Tightening an Amana Refrigerator Door Handle

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It is easy to fix a refrigerator door handle.
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Amana appliances are manufactured in Amana, Iowa, and the company was founded as a cooperative by the Amana Colonies, says Goedeker's, a leading distributor. The company was purchased by Maytag in 2001 and became a subsidiary of Whirlpool when that company acquired Maytag soon after. Consequently, Maytag and Whirlpool refrigerators tend to have many of the same characteristics, including the door handles and the methods of attaching them.

On the Amana website, you'll find instructions for installing and tightening its refrigerator handles, but they don't apply to every model because some have designs that have been influenced by Whirlpool. Not to worry, though, because it's easy to fix a fridge handle, although the presence of caps covering the screws may make the procedure seem mysterious.

Tightening Traditional Amana Refrigerator Door Handles

A traditional Amana door handle attaches to the door in much the same way a faucet handle attaches to the valve stem. The door has permanent posts and slots in both ends of the handle fit over these posts. You then secure it by tightening hex screws set into the handles using a 1/8-inch Allen wrench.

When the handles are properly installed, the set screw openings on both doors of a side-by-side model face the door opening, so you have to open at least one of the doors to access them. You may see a cap covering each screw, and you can pry this off using a flat-head screwdriver. You then insert the Allen wrench into the screw head and turn the wrench clockwise to tighten the screw.

The unit may have a freezer drawer, and when an Amana freezer drawer handle is loose, the process for tightening it is the same as it is for tightening the door handles. If the unit is a traditional Amana design, the set screw openings face the floor. Locate the opening for each screw, insert the Allen wrench and turn the screw clockwise.

Tightening Other Types of Handles

If you peruse PartSelect, an online appliance part supplier, you'll find several Amana handles that don't fit the design described on Amana's website. These handles attach with Phillips screws, so all you need to tighten one is a Phillips screwdriver.

If your refrigerator has long, contoured handles, you'll find one screw at the bottom and another at the top on the part of the handle that overlaps the top edge of the door. If the refrigerator takes rectangular paddle handles, its two screws are visible on the part of the handle that attaches to the edge of the refrigerator door.

If you break a handle and have to order one, note that a new handle doesn't always come with screws, and you may have to supply your own. Generally, any 1-inch pan-head machine screw that fits the screw opening on the door will work.

Solving the Mystery of the Hidden Screws

Can't find screws anywhere? It's a pretty safe bet that the handle isn't glued on, so the screws have to be there. If you look more closely, you'll probably see the contours of the plastic cap hiding them. On Frigidaire-style handles, the cap looks like it's part of the handle, but on other styles, they're often buttons that cover the screw heads.

You can pry off button caps with a flat-head screwdriver, although you might have to dig a bit if they're flush with the handle. If your Frigidaire freezer handle is loose, you'll probably need a metal putty knife to remove the larger contoured caps. Be patient and work slowly to avoid damaging the plastic.

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Chris Deziel is a contractor, builder and general fix-it pro who has been active in the construction trades for 40 years. He has degrees in science and humanities and years of teaching experience. An avid craftsman and musician, Deziel began writing on home improvement topics in 2010. He worked as an expert consultant with eHow Now and Pro Referral -- a Home Depot site. A DIYer by nature, Deziel regularly shares tips and tricks for a better home and garden at Hunker.com.

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