If your refrigerator leaks, the gasket could be the culprit. A gasket is a strip on the door that forms a tight seal to keep cold air inside. When the gasket breaks, you refrigerator has to burn extra energy, which is similar to leaving the window open while running an air conditioner. Here are some tips to replace a refrigerator gasket.
Check the Gasket for Tightness
For this project you need weatherstripping, petroleum jelly, dish soap, a crisp dollar bill or newspaper, a hair dryer, a door gasket, and a hex-head screwdriver. A simple test can tell if the gasket needs fixing. Shut a dollar bill or newspaper inside the door, then attempt to pull it out. If you can easily pull the bill or paper out, the gasket is leaking air and needs fixing.
Try to Fix Gaps
Before you replace the gasket, shut the door and look for gaps that you may be able to fix with petroleum jelly or weather stripping. Petroleum jelly makes the gasket more pliable so it creates a better seal on the door. Wash the gasket with dish soap and warm water, rinse, let dry, then rub a small amount on the gaps.To fix bigger gaps, cut a small piece of weatherstripping, and insert it on the channel to help pack the corner, then set the gasket back in place.
Replace the Gasket
Soak the replacement gasket in warm water for several minutes so it is more flexible and easier to install. Before you work, make certain the refrigerator is level. Grip the inner flange from the bottom, and pull the gasket back.
Use the hex head driver to loosen, but not remove, the screws that fasten the metal retainer around the door. Pull off the gasket beginning at one top corner, slowly taking it off the liner. Replace damaged liners.
Insert the new gasket above the refrigerator door pressing the lip of the gasket on the retainer. The best way to install the new gasket is to start from a top corner work your way around, then tighten the retainer strips screws as you go along. Apply petroleum jelly on the hinge part of the door on the gasket side so the gasket won't drag when you open the door.
If a door panel holds the gasket in place, take out the screws from the panel top side, and cut that piece of the gasket off. Insert the inner lip of the new gasket in back of the panel putting the screws back in place. Repeat the procedure on the other side of the panel.
Test the door for proper operation, and watch for leaking. If your repair doesn't stop the leak, contact an appliance repair service like Master Tech Mechanical.