• How to Replace Walk-in Refrigerator Door Gaskets

    November 6th, 2009 U.S. Cooler
    torn walk-in gasket

    Torn gaskets should be replaced ASAP.

    The vinyl door gasket on the inside edge of the door for your walk-in cooler or freezer is very important. It creates a seal the keeps cold air from escaping, which means the unit will stay colder longer and use less energy. Old gaskets wear out and lose their seal. Even worse, older gaskets can pose a food safety risk because they begin to collect grime and food bits and become a breeding ground for bacteria.

    Luckily, it’s easy to replace door gaskets!  There are several different styles of gaskets. To insure you get the proper gasket, gather the following information:

    1. Dimension of gasket – Measure from outside corner to outside corner for both height and width. For Some suppliers prefer the dart to dart measurements (center of gasket) or the door opening size. It’s best to measure several different areas to be sure you receive the correct size.

    2. Manufacturer – Get the manufacturer’s name and the model and serial number of the walk-in. The tag containing this information may be in the door jamb or mounted somewhere on the inner frame.

    magnetic gasket

    Magnetic door gaskets are the most common.

    3. Style –  Check to see if the gasket is magnetic or non-magnetic(compression). Almost all newer refrigeration equipment will have a magnetic gasket . A magnetic gasket will be hard and square at the point where it contacts the inside frame of the unit. Magnetic gaskets will also snap shut when you hold the door less than an inch from the frame because the magnet attracts to the metal.

    compression style gasket

    A compression style door gasket.

    Compression gaskets usually need a door latch to hold them tight in place to get a good seal. These gaskets are soft and compress easily at the point where they contact the inside frame of the unit.

    Door gaskets are also categorized by how they attach to the door.  There are 3 ways a door gasket mounts on a door: snap in (or dart), push in, and screw in.

    Replace Snap in (dart) door gaskets

    walkin freezer dart gasket

    Note the arrow shaped “dart” in the middle. This snaps into a slot on the door.

    Removal – Remove any screws that may be securing the gasket. Remove the old gasket by grabbing a corner and pulling down. The dart section of the gasket, which fits snugly into a slot in the door frame, will pull out.

    Installation – To install the new gasket, soak it in hot water for a few minutes and dry it off. Soaking the gasket will make it more flexible.  Begin by snapping in a top corner first. Then, using a rubber mallet tap the dart into place at the top of the gasket. Continue by installing the sides from top to bottom, and finally the bottom. Some manufacturers recommend securing the gasket with screws so it does not pull out of the groove.

    Note: Make sure the hinge side of the gasket does not roll under when you close the door.  If it does, push it into position and you may have to tape the door closed to get the gasket to seat itself. You might also try a hair dryer to heat the gasket as this will help it seat.  (Make sure you don’t melt the gasket!)

    Replace Push-in door gaskets

    push-in door gasket

    A push-in style door gasket.

    Removal – Remove the old gasket by grabbing a corner and pulling!

    Installation – Push in gaskets may require vinyl cement. To install the new gasket brush some vinyl cement into the channel and press the gasket into the channel.

    Note: Make sure the hinge side of the gasket does not roll under when you close the door.  If it does, push it into position and you may have to tape the door closed to get the gasket to seat itself.  You may also use a hair dryer to heat the gasket as this will help the gasket seat.  (Make sure you don’t melt the gasket!)

    Replace Screw in door gaskets

    screw-in door gasket

    A screw in style door gasket. Note the strip for screwing in the gasket.

    Removal –  Remove screws.

    Installation – Screw in the new gasket using retainer strips.

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    3 responses to “How to Replace Walk-in Refrigerator Door Gaskets”

    1. I have a 10 year old walk in refrig. and would like to replace gaskets ???

      Please provide me with your phone number so I may ask questions.

    2. Our number to order parts is 866-261-2797. Thanks.

    3. have walk in freezer replaced gasket with 1/2 foam that was on there. Checked seal and latch side is good, hinge side i can slide a sheet of paper between the gasket and the freezer letting me know i do not have a good seal. I am getting a lot of ice built up in it as well

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