My refrigerator door is not sealing shut

Refrigerator doors have gaskets that seal when the door closes. The gaskets prevent the cold air from escaping the food compartment and keep the air in the room from entering. When the door does not seal completely, the compressor must work harder to cool the food compartment. Repairing a refrigerator door that is not sealing shut is often a matter of some minor adjustments. Although door gaskets do wear out over time, they are often not the problem. The most common reason doors do not seal shut is that the refrigerator is not level.

Open the refrigerator door, and inspect the gasket. Clean the gasket with soap and water. Rinse with a wet cloth, and dry the gasket thoroughly.

Grab the ends of the base grill, and pull it away from the refrigerator. The grill has two spring clips on the back that simply insert into two holes at the base of the refrigerator. The adjustment screws are behind the refrigerator base grill.

Find the hex head levelling screws above each front leg or roller of the refrigerator. Turn the hex head screws clockwise with a nut driver to raise the front of the refrigerator. Ask a helper to gently tilt the refrigerator back enough to lift the wheels or feet off the floor. This makes turning the screws a little less difficult.

Open and close the refrigerator door, and check the seal. Adjust the levelling screws as necessary. Place the grill back over the bottom of the refrigerator and push until the spring clips lock it in place, once you have made the adjustments.


If the gasket has tears, replace the gasket with a new one. If you have a side-by-side refrigerator, look at the distance between the freezer and refrigerator door. Pop the top hinge cover off with a screwdriver, and loosen the retaining screws. Adjust the door so that the space between the two is even. Tighten the screws, and push the hinge cap back over the hinge.

Things You'll Need

  • Nut driver
  • Helper
Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article

About the Author

Kenneth Crawford is a freelance writer with more than 10 years of experience. His work has appeared in both print and online publications, including "The American Chronicle." Crawford holds an associate degree in business administration from Commonwealth College.