Refrigerator Door Gasket Replacement (or How to replace a door seal)

Some people think that installing a refrigerator gasket is a difficult job. It could be somewhat strenuous but with a few tips it’s definitely doable. Most of the time, gaskets come in special packages which are designed to be acceptable for shipment and at the same time provide decreased deformity. Although, deformity does occur, there are easy ways of bringing the gasket back to its original shape (see “Restoring Deformed Gaskets” at the bottom of this post). 

Pre-Installing Tips for Magnetic Gaskets

  • Wipe off the cabinet area surrounding the gasket and any food stuck under your old gasket.
  • Make sure the new gasket is at room temperature before removing it from the package.
  • When handling the gasket, carry it by the corners to make sure that there is no damage done to the internal magnetic tape.
  • If your rerfrigerator is using a three sided magnetic gasket, always install the new gasket as the old gasket was removed.

Removing and Installing Tips (Magnetic Gaskets)

  • Before removing your old gasket, take a look at how it is secured. You can do that by pulling back on the edge of the gasket.

Method A (Retainer Mount)

  1. If metal retainers are used, loosen the screws across top and half way down each side. Don’t loosen the screws too much. Just enough to allow the gasket to be pulled out of the retainer. Begin removing the gasket starting at the top, then each side showing where the screws are still secure.
  2. Start installing the new gasket at the top by sliding the lip of the gasket under the retainer until you reach the point at where the old gasket is still attached.
  3. Tighten the screws onto the new gasket up on top and on the sides. Leave about 2 screws untightened to the old gasket.
  4. Loosen the rest of the screws to the old gasket and remove it.
  5. Finish installing the new gasket.
  • After you finish installing the gasket, close the door to check for alignment. If you need to re-align the gasket, slightly loosen all the screws and flex the door in opposite direction to assure proper door seal contact when closed. When the aligment is right, grasp edge of door about mid-way and slowly open door as to not warp. Re-tighten all of the screws.
  • On some doors the hinge side seal might start to roll as it closes against the cabinet shell. If that happens, petroleum jelly is used on hinge side of the gasket surface to help the gasket slide into place. It can also be applied to the gasket to help with this problem.

Method B (Panel Mount)

  1. If metal retainers are not used, the above steps can be followed. However, the screws or clips have to be removed as opposed to lightly loosened on the retainer mount style.
  2. Replace the gasket the same way discussed above by removing the old gasket from the top and installing the new gasket without fully removing the old gasket.
  3. Loosen the rest of the screws to the old gasket and remove it.
  4. Finish installing the new gasket.

Installing a Non-Magnetic Gasket

  • Non-Magnetic gaskets designs are used on mechanical latch type doors. Follow the same installation methods as A or B.

Remeber to allow the new gasket to reach room temperature before removing it from the pacakage and always carry it by the corners to avoid breakage of the magnetic tape.

Restoring Deformed Gaskets

If you find your gasket to be deformed from storage, you can correct it by applying heat to the deformed sections. Some things you can use are as follows:

  • Hair dryer
  • Electric heater
  • Light bulb (150-300 watt)
  • Pan of hot water

Move the source of heat back and forth over the deformed part of the gasket to make sure there is even warmth. Be sure to maintain a distance of 3 to 4 inches between the gasket and the heat source. Keep applying heat until the gasket gets back to its original shape. Using your hands to reshape the gasket can help too.

Helpful Links:
– Find the right refrigerator door gasket for your model.

6 Responses to “Refrigerator Door Gasket Replacement (or How to replace a door seal)”

  1. Paul E Rowley says:

    Is there any way to refresh the magnet on the refridgerator door gasket

  2. ApplianceJournal says:

    No, not really. Refrigerator door gasket magnets were not meant to be very strong though. So, if you have a problem with the door not sealing properly, it could be due to a couple of reasons: 1. the rubber gasket is cracked. 2. door hinges are bent or misaligned.

    Check the entire gasket for cracks, then try the “dollar test”:

    Test the door gasket for leaks by placing a dollar bill between the gasket and the door jamb and closing the door. Pull the bill out. If it offers some resistance, chances are the gasket fits properly. If the bill comes right out, or falls out, the gasket is faulty and should be replaced. Test the gasket at several locations around the door (every 6-8 inches or so).

    Hope this helps. Thanks for stopping by.

  3. Terrific article. I just purchased a kegerator and I am actually
    wanting to get a different one or possibly build one on my own using
    a kegerator kit. I’ll be stopping back in the future.

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