How to Move a Refrigerator

One of the most important, expensive, and heavy appliances at one’s home is usually a refrigerator. Relocation is a highly complex task and is even more backbreaking when moving your refrigerator. It is always better to appoint experts for managing the job of moving your fridge from one place to another. Yet if you prefer self-service, you are always welcome. Make sure you have enough manpower (at least two people) with you. All you need is to be technically correct for a safe and secure relocation. 

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Before Packing your Refrigerator

Unlike furniture, appliances are meant to perform a certain task at your home. Especially when it comes to packing your expensive refrigerator, which remains functioning 24 hours, you must provide extra care. Make your refrigerator ready for packing well in advance. 

Be Ready with the Following Essentials

  • Supplies for cleaning
  • Cords or strong rope and moving straps
  • Set of tools 
  • Moving blankets
  • Foam/ cardboard sheets, bubble wrapper
  • Soft towels
  • Packing tape
  • Measuring tape
  • Moving dolly
  • Rubber mats
  • Scissor and marker

Let us begin with the steps of moving a Refrigerator:

Empty your Fridge by Removing all Edible Things

All you need to do is consume the perishable food items. Plan one week before and decide your daily menu accordingly. All the edibles should be consumed one day before packing the fridge. Finish all the condiments as well.

Take Out all the Removable Components 

It is always better to remove all the removable components rather than secure them inside. Before cleaning the fridge, remove all shelves, trays, organizers, dividers, etc. This will help you to clean the inside of your fridge easily. 

However, once you the done, wash those components with soap water. If you find it difficult to quick wash, keep them in a tub and pour soap water over them. This will soften the dried stuff on the surface of the shelves. Never rub, for it may leave scratch marks. After that, allow them to dry completely. Then wrap them with towel or foam sheets followed by a pack with a plastic bubble wrapper. Secure the packing with tape, or simply you can tie them.

Unplug and Coil the Cord

As you have emptied them from inside and out, unplug and coil the cord. Then secure the coiling by trying to hold the structure and fix it with tape on the fridge’s back wall. Nowadays, like other appliances, refrigerators are also technologically advanced. You may have a Water or ice dispenser in your fridge. In that case, disconnect them using the right tools. Even if you have hired professional movers, do not wait for them because most moving companies avoid the risk associated with something that includes water.

Wait till all the Ice Melts 

Once you are done with the above step, keep doors open for a few hours and allow all the ice to melt. Even for a short move of 5 to 6 hours, defrost your refrigerator thoroughly to avoid unwanted water leakage while on transit as it can cause huge damage.

If your unit is large, it may take more time to get defrosted fully. You can keep the folded towel to soak the water to manage time down. Set your fridge to rest for at least 24 to 48 hours.

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Measure Fridge and Doors 

Now take a measuring tape and measure the length and width of the fridge wall and the doors or entrance for a smooth passage of your unit. 

If you find your appliance is too big to pass through, make the necessary adjustment by removing the articulation of the doors. 

Clean with Care

Once your fridge gets defrosted, start cleaning the inside. For this, make a smooth paste of baking soda and water and clean your appliance with a soft towel. If not fully clean with one wash, then clean twice. You can even apply vinegar to soften the dried stuff on the surface of the inside wall. Lastly, keep the fridge with the doors open to eliminate the odor.

Start Packing your Refrigerator 

Your caring touch is a must when it comes to packing your refrigerator. Firstly, lock the fridge. Tie it with a strong cord. Here avoid using tape as it may destroy the paint of outer walls. Wrap it with foam sheets or a moving blanket followed by packing with a bubble wrapping sheet. Secure your packing with moving tape. Finally, cover the whole unit with a cardboard sheet for stronger protection and fix it with tape.

Slide the Fridge and Fasten it onto the Dolly

Now place the fridge in the middle, leaving enough space all around. Slant the refrigerator with a bit of care, roll the dolly under it, and position it correctly. Secure the unit by tying the cord in-built of the dolly. Slant the refrigerator from the back and start moving slowly. Remove the for a smooth passage. Use a rubber mat to protect the floor from damage. Check around and ensure the safety of the wall from scratching.

You need to be more watchful if you need to climb down or up through the staircase. Ask someone to lead the way from your home to the moving truck.

While placing in the dolly, slant the fridge back(a little) carefully at a slow pace to protect the cooling components and cords at the backside of the refrigerator. 

Also See: Dolly Moving Review

Load the Refrigerator to the Truck

The unit’s entry can be easier if you use a plank to roll the appliance dolly up inside the truck. Make a team of at least 3 people. 

Fix your refrigerator in the vehicle upright. Position two of them on the ground to roll the dolly up into the vehicle, and one should remain inside to pull the dolly inside. This will help to maintain balance. Push the dolly at the correct location and fix it with more straps on the vehicle’s floor for a safe transition. 

Keep the Packed Components Nearby

For unloading, follow the reverse steps. Detach the straps roll the dolly down through the plank with the help of others. Do not forget to take the pack of shelves along with the unit. Make sure one member leads the way to your new home. 

