How to perform routine maintenance and repair on refrigerator? How to replace door gasket?

Once or twice a year, clean the condenser coils beneath or behind the refrigerator. Pry off the bottom grille (or pull the unit away from the wall) and vacuum the coils with a crevice tool.  Regularly clean the drain system in a self-defrosting refrigerator.

Remove the plug from the drain holes at the bottom of the refrigerator and freezer compartments, insert a piece of stiff wire to unclog the drain, then flush it with water from a basting syringe. Wash the drain pan in soapy water. If water collects under the refrigerator, look for cracks in the drain pan (and in the drain hose in back of certain models): replace them if necessary.

If a refrigerator cools poorly or runs continuously, check that it doesn’t need defrosting and that the temperature controls are set properly. Clean dirty condenser coils. Leaks in the door seal cause rapid frost buildup and poor cooling. For the door to close by itself and form a tight seal, the refrigerator must be level from side to side and tilted back slightly. To level the refrigerator or to adjust its tilt, prop it up in front with a wood block; turn the roller-adjustment screws or the leveling legs counterclockwise to raise the cabinet, clockwise to lower it.

If the door sags, remove the cap, if any, from the hinge at the top of the door. Use a nut driver or screwdriver to loosen the hinge screws (if the unit has a separate freezer door, you may have to open or remove the top door to adjust the lower one). Reposition the door and hold it firmly in place while you tighten the hinge screws.

Check the gasket for wear, tears, and gaps. Before replacing a leaking gasket, make sure a sagging door isn’t causing the problem. To replace a door gasket buy a duplicate gasket and soak it in warm water for a few minutes. Unplug the refrigerator and loosen the gasket-retainer screws around one of the door’s top corners. Pull the old gasket out from under the loosened retainer-strip section.

With the rest of the old gasket still in place, install the new one, pushing its lip fully under the edge of the retainer strip. Partially tighten the screws. Repeat the procedure at the other top corner, then at the bottom. Before tightening the retainer screws completely, check the door for warping; adjust as needed by grasping the door in both hands and pushing or pulling it into alignment.

If a faulty door switch causes the in-side light to stay on when the door is closed, the bulb’s heat causes poor refrigeration. In some frost-free models, a second door switch turns the evaporator fan on when the door is closed. If this switch fails, air can’t circulate and frost builds up in the freezer. Test both switches the same way.

Push the switch button by hand. If the light stays on or the fan stays off (with the compressor and fan running, you should be able to feel a draft in the freezer air duct), unplug the refrigerator, gently pry out the switch with a screwdriver, and disconnect the wires. Attach the clip and probe of a continuity tester to the switch terminals. On a light switch, the tester should light when the button is out and go off when it’s in; a fan switch should show opposite results. Replace a faulty switch with a duplicate.

To elliminating noise make sure the refrigerator is level. Re-position a rattling drain pan so that it clears the compressor.