Almost all modern fridges automatically shut the door to prevent cold air loss, but sometimes it can close too quickly and get in the way of loading/unloading stuff.
What’s worse is when the fridge door just slams shut, which can rattle the food you have inside and can even cause damage to the door itself. So, what can you do to prevent your fridge door from swinging shut?
Here’s how to stop a fridge door from swinging shut:
- Fully open the fridge door
- Make sure the fridge is on a level plane
- Replace the old cams on your fridge
- Swap side-mounted door hinges to the opposite side
In this article, I’ll go over each of these methods in more detail to help you understand the different ways you can keep your fridge door from swinging shut.
I’ve kept the common problems with simple solutions in the beginning and discussed rarer problems with complicated fixes later. This should help you quickly troubleshoot the issue and have your fridge door open and close properly.
Fully Open the Fridge Door
If your fridge door swings shut at a gradual and normal pace, it’s likely because of the automatic door shutting functionality. The feature is designed such that if you partially open the fridge door, it will automatically close itself.
However, you can offset this feature if you open the door at a 90-degree angle or as far as it goes. Fully opening the door disables the automatic door shutting feature, giving you ample time to unload your groceries or take your time to decide which ice cream you want for dessert.
Once you’re done, gently push the door a little inwards, and the auto shut feature will kick in and close the door for you. Of course, you’re always free to close it yourself as well.
If your fridge door automatically still closes itself after you’ve opened it all the way, the unit is likely suffering from some of the other problems I discussed below.
Make Sure the Fridge Is on a Level Plane
The most common reason your fridge door is swinging shut, even when you open it all the way, is that it’s placed on an uneven plane.
Many kitchens have a slightly slanted flooring to ensure any spilled water glides to one of the drains or water outlets. It’s also possible that some of the measurements were off during construction, and the floor isn’t perfectly horizontal.
Now, if you place your fridge such that it is slightly tilted towards the back, gravity will pull on the door and cause it to swing shut. If the incline is big enough, the door will accelerate as it closes, causing it to slam against the fridge.
The same thing can also happen if the fridge is tilted sideways opposite the door hinge, causing the door to fall and close itself.
If you want to be sure that there’s an incline causing the fridge door to swing shut, then you can use a level measurement tool like the Johnson Level & Tool (available on Amazon.com). Thanks to the aluminum frame and high-impact panels, this particular tool is all about durability.
Place the tool on top of your fridge ーfirst in a north-south orientation and then in an east-west orientation. It should tell you if the refrigerator is tilted to one of the sides or towards the back.
How To Fix
If your fridge is positioned at a slight angle, correcting it so that it sits horizontally should fix the door slamming problem.
Most refrigerators allow you to adjust the height of the front legs. By tweaking the height, you should be able to offset the incline of the plane and get the fridge to sit level.
Here’s a quick step-by-step guide to help you out:
- Unplug your fridge from the power outlet.
- Empty your fridge. Make sure there’s nothing inside.
- On the base of the fridge, look for screws that go into the front legs and have markings like “raise” & “lower” or something similar. If you can’t find the screws, look for a removable panel and take it out. The screws might be hidden behind it.
- Place the level measurement tool inside the base of the fridge and keep it in view.
- Adjust the screws up and down on both legs. Check how it’s affecting the readings on your level measurement tool.
- Tweak the heights on the front legs till the level measurement tool says that your fridge is now level.
Once done, your fridge door should function normally without automatically slamming shut even when you open it all the way.
That said, some fridge models might not have height-adjustable front legs.
In that case, I suggest using the level measurement tool to get an idea of which way the fridge is inclined in. Once you have that information, insert small pieces of cardboard or hard foam underneath the fridge legs to offset the inclination.
For example, if the fridge is inclined towards the back, you’ll need to insert a piece of cardboard on both the back legs to make it level.
With all that said, sometimes a fridge can be way too much inclined such that adjusting the height of the legs or inserting cardboard pieces won’t offset the angle. In that case, move the fridge to an area of the kitchen (or house) with more level flooring.
Replace the Old Cams on Your Fridge
If your fridge is level and opened all the way, but it’s still closing shut, the problem might be with the closing cams on your fridge door.
A closing cam is a small component attached to your fridge door that allows it to remain open when you fully open it and also automatically closes itself when you give it a slight push. If the cams have gotten loose or worn out, that will cause problems with the door staying open.
Thankfully, replacing your old cams with new ones is fairly straightforward. However, it does require you to dismantle the fridge door. If you’re not comfortable doing this or have a fridge that’s currently in warranty, I’d suggest calling a technician to help you out.