Before you unload your fridge, spray sanitizer to assure protection from the germ. If it is raining, do not forget to use a plastic cover. 

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See Also: How to Unload a Moving Truck |

On the Way to your New Home

Be ready with the measurement of the entrance and the other doors to avoid any unexpected obstacle. Roll down a rubber mat to protect the floor from breaking tiles or any scratch marks. Decide the place from early to position the refrigerator. Ensure the place has an electricity connection board nearby where the power cord reaches easily. Do not push the fridge too much that the fridge’s surface touches the wall. Leave enough space around the unit. 

Unpack your Refrigerator

Now unpack the appliance. With the help of a scissor cut, all the straps, and tapes you have used for packing. Please do not pull the straps as they may cause harm to your skin. Discard all the materials outside and wipe the floor. Do not forget to uncoil the power cord before you through the waste materials out. Now take a soft towel, pour or spray some disinfectant, and start wiping the outside wall of the unit. Take little vinegar and once again clean the inside. Now keep the door open and allow the passing of the air inside. 

Fix the Components

Unpack the removable components and wipe with a wet towel. Leave them for a while to get dry. Now start fitting them to the respective channels. Manage your freezer as well. Do a scan from top to down to ensure all are set in the right position. 

See also: How to Move a Freezer

If you have not removed the shelves, take out all the supportive pacing materials one by one. Clean the inside properly. 

If you have a handle cover, make sure it is clean and wrap them around your refrigerator’s handles. Using a handle cover is always better to prevent getting the pulling handles dirty. 

Better if you cover your refrigerator too. Please put it on the unit, ensuring cleanliness.

Go through the Instruction Manual for Plugging in and Food Safety

When you are done with all these above steps, take out the user manual and go through the instructions for plugging in the refrigerator. Also, check about food safety. No worries if you have lost it. You can give a call straight away to customer care. 

There are guidelines before you reconnect the refrigerator. Especially if the unit was in a little slanting position, leave it for a day(minimum) after plugging the appliance in. Check whether the regulators are functioning properly or not. Initially, you can place the ice tray filled with water. Wait for a few more hours and check; if it seems to be functioning well, then keep your condiments inside. Keep the perishable items at the end.

Always Be Prepared

  • If there are any glass components, please wrap them using a moving blanket and bubble wrapping sheet separately. And make sure the same is kept in the middle of your component box. Placing any vulnerable item at the bottom or top of everything can damage it.
  • While defrosting your fridge, place a towel underneath the unit to avoid any kind of water spillage. If it is a matter of overnight, be more conscious to prevent any kind of injury. 
  • Never try to donate any perishable item as you are unsure about the condition. Toss them if you can’t finish. Do the same for the unfinished condiments as well. 
  • Always go for the right-fit appliance dolly to protect the fridge from tipping over. Never use your foot while placing the fridge on the dolly. Find the correct center of gravity. A four-wheeler dolly with a rail-pad is preferable. 
  • If you plan to store your refrigerator for a few days, you must ensure the storage should be dry, clean, and sanitized. Unpack and keep the doors open.
  • Never-ever try to keep the refrigerator in a slanting position. Be very careful while using a staircase.
  • Call for expert support, preferably from the appliance company itself, if you face any issue.

Also Read: How to Prepare Appliances for Move

FAQs

Can I keep my fridge at a slanting position for a longer period?

No, you cannot do that as it may cause oil to leak from the compressor, leading to damage to your refrigerator.

What should I do if my doorway is not wide enough for a smooth passage of the refrigerator?

Measure both the fridge and doorways length and width wise. And if doorways do not have adequate space, remove the articulation hinges. 

How long should I keep my fridge turned off before relocation?

Around 4 to 6 hours. As the oil in the compressor needs to be settled. 

How long do I need to wait to reconnect my refrigerator post-move?

If it was in a slanting position, keep the fridge upright at least for 24 hours to settle the whole compressor unit down before you reconnect it. 

If not, still, you have to wait as the unit must be shaken enough around while on transit. Hence, you must allow at least a couple of hours to settle before you plug in the unit.

Remember, if it passes into the cylinder, the lubrication oil inside the compressor can cause major damage to the valve if not get adequate time for draining back to the oil sink at the bottom of the compressor.

How do I move my fridge to another room of the same apartment?

  • Disconnect
  • Make your fridge empty as much as you can. Especially if any liquid or glass container is there inside, take them out.
  • Bring it to a central position, ensuring enough spaces around 
  • Make sure your fridge is on a revolving stand
  • Roll a rubber mattress down to avoid any unwanted marks on the floor
  • Push gently 

Conclusion

Moving a refrigerator is indeed a challenging job, but nothing is impossible. So, if you have already decided to accomplish the job without professional support, it is absolutely fine. For this, you must follow the owner manual, or you can even talk to customer care to empower your knowledge.

See Also: Affordable Moving Companies in the US | Things to Buy for a New House

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.