Having a torn door seal will prevent your refrigerator from working properly. There’s no magic you can perform unless you fix it right away. Using a refrigerator with a damaged seal will cause a spike in your electricity bills because the refrigerator has to work overtime to keep items cold.
Sometimes, when a refrigerator stops working, most people assume it needs to be replaced, whereas you just need to fix the seal.
Fixing a seal can require a little effort such as just realigning it, but you’ll never know until you figure out what’s wrong.
In this article, we’ll shed more light on how to fix a refrigerator’s torn seal, and most importantly ways to prevent it from happening.
Easy Fix for a Damaged Door Seal
Many people see repairing electronics as a waste of time, and they sometimes find it quite boring. But in reality, when you have mastered the act of refrigerator restoration, you’ll save yourself a lot of money that you’d have otherwise paid to a professional electrician.
Let’s give you some quick steps in fixing a torn refrigerator seal, regardless of the brand and model.
However, for your convenience, you can still use professional services.
Step1. Identify the Problem
Sometimes the seal might not even be the problem. Imagine working on a seal when it’s not even damaged, that’s a proper waste of resources, time, and energy.
So, before beginning this process, you need to be certain that the seal is torn or damaged in the first place. The question is how do you know if the seal is damaged?
Check if you can spot condensed moisture on the seal. Often time when the door seal is torn, it traps in the water, making it hard for the refrigerator to function effectively. Also, if you notice that your refrigerator door doesn’t close properly anymore, that’s a clear sign of a damaged door seal.
Lastly, take a proper look at the seal, if you notice any visible tear, then it’s most likely damaged already.
In most cases, you just need to clean and put in your door seal for it to start working properly, and we’d show you how.
However, if you are certain that the freezer or refrigerator has a torn seal, you’ll need to get it replaced not repaired.
Step2. Take Out the Door Seal
Before starting this process, turn off the refrigerator, to save energy and prevent yourself from getting electrocuted.
Get a screwdriver and loosen the screws holding the door seal in place. Ensure that when doing this, you are being careful enough not to loosen them out of their holes, because you’ll have a very hard time fixing them back in place.
As soon as you have successfully removed the screws holding the door seal, it’ll easily slide out.
Step3. Wash The Door Seal
Remember that your door seal might be malfunctioning because of mold build-up, and to get it back to normal, you need to thoroughly wash it and get rid of excess dirt.
Wash the door seal with enough soap and water, and use a towel to dry it properly. When cleaning and you notice there’s a visible and big tear in the door seal, you might need to halt because it’ll need replacement.
We’ll go over the replacement process soon. But if that’s not the case, keep reading.
Step4. Heat the Door Seal
After you have washed the dirt from the surface, you should be able to spot any folds and irregular bends. Get a blow-dryer and heat the deformed area, until it’s pliable. This process is very important, as you’ll be unable to bend and adjust it into the original position.
Pull the warmed gasket for it to assume its normal shape, so you can fix it back.
Step5. Apply Silicon Grease
Before fixing the seal, get quality silicon grease from any trusted supplier and rub it on the sides of the door seal that’ll be placed inside the refrigerator. The essence of doing this is to make sure the door seal doesn’t move out of place in the near future and to increase its effectiveness.
Step6. Re-attach the Door Seal
At this point, you are ready to fit in the door seal back. Fix the seal the same way you remove it; you can start from any angle and progress to the other side.
Be sure that the white shell is tightly holding the seal unless you’ll still face the same problems after you have re-attached the seal.
Get your screwdriver and tighten all the screws in place, and be sure not to forget any.
And that’s all; your refrigerator should have no problem closing properly now. If you are still experiencing any problems, there’s a possibility you didn’t fix it correctly, but if you are certain you did, get a professional to check it out for you.
How to Replace a Damaged Seal
If you have taken a proper look at your refrigerator’s door seal, and you notice holes and tears, then you need to get it fixed.
There are two solutions; you either get it repaired, or you throw it out and replace it with an entirely new one.
Let’s go over the first option;
1. Use Waxed Paper and Silicon Sealant
When you realize that the problem with your door seal is just a small torn area, you can repair it with silicon sealant and waxed paper.
- Use a wet cloth to thoroughly clean off the dirt and grease on the door seal
- Rub a generous amount of silicon grease on the affected area, and make sure it penetrates the holes
- Cut out a 3-inch strip of waxed paper and cover the applied silicone properly. Check to be sure that all the areas are properly covered, unless you’ll still have a damaged seal at the end of the day.
- Trim off the excess edges from the waxed paper, and wrap the paper properly around the seal.
- Close the refrigerator, and be careful when doing this, so that the paper is proportional to the refrigerator’s body and the seal.
- To be on the safe side, leave it this way for 24 hours, so you can be 100% certain that you have given the sealant enough time to set.
2. Replacing the Door Seal
You should only do this when you are certain that the door seal is beyond repair and no amount of waxed paper and sealant can solve the problem. Because why waste money when you can get it fixed?
To perfectly replace the door seal of your refrigerator, follow these steps;
Step1. Take Off the Damaged Door Seal
We have explained this initially, follow the same process and remove the damaged seal. However, there’s no need to be extremely careful because you aren’t making use of the old seal anymore.
Step2. Prep the New Door Seal
When buying a door seal, you can go for a universal seal, as most refrigerators use the same type of seal. But if your refrigerator is an old model or a very recent model, take the model number to the market, so you can get the correct size.
After purchasing a new door seal, you’ll notice that it’s all folded when taken out of the packaging. There’s no need to fret, you didn’t buy a fake.
You can fix this by spreading it out on a flat surface, in less than 24 hours, it’ll revert to its original look.
However, if you do not have the patience to wait that long, get your blow dryer and use it on the affected areas.
When blow-drying, use your fingers to smoothen out the ruffles, and in no time, it’ll be straightened.
Alternatively, you can soak it in hot water and you should be good to go.
Step3. Install the New Door Seal
Before installation, clean the area of the refrigerator where you plan on fixing the seal. Be sure that there’s no moisture or dirt, so the seal doesn’t pull off after a short while.
Positioning the new seal is pretty easy; begin from the top corners of the hinged side and work your way to the other corners of the door.
Be sure that you have put the entire seal in place before tightening it with a screwdriver. If you find out that a small portion is uneven after you have screwed it in place, use your blow-dryer on the affected area to make it soft and flexible, so you can easily adjust it.
When you have completed the installation process, close the refrigerator door to be sure it closes perfectly.
Lastly, apply a fine amount of petroleum jelly so the gasket doesn’t drag out when one forcefully opens the refrigerator.
Damaged door seals result in expensive utility bills and should be avoided at all costs. The best part is that it doesn’t cost much to get it fixed; a quick DIY session is all you need, and your refrigerator is back to its working self.
However, when buying a new door seal, make sure that you purchase it from a trusted dealer, so you won’t have to replace it anytime soon.