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Old 08-28-2014, 05:18 PM   #1
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Freezer Door Hard to Re-open

I have a Dometic refrigerator in my 2001 Safari that I believe to be the original appliance. If I open the freezer door after it has been closed a while, no problem. If I try to open it, say to put an ice tray back in after opening it to get it out, it is so hard to open I'm afraid I'll break the handle. If I wait ten minutes or so after opening it, it is easy to open. The problem does not exist with the refrigerator door, only with the freezer.

I suspect this is some kind of a vacuum problem, but I don't understand how the vacuum is created. I push the door closed until the latch clicks and no further. Maybe the freezer is filling with warm air which cools and the pressure lowers. The door opening is about 22x16, or 350 sq. inches. If the pressure differential was only 0.1 psi, the force exerted on the door would be 35#. After a while enough air seeps past the gasket to lower the pressure difference. The problem with this explanation is that the door is hard to open immediately, not after 30 seconds or so.

Any ideas?

Thanks,

Al
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Old 08-28-2014, 06:43 PM   #2
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I have the problem with both doors. What happens is warm air goes in when you open the door and when you close the door that air cools and creates a vacuum.
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Old 08-29-2014, 02:23 PM   #3
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Same with us. I don't think we can hurt it by pulling a little harder.
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Old 08-29-2014, 02:29 PM   #4
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Wrap 4 fingers around the handle but use your thumb to push in on the rubber gasket allowing a bit of air to release the vacuum inside. Alternately keep a PLASTIC scraper near the door and just slide it between the gasket and the door. zzzzzzzst - equalize pressure and open with ease.

Paula
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Old 08-29-2014, 03:41 PM   #5
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Get used to it....our 2004 has done the same thing since day one!
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Old 08-29-2014, 03:42 PM   #6
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Thanks Paula. My fridge doesn't have a conventional handle, just an L shape that, at best, I can get two or three fingertips on. But I'll look for a place to push on the gasket. I've also thought about drilling a tiny hole somewhere to equalize the pressure.

It does sound like this is a VERY common problem!



Al
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2001 Safari 25 RB Twin (Gone, but not forgotten)
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Old 08-29-2014, 03:56 PM   #7
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I don't know what causes it, but every camper fridge and freezer that I have ever had has done that. I think it means you have a good seal. Get used to it.
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Old 08-29-2014, 03:58 PM   #8
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door sticks

[QUOTE=Al and Missy;1503170]Thanks Paula. My fridge doesn't have a conventional handle, just an L shape that, at best, I can get two or three fingertips on. But I'll look for a place to push on the gasket. I've also thought about drilling a tiny hole somewhere to equalize the pressure.

It does sound like this is a VERY common problem!

Do not drill a hole any where in door or gasket as this defeats cooling status of frig. and freezer resulting in frig. running to try to keep temp., this common on reefer units as some like my deep freeze has suction fan that turns on when door is closed, after several min. inside temp is restored to setting allowing easy pull to open. Repeat DO NOT DRILL A HOLE ANY WHERE IN DOOR OR GASKET.
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Old 08-29-2014, 04:23 PM   #9
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Thanks for the warning

FWIW, I was thinking of 1/16 inch or less. I didn't think a small enough hole would affect performance.

Al
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2001 Safari 25 RB Twin (Gone, but not forgotten)
WBCCI 1322, TAC FL-39, AIR 82265

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Old 08-29-2014, 04:41 PM   #10
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If we have to have a tool to open maybe I can use my unused comb, no other use for it
I gave up on the reopen and don't close it when I will be putting something back in.
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Old 08-30-2014, 10:25 AM   #11
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reefer door

[QUOTE=Al and Missy;1503183]FWIW, I was thinking of 1/16 inch or less. I didn't think a small enough hole would affect
Why have reefer if you want to let in warm air and defeat purpose of reefer as even a small leaking gasket causes frig to work hard to maintain temp and keep contents safe. Drill away you will have additional costs to run and shorten life of frig.
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