When a refrigerator door refuses to stay shut, the compressor will run non-stop and your energy bill will cost more as cold air is dumped onto the floor. This wiki will help you troubleshoot a fridge that just won't close.
Failing Door Seals
Door seals are gaskets for your fridge, and as they age and fall apart, cool air escapes through the cracks in door seals.
Out of Level Fridge
A fridge out of level may refuse to cooperate and cool effectively.
- Start by adjusting the front feet. Use a bubble level and correct any side-to-side wonkiness in the fridge.
- Tilt the fridge back slightly. This will allow doors to close on their own, increase efficiency, and prevent ice maker issues.
Loose and Misaligned Hinges
Loading the fridge door with heavy objects like juice or milk will cause eventual sagging from the hinges. The weight of the door is usually held on the bottom door cams or hinges.
The grease on the lower cams may have worn away, and may not be able to support the door or its swinging. Below is a photo of the lower hinge and its o-ring (grommet) which has worn away.
- Open the fridge door and remove the hinge covers.
- Place a bubble level on the door and center the bubble in the level.
- Tighten the top hinge screws to secure the door.
- Open and close the door to verify the correct sealing.
- Place objects back in the door to see if the door is still sagging.
- If the door still sags, consider securing the door slightly above level. This way, when the door sags after food is added, it will sink into the correct position. Remember to keep weight in the door.
On the bottom of some fridge door hinges you may find instructions on raising or lowering door hinges. This normally likes like rotating a nut on the lower door rest. The images below will give you an idea of what the nut may look like.
If none of these fixes work, replace the door hinges.
Overcrowded shelves can prevent doors from closing properly. If you hear objects moving or resettling each time the doors are open, this is likely the issue. Make sure that bottles in the door or bulky objects aren't in the way.
In freezers where ice buildup occurs, chunks of ice can grow on the door seals.
- Break the ice with a butter knife, and test that the door closes.
- This is a good time to defrost the freezer.
Some modern fridge door seals have an embedded magnet.
Fellow magnet nerds over at K&J Magnetics ran a series of tests attempting remagnetization of the door. At best, the magnets had 65%-80% of the original holding force. At worst, the magnet lost all holding ability.
- Follow the procedures shown in the K&J Magnetics posting or in this TechTownForum knowing that incorrect magnetization could result in not holding strength. Read the entire article.
- Source two strong neodymium block magnets, and rub in a single direction.
- Rub the two magnets as a unit multiple times across the weakly magnetized portion of the door gasket.
- Attempt all other fixes before this procedure.
If all else fails, and your fridge will not stay closed, you have two final options. Replace the door, or add an external fridge lock.