled properly left to right and the whole refrigerator box is no longer square. This can be remedied by adjusting the level.
It’s important to note that refrigerator models can vary, and the specific issues with gasket repair can depend on the make and model of your appliance. If you’re facing problems with your refrigerator gasket, it’s often advisable to consult the manufacturer’s manual or seek professional assistance to ensure proper diagnosis and repair.
Test the Door Gasket
A quick test can determine the degree of the door gasket’s damage.
- Close the door of your refrigerator with a piece of paper between the gasket and the refrigerator or freezer.
- If you pull on the paper with the door closed, you should encounter light resistance when attempting to get the paper out.
- To check the whole seal, repeat the procedure around the the entire gasket.
If the door gasket is showing signs of frost or ice, it can sometimes be dealt with utilizing petroleum jelly or silicone grease. A cotton swab can be used to apply a very light coat to the gasket face. This helps correct small abnormalities or less than adequate pressure against the sealing face. This happens most often with the small door that gives access to an icemaker or the ice cube bin built into a refrigerator door.
Cleaning the Door Gasket
If a door gasket isn’t functioning properly, giving it a good cleaning can often fix it. The seal on the door gasket might not hold if it has mold, dirt, or grease, letting air pass through. You can clean the door gasket with a weak solution of dish detergent and hot water. If it needs more than a light cleaning, you can remove the gasket from the fridge door and wash it in a pail of hot soapy water or your kitchen sink for a more thorough cleaning (see removal instructions below).
After being sufficiently dry and well-cleaned, apply a small amount of petroleum jelly or silicone grease on the backside of the gasket attached to the refrigerator door. The petroeum jelly or silicone grease will increase its efficiency and help prevent future cracks from developing. Reattach the door seal to the refrigerator once you’ve applied the grease.
Repair Using Waxed Paper
You can repair the refrigerator gasket with silicone sealant and waxed paper.
- Remove the mold, grime, and grease from the door seal.
- Apply a thin layer of silicone sealant onto the harmed region to repair the torn rubber.
- Carefully put a strip of waxed paper over the silicone long enough to extend a few inches past the damaged area and wide enough to be able to fold over each side of the gasket. Ensure it overlaps the unbroken portion of the seal so it has a good section to hold onto. The waxed paper should serve as a barrier so the silicone does not stick the gasket to the sealing surface of the refrigerator after closing the door.
- Fold the wax paper over the sides of the gasket, attempting to duplicate the original shape of the gasket, (You’re making a simple mold here).
- Add a small piece of masking tape on each end to hold the wax paper in position. Close the refrigerator door slowly once the paper and sealant are appropriately positioned. As a result, the wax paper ought to get wedged between the refrigerator’s seal and body.
- Allow the sealant to dry for at least 8 hours.
Replace the Door Gasket
The procedure for replacing a door gasket is often relatively simple. The first thing to do, of course, is purchase a new door gasket. It is crucial to purchase the correct gasket for your model refrigerator or freezer, and also for the correct door. When your new gasket arrives, check it against the old one for good measure before removing the old one.
Before removing the old gasket, fill a clean sink with very hot water and start the new gasket soaking. This will help relax any wrinkles or kinks from being folded up. The door gasket will regain shape and structure while soaking for about 30 minutes. Once you are happy with the result, remove it and dry it off completely.
- a replacement gasket
- Petroleum jelly or Silicone grease
- Phillips-head screwdriver
- Blow dryer
Removing the Old Gasket
Depending on the kind of refrigerator gasket, you may need to take some extra steps to remove the old door gasket. Most of the time, you can just pull it away from the door and it will come loose from the groove. On some older models, there are screws surrounding the fridge door liner, which must be removed, then the gasket is pulled sideways away from the door. Reinstalling this type of gasket can be very challenging. You might consider calling a professional for this style.
Install New Gasket
There are three popular door gasket types, each with a unique installation procedure. If the gasket fits into the groove, you can firmly push it in with your fingers to attach it to the refrigerator door. Start at the top, pop in each corner and work towards the center. Repeat corner to corner on the remaining 3 sides.
If the gasket fits behind the lining of the door, it will need to come out sideways to get the bulb section of the gasket out from under the liner. This, and the style mentioned above with the screws, is also difficult and time-consuming. Once agin, calling a professional might be a better option as you’ll have to wrestle with the gasket to both hold it in place and push the bulb portion back under the edge of the liner.
To put in a new gasket:
- The part of the refrigerator wherein the new gasket will go must be cleaned and dried.
- Use low heat through a blow dryer to remove the gasket’s kinks and folds. Additionally, the heat will make installing the refrigerator’s door seal simpler. You can prepare the door seal for installation by soaking it in a tub or sink full of hot water.
- Spread some silicon grease on the side of the refrigerator, which sticks to the fridge.
- Start with the top left corner of the new gasket, go to the top right corner, and finish by fastening the bottom half of the gasket. Use a blow dryer at low heat to smooth out kinks and aid installation.
- Verify that the door’s gasket is positioned correctly all around. Check each area of the door seal carefully for any areas where the seal could not have been attached properly. If there are any problems, apply low heat with a blow dryer and then use your fingers to smooth out the parts.
With time, the pull produced by the magnetic strip will help fix any parts of the door seal which are still not fitting properly. This process can take a few days to complete.
Repair Your Refrigerator Gasket Today!
If you have any questions or want to know more, call us at (615) 766-4485.