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Refrigerator Door Seals, Diagnosis and Repair

Refrigerator door seals may be one of the most misunderstood parts of the refrigerator. Ask a layman or do-it-yourselfer about why his refrigerator is not functioning or warming properly and the first thing he may say after “I don’t work on compressors” is “but let’s check the door seals.” The door seals rarely go bad or have a problem over the lifetime of the refrigerator. The only door seals I’ve seen go bad are when dogs or cats chew or sharpen their claws on them, or kids that like to climb or hang on the refrigerator door. A really bad door seal problem is most likely to show up as a defrost problem or frost buildup on the interior of the freezer. This is due to humid air getting into the refrigerator Jennair Appliance Repair.

Door seals are magnetically held to the door frame to keep the doors closed. Unless the seal is shredded or you can physically see a gap between the seal and the door frame with the door closed, there is no reason to suspect a door seal problem.

To replace the refrigerator door seal, you should have a nut driver of the proper size. A cordless drill-driver is better choice. A magnetic tip will prevent you from going crazy trying to hold the driver, the screw and the seal at the same time and allow you to complete the job faster. There are lots of screws holding the seal on so be prepared. Remove the screws from no more than two sides at a time. One side at a time is better. The idea is to prevent the plastic inner door liner from drifting around. If you have to re align it, it can be a long, frustrating process. The new seal will fit in the same way as the old one came out.

You are much more likely to have a door alignment issue or warping. There’s not much you can do with a badly warped refrigerator door except to try to un-warp it, bend it back into shape or replace it.

With the door closed, measure the gap around it, top and bottom, left and right. Check if the door edges and the refrigerator edges are parallel. If the measurements indicate that the door is badly out of alignment, re align it by loosening the hinges slightly and shifting the door around. It may take a few tries to get it aligned properly.

Remove anything that might be obstructing the door seals. Sometimes the kick plate or drawer will get in the way. If it’s metal, you may be able to bend it slightly to solve your problem.

Here is a tip for you folks in the cold-weather states. If you ordered a new refrigerator door seal and it arrives in the package, it may be cold and brittle from being exposed to cold temperatures outside. Remove the new seal from packaging and use a hairdryer to warm it. Rub slowly to get all the kinks and bends straightened and smoothed. When you do this right, there shouldn’t be any bends in the door seal and installation will be a breeze.

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