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Your refrigerator door gasket seals cold air within the insulated interior to prevent food spoilage. As you open and close the door over the years, this rubber seal often warps. If you pass your hand along the freezer door gasket, for example, you'll feel cold air escaping through small gaps. It is time to replace the freezer door gasket.

Step 1: Before You Start

Freezer door gaskets typically come in a kinked shape because of shipping and packing constraints. If you try to attach a kinked gasket to the door, the resulting seal still has tiny gaps allowing cold air to escape.

Three strategies help you remove the kinks:
1. Fill a tub with some hot water and lay the gasket in it for up to 30 minutes.
2. Use a hair dryer to heat up the rubber instead of water, or even place the gasket in a clothes dryer for 10 minutes. Heat is the key to removing the kinks without harming the gasket's integrity.
3. Lay the treated gasket on a table and carefully stretch the rubber into the shape you need for the freezer door, including a square or rectangular shape. Allow it to lay flat until you need to install it.

Step 2:

Unplug your freezer or simply turn the temperature control off. Allowing the freezer to run while you service the door places stress on the motor, causing possible failed components. Remove all food items from the freezer door. Place them temporarily in the refrigerator to keep them cool.

Locate the door gasket and lift the edge up. You should see many screws or bolts holding the gasket to the door. Using either the nut driver or screwdriver, detach all the fasteners and place them carefully in a cup. You do not want to lose any fasteners under the refrigerator.

Step 3:

Place pressure on the freezer's inner panel using one hand while you slowly maneuver the old gasket off of the door with your other hand. Pull the inner panel off and discard the old gasket. Clean the exposed door surface with a damp towel, if desired.

Step 4:

Align the inner panel with the freezer door's fastener holes and loosely attach four or five bolts or screws using your power tool. You want the panel to have some flexibility to maneuver the new gasket around it. Do not tighten the fasteners.

Step 5:

Carefully stretch the gasket around the inner panel so it seats into the channel. The gasket's magnet edge needs to be facing out to adhere to the refrigerator lip. Loosely install the remaining fasteners while keeping the gasket from kinking under the tightening pressure. Do not strip the screws; use a clutch setting on the tool.

Step 6:

Test the door to check if any gaps remain. Adjust the screws' tightness and use duct tape across the gasket to form it perfectly to the refrigerator's lip. Plug in your refrigerator or turn on the freezer. You freezer is more energy efficient with the updated and tightened seal. Learn about how to replace the freezer gasket and other common refrigerator problems at http://www.partselect.com/Repair/Refrigerator/

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