Last Updated on October 27, 2022 by E.Pery
Did you know that moving your fridge on its side or back could cause cooling problems or make the fridge break down completely? The average weight of a refrigerator is approximately 300 pounds.
So, when you place it on its back, the weight of the fridge damages the internal parts, and when you put it horizontally, the oil from the compressor begins to flow to the coolant lines and clogs them.
This problem may not be rectified by placing the fridge back in the horizontal position. That is why some manufacturers like Liebherr and GE warn users not to move their refrigerators to their side under any circumstances.
So how can you safely move your fridge from one destination to the next without causing any damage to it? It’s recommended that you hire a professional to handle this type of task for you.
However, if getting skilled labor is not within your budget, you will learn, with this step-by-step guide, how to move a refrigerator like a professional.
What materials do I need to safely move my refrigerator?
The first thing you need to do before moving your refrigerator is found out whether the fridge can be moved. If the instruction manual requests users not to move the refrigerator, seek professional assistance before you do it.
If the fridge can be moved, you need to gather the following materials before the day of relocation;
- moving dolly with straps
- tape measure
- moving blankets
- furniture sliders
- packing tapes
- floor protection mats
- drill or screwdriver
- bubble wrap or packing paper
- a strong rope, cargo strap, or ratchet straps
- a cooler for leftover food
- cleaning supplies like paper towels, sponges, water, and all-purpose surface cleaner
If you don’t have a moving dolly, you could rent one. You will also need to hire a pickup, moving truck, or cargo van if your vehicle can’t accommodate your fridge.
Moving this monstrosity safely by yourself could be impossible. So besides the above materials, you need to get an extra pair of hands. You could get a few friends to help you but if non-of them are unavailable, hire professional labor-only movers to help you.
5 Things to do before moving your fridge
- Measure the refrigerator and doorways
- Empty the refrigerator
- Defrost the unit
- Disconnect the refrigerator
- Protect the Floor
1. Measure the Refrigerator and Doorways
Before you begin moving the refrigerator is advisable to map out a path through which the fridge will pass, noting the corners, curbs, and other obstacles. How successful you are in safely moving the refrigerator will depend on how wide or narrow your doorways are.
Begin by measuring the refrigerator, the doorways, and the paths to ensure that it will fit in a marked-out way. Remove any barrier that could obstruct the fridge as you move it. Make sure you can move the dolly and the refrigerator through the doorways and stairwells.
When measuring, begin with the width, height, and depth of the fridge. Then measure the door openings. If they are smaller than the refrigerator, consider taking the door down to create a slight leeway.
Alternatively, you can opt to use another exit. If both of these options do not help, consider removing the doors of the refrigerator.
2. Empty the Refrigerator
Before you unplug the refrigerator, you need to take all the food inside the fridge. This will reduce its weight and prevent any damage to removable drawers, shelves, ice cube trays, the ice maker and dispenser, dividers, and storage containers when the fridge is in motion. It will also make it easy to clean the refrigerator before you move it.
Recommended reading: How To Clean A Refrigerator? How To Clean Refrigerator Coils? How To Clean Stainless Steel Refrigerator [10 Methods]
Disconnect the water filter if it is attached to the back of the fridge, and pack it separately. Try to clear as much food in the fridge as possible before the relocation day. Store the remaining food and beverage in a cooler for safe chilling.
Clean the inside of the refrigerator with an all-purpose surface cleaning spray or any other cleaning agent at your disposal and dry it with paper towels. Then you can wrap the drawers and shelves with bubble wrap or wrapping paper to prevent them from getting damaged while in transit.
3. Defrost the unit
Use a hairdryer to melt the remaining ice in the freezer and then clean up the water thoroughly. To save time, you can begin melting this ice in the freezer compartment in advance. Defrosting and absorbing all the moisture before moving the fridge will prevent water from accidentally leaking during relocation.
Recommended reading: How To Defrost A Refrigerator? [6 Simple Methods]
You can also put absorbents like activated charcoal in the refrigerator to prevent odors from building up during the move.
4. Disconnect the Refrigerator
Once you have defrosted the unit, turn the fridge off and disconnect it from the power source. Protect the cord by rolling it up and taping it to the back of the refrigerator.
