Appliance Repair Blog
Thoughts and commentary about appliance repair topics including common failures and repairs, plus links to frequently used parts, industry news, along with information to help you better understand your appliances. Resources available for the technical professional and the do-it-yourselfer. Over 650 Posts

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Repairing Refrigerator Door Seals

Model #DFF1144W, this is a small refrigerator made by Danby and the complaint was it seemed to be running all the time and moisture was forming between the fresh food and freezer doors. The problem seemed much more noticeable during our recent heat spell this summer, but the customer thought it best to have it looked at. I don’t write much about Danby products in my posts, but the repair on this one required no parts and really, anyone can complete this repair so I thought it would be a good addition to the How to collection of posts.

To start with, there are several things that can cause long run times for refrigerators that I will not go into in this post, but the addition of water droplets forming had my mind thinking toward an air leak of the door seal.

Doors on refrigerators use a expandable, magnetic gasket to seal the door to the cabinet and to keep the heat out and the cold in. If these gaskets become torn, weak, or they simply don’t seal, air can migrate out of the cabinet and given the right conditions, cause water to condense on the surface. And with enough of a gap in the seal, the compressor will have difficulty in maintaining temperature and will run for longer than normal.

If the gasket is damaged due to a tear, it needs to be replaced with a new door seal. Don’t try duct tape or silicon as a repair because they do not solve the problem and this little gasket plays a big part in how much energy a refrigerator uses. But if the seal is simply not making good contact with the cabinet, using a little heat can solve the problem for good. By using a hair dryer or heat gun, on very low heat, it is possible to coax the gasket back into shape, and that is what I did on this Danby refrigerator.

The process is simple as I show in the video, but I do want to point out that you must keep the heat moving or the gasket will melt very easily. And then you will be replacing it with a new one. But gently applying heat allows the gasket to expand and once the magnet has a chance to adhere to the cabinet, you will be good to go.

When replacing door gaskets, this same heating trick needs to be done as most gaskets come out of the package rather out of shape, especially when they have been exposed to cold temperatures. But a hair dryer is all you need to get the new gasket back into shape.


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