Replacing a door gasket on a refrigerator is a straightforward repair that most people can do, as it doesn’t require a lot of experience or specialist tools; it just takes some time and patience.
But before we explain how to replace the gasket, let’s start by explaining what the door gasket is and when you should replace it.
When Should You Replace Your Refrigerator Door Gasket?
The door gasket is made of rubber and goes around the door of your refrigerator. The purpose of the gasket is to keep air from being able to escape out of your refrigerator so that it works properly. When it fails, it can cause other problems to develop within your refrigerator unit, such as making the compressor and fridge motor work overtime.
It is a good idea to regularly check your door gasket to ensure that it is in good condition. The easiest way to check the door gasket is to first look for obvious signs of damage, such as cracks, rips, or if it has come out of position.
When there are no obvious signs of damage, grab a thin piece of paper, place it over the gasket, and shut the refrigerator door. Then try to pull the piece of paper out; if it comes out easily, this is a good sign the gasket is damaged and will need to be replaced.
Once you know that you need to replace the door gasket, you need to order a replacement. Most parts suppliers will have replacement door gaskets for all of the popular makes and models of fridges. The good news is they aren’t that expensive.
10 Steps to Replace Your Door Gasket
To replace your door gasket, simply follow the following steps. Before you start, it is a good idea to get the new door gasket out of its packaging and soak it in warm water to soften it up while you are removing the old gasket from the refrigerator. You can also place it in the sun for the same effect.
Here’s how to replace the door gasket on your refrigerator:
- Open the refrigerator door and pull the old door gasket out. It takes a bit of effort to dislodge it, but it will come out eventually.
- Locate the screws at the top that hold the door gasket in position; unthread them just enough so the gasket will come loose, but don’t unthread them completely, as you want them to stay in. You can then loosen the screws on the side of the door that hold the gasket in place there too.
- Pull the gasket out. Remove the top first and then down to the side of the door to where the screws that you loosened are. Do the same for the other side of the door. Just remember not to fully take it off.
- At the top of the door, there is a metal or plastic strip that holds the door gasket in place. Once you find it, pull the gasket up gently and then out. This should make it become quite loose, but don’t pull it out and off completely.
- Get your new door gasket (hopefully at this point it has loosened up from sitting in the sun or warm water), and place it around the door. Make sure that it is positioned so that the screws in the door match up with the gasket. To make the gasket go into position easier, you can spray it with a chemical industrial lubricant if you wish.
- Before you start to attach the new door gasket, make sure that the gasket is properly positioned. There should be enough of the gasket on each side so that it will fit properly the whole way around the door. When there isn’t enough of the gasket to fit properly, small gaps might develop, and you’ll have to pull it out and do it again.
- Once the gasket is properly positioned, place the new gasket under the top retainer and on one of the sides of the door. Once you’ve done that, tighten the side screws or place the gasket under the retaining strips on the side of the door.
- You can now start to place the rest of the door gasket into place (removing the old door gasket as you slide it into the correct position and removing the screws that are holding it in place). Don’t fasten the screws into the new door gasket completely, as you might have to redo the installation if there is a gap or if you haven’t positioned it properly.
- Once you have installed the rest of the gasket, inspect it the whole way around the door to ensure it is tightly in place. Next, close the door and see if it closes completely without any gaps. If there are any gaps, you will have to try to fix them or reinstall the gasket completely.
- Your new door gasket should now be in position correctly. The final thing to do is to tighten the screws, and you should be good to go!
Bonus Tip: Give Your Door Gasket a Regular Clean
To ensure your door gasket lasts for a long time, it’s a great idea to give it a regular clean with an appropriate chemical detergent, or you can use a mix of vinegar and warm water. When cleaning the door gasket, make sure that you get in between all of the gaps so that you can remove any loose debris. This will stop cracks and holes from developing and will mean you won’t have to change the door gasket as often.