How to Replace Your Refrigerator Door Handles

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Refrigerator handles get a lot of heavy use so it comes as no surprise when a handle breaks from time to time. If you need to replace your refrigerator’s handle or handles, this guide will help you identify the correct process and complete this repair quickly. 

Gather Your Supplies

Start by gathering all the supplies you may need to reinstall your fridge door handles. Naturally, you will need ta set of replacement handles based on your refrigerator’s make and model. Check the part number closely before ordering. Other than that, you will want work gloves along with both a flat-head screwdriver and a set of alan wrenches.

  • Flat Head Screwdriver
  • Allen Wrench Set
  • Work Gloves
  • Replacement Refrigerator Door Handles

Determine Your Handle Type

There are three different ways that fridge handles tend to be attached. Those with screws on the inside of the door, those with screws hidden by a panel, and those that slide onto screw-mounted tracks.

  • Internal Screw Handles
    • Open your fridge door and look closely to see if you can spot the heads of screws that might secure the fridge handles to the door. If you can find them, this is how your handles are mounted.
  • Hidden Screw Handles
    • Your fridge might have sliding panels that are hiding the door handle screws on the outside. These panels can be slid to the side or at an angle to reveal the door handle screws, Check your manual to be sure.
  • Slide-Fitted Handles
    • There may be no mounting screws locatable, in which case your fridge handles are attached on sliding tracks and can be slid out of place for a replacement.

Replacing Internal Screw Handles

If you have internally mounted refrigerator handles, this is how you replace them

  • Open the Refrigerator Door(s)
    • Open the door or both doors of your refrigerator to access the internal screws.
    • Remove anything you need to from the door shelves
  • Locate the Screws Securing the Door Handles
    • Identify the screws on the interior door side of the handle.  Be certain these are the screws you are looking at.
  • Uninstall the Old Handles
    • Remove the mounting screws and set them aside. Pull the broken door handle away and toss it.
  • Install the New Handles
    • Place the new door handle into position and then re-secure the mounting screws that held the old one into place.

Replacing Hidden Screw Handles

If you have refrigerator door handles secured with hidden screws, use this technique to replace the handle.

  • Slide the Screw Cover Panel Away
    • Slide or twist the small panel covering the door handle screws away.
  • Remove the Mounting Screws
    • Once the screws are exposed, carefully remove them and set them aside.
  • Remove the Old Handles
    • Remove the old broken refrigerator door handle and throw it away.
  • Install the New Handles
    • Hold the new door handle carefully in place and reattach the screws.
    • Then return the screw cover panels by sliding them back into place in reverse.

Replacing Slide-Fitted Handles

If your refrigerator has no discernable screws, try this:

  • Pull Firmly Up or Down on the Handle
    • For units with a top freezer, pull the freezer door handle firmly upward and pull the lower fridge door firmly downward. Use a certain amount of force to do this correctly. When the handle comes away, toss it.
    • For side-by-side models, pull both handles up.
  • Replace Screwed-On Tracks If They Are Also Broken
    • If the screwed-on tracks (screws now visible) appear to be damaged, replace them with those that came in your replacement handle kit. Otherwise, skip this step.
  • Install New Handles by Sliding In Down or Up
    • Install the new fridge door handles by placing them on the tracks and guiding them firmly in the opposite direction that led them to come away.
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