Did you notice that your refrigerator is not cooling as it should? After looking, you may have observed that the culprit may be a gap in your refrigerator door gasket. This issue may seem simple, but you should learn all the details of fixing your refrigerator gasket gap. We researched this for you, so you know what to do!
There are three ways to try repairing a refrigerator door gasket gap. Furthermore, there are different gaps for fridge door gaskets, so determine what kind is yours first. It can either be a small gap, gaps in the corner, or torn gaps.
After finding out which of these is your gasket's issue, different methods can be applied, which include:
- Cleaning the gasket
- Using petroleum jelly
- Inserting weatherstripping
- Applying silicone sealant and wax paper
You need to understand the details of these methods mentioned above and what kind of gasket gap they should be used. Aside from this, you can follow an airtightness test to ensure you've repaired the issue in your appliance's door gasket.
If you observe that your refrigerator is still leaking out cold air after this test, there's no other way to resolve this but by replacing the gasket. Learn more about these below.
Guide To Fixing Refrigerator Door Gasket Gaps
If your refrigerator door isn't sealing, you should check your fridge door's gasket. The gasket may have issues you must address to close your refrigerator's door without any problem. Gaps don't only disable your refrigerator door from fully closing but also allow the cold air to leak from the appliance without you noticing.
There are different causes of gaps in fridge door seals and different ways to resolve each of them. Here are the ways to fix different types of gasket gaps:
Cleaning The Gasket
A dirty fridge door gasket with a build-up of molds and dust particles can prevent the appliance's door from closing. Furthermore, it may cause little gaps in your seal.
That's why if you notice any dirt build-up on your gasket, do these things:
- Use a cleaning solution for the gasket. You can make one for yourself as there are many choices. You may use a one-to-one ratio of water and baking soda, a mild soap and water solution, or a one-to-three-cup ratio of vinegar and water.
- Wipe the gasket gently using a cloth or a toothbrush dipped into your solution of choice. Ensure that you use a microfiber cloth for wiping. On the other hand, use a toothbrush instead if there are spots with dirt that are harder to clean.
- Repeat the process every 3-4 months to keep your gasket working.
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Petroleum jelly is a lubricant that softens the dried parts of your gasket. Dried gaskets contract, which means it reduces in size. That is why softening them is vital to fix gaps in your fridge door's gasket.
The process is simple; you only have to rub ample petroleum jelly on the entire gasket, leave it for a few minutes, and check if anything changes. However, note that this method can only resolve small gaps.
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For gasket corner gaps, inserting weatherstripping is best applicable. Follow these steps to do this:
- Cut small strips of weather stripping.
- Hold the gasket's corner and gently pull it away until you can expose several inches to insert the strips you've cut.
- Push the gasket back into place and repeat the steps to the other corners if the gap still exists.
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Silicone Sealant and Wax Paper
A torn refrigerator gasket can cause gaps. But, it can still be fixed using silicone sealant and waxed paper. Here are the steps you should follow:
- With the silicone sealant, patch up the torn area by applying an even amount of the product.
- Cover the silicone sealant you applied with waxed paper gently. Note that each end of the wax paper should overlap with the undamaged spot of your gasket.
- On the other side of the torn seal, add another piece of waxed paper to keep the sealant you applied in place.
- Trim the waxed paper's edges to follow the gasket's shape.
- Ensure the sealant and papers are correctly placed and close the fridge door carefully. After, wait for at least eight hours to let the sealant set.
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How To Test If Refrigerator Door Seals Are Airtight
After trying to fix the gap in your appliance's door gasket, it's vital to test if it's airtight. Because tiny gaps may still be present that aren't observable, check using these steps:
- Open your refrigerator and thoroughly check if there are any gaps present.
- If they still look fine, make sure there aren't any gaps by using a dollar bill. Place your dollar bill between your fridge door and the appliance itself. Also, ensure that a part of the bill sticks out on the appliance's door.
- Try pulling out the bill. If it's easy to pull out, your gasket still has a gap.
- Put the dollar bill on different spots of your gasket and repeat the methods to look for other gaps.
If you find out that your refrigerator's door gasket is still having issues after trying several methods to fix it, it is probably time to replace it.
How To Replace Refrigerator Door Gasket
Replacing a gasket is necessary because a bad seal wastes electricity. After finding the right gasket for your refrigerator model and size according to your manufacturer's manual, install by following these steps:
- Pull the bottom of the gasket to remove it. While pulling, you should see the metal gasket retainer of your appliance.
- Using a screwdriver, loosen the screws around the metal retainer of the entire refrigerator door, typically found in the plastic liner. Ensure that you don't altogether remove the screws. If you can't find any screws, try pulling the seal directly.
- After loosening all the screws in your fridge door, the gasket will easily slide out, so gently pull it out.
- Place one corner of your new gasket on top of the fridge door. Then, push the gasket's lip over the metal retainer.
- Slide the gasket lip behind the metal retainer on the entirety of the door. Experts advise starting from the top corners while doing this.
- With a hex driver, screw the metal retainer. Remember not to screw the gasket retainer all the way in, as they should be snug.
- You may apply baby or talcum powder on your gasket to prevent dust and other particles from sticking. Additionally, this will prevent the gasket from twisting when you close the door.
- If the gasket is still twisting after applying baby powder, wedge under the seal using a screwdriver and leave your refrigerator closed for an hour.
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How Long Do Refrigerator Door Gaskets Last?
Generally, experts advise changing fridge seals every 12 months, especially if it is already damaged. However, you can use gaskets longer than this if it's still working. It's easier to tell that your gasket needs replacement if it is bent, cracked, warped, or too rigid than using a time frame, so check for this instead.
How Much Is The Repair Cost For Refrigerator Door Gaskets?
Usually, fridge door seal or gasket replacements cost around $100 to $350. The price isn't too high because refrigerator gasket installations aren't that complex. The price will still vary depending on the model and size of your refrigerator.
There are several ways to try to repair refrigerator gasket gaps. Of course, before starting to do any of these methods, you must first determine what gaps your seal has. Is it small, in the corner, or torn?
You can try cleaning it or using petroleum jelly if it's small. Make a solution and wipe or brush it along the gasket for cleaning, or rub petroleum jelly over it.
You can also insert weatherstripping strips on the seal for gaps around the corner of your gaskets.
Silicone sealant and wax paper are best for gaps caused by a tear in your gasket.
If none of these methods make your fridge door airtight after testing using a dollar bill, it's time for a gasket replacement.
If you found this post informative, you may find these posts about sealing gaps in different appliances helpful:
Guide To Filling A Big Gap With Silicone
How Do You Seal Gaps Under Kitchen Cabinets