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How to Install a Refrigeration Gasket

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How to Install a Refrigeration Gasket

Replacement door gaskets are made to fit a general standard which has been established by the original equipment manufacturer.  Unfortunately, it is not always possible for the vinyl extrusions used in replacement door gaskets to assume the exact same dimensions as the original gasket.

The Measurements that we are talking about are not the frame size dimensions (width and height), but rather the thickness and height offset of the extrusion used to manufacture the replacement gasket.  Other factors that affect each individual door gasket are durometer (hardness of the vinyl material) and “Set” (shape built into gasket resulting from folding gasket for shipping).

The result of changing a door gasket may likely be that the door no longer closes as it once did.  Possible problems are the door will not shut or flies open when an adjoining door is shut.  It is often thought that the problem is weak or ineffective magnets in the gasket.  These problems are symptoms that the installation process is not yet complete.  Whenever a new door gasket is being installed, whether at the factory on a new refrigerator, or at your customers’ job site, there will almost certainly be a need to realign or adjust the door.


Check to see that you have received the proper size gasket (length and width) that you ordered.  This can be done before you drive to the customer site if you reference the estimate form you filled out during the estimate process.


Check to see that all corners are properly welded and that there are no holes open to expose the magnet.


Lay the gasket flat and allow it time to restore any distortions caused by folding the gasket for shipping.  If there is not room to lay the gaskets flat, you can also stick a magnetic gasket to a sheet metal surface to hold it in a flat form while it retains its proper shape.  The use of a heat gun or hair dryer to soften the vinyl will also aid in reshaping any remaining distortions.  Warming the vinyl gasket helps it to adjust shape, so soaking it in hot water or sitting it out in the sun can also help this process.


If the gasket is a push in or snap in style gasket, remove the old gasket from the door and install the new gasket, starting at the corners to get the dart properly fit into the track and then working towards the center of each side.  Note, the weight of a large gasket might be enough to stretch the material while it is hanging on the door being installed. That is why it is important to install the corners first and then work to the center of each side.  The material should adjust to fit the door if it was measured properly.


If the gasket is a screw in style gasket, then remove the old gasket by loosening the screws in the retainer strip.  In possible, do not fully remove the screws from the door panel as it will make for more work when installing the new gasket.  Once the old gasket has been removed, install the screw in flap behind the retainer panel to get the new gasket in place.  You might need to make a few adjustments to the gasket to get it to sit properly behind the retainer panel.  Once the 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.


After installing your new replacement door gasket and checking the door to see that it will stay closed, you may very likely discover that there is a problem.  Remember, your door will often require some adjustment before it will close properly with the new gasket.