Stubborn Refrigerator Door?


Refrigerator door being stubborn again? You reach in your refrigerator to grab a snack, come back, and the door is slightly ajar. When this happens, cold air can escape the refrigerator and allow warm air to invade the compartment. This can cause the buildup of condensation inside the refrigerator and cause the compressor to work overtime. Either your refrigerator has a faulty gasket, your door hinges need to be tightened, or you have a bad door seal.

If you plan on diagnosing the problem yourself, follow these tips & pointers to fix your door problem:


Replace the Gasket

Verify that your refrigerator’s gasket needs to be replaced

  • Place a thin piece of paper between your refrigerator door jam and the gasket
  • If the paper pulls out easily without resistance, the problem lies with a faulty door gasket

Determine the type of gasket needed for your refrigerator model

  • Consult the manual for you refrigerator to determine its model type
  • If you cannot determine the model of your refrigerator, contact the manufacturer directly

Purchase a new gasket

  • This can be obtained directly from the manufacturer or from a retail store that sells refrigerators, appliances, or home repair supplies

Prepare the new gasket for your refrigerator – must set the correct temperature to seal and work properly on your refrigerator

  • Read gasket instructions to determine method of preparing it for use with your refrigerator
  • If there are no instructions provided, leave the gasket in the same room as your refrigerator. Allow at least 24 hours for the gasket to conform to the same humidity and temperature levels of the current gasket

Remove the defective gasket from the refrigerator – removal may differ depending on properties that hold the gasket in place on your refrigerator

  • Examine the gasket on your refrigerator to determine how it is held in place
  • Use the appropriate tools or methods to remove the defective gasket. For example, if the gasket is held in by screws, make sure you are using the correct screwdriver to remove the screws.
  • Pull the gasket away from the door panel one side at a time to ensure all component are completely removed

Clean the gasket mounting area on refrigerator

Obtain the supplies needed to attach the new gasket.

  • Depending on the manufacturer of the gasket and refrigerator – tools needed may vary.

Attach the new gasket to the door panel

  • Apply the gasket to the door panel one side at a time; ensure each side is aligned properly
  • Smooth down each side to ensure it lies flat against the door panel without any bumps, or curling edges
  • Use tools and supplies to secure gasket to the door panel

Tighten the Door Hinges

Determine how to tighten your refrigerator door hinges.

  • This procedure will vary depending on the make and model of your refrigerator
  • Read your refrigerators manual to determine how the door hinges can be tightened.
  • Most hinges can be accessed by opening the refrigerator door and will be assembled with hinge caps that can be removed

Tighten your refrigerator door hinges

  • Use a screwdriver or similar tool as required to properly tighten door hinges

Use shims to correct additional hinge problems.

  • You may need to place shims between your hinges and refrigerator door if it still will not close completely. You can also use pieces of cardboard in place of metal or stainless steel shims.


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