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Learn Why Your Refrigerator Door Is Not Closing Properly
The refrigerator is a keystone of every kitchen, preserving and storing food and beverages for longer periods. It also offers convenience, effectively reducing the need for frequent grocery trips. It’s an incredibly important appliance, which is why it can be exasperating and frustrating when it stops working well.
A good example is when the refrigerator door is not closing. A securely sealed door is crucial as it allows the refrigerator to maintain the ideal environment to preserve foods and beverages, as well as ensure energy efficiency. With that said, we’re here to delve into the different factors that might be preventing your refrigerator door from closing.
Why a Properly Closing Door Is Important
Before we talk about all the possible reasons behind a fridge door that won’t stay shut, it’s important to understand why a properly closing door is important. You see, a well-sealed refrigerator door is the first thing that defends you against two critical issues we will discuss below.
Preservation of Temperature
A firmly sealed door prevents warm air on the outside from entering and cold air within the refrigerator from escaping. Preserving the temperature inside the refrigerator guarantees that the meals kept within are safe, fresh, and unspoiled.
The refrigerator’s cooling system works diligently to maintain the desired temperature. When the door doesn’t close properly, the cooling system is forced to work harder to compensate for the lost cold air, consuming more energy and increasing your electricity bills.
Common Reasons Behind the Refrigerator Door Not Closing Properly
Is your fridge not sealing properly? There could be various potential reasons behind this issue, jeopardizing your food’s freshness and potentially causing increased utility bills, which can lead to financial losses. The sooner you find out what the issue is, the closer you are to having a refrigerator that does exactly what it’s supposed to do!
Worn or Damaged Door Gasket
The door gasket is a rubber or silicone seal encircling the refrigerator door, which helps maintain airtight insulation. But this can accumulate dirt or sustain minor damage over time, leading to cold air leaking and causing the refrigerator door to not close.
To fix this, you need to inspect the gasket for irregularities, such as tears, cracks, or hardness. If you find the gasket damaged, consider replacing it to restore the fridge door’s airtight seal.
Misaligned Door Hinges
Refrigerator doors are equipped with hinges that allow smooth opening and closing. If these hinges become misaligned due to frequent use, accidental bumps, or age-related wear, the door may not fit snugly into its frame.
Misalignment often leads to gaps that allow cold air to escape and warm air to enter, affecting the refrigerator’s efficiency. Check the hinges carefully and try realignment if you can. If not, seek professional assistance to ensure precision.
Excessively Loaded Shelves or Bins
If your refrigerator is overloaded, it can exert pressure on the shelves and bins. This can cause them to sag and lead to a refrigerator door not closing properly. With the bulging contents obstructing the door’s path, it’s not sealing correctly.
It should be easy enough to fix. All you need to do is redistribute the items inside the refrigerator. While doing so, ensure that the shelves and bins are level and not overly crowded to prevent the same issue from happening again.
Our resident home repair guru, John Turpin, offers some professional insight as to why your refrigerator door isn’t closing properly as well as some DIY suggestions and solutions.
Improperly Seated Items
Similar to when the shelves or bins are overloaded, improperly seated items inside the refrigerator can cause it to not close properly. Sometimes, items stored inside the refrigerator might protrude or extend beyond the designated storage spaces.
These protruding items can obstruct the door’s closure, leading to gaps and compromised insulation. Remedy this by taking care to arrange items neatly, ensuring that nothing interferes with the door’s movement.
Leveling and Uneven Flooring
Your refrigerator must seat on a level surface to ensure its components, including the door, function properly. if the flooring is uneven, it can lead to an unbalanced or tilted refrigerator and that can lead to the refrigerator door not closing properly.
The solution is to ensure that the fridge is on even flooring. For this, you will need to utilize a leveling tool to confirm that the flooring the refrigerator is on is even. This will also help you adjust the appliance’s leveling legs accordingly.
Internal components, such as drawers, shelves, or condiment trays, might shift out of place, blocking the door’s closure path. Ensure that all interior components are properly aligned and securely positioned to allow the door to close without hindrance.
Dirty or Damaged Door Hinges
The refrigerator door might not operate smoothly due to the accumulation of dirt, dust, or debris around the hinges. This makes it crucial to clean the hinges and their surrounding areas regularly to ensure optimal functionality. It also helps to inspect the hinges for signs of damage, such as rust or corrosion, so you can address them before they get worse.
A refrigerator not closing is an issue that can stem from a variety of factors, from minor issues to more complex mechanical problems. As always, the key to preventing it is regular maintenance, proper care, and prompt attention to any anomalies you notice.
Refrigerator Door FAQs
Can I continue using the refrigerator if the door isn’t closing properly?
It’s not recommended. An improperly sealed door can compromise food freshness and energy efficiency, and potentially lead to food spoilage. Also, the compressor has to run continuously to maintain the fridge’s temperature if the door doesn’t close properly. This means the fridge doesn’t get any rest, which may lead to overheating and damage.
How can I tell if the gasket is damaged?
Inspect the gasket for visible cracks, tears, or signs of wear. You can also perform a “dollar bill test” by closing the door on a dollar bill—difficulty pulling the bill out indicates a compromised gasket. Try feeling for leaks by running your fingers along the gasket while the fridge door is closed. You can also check for deformation, as well as dirt and debris buildup. Also, if you notice condensation and temperature fluctuations, it’s likely that your refrigerator gasket’s damaged and has to be replaced.
Can I address the issue myself or should I call a technician?
If the problem seems simple, like cleaning dirty hinges or redistributing items, you can attempt to fix it. However, if you’re uncertain about the cause or solution, or if the issue involves complex components, it’s best to seek professional help. They can inspect the refrigerator, and repair any issue or replace broken components as necessary.
How can I prevent future problems with my refrigerator door?
Regularly clean and maintain the gasket, hinges, and interior components. Avoid overloading shelves and bins, and be mindful of proper storage practices. Periodically check the door alignment, sealing, hinges, and latches. Also, don’t slam or forcefully close the refrigerator door. Of course, don’t forget to ensure that the fridge is level.
Is a partially closed door still a problem?
Yes, a partially closed door still allows air exchange and affects the refrigerator’s efficiency. It can be problematic as it can cause temperature fluctuations, lead to ice formation and moisture accumulation, decrease cooling efficiency, compromise food safety, and increase energy consumption. It’s important to ensure a proper, airtight seal for optimal performance.
Hire a Local Appliance Repair Pro
The quick diagnosis of the specific cause of the issue will help you take the appropriate actions, whether it be cleaning, adjusting, or replacing components. If the troubleshooting tips in this article aren’t enough, we advise that you seek professional assistance by following the phone number or form on this page.
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