Moving a freezer is no easy task. It weighs hundreds of pounds and takes up as much space as a filing cabinet. Often, the simplest way to move a freezer is by renting a truck and hiring movers. However, if you want to save money or already own a truck, here are some tips on how to move your freezer yourself.

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Collect all the Required Items

You don’t need a lot of items to move a freezer, but you’ll need the ones listed below.

  • A refrigerator dolly 
  • At least two strong people
  • A pickup truck, van, or SUV to move the freezer in
  • A pad and pen to take notes on measurements of your freezer for easy moving
  • Sponge and rags
  • Ropes
  • Furniture Slider
  • Old Towels and cloths
  • Moving blankets
  • Tape measure

Before You Move the Freezer

Drain the Freon. Most freezers are bought with freon inside, keeping it cold to prevent ice buildup. The process of draining freon is relatively simple if your freezer does not use the “new, eco-friendly” freon. Just find the valve on your outdoor line, unscrew it and let all excess pressure out of the tank. If you move the freezer without first draining the freon, it will rupture and cause severe damage to your home or even hurt someone.

However, if your freezer uses the new type of freon, draining is much more complicated. There are two different types of valves located somewhere inside the freezer. One valve is liquid on the line between the compressor and the evaporator. The second valve is under a bit of cap or on top of copper tubing, or both valves are on one line on the evaporator, usually near the bottom front of the freezer, where you defrost from time to time. This liquid freon will have to be taken away by a professional.

See also: How to Move a Refrigerator

Prepare for Moving Day

Bring a hand truck, dolly, or furniture carton with you when you move your freezer. This will help make it easier to transport the freezer without having to lift it staircases or onto/off of trucks, helping to reduce the chances of back injury. Also, use gloves when moving the freezer to prevent blisters and hand fatigue.

Remove Everything From the Freezer

Before moving the freezer, you should empty all the food items. This makes moving the freezer much easier because you won’t have to worry about extra weight. The freezer will be much lighter once you take all food out of the inside, so this step should be done right after draining the freon. Loose goods in the freezer might hit the sides and doors, causing harm to the interior.

Finally, you’ll have to unplug the freezer for a long time while you relocate it.

After this, defrost the freezer. Because ice adds weight to your freezer and the chill makes it harder to handle, you will want to remove all ice before moving the freezer. To speed up defrosting, place all food in coolers with ice until moving day to reduce the time to defrost the freezer thoroughly. If you can’t do this, fill up space with towels or other soft materials.

Clean It

Now it’s time to clean your freezer. Since you won’t be using it for a while, this is the last opportunity you’ll have to clean it before moving day. Make sure to sweep out any dirt or food particles leftover in the freezer. Remove any shelves and drawers before beginning. Then, using a paste of baking soda and enough vinegar, clean the inside surface.

Now that you’ve emptied the freezer and cleaned it, place blank newsprint paper on all surfaces with food or grease. This will prevent odors from transferring to your new freezer.

See also: How to Pack Your Kitchen for Moving

Know the Appliance’s Weight

Before moving anything, know how much it weighs, the freezer’s height, width, and depth. A simple scale can show you exactly how heavy the freezer is, which you’ll need for moving day. Keep these measurements close by when you are ready to move the freezer.

Pack a Moving Box Around the Freezer

Once you get to your new home, it will be even more challenging to move the freezer if it is not already surrounded by a box or something else to hold it in place while being moved up/downstairs or over thresholds. Additionally, it will be easier to fill any space with bubble wrap, Styrofoam peanuts, or other packing material.

Tape Boxes Closed and Mark Them “Fragile”

It is challenging to transport a heavy freezer on a dolly, and something could easily fall out of the box during transport. Hence it is crucial to tape the boxes and mark them fragile. This step is especially vital if you plan on transporting glass bottles or anything else that can break.

Prepare the Moving Area

Tape down rugs and cover your floors with cardboard to avoid damage from packing tape and wheels on boxes. You might also need to protect walls from damage by padding them with cardboard. When moving the freezer, it will likely scrape against walls and floors because it’s so large, which is why you’ll need good padding.

The best way to protect your floors is to put down a layer of cardboard followed by blankets if there are any bumps in the road. Pack smaller items first and start with the lighter boxes to reduce stress on your back.

Isolating the freezer with moving blankets or pads is crucial because it protects against dents, dings, and scratches that can be done during transportation by placing items around the sides of the appliance. This also reduces jostling. If possible, place padding between two appliances to reduce noise during transport.

Hire a moving company for large freezers. However, if you still want to try to move your freezer on your own, read below for more tips for moving it safely.

Do Not Lift by the Handles

When Moving the Freezer, do not lift by the Handles. This is another missed step in most DIY freezer moves; the handles on freezers are there for a reason, and they can seriously injure you if you do not use them properly. If there is no room around your freezer to slide it out of its spot, then lift from the bottom with your knees instead of your back and lift with your arms while using the handholds.

