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How to Replace a Refrigerator Door Gasket

We'll show you how to replace your refrigerator door gasket in three easy steps. A new gasket will help your refrigerator run more efficiently, which will save you money. So replacing a worn out gasket will pay for itself over time.

By the DIY experts of The Family Handyman Magazine

How to replace the door gasket

Each door of your refrigerator has a molded rubber gasket to keep the cold in and the heat out. When this gasket gets old and brittle, it leaks. If your refrigerator is running more frequently and you suspect it's losing cold air, conduct these simple tests.

First, inspect the door gasket. Is there condensation or even blackish mold anywhere around it? If so, leaking cold air is probably causing warmer kitchen air to condense. Next, close the refrigerator door on a dollar bill. Pull the bill out slowly. If there is a slight drag on the bill, your door gasket is OK. If the bill slips out easily and moisture and/or mold are present, it's time to invest about $50 to $75 (depending on the appliance brand and door size) and 30 minutes to replace the door gasket.

Find the refrigerator make, model and other identification information in the owner's manual. If you don't have a manual, look on the inside edge of the refrigerator door or inside either compartment, near the door, for the manufacturer's identification plate. Search online or check the yellow pages under “Appliances, Major, Parts” for stores or manufacturer service centers that stock your door gasket. You may also be able to find a parts source by visiting your manufacturer's Web site.

While you're removing the old door gasket, lay the new one in warm water for a few minutes to make it easier to install. Some gaskets (like ours) are held in place by a metal retainer attached around the door perimeter. Lift the inside edge of the old gasket to reveal the screws locking the gasket into the retainer, then loosen them (Photo 1).

Remove the old gasket from the retainer. Starting at one of the top door corners and working out to each side, slip the lip of the new gasket behind the retainer (Photo 2). The gasket fits only the one correct way. Complete the gasket installation and “snug up” but don't fully tighten the retainer screws.

Study the position of the door relative to the other door and the refrigerator cabinet. If either the refrigerator or freezer door is sagging or too high, loosen its hinges and align it. Finally, reduce gasket drag by applying a thin layer of petroleum jelly only along the hinge side of the gasket (Photo 3).

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Required Tools for this Project

Have the necessary tools for this DIY project lined up before you start—you’ll save time and frustration.

    • 4-in-1 screwdriver
    • Allen wrench

Required Materials for this Project

Avoid last-minute shopping trips by having all your materials ready ahead of time. Here's a list.

    • New gasket
    • Petroleum jelly

Comments from DIY Community Members

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August 04, 12:57 PM [GMT -5]

When you remove the screws to replace the gasket the door will warp and will require multiple adjustments if you do this while it's still mounted on the refrigerator.

Save yourself a lot of time and trouble by removing the door hardware and then removing the door. Lay it face down on a flat, level floor. Follow the steps in the instructions but before you tighten the screws apply some gentle pressure across the top and bottom of the door (I did this by having my teen-aged daughter sit on a board laid across the top of the door while I knelt on a board laid across the bottom). Now tighten the screws while the door is forced flat on the floor. This will prevent the door from warping and it will seal properly all the way around when you re-mount it.

July 06, 11:55 AM [GMT -5]

Often one will run into a problem with their refrigerators door gasket. When this happens, it needs replacing, and replacing it is a breeze. At http://www.topapplianceparts.com/ one can find this part and many other parts to repair all appliances. So the next time you are looking for Top Quality Parts at the Best Price, visit our website at http://www.topapplianceparts.com/.

August 08, 7:23 PM [GMT -5]

I avoided all of this buy buying 20 neodymium magnets about the size of a watch battery from Amazon and putting them into slits I made at intervals on the old gasket. It cost about $15 for the magnets. The gasket was going to cost me $147.

We will see if they continue to work. THese are very powerful so be careful not to pinch yourself as you use them. I cut the slits with a knife and slipped the magnet in.

Mike in Tallahassee

August 08, 7:10 PM [GMT -5]

I simply cut small slits into the old gasket and spaced 20 small flat powerful neodymium magnets (half inch by 1/8 inch the size of a large watch battery) I got from Amazon for about $15 into the old gasket at intervals and it works so far, saving me about $150 - the cost of a new gasket.

Mike in Tallahassee

June 08, 11:58 AM [GMT -5]

On my unit, the gasket is not held on by screws.

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How to Replace a Refrigerator Door Gasket

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