When you move a refrigerator, certain precautions should be taken. First of all, don’t try to move it by yourself, always have an able-bodied assistant to help. Exercise caution when tipping a refrigerator, it can fall onto you and cause serious injury. Never move a refrigerator up or down stairs without at least two strong people.
Different refrigerators have different styles of shelves. In some cases the shelves should be removed, taped together and placed in the bottom of the fridge, or moved separately. In other cases, the shelves may to be taped in placed. If you leave loose shelves, there is a risk that they will be damaged. Don’t move a refrigerator with its contents, always transport the contents separately. Don’t forget to remove the contents of the drawers, cubbies and secure the ice bucket or ice cube trays.
During moving or transportation the doors may come open, so it is best to secure them closed with a moving strap or tape. Be careful not to over tighten the straps or you may pull the door out of alignment. If the move will take more than a day, it is best if the doors are kept slightly open to allow for air flow, to reduce the growth of mildew inside the fridge. Wedge a rolled up towel between the door and cabinet and then secure the door with tape. This will keep the door from flying open but will allow air flow into the cabinet. When taping the shelves or doors, select a tape that will not damage the finish or leave a residue.
Can I Lay a Refrigerator on its Side?
Avoid laying a refrigerator on its side. The oil in the compressor can flow into the cooling lines when the refrigerator is tipped onto its side. When returned to an upright position, there is a risk that the oil will not completely drain from the cooling lines and the refrigerator will not cool.
If you have to lay the fridge over, try to avoid laying it completely flat. Instead tip it to an angle by placing a box under the top of the fridge; this will help to keep the oil in the compressor. Also, there are several lines connected to the compressor. The cooling and discharge lines should be oriented to face up. You must keep the oil out of these lines. Laying the refrigerator over with the tubes facing up will minimize the risk of fouling the lines.
When you have the refrigerator in place at its destination, leave it upright for a few hours before plugging it in. This will give the oil an opportunity to flow back into the compressor. After plugging it in, it is not unusual for the fridge to take up to 72 hours to return to its low temperatures, especially if the fridge is empty.
If after all your effort the refrigerator won’t cool, your refrigerator may be in its defrost cycle, so be patient, about 6 hours, for the cycle to complete. Otherwise, there may be oil in the lines. In that case, you will need professional repair.
- Don’t try to move a fridge with it’s contents. Empty the refrigerator first. The contents adds a lot of weight, it will shift around during moving and will make it more prone to tip over.
- Tape the doors closed.
- Wrap the fridge in a protective cloth to avoid damaging the appliance and to reduce the risk of damage to the walls in your home.
- Use a dolly or hand truck to move a refrigerator.
- Don’t put straps over door handles to avoid damaging them.
- Don’t overtighten straps or the door may become warped or be pulled out of alignment.
- Always have adequate assistance when moving a refrigerator, it is very heavy.
- Follow all appropriate safety precautions.