If your refrigerator is running more often or you've noticed a waft of cold air as you pass by, it may be time to replace the refrigerator door gasket, better known as the flexible strip attached to the outer edge of the refrigerator and freezer doors. While this piece of the appliance seems small and rather inconsequential, it is a temperature control for the entire appliance.
Keeping The Cold Air Inside Is Important
Keeping the cold air inside not only maintains proper food preservation, but if the gasket becomes cracked or damaged, the warm kitchen air can condense when it comes into contact with the cold refrigerator air. This contributes to the buildup of mold. The good news is, fixing a gasket requires very little time, effort, and cash.
Be Careful When Purchasing a Gasket
When purchasing the new gasket, be sure you get one that is compatible with your refrigerator model. It is also helpful to make sure to inspect the lining underneath the gasket. If this liner is cracked or warped, a new seal will not adhere to it, so you may need to purchase one of these as well. Once everything is purchased, grab a screwdriver and install the new gasket using these steps:
Steps for Installing the Gasket
In order to soften the material and create some flexibility, soak the new gasket in warm water either in a sink or in the bath tub. This way, the stretching and manipulation of installation will be easier.
Next, it's important to find a way to keep the refrigerator from rocking while you are installing the new gasket. Many find removing the door completely the easiest solution. If you decide to remove the door entirely, be sure to remove the handle and hinges.
You can begin pulling the old gasket up. Then, loosen the screws underneath. Do not remove the screws completely, unless you are also changing the liner, as they hold it in place. They will, however, leave enough give to remove the old gasket without completely removing them. After the old gasket is removed, take a few minutes to clean that area a bit. Let it dry completely before you place the new gasket.
You can begin to place the new gasket by sliding it around the door, under the metal retainer or clips. It is easiest to begin in the middle of one side and to partially tighten the screws along the way. Then, check the gasket for gaps making sure it fits tightly even when the door opens and closes. If there are no loose spots, go ahead and tighten up the screws completely.
Maintaining the gasket will save you from wearing each one out so quickly. After installation, you may be able to keep the rubber of the gasket soft and supple using lemon oil, mineral oil, or body lotion. This will maintain the longevity of your new gasket and probably save you a few headaches from having to replace it so quickly. Something as simple as the refrigerator gasket doesn't seem like it should have such a large impact on your everyday life, but if it gets old or cracked, you will definitely notice it. Luckily, it just so happens to be one of the smaller issues in a homeowner's list of problems.
If you need help with this repair, or any others, contact a local appliance company like Top Notch Appliance Repair.