Help Your Refrigerator Doors Close Themselves

Most refrigerators are built so that the doors will close by themselves. This is to counteract the forgetful members of your household that might not close the door themselves. Sometimes this stops happening, leading to frosty freezers and warm food, but it can be simple to fix. While consistently reminding your children, spouse, or self to close the door can help, it does not always work. I know that the reminding my children to shut things often falls on unlistening ears. However, adjusting the balance of the refrigerator itself can help prevent some serious frustration and lower energy bills. Of course, this fix will not help if the crisper or other drawers are not closed, but let’s deal with one problem at a time.

All you will need for this project is a little time, a carpenter’s level, adjustable wrench, slip joint pliers, nutdriver, and a screwdriver. A little help with the brute force to move the refrigerator or help balance the door would not be unwelcome either. If you do not have help, using some of the discs intended to making moving furniture easier will help greatly. I often do these sort of things when I am alone in the house, so no one can hear me cursing, so I find tools like that extremely helpful.

1. If you can not reach the front and rear leveling feet because of the refrigerator’s position you will need to move it so that you can. Cleaning of the top and front of the fridge first is highly recommended, of course. In my house this can be a project in its own right.
2. Lay the level down on the top of the fridge, parallel to the door.
3. Use the adjustable wrench or a pair of slip nose pliers to turn the leveling feet at the front corners of the fridge in order to fully level the fridge.
4. Adjust the rear feet so that both feet touch the floor.
5. Move the level 90 degrees so that it lines up with the sides of the fridge.
6. Make adjustments to the feet as necessary to level the fridge.
7. I generally double ir even triple check the balance with the level in each direction to be sure that the fridge is completely balanced.
8. Test the door. If it closes by itself, like it should, then you can put the fridge back where it belongs and you are done. If the door does not close, or even starts to open further, continue on to the next step.
9. Use the nutdriver to loosen the screws at the top and middle hinges of the door. You might need to use the screwdriver to pry a cover off the top hinge. If you have side by side doors or only one door then you will only need to loosen the top hinge screw(s).
10. With the door close, shift the door so that it lines up with the side of the fridge.
11. Tighten the screws and check the alignment.
12. Repeat steps 9 through 11 if needed, then replace the hinge cover.
13. If the door still stays open, adjust the front leveling feet so that the fridge leans back slightly. Do not over do this if it is necessary, or you might have issues with things rolling or sliding inside the fridge.
14. If you have moved the fridge, put it back in its place and return any items to the top and front of the fridge.

I typically check little things like this when I am cleaning the house for spring, or in preparation for winter. Finding and fixing little problems like this before they become larger issues will help keep projects from adding up and becoming a daunting to do list.

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