How to Move a Fridge in 8 Easy Steps (Without Breaking It)
Moving can be a pain; there’s no denying it. Moving house is highly tedious, requiring much more focus and energy that many can’t muster up! One of the most difficult appliances to transport is a fridge. It’s big, heavy, and if handled improperly, can cause serious damage – not just to itself, but also to your belongings and even yourself!
Many people go with a professional moving company to move their appliances, but if you’re on a budget and have the know-how, there are some tips to help you do it yourself. Read our eight easy tips for slowly moving a fridge without breaking it – or your back!
Can I Move My Fridge Upright Myself?
Yes, you can move a fridge at an upright position without harming yourself or the fridge. But you should consider some factors before deciding to move the fridge to your new home. For example, if you have an injury that isn’t too severe, the move might make it worse.
A freezer is a bulky appliance and moving a fridge freezer becomes trickier and more stressful if you’re living or moving to a building with flights of stairs. In this case, it will require an extra pair of hands, a lot more attention, and slower movements to navigate the stairs. Also, moving the freezer down the staircase might take time, depending on your floor.
Professional movers have the skill set and equipment to move a refrigerator correctly down staircase. But it’s understandable if you’re working with a budget and do not wish to go overboard.
How to Move a Fridge Freezer in 8 Easy Steps
It’s early morning, you’ve just had your first cup of coffee, and you’re ready to move a refrigerator.
Using furniture wrap, bubble wrap, or moving blankets, carefully wrap the refrigerator and secure it with tape.
This way, you won’t worry about the fridge accruing scratches while on the move. Also, avoid putting packing tape on your freezer’s surface, as it can leave a residue that can permanently damage it.
Nothing can match a planned operation to move a fridge or a bulky appliance, and it is important to ensure you have all the right tools and equipment. So, whether you’re moving it down the stairs, up the elevator, or in a truck, follow these helpful tips, and you’ll be good to go!
Step 1. Disconnect the Fridge
Turn off the fridge the night before your moving day to give the evaporator ample time to defrost. Also, it will help the oil and fluids settle and stop moving through the compressor. If the fridge has an ice maker and water filter, disconnect them, and remove the ice from its compartment to prevent leaks.
Follow the instructions in the owner’s manual guide if you need help with how to disconnect the water lines. After unplugging the refrigerator, roll the power cord and tape it to the back of the fridge to avoid tripping on it during the move.
Step 2. Defrost the Fridge
Disconnecting the fridge a night before your move tends to help with defrosting. But in this situation, your freezer has built a considerable amount of frost; you might find yourself unlucky. Hence, it’s best to eliminate the frost manually. It will cause a huge leaking mess if you do not take care of it before the move.
You can defrost a freezer by melting the ice with hot water or using a hair dryer. Mop up the water it leaves in its wake and disinfect the fridge. You want your fridge to be completely dry when it’s time to move. If you’re skeptical about using a hair dryer and wondering how it works, check your user manual for directions.
Step 3. Clean and Empty the Fridge
If perishable items are in the refrigerator, finish them or give them away. It’s best to empty the fridge of every item before you move it. This prevents spoilage and additional weight on the fridge. You can also store the food item in a cooler but ensure it has enough ice to keep the food adequately chilled for the duration of this task.
If you’re moving far away, to a new state perhaps, throwing away things you can’t finish is easier. Give the fridge a good clean after emptying it of its contents. The fridge starts getting warm when it’s not powered on. Therefore, if you delay cleaning it, the smells will grow stronger and become difficult to remove once you reach your new home.
Step 4. Remove Interior Glass Shelves
Do not stop at removing just the food contents in your fridge. Take out the glass shelves, drawers, and other moveable components in the fridge and wrap them separately. This prevents any chances of it bouncing around and shattering during the process.
Stack the shelves carefully while boxing and label them correctly, so you can place them in the section with the other breakables you’re moving. Furthermore, you can secure the shelves without removing them from the fridge by taping them in place. But for this to be successful, it depends on the fridge and how secure the shelves are inside.
Step 5. Remove Any Impeding Doors
To move your fridge from your kitchen to the moving truck, you must consider the fridge’s dimensions and the width of your doorways. Measuring your home and refrigerator door will help you decide quickly if it fits. If you can’t easily move your fridge out, decide which doors will make the job easier when removed.
If you decide to remove your home doorway, close and secure the fridge door properly before placing it on the dolly. Use a strong rope or bungee cords to shut the fridge doors.
Secure the handles if the fridge has a double door. Keep the fridge doors slightly open if the move is expected to last longer than a day. It helps prevent mold and mildew from growing and stinking up the fridge. Even with this, be gentle while securing the fridge to avoid displacing the doors from its alignment.
