What Should I Do When My Fridge Door Won’t Stay Closed?
The most important non-mechanical part of your refrigerator is the door seal. If your fridge won’t seal, then all of the hard work performed by the compressor means nothing. It doesn’t matter how much cold air your fridge generates if it’s all leaking into your kitchen. When your fridge door won’t stay closed, you should address the issue as quickly as possible to avoid inflated electrical bills and/or spoiled food. To help you with this problem, we’ve compiled the most common reasons why your fridge door won’t stay closed.
It may seem obvious, but 9 times out of 10, the reason your fridge door won’t stay closed is something simple like an overpacked refrigerator. Maybe you have a 12-pack of soda that is sticking out just half an inch. You feel a little resistance when you close the door, but you check and it appears closed. However, you come back later to find the door cracked open. This is a universal experience caused by a small amount of continuous pressure. For example, large plastic bottles (i.e. milk) might compress when you close the door, but then expand when at rest.
Do your best to ensure that your fridge door (and the objects stored there) are not pressing against anything in the main area of the fridge. Err on the side of caution, and if you feel any resistance when closing the door, check carefully for what may be causing it.
#2: Door Hinge
Check to see if your fridge door looks level. Use a scale, if necessary. A lot of weight on your fridge door may cause the door to hang at an angle over time. This can prevent the door from closing, staying closed, or retaining cold air.
Remove heavy items from the fridge door. Inspect the bolts and hinges for signs of wear. If the hinges look bent, replace them. There are also plastic spacers and hinge pins which may prevent the door from closing properly if they become broken or deformed. Watch the hinge carefully when opening or closing for signs of obstruction or erratic movement in these parts. If the bolts are loose, a simple tightening may fix the issue.
#3: Bad Door Seal
Examine the door gasket or seal. If the seal is cracked, loose, or twisted, it should be replaced. If it is dirty, clean the seal with a vinegar or hydrogen peroxide. Do not use bleach as it will damage the plastic.
Test the integrity of your seal by closing the door on a dollar bill. The gasket should form a tight grip on the dollar, making it difficult to pull through. If the gasket looks fine, but it isn’t forming a tight grip, then the gasket may have become demagnetized, requiring it to be replaced.
#4: Imbalanced Refrigerator
Part of the problem may simply be poor balance. Refrigerators are designed for perfect left/right balance, but the front should be slightly higher than the back. If the front is even with or lower than the back of the unit, it can cause leaking and the door to swing open. When properly aligned, gravity will contribute ever so slightly in closing the door and keeping it closed.
When leveling front to rear, stack three quarters on the back of the machine and set the level on top of them. This will offset the front/rear balance perfectly.