How To Replace Refrigerator Door Gaskets

Usually the rubber moulding or gasket around your refrigerator doors will still be good when your refrigerator no longer works. But, there are times that the gasket has became hard or brittle while the refrigerator itself still works fine.

Sometimes the gasket can become damaged if the door is accidently shut on something. It can also become dry and brittle faster if you have an extra refrigerator that’s kept in a garage or other outside building without heat.

If the gasket is bad or gets damaged in some way it doesn’t provide a tight seal. This will let the cold air leak out and your refrigerator will be kicking on almost constantly. Not only will this waste electricity and cost you money, it will make the motor work twice as hard to try to keep the right temperature.

There’s no need to run out and buy a new refrigerator when this happens. As long as your refrigerator still works, you can just purchase a gasket kit and replace it yourself. Depending on your model the kit should only run around $50, which is a whole lot cheaper than replacing the refrigerator!

Just because the gasket still feels soft and looks good, doesn’t mean that it’s not leaking cold air. If you’ve noticed that your refrigerator seems to be kicking on more often, check the gasket for any flaws.

If there’s any condensation or black mold on the gasket you can be pretty sure that it is leaking. The condensation is caused by the cold air hitting the warmer air of your kitchen. And, as the condensation sits on the gasket it will eventually begin to mold.

A really good way to check the gasket is by shutting the door on a piece of paper. Pull the paper out slowly, if it slips out easily, your gasket needs replaced. But, if you have to pull slightly to remove the paper then the moulding is fine. Try this all the way around the refrigerator and freezer doors.

If you’ve decided it’s time to replace the gasket, you will need to write down the make and model of your applicance to purchase the exact gasket kit you need. You may be able to just go pick a kit up, but it’s more likely that the appliance store will have to order one for you.

Run the sink full of warm water and place the new gasket in it to soften it up, this will make it much easier to work with. In the meantime, you can remove the old gasket.

Usually the gasket is held on by retainer screws, these can be seen by lifting the gasket up. You’ll need a hex key to loosen the screws, don’t remove them only loosen them enough to pull the old gasket off.

Start in a corner of the door, this will give you a guide to get the new gasket on correctly. Line the corner of the gasket up with the corner of the door. Work your way around the entire refrigerator door placing the gasket behind the metal retainer.

Once you’ve gotten it all in place, lightly tighten the screws. Close the door and make sure that the gasket is lined up, open and close the doors several times to check that the gasket isn’t moving out of place. Then go back and tighten all of the screws.

The new gasket might give a little resistance when opening the refrigerator or freezer doors. If you have to give it a little jerk to get the doors open you can apply a thin coating of petroleum jelly around the gasket.