Your refrigerator and freezer run continuously, 365 days a year, and are one of the most reliable appliances in your home when compared to other electrical appliances.
Simple problems, on the other hand, are frequently overlooked because everything appears to be in order. Unfortunately, what appears to be minor cosmetic damage – such as a broken door seal – can add up to a significant increase in your annual electricity bill. The reason for this is that even a small area of damage to the door seal allows warm, moist air from the kitchen to continually enter the cabinet’s interior. Even in frost-free models, this air quickly condenses and freezes, resulting in excessive ice build-up. As a result, the compressor (which creates the cooling effect within the fridge) runs for much longer than it should, increasing the operating cost. In the long run, extended operation of these critical components can lead to premature thermostat and compressor failure.
Checking a fridge seal
The door seal splitting and cracking are fairly obvious flaws to notice. A seal, on the other hand, may appear to be in good working order when, in reality, a small gap is allowing warm moist air into the cabinet. This simple method can be used to test the effectiveness of your refrigerator door seal.
1) Examine the entire perimeter of the seal with the door closed, looking for obvious flat spots (gaps between the seal and the metal casing of the cabinet).
2) As you close the fridge door, wedge a piece of paper the size of a £5 note (or a £5 note) between the door seal and the metal face of the cabinet.
3) Gently pull the paper/note out of the gap between the seal and the cabinet face. You should feel tension as the paper/note slides out if the seal is working properly. This simple test should be repeated all over the seal’s surface. If the paper/note is not held by the seal at any point and slides easily or freely with little or no resistance, the seal is failing at that location.
4) Even when the door is closed, cracks and splits in the seal may be visible. However, some may not be visible, and you should inspect the entire inner edge of the seal carefully. Check the entire seal around the door with the door open by slightly extending the seal with your fingers and looking for any damage within the folds of the seal.
If these simple checks reveal a problem, you must decide whether or not the seal can be replaced separately. You can do this by opening the door and gently lifting a large section of the door seal to reveal the outer edge of the door’s plastic inner lining, which is normally hidden by the seal. Both the inner plastic door liner and the seal are held in place by hidden screws or similar removable fixings. In this manner, inspect the entire seal. If you find screws, a replacement seal is likely to be available as a spare part. If the part isn’t available for some reason, you can always use a universal door seal kit, which should come with its own set of instructions for installation.
If there are no visible fixings, check to see if the seal is secured in some other way, or contact the manufacturer/spares provider to see if the seal is available separately or if the door is only available as a complete unit.
Removing and replacing a door seal
If the inner plastic liner and seal of the door are held in place by hidden screws or fixings, they must be removed first. Before disturbing them, lightly mark their position to ensure that they are properly refitted. Make a note of the length and position of the various screws and fixings you encounter during the removal process to ensure that they are all replaced in their original locations.
Because some appliances have spring loaded doors, complicated hinges, and/or electrical connections to components within the door cavity, removing the door from the appliance to perform seal renewal is not recommended.
Repairing a damaged door seal
If a seal for your fridge isn’t available and you don’t want to try to fit a universal seal kit, you can repair the damaged part of the seal.
You’ll need the following items:
- 5cm waxed paper strip
- Sharp knife and a small tube of silicone sealant
1) First, make sure the damaged seal is clean, dry, and grease-free.
2) Save as much of the old seal as possible, as well as the internal magnetic strip. (The magnetic strip is usually a brown flexible strip hidden within the seal’s circumference that acts to pull the seal’s face against the cabinet’s metal casing.)
3) Spread an even layer of silicone sealant over the damaged area, making sure it penetrates any gaps or cavities.
4) Carefully cover the silicone with the waxed paper strip, overlapping the undamaged section of seal on both ends. Trim the edges of the paper to allow it to be folded into the seal’s original shape.
5) Carefully close the door once the sealant and paper are in place, trapping the paper between the seal and the appliance’s metal body. To allow the sealant to set, leave it in place for at least 8 hours without moving it.
6) When you’re sure the sealant is dry, gently peel away the waxed paper to reveal what should be a new section of seal. Trim any excess sealant with a sharp knife if necessary.
You’ll need: 1-2 Sugru Soapy Water Scissors mini packs
1) Make sure the surface is clean, dry, and grease-free for all breaks.
2) If your fridge shelf has broken, press a Sugru sausage against the edge of the break. Sugru can be molded into the appropriate shape to fit the shelf into the grooves built into the fridge’s sidewall.
3) To repair a cracked drawer, roll the Sugru into a sausage twice the length of the crack and spread it both in front and behind the break.
4) Smooth the surface of the Sugru by rolling your finger over it and wiping soapy water over it.
5) Allow at least 24 hours for it to dry.
If you feel overwhelmed and need an emergency refrigerator repair, give us a call.
Smart Living Home Repair Services
244 Madison Avenue , #1019
New York, NY 10016