Step 6. Get Rid of Obstacles on the Way
If anything will block your way during the move, remove those obstacles. It would help if you considered moving a fridge last after removing every other appliance in the house or creating a pathway for it to pass. Make sure there’s nothing in the room or blocking your doorways and halls that will hinder you from moving a refrigerator out of the house.
Step 7. Use a Moving Dolly
Dollies are easy to use and are designed for safely moving heavy appliances. So, if you do not own a dolly, make provisions for it. Any dolly with straps will do the work but ensure that the base and straps are large enough to hold the refrigerator securely. Sliding the fridge away from the wall is easy.
Most freezers come with wheels to support easy movement. Slide the appliance dolly underneath the fridge and use the moving straps to tighten the fridge into place. Avoid tilting the fridge when lifting and positioning it on the dolly. It would help if you had a second pair of hands to support and prevent the fridge from toppling during the move.
The helper will help guide you through obstacles while you roll the moving trolley slowly to the truck. Move the dolly one step at a time and ensure your helper is holding and easing the dolly down the stairs. Ensure the fridge is transported upright to your new house and refrigerant oil does not seep into the heat exchanger tubes.
Step 8. Load Fridge Onto the Moving Truck in an Upright Position
Ensure a plank or ramp is available to easily guide the refrigerator into the pickup. It’s more challenging to lift the fridge onto the truck without a ramp, and you might need to seek additional help depending on the size of the fridge. However, in the absence of a ramp, you need to be in the truck’s bed with your helpers on the ground.
Coordinate with them to lift the fridge to the truck’s bed. The helpers on the ground should lift the dolly from the base and push it back into the bed while you pull the dolly handle straight. If the weight is too much, you should seek extra hands so the refrigerator doesn’t fall back onto you.
It doesn’t end there. Secure the fridge upright in the truck so it doesn’t bounce around during transit. You can strap it into place with a bungee cord or a rope along the top and sides of the fridge or brace it with other furniture. Leaving it on the dolly is better for security and stability; you wouldn’t have to re-secure the refrigerator once you reach your final destination.
Don’t Tip or Lay a Refrigerator While Moving
Moving a refrigerator by tipping it over or laying it on its side can cause permanent damage. It displaces oil and lubricants in the refrigerator from their position, allowing the compressor oil to flow into the cooling tubes.
The oil in a refrigerator protects the appliance’s parts, preventing it from breaking down or deteriorating when used continuously. Allow the refrigerator to stand for 24 hours before connecting it to power again. If that doesn’t work, call in a refrigerator mechanic.
Tools to Use When Moving a Refrigerator
Before moving your refrigerator from its storage, ensure the proper tools for the lifting are available. Most fridges are bulky and not easy to lift on their own. Although its wheels make it a tad easier to move around the kitchen, you need more tools to help lift the fridge. Here are some of the tools you should have available before considering moving your refrigerator.
- Packing tape, bungee, rope, or moving straps
- Screwdriver and drills
- Moving trolley or dolly with straps
- Moving blankets or linens
- Moving truck or pickup truck
- Measuring tape
Plan ahead and speak to a family member or hire some people to help you with the move. It can be dangerous to move refrigerators alone without someone to direct your movement, especially if a staircase is involved.
Recommended Time for a Fridge to Sit After Moving
There are tricks to moving a refrigerator slowly, which movers excel in. They ensure they do not tip the fridge, complicating the internal components. You could turn on the refrigerator instantly after the move if you moved it upright. But, if you placed the fridge on its side while moving, you have to wait for the number of minutes it stayed on its side.
For example, if the fridge was on its side for 30 minutes, you have to let it sit for another 30 minutes before turning it on. You should wait 24 hours if it’s been on its side for over a day. This allows the fluids in the fridge to settle back into their compartments. Additionally, check the handy guide to know the manufacturer’s recommended wait time after moving before you add food items. Usually, it’s within 24 hours.
Storing a Refrigerator
If you intend to store the refrigerator safely, ensure it is upright. Doing otherwise will leave you with a damaged refrigerator when you go back for it. In addition, make sure the storage place is clean, dry, and safe from pests, vermin, fire, and theft. Leave the fridge doors open, so it does not accumulate odours. Put a box of baking soda inside to reduce moisture.
Do not panic when you discover you haven’t made plans to move a refrigerator to your new abode. Although it’s more of a hassle to tackle at the hour of moving, it’s a no-brainer and still doable.
It will take a few hours to move your fridge to your new home and defrost. You can pack or discard the food items. Check the handy guide for safely disconnecting the refrigerator’s water line. Seek expert movers if you have an old injury to prevent worsening.