If the refrigerator can fit through the doorways, use a cable to secure the doors in place. If it can, use the instruction manual to bring the door’s fridge apart. Keep all screws in a zip lock bag to keep them safe.
5. Protect the Floor
Use floor mats or furniture slider pads to protect your floor while moving the fridge. If your refrigerator has wheels, ask your friends to help you lift it a bit to fit the carpet or slider pads.
If it doesn’t, raise the fridge a little on the side and slip the protection material beneath the refrigerator.
4 things to do during the move
- Place the refrigerator on the appliance dolly
- Loading the fridge into the pickup truck
- Set the fridge up
- Plugin the refrigerator
1. Place the Refrigerator on the Appliance Dolly
It would be best if you used an appliance dolly when moving the fridge. The doll comes with rub rails that are padded with rubber which protects the appliance from dings. Tilt the refrigerator slightly and slide the dolly under it. This will enable the fridge to rest on the rub rails and reduce the cooling system’s risk.
Recommended reading: Refrigerator Not Cooling?
Use automatic tighteners to wrap the fridge over its entire length and secure the doors with straps or ropes. Avoid using Bungee cords because they are flimsy. Then cover the fridge using moving blankets.
Ensure that the refrigerator is balanced. Then tilt the strapped fridge slightly or to a maximum of 45 degrees from the ground. A tilt greater than this angle or laying the fridge horizontal could cause irreparable damage to the refrigerator. If possible, keep the fridge up as you wheel it out.
To move the refrigerator down the stairs or curbs, you should pull back on the dolly’s handle, stabilizing it from the top while your assistant pushes the bottom of the fridge from below. Then bump the fridge gently down the steps.
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2. Loading the Fridge into the Pickup Truck
If the rental truck has a ramp, gently and slowly push the dolly up the ramp with your assistant friend. If it does not, use a plank to walk the refrigerator up to the truck. One person should maneuver the dolly while the other supports the fridge from below.
Once you have pulled the fridge up the truck, it is recommended that you prevent it from getting damaged by covering it with blankets or placing it against other belonging or furniture if you are moving. This will prevent the fridge from tipping.
You can also use ratcheted straps to secure the fridge at the back of the truck by placing one strap from one side to the other side-to-side and across the top of the refrigerator. Use the same procedure to unload the fridge and move it to the new destination.
3. Set the Fridge Up
Once you move the fridge to its new destination, remove the moving blankets and untie the straps. Rock the refrigerator gently from side to side to fit it in the correct position. Be sure to leave adequate space for air circulation.
Place the drawers back inside and set the temperature to the recommended level. It is highly recommended that you Let the fridge cool for 72 hours before you start filling it in.
Recommended reading: What Temperature Should A Refrigerator Be?
4. Plugin the Refrigerator
Once you have set the fridge in place, plug it in at the nearest electric outlet. It may take a while before the refrigerator is adequately chilled. It’s recommended that you keep the fridge in an upright position for a few hours before plugging it in.
Avoid storing any foodstuff until the fridge cools completely. It would be best if you also kept the door open for a while to prevent the transfer of odors.
4 tips on how to move a refrigerator safely
- Clear everything inside the fridge to make it lighter
- Maintain an upright posture during the move.
- Do not tilt the fridge for greater than 45 degrees
- Ensure that the weight of the refrigerator on the dolly is balanced
How to move a refrigerator to clean behind?
It is always a good idea to clean behind your refrigerator. Not only will it make your kitchen look clean and fresh, but it will also prevent any unwanted odors from developing in the back of your fridge.
The best way to do this is to move the refrigerator away from the wall so you can access all areas easily. If you have an older model or are unsure how to move a refrigerator away from the wall, follow these steps:
- Turn off the power
- Remove any shelves or other items
- Use a screwdriver
1. Turn off the power
Turn off the power to the refrigerator by unplugging it or turning off the circuit breakers (if applicable). This is important because you want to avoid electric shock while working on the electrical connections.
2. Remove any shelves or other items
Remove any shelves or other items that are blocking access behind the refrigerator. Remove them carefully so they don’t fall into the back of the fridge when you remove them.
