Whirlpool Refrigerator Door Not Closing

Whirlpool Refrigerator Door Not Closing

nicO and 2 contributors
Last updated on

Items inside the fridge are a primary cause of the door not closing. Sometimes, we think everything should fit, but there may be things that keep the door from closing. Make sure you check first!

  • One way of figuring this out is to remove everything from the door and see if the door closes properly.
  • You can then add items back in small groups and see if the problem comes back. Then you can see what might cause it.

Did you flip the direction of the door swing?

  • Make sure you flip the door stopper part on the door to the other side, or it will keep the door from closing.
  • Take a look at the gasket on the freezer and fresh food doors. When you flip the door swing, they will tend to hold the door open (from one side being compressed and the other being stretched previously). Warm up the gasket very carefully with a hair dryer and reshape it so it sticks out evenly all around the perimeter of the door.

Do you have a door-in-door fridge? Make sure you don't press the latch button on the small door when closing it. It will cause it not to close. You can press it several times to get it to reset, then close the door.

For freezer drawers, one major issue may be that the drawer basket is reversed.

  • Check this first thing if the drawer won't stay shut. The basket is marked to tell you which part should be to the front.
  • An easy check is to see that the sloped part of the basket faces the sloped part of the freezer compartment.`

If this isn't the case, then let's go forward! Some of these items may apply to your Freezer door or drawer, so make sure to check them too.

Causes

1

This is a common issue, especially with fridges that are out of level side to side. Make sure the refrigerator is supported by the feet, not the wheels.

You can use a small level on the top of the fridge to check side-to-side and front-to-back leveling. A magnetic one is great. Adjust the legs so the fridge is level side-to-side and front-to-back.

If you want to, you can set the fridge with a slight tilt toward the rear. A slight tilt is sufficient, as too much can cause icemaker leaks. If the leveling is good and the problem is still there, proceed to the next cause.

2

If part of the door gasket comes loose from its mounting slot, it can then act like a prop for the door to keep it from closing completely. You will then have major issues with temperature and condensation in the refrigerator. A damaged or torn gasket can also act in the same way.

  • Inspect your door gasket closely, and pull on it gently to see if it is coming loose. If so, it is best to replace it, as the repeated movement will wear the gasket, and the problem will worsen.
  • Also, check for anything lodged on the face of the gasket, like food bits, cracks, or kinks.
  • Look for low spots where the gasket has been pushed in, as well as high spots where it sticks out. As mentioned, these can act as props and keep the door from closing completely.
  • Inspect your door seals, then clean and replace if necessary.
3

The door gasket has a magnet embedded in the edge that can weaken over time. You may find that closing one door (with even a little force) causes the other door to pop open, often unnoticed. This is especially a problem with fridges that have air passages that connect the freezer and Fresh Food (refrigerator) compartments.

  • If you experience this, replace all the gaskets. If one is weakened, the other will likely follow.

If this isn't a problem, go on to the next cause.

4

The door of your fridge may need to be leveled, and you should check to see if it is out of alignment with the other door (if there is one). Your owner's manual will give some information about door adjustments, and usually, there is a small wrench included (often in the bag with the manual) to do this.

Freezer Drawers use an unusual tilting motion to free one edge of the door seal first when opening. If the tilt doesn't reset when the drawer is closed, the drawer won't close fully. You may need to adjust this or clean the drawer tracks.

The mullion (the part that pops out between the doors on French Door models can cause interference between the doors.

The small cam pin at the top of the mullion can get broken off or jammed if the doors are not properly adjusted and level with each other. This pin often follows a track in both doors and guides the mullion into place when the door is shut.

If the doors line up well, go to the next cause.

5

Your door may have closing cams mounted at the lower door hinge. These provide a closing push to the door when it swings toward the fridge and can wear out over time. Then the door will often stop short of closing fully.

  • To replace them, on some models you must remove the door by removing the top hinge plate.
  • Empty the door shelves and then tape the door shut at the top so it doesn't fall. You should have a helper to lift the door off and help you to reinstall it.
    • Be prepared to disconnect and reconnect wiring and possibly water connections to the door, especially if it has a dispenser in it.

Some doors have an internal closing spring mounted inside the door itself. This can fail and not allow the door to close.

If the closing cams are ok go to the next cause. Skip it if you don't have a French door model.

6

If the mullion spring breaks, you will have to manually fold the mullion against the left-hand door on a French door model, or the door will not be able to close properly because the pin on the mullion will jam against the other door.

Here's a helpful post about this problem. If this doesn't apply, go on to the next item.

7

The bearing sleeves on the door or hinge can wear out over time with heavy use and heavily loaded doors. They are usually made of plastic for smooth, lubricant-free operation, but they can wear out.

You may have loose hinges. They don't often come loose unless they have been loosened to change the swing of a door.

  • You can observe them as you open and close the door and see if they shift.
  • Since they also have pins that hold them in place, just make sure the fasteners are tight.

You may have bent hinges, especially if your refrigerator was moved and perhaps hit something. The door on a conventional top freezer model is probably the most likely to suffer from this bending as the door is fairly long, and someone inadvertently hanging on it or something dropping on the edge of it could bend the hinge or the door itself. The metal of the hinge is substantial, as are the fasteners, so this doesn't often happen.

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The grease on the lower cams may have worn away, and may not be able to support the door or its swinging. Below is a photo of the lower hinge and its o-ring (grommet) which has worn away and has played.

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  • Open the fridge door and remove the hinge covers.
  • Place a bubble level on the door and center the bubble in the level.
  • Tighten the top hinge screws to secure the door.
  • Open and close the door to verify the correct sealing.
  • Place objects back in the door to see if the door is still sagging.
    • If the door still sags, consider securing the door slightly above level. This way, when the door sags after food is added, it will sink into the correct position. Remember to keep weight in the door.

On the bottom of some fridge door hinges you may find instructions on raising or lowering door hinges. This normally likes like rotating a nut on the lower door rest. The images below will give you an idea of what the nut may look like.

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If none of these fixes work, replace the door hinges.

8

If all else fails, and your fridge will not stay closed, you have two final options. Replace the door, or add an external fridge lock.

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