How To Replace Sub-Zero Refrigerator Door Gasket / Door seals

If you have reached here assuming a gasket install is a simple task, think again! If you are not sure of doing this, do not bother and and call a professional. If you are sure you have enough qualification so read on. In any case you can always contact us to put your Sub-Zero gasket on your door, even if you tried and made the situation worse.
We love working on with Sub-Zero appliances. They really are a challenge, and as these beautiful appliances get older, we get more and more calls about changing gaskets. It is just a rubber seal with some bolts connecting it to a door, many of our clients try to take it on themselves, which we value to see. However, the truth is that a Sub-Zero gasket installation is not an easy job. It takes a lot of skill and patience. Check out the video where our professional technician performs the replacement of gaskets and shows a step-by-step guide.

Step by step guide on replacing Sub-Zero door gaskets

Warm up the gaskets to get the proper shade

The first problem is that the gasket comes out of the package all folded up. Sometimes when the gasket has been in the package for a long time the bendings will be worse. While it does have a “memory” of how it should sit, after some time if you skipped this step, it will take its original form. But Sub-Zero still says to remove the gasket from the box and to use a hair dryer on the areas with bendings in them. We did this for years but there are a few better ways to do this.

Method One: Do not open the box fully, cut a hole in the middle of the box, and put a blow drier in the hole. Allow 15 minutes on the warm setting of your blow drier to evenly heat the contents of the box. Open the box, remove the gasket, and place the gasket on the floor stretched out as if it were sitting on the door of the unit. Allow settling 15 minutes. If irregularities exist, use a blow drier to heat those areas and mold them back into place with your hands.

Method Two: Rinse the gasket in a warm bath in the sink. Not a scolding hot tub. Keep the gasket submerged in water for a few minutes. Spread the pad on the floor on some towel, as if it were on the device. Now it should be straight, not twisted or disfigured. Pat it dry with towels, it doesn’t have to be bone dry before you start putting it on. This method can be wet and dirty, and we rarely use it, but it works great because it provides uniform heating around the gasket.

Start pulling out the old gaskets from the door

I always start at the top and move down do it in sections. Do not remove the gasket completely, but remove it piece by piece at a time. I don’t even remove the metal strips that keep the gasket. Instead, I remove a few bolts, but loosen the rest evenly throughout the strip. After loosening, the old gasket can be pulled out and the new one inserted in its place. Look at this picture on the right to understand what I mean. Now, with a little effort, the new gasket should slip right behind the metal strips and fall into place.

Do not tighten the bolts yet!

Now you have to get used to it. Remove a few bolts, insert a new gasket, insert the bolts back, do not tighten them, we do not tighten the bolts completely to the end. Right now they’re just tightening enough to hold the gasket in place on the door. Slowly walk around the door. Remove the old gasket a few feet at a time, insert the new gasket, screw in the bolts slightly so that it holds onto the gasket.

The edge of the gasket must be inserted into the metal strip

When you insert a new gasket into the metal strips, you will realize that the metal strips have a small groove where they are attached to the metal protrusion on the gasket. This is the protrusion of the gasket, and it is important that it is well positioned in the metal strip. You do this by putting the gasket in place and pulling on the outer edge (thick part) of the gasket. The bolt should be loosened enough so that when the gasket is pulled, it gives in, but tight enough so that when it is pulled, it does not pop out. If it pops out, insert it back into the metal strip and try again.

Get ready to tighten the bolts

This is where it is extremely important to make sure that your gasket is installed correctly. Look at the corners of the doors, I bet you noticed a lot of sagging here. This is normal because all of your bolts are relatively loose. If there is additional slack at the bottom or at the top, you should move the gasket with your hand until the slack disappears and is evenly distributed over the door. With your own hands, you need to make sure that the corners look nice and neat, they should be rolled up and fit snugly to the door frame. Take a look at the image below to see what I mean by a bad installation compared to a good installation. Once we are in a “good position” and everything is neatly tucked in, we are ready to tighten the bolts.

But don’t overtight the bolts

It’s all right, the gasket looks nice. Let’s start tightening the bolts, don’t tighten them too much, otherwise they will come off. If they do unscrew and do not tighten, take some silicon, fill the hole with it and insert the screw back, just so that it is sealed. Go around the door. Make sure that there is not too much sagging in one place or another. Tighten these bolts! Patience, keep checking if there is any slack. Almost finished. After completion, the door should close the same way as before, if it needs adjustment, you can check the top of the door to see your door hardware, adjust by loosening and moving the door, this is not necessary if the installation of the gasket went according to plan. Take a look at the photo below to see the beautiful installation!

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