3. Use a screwdriver
Use a screwdriver to remove screws holding brackets that secure appliances to walls. Some manufacturers use different types of brackets and screws, but most appliances have one or more brackets attached with screws at each corner of the appliance base and wall. Remove all screws before attempting to lift the appliance away from the wall.
how to move a refrigerator with a dolly?
Moving a refrigerator can be tricky. It’s heavy, and awkward, and can easily damage your floor if you’re not careful. The first thing you’ll need is a dolly for the refrigerator. Most movers offer dollies for rent, but if you’re moving on your own, you can buy one at most hardware stores or online.
You’ll also need to remove anything from inside the refrigerator before you start moving it. That includes any food that might spoil or freeze during transport.
The following 3 tips will help you safely move your refrigerator:
- Make sure the door is closed before moving it. If there’s any chance that someone could get injured by moving a refrigerator with its doors open, close them first.
- Roll it out of the room slowly and gently. Do not push or pull too hard on the back of the refrigerator because this can cause damage to the seal between its back panel and the wall or floor.
- Position two people at opposite corners of the refrigerator and lift it slowly off its wheels onto a dolly or hand truck.
How to move a refrigerator without a dolly?
Moving a refrigerator without a dolly is not easy, but it can be done. Follow these 5 simple steps:
- Remove the doors and drawers.
- Remove the feet.
- Turn the refrigerator on its side.
- Slide the refrigerator across the floor slowly, keeping it level at all times by using your hands or another appliance as a guide.
- Set the refrigerator upright and reattach its feet.
How to move a refrigerator with straps?
Moving a refrigerator with straps is not easy, but it is possible. The problem with moving a refrigerator by yourself is that they are very heavy and difficult to move. A refrigerator can weigh up to 400 pounds, so you will need two or more people to move it.
To move your refrigerator with straps, follow these 3 simple steps:
- Open the top and bottom doors on your refrigerator, then disconnect the water line and power cord from the back of your refrigerator.
- Remove all contents from your refrigerator so there’s nothing in front of the doors or drawers that might fall out or get damaged during transport.
- Attach two straps to either side of your refrigerator using their metal hooks and buckles (look for these hooks along the sides of the appliance). Make sure the hooks are facing up when you attach them to each side of your refrigerator — this way they’ll fit securely against its frame when you lift it onto a dolly.
If you don’t have any straps handy, you can also use rope or twine instead of straps. Just make sure that you tie them securely so that they don’t come loose during transport!
How to move a refrigerator downstairs?
Moving a refrigerator downstairs can be a challenging task, especially if you are doing it by yourself. You need to have the right tools and equipment for this job.
Just follow these 4 easy steps:
- Get the necessary tools and equipment
- Unplug your refrigerator
- Remove all items
- Use long ropes or chains
1. Get the necessary tools and equipment
Get all the necessary tools and equipment before you start moving your refrigerator. You will need some long ropes or chains, 2 people to help you move it, 2 large tarps, and some packing tape.
2. Unplug your refrigerator
Unplug your refrigerator and disconnect the water line from the back of the unit. Before you start moving it, make sure that there is no water in your pipes as they may burst during transportation.
3. Remove all items
Remove all items from inside your freezer and then empty out all drawers and shelves from your refrigerator door. Now pack them tightly into boxes or plastic bags so that you can easily transport them later on.
4. Use long ropes or chains
Once everything has been packed up inside your freezer, use long ropes or chains to tie down every side of the unit securely before lifting it off its base so as not to drop any of its contents while transporting it downstairs!
You may also ask
Can You Lay A Fridge Down On Its Back If You Pay Attention To The Compressor?
It is not a good idea to lay the fridge back on its back under any circumstance, especially when moving it. The shelves and the drawers of a refrigerator are made of glass and designed to slide out easily. Hence they could easily break, crack or shatter as the fridge is in motion, especially when moving down the stairs.
Moreover, laying the fridge on the back could easily mess with the compressor.
How To Turn On A Fridge That’s Been Lying On Its Side
If your fridge was moved on its side, it is important not to plug it in right away because it could damage the compressor. Leave the refrigerator standing upright for double the amount of time it laid on the side before plugging it back in.
E Pery is the founder of refrigerator.deals and a webmaster. He runs his own websites and loves… refrigerators! Convinced that buying and maintaining a refrigerator is not easy, he decided to create refrigerator.deals, in order to help people make the right choices.