Can You Lay a Fridge Down to Transport It?
When you’re moving house, you’ll need to transport all your household items, including the fridge freezer. Most of those items need to be handled with care, but none more so than the refrigerator. If you are not careful, you will likely damage your refrigerator, which could cost you too much in repairs. You can imagine the financial strain, especially after incurring the moving costs. Therefore, you need to know how to prepare the fridge for transportation and properly handle it during transit. This article guides you on how to transport your refrigerator safely.
Well, Can You Lay a Fridge Down to Transport It??
While you technically can, you should not. Instead, you should transport a fridge in an upright position to avoid damaging it irreparably. A fridge freezer’s design allows it to function optimally in the upright position. All the internal components work best in that position. Therefore, the refrigerator lying on the side will damage it.
What Happens When I Lay a Fridge on Its Side?
Laying a fridge horizontally allows oil in the compressor to flow into the coolant lines, thus clogging them. The damage can be so severe that you’ll completely cripple the fridge’s ability to cool down, or the repairs will be too costly.
You can lay the fridge freezer unit horizontally when transporting it this way is inevitable, but it needs some technical know-how. Damage prevention requires you to understand the compressor and coolant line placement, so you can lay the fridge on the side that prevents the oil from flowing. While this significantly minimises the chances of damage, it is still not a guarantee. Therefore, take no chances and ensure your refrigerator is transported while in an upright position.
Preparing Your Fridge for Transportation
You’ll need professional movers to ease the moving process and save yourself some time. However, preparing the fridge for transportation falls on you since it takes a few days. Here is what to do:
● Empty the Fridge
The more packed your fridge, the earlier you need to start emptying it. Start by eating perishables to save money and prevent waste. Additionally, consuming your fridge’s contents saves you moving space. Once all the food items are out, you need to remove the shelves. Imagine damaging the glass shelves. The fridge should be empty when you’re done.
● Unplug and Disconnect the Fridge
You must unplug the fridge from the mains and disconnect any water lines. Most advanced fridges with ice and water dispensers directly connect to your building’s water lines. You need to disconnect those carefully. Consult the brand’s technical support team if the process is too technical.
● Defrost the Freezer
When you unplug the refrigerator, the freezer section should start defrosting. Accelerate defrosting by letting the freezer door open. Aim to have the freezer defrosted with ample time to wipe it down before transportation. You don’t want water leaking in transit, which could damage other appliances in the moving truck or van. It should take from six to eight hours to completely defrost the fridge. However, it depends on how frosted it is.
● Clean the Refrigerator
Wiping the fridge down after defrosting is not enough. Ensure you thoroughly clean the refrigerator before packing it off to the destination.
● Secure the Doors in Place
Ideally, no moving parts in the fridge should be left free. Letting the doors swing open freely could damage them. Additionally, more than the fridge’s magnets are needed to keep the door shut securely. If yours has a locking mechanism, use it to close the doors. Alternatively, you may need a rope or ratchet strap to lock the doors.
● Protect the Fridge’s Outer Surface
The fridge can easily gather dents and scratches during transit. Pointy wall edges could leave marks on it. Therefore, you need to shrink-wrap it to prevent permanent damage. Additionally, you should secure the bottom section with rubber mats to avoid damaging the feet and wheels. This also prevents heavy refrigerators from damaging the floors.
Moving Your Refrigerator
● Ask for Help
The larger your fridge, the more help you’ll need moving it. A fridge-freezer unit needs at least two people to move. You can hire professional movers; they supply the van and personnel. However, if you only hire the van, you’ll need to arrange for said help in advance to save some time.
● Use a Moving Dolly
A dolly makes moving refrigerators from the building to the van easier. The help is necessary when moving refrigerators down the stairs or other places where a dolly can’t roll. However, the dolly is your best solution over flat surfaces. You only need to secure the fridge tightly in place before rolling. It is easy to tip over and drop the fridge if you’re not careful.
● Move Gently
As you carry the fridge down the stairs or on the dolly, move gently and slowly to minimise accidents. Additionally, gentle and slow movements allow the fridge’s compressor oil to settle. Shaking the refrigerator will need you to let it sit for a long time unused as the oil settles.
● Loading the Van
Ensure the moving van or truck has a ramp to allow safe and gentle loading. You may combine efforts and lift the fridge off the ground, increasing the chances of accidents or other damage.
Installing the Refrigerator on the New Premises
At the destination, unload the fridge as slowly and gently as before. After placing it in the new spot, let it sit upright or vertical position for at least two hours, with four hours being the safe bet. Do not turn on the refrigerator immediately. You may have transported the fridge in an upright position, but the movements could have caused the compressor oil to move about. Therefore, let the oil settle fully before turning the fridge on.
Meanwhile, you can connect the plugs and the water lines. Such preliminary tasks take time, and the four hours present a great window to get them done. Should you need technical help, don’t hesitate to contact the brand’s customer support. Remember not to turn on the fridge until that time is up. If possible, let it remain upright overnight.
Tips on Moving Your Fridge Safely
Besides following our guide on how to move your fridge safely, you also need to keep a few things in mind:
● Refer to the Fridge’s Instruction Manual
Most fridges have specific instructions in their user manual regarding moving them after use. The more technically advanced units offer detailed instructions on what you need to do before moving them. Therefore, find out what to do besides adhering to the shared best practices.
● Transport a Clean and Empty Fridge
It is easy to overlook cleaning or emptying the fridge when you have so many other things to do. Moving isn’t easy but damaging your fridge with loose items could cost you plenty. Therefore, confirm that you have emptied, cleaned, and dried your fridge before locking and shrink-wrapping it.
● Use Professional Movers
Moving is already complicated enough without worrying about the risk of damaging your fridge. Professional movers will handle the donkey work and give you the time and space to focus on the state of your fridge and other electric appliances. Additionally, you’ll save yourself from extra costs should your items get damaged or misplaced.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Can I transport my fridge on its side?
Yes, you can but under specific circumstances and always with the risk of significantly damaging it. The best way to transport your refrigerator upright and gently. Placing the fridge on the side causes the coolant to mix with the compressor oil, thus diminishing the fridge’s cooling abilities. You don’t want to see the repair bill.
2. Can I move a fridge immediately after turning it off?
No, you shouldn’t move your fridge immediately after turning it off. As the coolant gases and compressor oil are still circulating, you must give them time to settle. Additionally, the fridge needs emptying, defrosting, cleaning, and drying. Those steps take more than a day, thus disqualifying moving it immediately.
3. How long should I let the fridge settle before turning it on?
A recently moved fridge should stand upright for at least four hours before turning it on. This allows the compressor oil to move from the compressor line and settle where it belongs. Transporting the fridge upright doesn’t mean there’s no chance some of the oil is in unwanted parts of the fridge. Therefore, four hours is enough for a gently and uprightly moved fridge.
4. What is the best method to move my fridge?
The best way to move your fridge is by using professional movers. You’ll save so much time and effort and avoid the frustration of figuring out whether you’re doing the right thing. These professionals also significantly minimise accidents and other damage to your appliances.
Moving a fridge is a simple and manageable process, but it can turn complicated if you don’t know what to do. Fortunately, this article shares relevant information to help you prepare for the move and safely handle your fridge to your new destination. It also explains why you should never lay your fridge down or on its side before transporting it. You now know what to do next time you move your fridge.