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How to Fix Gaps in a Refrigerator Door Gasket

hands pulling back the gasket on the interior of a fridge door

There may be a day where you see something wrong with your fridge door. It just will not close as it used to, and you are seeing gaps between the gasket and the fridge frame itself.

These gaps can be harmful to your health as they let warm air inside and cold air out. That means your food could spoil without you knowing it. If you eat that food, you may have a few stomach issues to deal with.

To learn more about getting rid of these gaps and preserving the freshness of your food, just continue to read our article. It gives you the help you need to fix gaps in a refrigerator door gasket.

What is a Fridge Door Gasket

While many men know that a gasket is a piece of rubber, etc., that goes between different engine parts for a better seal, there are some people who do not know what a fridge door gasket is.

This important fridge part is designed to keep the warm or hot air out of the fridge while making sure the cold air stays inside. A fridge door gasket is a molded piece of rubber that goes around the edge of the door to seal it up tight.

It is the one part that stands between you and a very expensive electric bill.

How to Tell it is Time to Fix the Gasket

Fridge door open with a moldy / dirty gasket on the interior door frame

Like most appliances and electrical tools, etc., the fridge will send out signs that there is a problem. One signal is that the fridge motor does not turn off for very long. it runs and runs and rarely takes a break.

When you hear your fridge running more often than it did last month, then you should check the gasket out. Here are a couple more signs to look for:

  1. Mold – Black mold can appear on the gasket if the interior of the fridge has a lot of condensation or warmer temperatures.
  2. Lines or Cracks – These will appear as the gasket gets older.
  3. Thinning – Gaskets do get thin and when yours is looking not so plump it is a good sign there is a problem.

Do A Quick Test

Even if you do not see those signs, it is a good idea to conduct a simple test to see if the gasket is in prime working order. All you have to do to test your current gasket is to place a dollar bill halfway inside the door edge.

The next step is to close the door and then try to pull the bill out. You do not need to go fast, slow and steady is the key. If the bill slips out quickly and without any hesitation, you need to fix or replace the gasket.

If it comes out slowly and maybe a little hard to do, then the gasket is fine. Once you determine the gasket needs repairing the last step is to move on to the repair or replace step.

How to Repair a Fridge Door Gasket

Top of the door view of a hand opening the fridge door

Besides the signs mentioned above, you should see some gaps in the gasket if it is going bad. When you see those gaps, it is time to take some action. Because replacement of the gasket is not cheap, repairing may be your first solution.

There are two methods to repair the gasket so the gaps disappear. Here are two good options:

  1. Petroleum Jelly– This is a nice lubricant that helps breathe life back into older gaskets. Rub the petroleum jelly all over the gasket to get rid of the small gaps. This should help seal the fridge tight once again.
  • Weatherstripping– Just cut little strips and place them in the corners of the channel on the fridge door. Then place the gasket back in the channel.

If either of these two solutions does not work and you still see gaps, or there are some really large gaps, then you will have to spend the money and replace the gasket with a new one.

Steps to Replace the Gasket

Hand opening stainless steel fridge door

Step 1 – The key to removing the old gasket and putting a new one back on is to only loosen the screws under the flange holding the gasket in place. Once they are loose, you just pull the gasket away from the door to get it off.

Step 2 – Then starting with one corner, slide the new gasket over the metal retainer and continue doing this until the new gasket is in place. Re-tighten the screws to a point where they are just snug and not too tight.

Step 3 – Now, test your work and close the door. After that is done look for gaps or any place that needs adjusting. Continue to do this until the gasket is in its proper place and it seals up tight.

When you get to that point, tighten the screws on the metal retainer till they are nice and tight.

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