I can see that icing in the freezer is linked to air leakage past the top of
the door seal. As the seal contains a magnetic strip embedded in
plastic, I can't envisage what could possibly wear or age over time, which
makes me think it would be pointless replacing the seal; there are no moving
parts and I doubt the magnetic strip loses its effect over time.
So do these door seals lose their capacity to seal over time and, if so,
what is the mechanism of this ageing/wear process?
Yes, and it is simply aging -- they lose their flexibility so they don't
seal as well as they may not be able to "reach" far enough for the
magnet to make firm contact.
Also, it's possible the door hinges have worn and are letting the door
sag or not close evenly which results in the seals not having enough
"stretch" to allow them to mate. An adjustment there can fix/alleviate
the problem at least in the short term. May eventually still need new
seal(s) or hinge(s) depending on the type and what is/isn't adjustable
for the particular model...
Yes they do wear out by the simple loss of magnet strength. They are not
very powerful to begin with (think door which can only be opened by a
weightlifter) and the technology which embeds metal particles in a
flexible substrate may not offer the longest life. But it is possible
that the seal is not the problem -- if it is then the strength should be
lost fairly uniformly over the whole seal. Sometimes it is a matter of
misaligned hinges or even a warped door (think child swinging on door)
so if the leakage seems to be in only a limited area that might your
problem. The old dollar bill test still seems to be the standard for
checking seals. If one had access to a hall-effect gauss meter then a
more scientific check of the seals magnetic force could be done but I've
never seen one outside of a laboratory.
In addtion to what others have said, like the seal to a refrigerator,
they crack. My fridge door seal has cracked on one side in a few
small places. When it cracks on the ohter side there will be a leak.
They sell new seals, univerals seals that have to be cut into 4
pieces, with a scissors I suppose.. They're expensive imo, but the
stories I hear about new appliances wearing out quickly make me think
I will buy one if the time comes.
A good cleaning fixed mine,,then come nightfall I shut off the
kitchen light and put a high intensity flashlight in each compartment
to inspect the seal all the way around,,if light gets out then air
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