Sealant for the refrigerator: rules for choosing and replacing the sealing gum

Evgenia Kravchenko
Checked by a specialist: Evgenia Kravchenko
Author: Irina Yakushchenko
Last update: June 2019

The refrigerator should not only reduce the temperature in the cooling and freezing chambers, but also support the selected mode. The elastic rubber on the appliance door plays a large role in this. If it does not fit snugly, ice appears on the inner walls of the chamber, the compressor turns on more often, consumes more energy.

We will tell you how to choose a new seal for the refrigerator and install it on the door. In the article we present, you will find methods for finding a loose fit area for worn or deformed gum. The replacement technology described in detail by us will help to quickly and efficiently get rid of the problem.

What causes a rubber malfunction?

The tightness of the refrigerator and freezer is ensured by an elastic rubber tape with a magnetic insert inside. Its main function is to tightly “glue” the appliance door to the housing when closing it.

If it does not adhere to surfaces and there are gaps through which warm air enters the chambers, malfunctions of the refrigerator appear.

Seal on the refrigerator door
Employees of service centers note that up to 80-85% of all breakdowns of the units, one way or another, are associated with leaks in the seals. If you do not pay attention to the malfunction in time, the situation only worsens

Warm air enters the gap between the rubber and the instrument body. It contains particles of water vapor, which, when the temperature is lowered, condenses and settles on the walls of the chamber in the form of drops. This water freezes. Ice is gradually forming, and its layer is becoming thicker.

This may cause the temperature sensor to malfunction. To maintain the desired mode, refrigerator compressor It turns on more often, works longer and less efficiently than before.

As a result, there is an increase in electricity consumption and premature wear of an expensive part.The consumer has to constantly overpay on electricity bills, and later - change the damaged compressor.

Sealant - an important element of the refrigerator
Replacing rubber tape is a relatively cheap type of repair. But if the breakdown is not corrected in time, trouble is guaranteed: you will often have to defrost the device, and later return it to the service

Timely restoration or replacement of the sealing gum for the refrigerator is an easy and cheap way to avoid serious problems that will inevitably lead to large costs.

How to find the gap between the door and the housing?

The first sign that should alert is ice. If the refrigerator is properly looked after and defrost on time, growths on the back wall should not be. The intense formation of frost, the frequent activation of the compressor - all this indicates a malfunction of the sealing tape.

Sometimes problems can be identified visually. For example, if the tape is cracked, has obvious defects, severe dents or moves away from the door, it is obvious that the time has come to deal with it.

The gum may not fit snugly due to poor refrigerator care. If crumbs are piled in the recesses, the material expands in these places and then a gap appears nearby.

Old door seal
Minor damage can be repaired by restoring the elasticity of the gum with hot water or a stroden. But the dry and yellowed seal will definitely have to be changed

The gap can be completely invisible, but still allow air to pass through. To identify such a breakdown, service center masters use special probes with a thickness of 0.1 mm.

But there is an easier way. The door is opened, paper is inserted under it and they try to move it up and down. If the sheet is firmly clamped, the seal is OK. If the paper moves under the rubber, then the latter needs restoration or replacement.

Types of elastic tape for the refrigerator

The old equipment has thick rubber bands, and it is unlikely that they will be able to be replaced with one hundred percent analogues. Modern seals are made from new types of polymers, although out of habit they continue to call them “rubber bands”. It is better to take just such a tape, making sure that it fits in size.

Products are one-and two-balloon. On most models, seals of the second type are installed. They are equipped with magnetic strips, which provide a better fit of the door to the body.

Seal profile for refrigerator
When buying a part, you need to know exactly the brand of your refrigerator. Even if there is no product designed for this model on sale, it will be easier to choose a similar one.

Tapes vary in installation method. The easiest way to change the seal with the mount in the groove ("herringbone"). If the refrigerator door does not have the necessary recesses, you can put the rubber on the screws or a reliable adhesive.

The sealant with the herringbone mount is removable, so there will be no difficulties with it when cleaning or replacing it. Self-tapping screws and glue are fixed more securely, but these methods are more time-consuming. When screwing in the screws, it is easy to damage the plastic panel, and the adhesive composition is poorly removed during the subsequent replacement of the part - the tape has to be cut.

Christmas tree seal
If there are slots in the refrigerator door for mounting the seal, replacing the part will take a minimum of time. Another plus: no special tools are required to dismantle the old and install a new tape

When choosing a sealant, do not hesitate to ask questions to the seller and find out the details. If the product does not fit, you will have to look for a new one, and then not intrusiveness will result in unnecessary expenses. Immediately you need to buy additional items - glue or fasteners.

