If a food compartment in your refrigerator is too warm, it might be a sign that the rubber seal around the door is worn or stretched out, ruining the good seal needed to keep things cold. When this happens, one solution is to replace this rubber seal, also called a gasket.
Rubber gaskets are fastened to the fridge door using screws and retainers made from either metal or plastic. Once you have the right replacement seal for your fridge’s make and model, all that’s needed to do the job is a screwdriver (possibly an Allen wrench, depending on the screws your fridge uses to keep the seal in place). You can do it yourself in under 30 minutes!
How To Replace The Rubber Seal On The Fridge Door
Start the replacement by opening the door and pulling the rubber at the top of the door up; you might have to put in a little elbow grease to get the old gasket up. This will expose the screws holding the gasket’s retainer. Make sure you have the right screwdriver for the type of screws holding it on.
Once you have it out at the top, loosen the screws holding the gasket in place at the top without taking them out completely – you’ll want them loose enough so they release the gasket but not so loose that they fall out. Loosen the screws on one side of the door, stopping at half-way, then do the same to the other side.
Go back to the top of the door to find the plastic or metal strip that holds the gasket in place. Pull the gasket up and out towards you, and start putting in the new gasket at one of the top corners. Work the gasket lip behind the retainer, continuing around the entire perimeter of the door; the gasket should fit one way.
Let the old gasket hang while you fit the new gasket on the door, matching up the holes in the seal to the screws on the fridge door. The long ends of the new gasket will be dangling at the sides – make sure what’s dangling is long enough to fit around the door.
Once you’ve fit the new gasket in, check to see if there are any gaps. If there are, you’ll have to take it off and do it all over again to stop cold air from seeping out.
How Can I Tell If The Rubber Seal Needs Replacing?
You may notice a bad rubber seal when your fridge isn’t as cold as you’d like it to be. If you suspect the gasket needs replacing, check to see if there’s condensation or blackish mould around it or the refrigerator door. If there is, that’s a sign that the cold air leaking out is causing the warmer kitchen air to condense around the door. To test it further, close the refrigerator door on a piece of paper or a five-dollar bill and pull it out slowly; if you feel a drag on the paper, your door gasket is in good shape. However, if it slides out with no drag, or there is moisture or mould on it, get ready to replace the seal.
A new gasket can run you between $50 and $75, depending on the manufacturer, but that’s a lot cheaper than a repairperson inspecting the fridge to tell you this is what you need. Replacing a worn or damaged rubber seal can also save you a lot of money you’d waste on energy and spoiled food!