Perhaps you need to move the refrigerator out of the kitchen to put in new flooring or you’re preparing the refrigerator to be transported to a new home. Maybe you just had a brand-new refrigerator delivered to your doorstep and you’re eager to install it. All of these scenarios can be complicated by a problem you may not have anticipated: the appliance simply won’t fit through the kitchen doorway! It’s a problem many homeowners have experienced, and the solution is relatively easy. Remove the refrigerator compartment doors and the appliance will now clear the doorway by being pushed through sideways.
20 simple steps to remove/replace the doors on a side-by-side model
Of course, not all refrigerators are built in the same way, but the procedure to remove the refrigerator and freezer compartment doors can be similar from model-to-model. Here are 20 general steps you can follow to uninstall (and reinstall) the doors on a standard side-by-side refrigerator/freezer model:
- Always make sure you’ve unplugged the appliance’s power cord before you begin any repair or uninstallation.
- Unthread the screw securing each of the top door hinge covers, if applicable, and slide off the covers.
- Next, unthread the screws securing the top hinge to the refrigerator compartment door.
- Have an assistant help support the door as you lift off the hinge.
- You should now be able to lift the refrigerator door off the bottom hinge pin and set the door aside.
- If your appliance has a water/ice dispenser in the freezer compartment door, you will need to fully detach the appliance’s lower grill or kickplate to access the water dispenser tube.
- You may need to remove a lock clip which prevents the tube from being detached from the water line coupler, then use an open-ended wrench to depress the coupler’s retaining ring to detach the tube (be prepared for some water to leak out).
- Returning to the top of the appliance, disconnect the wire connecter/harness above the freezer door hinge.
- If applicable to your model, you may need to detach the water dispenser tube from a coupler as well.
- As with the refrigerator door, unthread the screws securing the top hinge, have an assistant help support the door as your remove the hinge, and lift the freezer door off the bottom hinge pin and set aside.
- When you’re ready to remount either door, you should consider applying some silicone-based grease to the bushing positioned on the bottom hinge.
- Set the door over the hinge pin and onto the bushing. Note that when you’re reinstalling the freezer door, the water dispenser tube will need to be inserted through the hole in the hinge pin before you reposition the door.
- Depending on the model, the doors may need to be repositioned at a 90° angle from the front frame of the appliance in order for the closing cam to work properly and the doors to close as designed. Be aware, the closing cam may need to be reset before the door can be reinstalled.
- Realign the top hinges for both doors and rethread the screws to secure them. You’ll want to confirm the doors are level before you tighten the screws.
- Reconnect the wire connecter/harness on the freezer side, if required.
- Reinsert the water dispenser tube into the coupler, if necessary, and secure with the lock clip if available.
- Replace the top hinge covers and secure them with the screws, if applicable.
- Fully insert the water dispenser tube protruding through the bottom freezer door hinge into the water line couple. Reinsert the lock clip as needed.
- Reinstall the grill or kickplate.
- Plug the appliance’s power cord back in and your refrigerator should be ready for use.
What if my freezer is on top?
If your appliance has the freezer compartment on top with the refrigerator compartment below, you will be required to uninstall the freezer door first. On these models, there will be only one top door hinge and cover. Once the cover and top hinge have been detached, the freezer door can be lifted off the center hinge. You will then need to unthread the screws to remove this center hinge before you can lift the refrigerator door off the bottom hinge.
When reinstalling the two doors, make sure the washers are in place on the hinge pins before repositioning the doors. Again, you should confirm the refrigerator door and freezer door are level before you tighten the screws to secure the center hinge and top hinge, respectively.
Removing refrigerator drawer fronts
On popular French door refrigerators, you may have one or more drawers in addition to the standard doors. Since the drawer fronts extend out from the frame just as far as the doors do, you will need to remove the fronts along with the doors to maneuver the appliance through a tight space.
While the procedure to remove the drawer fronts can differ depending on the model, you can often simply open the drawer and use an appropriate-sized socket or screwdriver to partially unthread the mounting screws securing the front to the drawer glides. The drawer front can then be lifted up to detach. Push the glides all the way in to allow the appliance to be moved sideways through the doorway. To reinstall the drawer front, first fully extend the glides, then reposition the front, aligning the mounting screws with the bracket slots. Tighten the screws to secure.
Find the right refrigerator parts with Repair Clinic
Another reason you may need to remove a refrigerator or freezer door is to replace an old closing cam, door bushing, or hinge with a new one. These appliance replacement parts, along with all other door and hinge components, can be found on the Repair Clinic website. Simply enter the full model number of your refrigerator in the website search bar to identify a complete list of replacement parts compatible with your appliance, whether you own a side-by-side model, a French door model, or one with the freezer compartment on top (or on the bottom). You can then use the part category and part title filters to narrow that list down to locate the exact part you need. While Repair Clinic stocks parts for all the top brands in refrigeration, including Samsung, Frigidaire, KitchenAid, GE, Kenmore, LG, and Whirlpool, you’ll want to make sure you’re purchasing the specific item that fits your model.