Step-by-step replacement instructions

For work, you may need such additional materials and tools:

  • screwdriver or screwdriver if the tape is set on self-tapping screws;
  • a small spatula - for cleaning surfaces if the seal is glued;
  • building hair dryer;
  • glue like "Moment", "BF" or silicone sealant;
  • thinner or white spirit for degreasing surfaces.

If the old sealing tape is fixed in the grooves on the refrigerator door, you only need a screwdriver to pry it, and a hairdryer.

Stage 1 - preparation and dismantling of the gum

The refrigerator is disconnected from the network, and the products stored in it are removed. It will work best if you remove the door and put it on the floor. If this is not possible, you will have to change the gum “by weight”, which is not particularly convenient and may affect the quality of the installation.

The dismantling method depends on how the old part is fixed. If it is installed "herringbone", the edge of the groove is slightly pushed to itself, and the seal is pulled up, trying not to tear. If necessary, a flat screwdriver can be inserted between the edge of the panel and the tape. Prying it off, it is easy to get the gum out of the groove.

Dismantling the defective seal
Removing the old gum from the refrigerator, no need to rush. This work is done carefully and accurately so as not to damage the plastic and metal elements of the door.

To remove the gum screwed with screws, you only need a screwdriver or a screwdriver. But with the glued seal you have to tinker.

It is necessary not only to tear it from the metal, but also to remove the adhering small pieces, crumbs of rubber. The surface must be absolutely clean.

Stage 2 - choosing a tape to replace

If the new seal does not fit, all efforts are futile, so it is important to choose the right product.

When buying it, pay attention to such nuances:

  1. Brand and serial number of the refrigerator. If there is an elastic band on the right model for sale, the problem of choice can already be considered resolved. The tape should ideally fit the size and type of mount. If not, then you can pick up a similar one.
  2. The size. If it is not possible to buy a seal for a particular brand of refrigerator, you need to carefully measure the old one, determine its type and choose the appropriate one from the ones available. Such difficulties often arise with owners of outdated or unpopular models.
  3. New Ribbon Status. A new seal may be defective. In order to do without unpleasant surprises in the future, you should carefully examine the purchase. It should not have cracks, damage. Quality material has a uniform smooth structure and even color. Lumps and sprains are not allowed.

Sometimes it is not possible to find an elastic band on an old refrigerator model. In this case, any other suitable sealant is used. Dimensions are customized by cutting off excess pieces and gluing joints. Such a replacement is the worst option, and it is resorted to only in hopeless situations.

Sealant for freezer or refrigerator
After the purchase, the tape is left for a day in the room where the work will be carried out. During this period, it can not be cut off, and even less installed on the door. The material must adapt to the microclimate

If the tape needs to be glued, then the composition should be carefully selected. Experts recommend the "Moment". It bonds surfaces well and does not lose its properties over time.

The only caveat: traces may remain on the door cover, so you need to work very carefully, immediately wiping off glue drops. An alternative to “Moment” is “BF”.

There are craftsmen who prefer silicone sealants. They are really reliable, easy to use, characterized by elasticity and excellent adhesion to most materials. When choosing, it is better to give preference to compositions on the packaging of which there are notes about frost resistance.

Stage 3 - installing the seal on the door

When mounting the tape, it is undesirable to experiment and look for a different method of fastening than before. If the old gum was inserted into the grooves, then the new one is installed in the same way. The only case when you have to reinvent the wheel is when the door elements break.

Installing a new seal
In production, the gum is mounted in the groove with the help of special equipment. Manually it is impossible to repeat this process with the same efforts.Therefore, it makes sense to play it safe and additionally fix the tape with glue or press it with screws

Depending on your situation, you have to use one of three installation methods. It is important to do everything carefully, without violating the integrity of the elements and the sequence of steps.

The following options are possible:

  1. Gluing. The most important stage of work is surface cleaning. They should be thoroughly degreased with a solvent. The glue is applied and dried in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions on the packaging. The door must not be closed until the composition is completely dry.
  2. Self-tapping. If the refrigerator is very old and has a “native” seal on it, it is likely that the hardware is loose and does not hold well. To prevent this from happening with the new rubber band, it is mounted on larger diameter self-tapping screws.
  3. Groove insert. The ribbon with the herringbone mount is inserted into the slots and additionally planted on glue or pressed with self-tapping screws. Screws are screwed at a distance of 10-15 cm from each other.