Do Not Drag the Freezer

Remember that the freezer will be much lighter after taking all of the contents out, so moving it by sweeping it on some plastic sheet or rug is not a good idea. If there are some small spaces between your freezer and where it needs to go, use furniture sliders to make those spaces bigger. Also, ensure that your freezer is not on top of a rug/carpet when moved over thresholds because the friction between the two can cause it to move in an unexpected direction.

Keep an Eye Out for Sharp Corners and Rough Surfaces

We have all seen funny videos of grown men being pushed across the ice in nothing but their underwear, but chances are; it did not end well for them. There is a reason why they were on ice and not concrete or asphalt: ice is slippery. The same logic applies to moving freezers over thresholds and across different surfaces. Be very careful with how you move your freezer because one wrong slip could cause you to fall and seriously hurt yourself.

Do Not Let Ice Accumulate

If you plan on leaving your freezer in one spot for a few days before moving it again, make sure to clean up all ice accumulations so that nobody slips and hurts themselves.

Do Not Disconnect the Icemaker By Yourself

While disconnecting the icemaker before moving the freezer may seem like a good idea, you need somebody else’s help because these parts can be hazardous. The water lines and electrical wires are behind the ice maker and could easily sever if mishandled.

Be Careful Not to Load the Freezer Unsafely

If you plan to move it with the contents inside, then moving the freezer is as simple as removing all of the fragile items and placing them next to or on top of the appliance. Once you have done this, use furniture sliders to move it where it needs to go, and remember: never lift by handholds because they can seriously injure you.

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What to Do After Moving the Freezer

Does your freezer’s temperature go down or stay put? Is there water coming out of the defrost drain? These are questions that you should be asking yourself after moving your freezer, and they can help you save money on electricity if your appliance is still in good working order.

If you arrive at your destination and the freezer stays upright throughout the trip, it may be plugged in as soon as you reach it. If you had to put it on its side for an extended period, then how long to wait before plugging a freezer in after moving depends on how long it was lying down. If you had to keep the freezer on its side for more than a day, then you should wait up to 24 hours before plugging it back in, even if the power was already off. If any water is coming out of the defrost drain or your freezer is not cooling appropriately, unplug it and contact a repair service immediately.

 Conclusion

There are many things to remember to keep yourself safe when moving a freezer. By following the tips provided in this article, you can minimize the chances of an accident happening while moving your appliance. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to reach out for help. 

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Frequently Asked Questions

Can you move a frozen freezer?

If there is no ice buildup and you are moving the freezer full, there is no need to defrost it. However, if you are moving an empty freezer, you should defrost it and clean the inside before transporting it.

How long do you wait to plug in a freezer after moving it?

Set it upright in its permanent location and leave the freezer to sit for the same length of time on its side (no more than 24 hours). If any water is coming out of the defrost drain, or you notice other problems, contact a repair service immediately.

How do you move a freezer without disconnecting it?

If you want to keep the contents inside and only use furniture sliders, remove all fragile items and place them next to or on top of the appliance. Once you have done this, it should be moved safely.

Can you transport a freezer lying down?

Fridges and freezers should be transported upright to keep the cooling refrigerant in the correct position. Moving a refrigerator or freezer on its side can cause the refrigerant to enter the compressor and damage it.

How do you move a freezer by yourself?

There are multiple ways to move a freezer by yourself, but it is probably best if you hire somebody rather than risk injuring yourself. Some of the ideas include using furniture sliders or barbells for lifting purposes. Read the above-mentioned article to know more about it.

What happens if you plug a freezer in too soon?

It is entirely up to you how cautious you want to be, but be warned that blockages in your system may occur – which will impact the cooling capacity of your equipment.

How do you keep a freezer from getting damaged in a move?

Please pack the items inside it before you begin moving, and have furniture sliders or barbells ready to help. If all else fails, call a professional company to handle the job for you.

Can you move a freezer with water inside?

Yes! To be on the safe side:

  1. Remove all items from the freezer first.
  2. Keep it upright during the entire moving process to minimize stress on electrical components and prevent any damage to your appliance.
  3. Ensure that there are no puddles after the transportation, and wipe down any excess water that you see.

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See also: Best-rated Moving Companies | Hiring Movers Vs. DIY Move: Which is Best For You?

Written by


Rostislav Shetman is the founder of 9Kilo Moving. He has been in the moving and relocation industry for more than 25 years, making him an expert in his field. Rostislav started as a helper, dispatcher and driver and has worked his way up to owning his own company. He takes great pride in his work and enjoys helping people relocate across the United States of America. When he's not working, Rostislav enjoys spending time with his family and friends. They are the light of his life and bring him happiness every day.