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How to Install Refrigeration Gaskets

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How to Install Refrigeration Gaskets

A commercial refrigerator may be one of the most valuable assets for your business. Ranging from top of the line to economical in pricing, they are considered to be a long-term investment. Typically, a refrigerator from a reputable company can last for as long as 25 years. However, smaller parts such as a refrigeration gasket may require repair and replacement from time to time, as well as some minor preventive maintenance.

What Exactly Is A Gasket And What Is Its Purpose?

Before any technical detail or procedure, let us explain what a gasket is and what purpose it actually serves. A refrigerator gasket, also known as a door seal, is the lining inside perimeter of the fridge/freezer door like a border made of rubber.

A gasket is crucial to ensure proper cooling in all kinds of coolers. It keeps the cool air from escaping the compartment and therefore ensures better cooling and performance. Door gaskets eventually start to break down and deteriorate with the constant abuse commercial coolers are subjected to; this leads to gaps in the seal and as a result, cool air begins to escape from the cooler.

The leakage not only affects the performance of the cooler but also its efficiency. Because cool air is escaping the system, the refrigerator requires more power/energy trying to maintain the holding temperature inside the compartment. This increased consumption of energy and increased utility bills can create extra stress on the compressor and other major components.

So, if your refrigerator is not working to the desired efficiency, a worn out gasket may be the reason. Check occasionally for wearing, gaps, or tears in the gasket. Typically, they are not hard to detect. If you find your gasket is worn, follow the procedure below.

Step By Step Procedure of Installing a Gasket

  • First, identify the type of cooler and order the right gasket from a reputable and reliable gasket retailer. There are many types of gaskets with different methods of attaching to the unit: some gaskets snap-in (dart style), some push-in (blunt bottom), and some screw in while some are retainer mounted.
  • Check to see that you have received the proper size gasket (length and width) that you ordered. Also check to see that all corners are properly welded and that there are no holes open to expose the magnet.
  • Remove the old gasket and take a moment to clean any residue that has collected in or around the door since last time the gasket was replaced.
  • Place the newly ordered gasket on door. See below for screw in and push in instructions.
  • Push-in/snap-in: Fairly easy to install, just line up the gasket with the track on the door and work it into place, starting at the corners and working towards the center of each side. 
  • Screw-in: Lift the old gasket from the inside edge and locate screws that are holding it in place. With retainer style gaskets you are sometimes able to remove the gasket by only loosening the screws partially rather than unscrewing them completely. If this does not work, remove the screws/back plate that is securing the gasket to the door. Once the new gasket is sitting properly in place, start with the screws closest to the corners and tighten them, working towards the middle of each side. If you find that the gasket is bunching behind the retainer panel, loosen the screws and make an adjustment.
  • Your door will often require some adjustment before it will close properly with the new gasket.

Better Finish with a Heat Gun

The procedure may sound easy enough but it can get tricky at times. It is advised to use a heat gun during the installation process. Using a heat gun allows the gasket to be more malleable/flexible and this usually makes installation easier. Using a heat gun at the end of the procedure makes the gasket relax and then hold its position. This greatly reduces the risks of gaps and uneven installation.

It’s an easy DIY job, but make sure you have the right gasket and a good heat gun. An OEM quality replacement gasket ordered from a reputable retailer can save you from installing the gasket again and again.

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