Door seals are often referred to by different people as door boot rubbers, door gaskets just door rubber seal and a host of other terms. They are generally fairly easy to change with a bit of patience and some DIY skills so long as it isn't one that the front weight has to be removed to get into, then it becomes a whole lot more difficult. But that's what we'll show you in the example below.
Next to washing machine drain pumps and motor carbon brushes washing machine and washer dryer door seals are probably one of the single most commonly replaced spare parts and that means two things, you can very often find low cost equivalent replacements and that on the big sellers there are some really dodgy quality seals out there.
We see them all the time, very often on Ebay unsurprisingly, being sold as genuine or worded in some way as being a pukka or suitable replacement seal. We know they're not as they are being sold for less than we would pay for a decent door seal. You can fit them of course, but we won't advise it and we won't sell or use rubbish spare parts. Cheap is fine, sub-standard isn't.
The reason we won't sell them is that, being engineers and always battling time we don't want any grief when we fit the part and, importantly, we don't want called back in a few months time to replace a part again free of charge. The customer is annoyed, we're out of pocket and really nobody is happy.
How some manufacturers (third party almost every time) cut the cost to be the cheapest is that they use a thinner mould. This results in a door seal we often refer to as being "like a rubber band", as in you can almost poke your finger through the thing with little effort. Just imagine though how well that's going to fare when buttons and zips get to it, I can tell you it doesn't end well quite often.
Or, they use an inferior mould as moulds for these things aren't exactly cheap. So the seal is rough, probably doesn't fit correctly and quite often they don't seal against the door properly. Ironically this often happens in conjunction with the above which leads to an absolutely terrible replacement and an absolutely horrid time trying to fit one.
So yes, if you want to save a few pounds then these seals will fit but, you'll have a pig of a job fitting one and it likely won't last so you will probably end up with a wet soapy floor.
This is why we don't sell them as for a few pounds, sometimes pence, more you can have a far, far better part.
For this we're just going to go through the general principals step by step. The machine shown is an ISE CI555WH with photos by Rob Dray and Graham Dixon, the author of the Haynes Washing Machine Repair Manual.
|Almost all washing machines will have a front clamp band like this that will have to be removed.
On washer dryers with a hot air funnel things can get a lot more complex as that also has to be released. The system employed will vary but the principals are the same in most cases.
|Next the front lip has to be pulled back to allow the seal to be folded inward inside the washing machine drum.|
|On the ISE machine and some other machines the front panel is removable to allow full access, in this case the front weight but this as an example allows you to clearly see what's going on.|
Here you can see the inner clamp band or, in this instance, a clamping spring which holds the door seal in place, being prized off. Many of these door seal clamp bands will have a nut and bolt, often with a 7mm head, that have to be slackened off to release the seal.
|To fit the new seal it is sometimes advantageous to use some sort of slippery detergent in the lip to allow easy placement. Please not that if you are using Debor or any other sealant do not do this or the seal will not be correctly sealed.|
|Almost invariably there is a marker, as shown here, which will determine and allow you to easily see the dead centre top or bottom of the door seal. This is vital to get right or the new door seal may twist when fitted or the drainage from the bottom will not work correctly as it relies on this being correct.|
|Then work the lip of the seal onto the lip of the washing machine outer tub, just work slowly and methodically.
Once the new door seal is on refit the inner clamp and then fold the seal in just as you did earlier to refit the front panel.
|Pull the new door seal through and refit to the front panel of the washing machine then refit the outer clamp.
That's it, you're done.
Now, while this makes replacing the seal seem easy and, to a large extent it is on this ISE machine as it was designed to be easy to repair, on many machines where the front panel is not removable it can be an extremely frustrating and difficult job. On many you are liable to become frustrated, wish you had three hands and you will get skint knuckles and cuts replacing a door seal.
The old split Ariston seals are an absolute nightmare to do if you're not familiar with them, Candy and Hoover seals can be a real pain to do as well, especially washer dryers just as a couple of examples. The point is, have a close look before you buy a seal and see what's involved and try to decide if you feel confident enough to do this. If you decide not to please use one of the approved repair engineers, most door seals will cost between £40 and £70 to replace including the labour, so it's not too bad and the engineer will check the rest of the machine while he's there, advising of any possible issues.