When the work is completed, you should inspect the new sealing gum, make sure that it is not damaged during installation. If everything is in order, the products are returned to the refrigerator and plugged into the network.

With proper installation of the tape, the door should open with some effort, and no coolness should be felt next to it. You can run the test again with a piece of paper.

Door Seal Care
Dirt accumulates in the recesses of the tape. It must be cleaned and the surface wiped with detergents and disinfectants without acids and abrasives in the composition

In order for the seal to last for many years without repair and replacement, the door should be opened by the handles without touching the gum. When washing the refrigerator, be sure to clean the recesses of the tape with an old toothbrush with soda solution.

After drying, the rubber can be treated with silicone grease. But it is better not to use oils: they reduce the elasticity of the material.

Seal Repair Recommendations

If the damage is local or it is necessary to restore the elasticity of the old tape, you can resort to tricks:

  1. Places where the gum moves away from the door are glued with “Moment” or silicone sealant.
  2. A deformed or loose elasticity of the sealing part is soaked in a basin of hot water. Option - moderate warming with a strofen along the entire length.
  3. If a few cracks appear, they are repaired with a sealant or other adhesive safe for humans.

Another point - if the tape is deformed only on the outside of the door, it can be removed and attached with a damaged area to the inside.

Mold on the seal
The sealant, on which there are serious defects, numerous cracks and especially mold, cannot be repaired. Restoration is only possible as an ambulance option until new material is purchased

A damaged seal must be replaced in a timely manner, without waiting for the door to fail due to a loose fit temperature controller or motor compressor. Violations in the insulation of the refrigeration machine threaten not only spoilage of products and huge bills for electricity, but also damage to the equipment itself.

Conclusions and useful video on the topic

Finding and replacing the seal on the refrigerator door is all troublesome, albeit uncomplicated. If you don’t know where to start, check out our video collection.

We have collected the best videos in which the masters give detailed explanations and demonstrate each stage of the work. We especially recommend materials on the rubber rearrangement on the other side of the door. This is a temporary measure, but it will make life easier until you find the right seal and get ready for a replacement.

Detailed instructions for replacing an item. Necessary tools, materials, technology:

Tips on how to change the seal on the refrigerator freezer door:

Restoration and restoration of sealing gum instead of replacement:

Replacing the sealing strip on the refrigerator door is no big deal. Even an inexperienced master, this procedure takes no more than an hour. It is important to choose the right material, remove old gum and prepare the surface well..

The rest is a matter of technology. If you know how to hold a screwdriver and a building hair dryer in your hands, be sure to handle it.

There is a desire to talk about how you yourself changed the seal on the door of the refrigerator? Want to share the technological nuances that are useful to site visitors? Please write comments in the block below, post pictures on the topic of the article, ask questions.

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Visitors Comments
  1. Tamara

    The material for replacing the rubber seal is very intelligibly presented!

  2. Natalya

    I have an Indesit refrigerator, I don’t know whose assembly it is, but the seal flies very often! Torn along the fold of the accordion and along the entire length. At first she also warmed up, tried to glue with sealant, but my model of the refrigerator has a significant design flaw: there are no handles to open as such, they are embedded in the form of a recess in the lower part of the refrigerator compartment door and in the upper part of the freezer door.

    This is very inconvenient, especially in the conditions of our small-sized kitchens, when access to the refrigerator is limited by the rest of the furniture. Involuntarily, you have to open, holding on to the door, and this does not benefit the seal. Now I’m also looking for better materials, I’ll make a complete replacement, because otherwise I’m happy with the refrigerator.

    • Maria

      Have you checked the adjustment of the hinges on the doors by the level relative to the floor? Often, due to the drawdown of the door under its own weight, and even with food (after 5-7 years of use, for example), an uneven door leads to a quick damage to the seals, the door simply tears them over time ... Check the hinges, adjust the doors and the seals often stop "fly".

  3. Polina

    I began to notice that the refrigerator door does not always close easily as before. Sometimes you have to pin down. Should I change the seal or wait? No cracks are visible.

    • Expert
      Evgenia Kravchenko

      Hello. It is not worth delaying the repair, as there may come a time when you forget to close the door more tightly or it will open in your absence. In any of these cases, the refrigerator will be forced to wear to compensate for the loss of cold in the chamber. And this means that the additional load will negatively affect the overall life of the unit.

      The problem may not only be in the seal. Also, the reason could be an uneven installation surface, loosening of the fasteners, overloading of the door, wear of the spacer, jamming of the bulb stem in the refrigerator. Carefully inspect all of these places.