How to Replace the Shelf Bar in the Refrigerator Door

The breaking of the refrigerator door shelving crossbar is usually due to the constant stress of the door opening and closing.
The refrigerator door is one of the kitchen's most pivotal storage places.The refrigerator door is one of the kitchen's most pivotal storage places.
This simple problem can instantly render one of the key storage areas of your kitchen useless. This can be quite costly to repair when purchasing replacement parts through a department store or hiring a specialist. Often the best answer is the home repair, sacrificing the use of a matching part for convenience and cost-effectiveness.

Step 1

Remove all traces of the old shelf support which could be in the way of a new support. Measure the interior distance of the shelf from the inside of one shelf wall to the other. Transfer this measurement to the dowel and mark the distance with a pencil. Cut the dowel to the appropriate length using the saw.

Step 2

Place the dowel vertically in the vice and tighten it so that it is fixed in place. Using a drill bit with a diameter slightly smaller than the wood screws, drill a hole in the center of the end of the dowel. Flip the dowel over and drill a hole in the opposite side as well.

Step 3

Position the dowel within the shelf until you have established the correct position for ideal storage space and support. Mark the location of the dowel on the outside of the shelf sides with the pencil. Remove the dowel and predrill a hole in each shelf wall. Attach the dowel in place by screwing a wood screw through the outside of each shelf support and into the dowel.

Step 4

Test the position and strength of the new shelf support bar and if necessary repeat the process to add one or two more dowel supports to the shelf system.

Things You Will Need

  • 1/2-inch diameter dowel, 3 feet long
  • Measuring tape
  • Pencil
  • Saw
  • Drill
  • Drill bit
  • Vice
  • 1 1/2-inch wood screws


  • Paint the dowels white to match the interior of the refrigerator if desired. This will help to mask the replacement of the new shelf bar, particularly if the heads of the screws on the outside of the shelf supports are painted white as well.
  • In cases in which the supports have been broken, it is possible to screw new supports made from wood or plastic into the door, providing the screws do not go too far into the door and puncture the exterior.


  • The door may need to be removed for adequate access. In this situation, all proper precautions must be taken according to manufacturer's instructions.

About the Author

Nat Fondell has been writing professionally since 2006. A former editor of the "North Park University Press," his work has appeared at scientific conferences and online, covering health, business and home repair. Fondell holds dual Bachelors of Arts degrees in journalism and history from North Park University and received pre-medical certification at Dominican University.