For those who are up for a little DIY challenge, I’ve put together a detailed step-by-step guide on how to replace your fridge door cams below:
- Buy the correct replacement closing cam.
- Remove the door along with connected wires and tubing.
- Remove the old closing cam.
- Install the new closing cam.
- Reattach the fridge door along with the wires and tubing.
Let’s go over each of these steps in more detail.
1. Buy the Correct Replacement Closing Cam
First things first, you’ll need to buy a new cam to insert in place of the old one. The problem is that different refrigerators, depending on the brand and the door type & size, will use different cams.
To know which cam fits your particular fridge door, consult the user manual or any other paperwork that comes with your fridge. You can also check out this website – Repair Clinic. Simply type in the refrigerator model number in the provided field, and it should tell you which door cam works with your unit.
2. Remove the Door Along With Connected Wires and Tubing
Before you get started, unplug the fridge from the power outlet. Next, detach any visible wiring or tubing connected to the door whose cams you’ll replace.
For instance, if the fridge door in question has a built-in ice or water dispenser, it likely has a dispenser tube attached to it. In most refrigerator models, the tube is located at the bottom of the fridge, hidden behind a base grille. Remove the base grille and disconnect the dispenser tube.
Once that’s done, unthread the screws on the door hinges attaching the door to the fridge. Usually, you’ll find the hinges on the top and bottom of the door.
Now, in some fridges, you’ll find a panel covering the top door hinge along with some wiring and tubing. Usually, the earthing wire, water dispenser tube, and wires to a connected door display are hidden under the panel. Remove the panel, disconnect these cables, and unscrew the door hinges.
After unscrewing the door hinges, you can now remove the door from the refrigerator. However, it’ll be extremely heavy, so I recommend you call someone to help you lift the fridge door and gently place it on a surface.
3. Remove the Old Closing Cam
After removing the fridge door, you can now access the old closing cams. There are usually three types of cams, and each needs to be removed differently:
- The lower cams are placed on your fridge’s lower hinge pin. You can easily slide off most of them. However, some cams are fastened to the hinge with a mounting screw. In that case, you’ll need to unthread the screw and then remove the cam.
- There are upper cams screwed to the bottom of the fridge door. Simply unthread the screw, and you can easily pull it out.
- Some sophisticated fridges use spring-loaded closing cams. These are installed inside the fridge door behind the doorstop. You’ll first need to unscrew and remove the doorstop to access the cam. Next, unthread the screws holding the cam. Once done, you can pull the cam out using pillars.
4. Install the New Closing Cam
Having removed the old closing cams, it’s time to replace them with the new ones.
If your fridge uses the simple lower cams, you can just slide them into the lower hinge pin. Screw each in place if necessary for your particular model.
Similarly, insert the upper cam in place and fasten it with a screw.
Now, installing spring-loaded cams can get a bit tricky. First, insert it into the bottom of your fridge door and fasten it with a screw. Next, cover it up with the door stop and screw that in place.
However, your work is not done yet. You’ll also need to check that the cam is correctly set.
To do this:
- Unscrew the hinge base on top of which you’re supposed to place the cam.
- Take the hinge base, position it parallelly with the door, and insert the hinge pin into the cam.
- Give the hinge base a 90-degree rotation to reset the cam.
Once done, reattach the hinge base to your fridge.
5. Reattach the Fridge Door Along With the Wires and Tubing
With the new cams installed in place, it’s time to reattach the fridge door. Again, with someone’s help, lift the fridge door and place it on top of the hinges.
If you detached any wires or tubing, it’s time to reattach them. Here’s a possible list of wires and tubings you might need to reconnect:
- The ice or water dispenser tube.
- Wiring for the fridge door display.
- Earthing wire.
- Guard panel for the top hinge.
And that’s it!
You have successfully replaced your old cams with new ones. This should help keep your fridge door stay in the open position.
Swap Side Mounted Door Hinges to the Opposite Side
If you’ve tried all the above tips and tricks and your fridge door still keeps swinging shut, there’s one last thing you can try before throwing in the towel.
As unreal as it may seem, many users found that flipping the door hinges to the opposite side helps keep the fridge door open. That said, this solution only works on refrigerators with side-mounted door hinges.
The idea is that if the hinges are attached in the opposite direction, it’ll cause the door to swing open instead of shutting. As you open the door, you can hold it and bring it to rest, so it doesn’t hit the adjacent wall or furniture. Then, you can start loading/unloading the fridge without worrying the door will close itself.
To give it a try, simply unthread the screws off the door hinges dislodging them from the fridge and the door. Now, reattach it to the door such that it’s in the opposite direction. When done, reattach the door with the swapped hinges to the fridge.