Can I Transport a Refrigerator on Its Side

You’re planning to sell your home fast and will be moving to another place with a ton of appliances. Unfortunately, bulky kitchen appliances, like refrigerators, are not easy to move. Like moving a hot water heater, movers must proceed with caution when transporting a fridge. You might be wondering, “Can I lay the fridge down to transport it?” Laying a refrigerator on its side while transporting it can be deadly to the appliance.

Let’s dive in, debunk some myths, and give you the cold, hard facts about fridge relocation.

Should You Transport a Refrigerator on Its Side?

Yes, you can transport a refrigerator on its side, but it’s not ideal. Refrigerators are designed to stand upright and can become severely damaged if laid sideways. The compressor oil (and coolant) can flow into the cooling lines, leading to potential malfunctions.

While you can technically transport a refrigerator on its side, it is a risky move.

If you do lay a refrigerator horizontal for transport, once vertical again, it is smart to leave them to sit for several hours (maybe even a day). This allows the coolant to get back into place before plugging it in.

What's the Best Way to Transport a Refrigerator?

What is the safest way to transport a refrigerator when moving? Always upright. Unfortunately, that’s not always possible. The best method also depends on the type of refrigerator. For instance, a compact fridge is easier to move upright than a double-door behemoth. If going upright isn’t an option, double-check the make and model of your fridge. Certain refrigerator models can handle side shuffles better than others.

How to Safely Move a Refrigerator

How to Safely Move a Refrigerator

Safety first! When moving a refrigerator, secure loose parts and tape the doors shut. The idea is to avoid things swinging open or bouncing around, which can lead to damage. Next, recruit enough hands on deck to prevent injuries and further damage.

If you have trouble finding help to move your fridge, tell your friends you will invite them to enjoy some cold beverages after everything is done. Consider moving a refrigerator into your new man cave where your friends can all hang out. Use appliance dollies and straps for support! This way, you can gently maneuver the fridge without jostling it too much.

Preparation Your Fridge for Sideways Transportation

When transporting a fridge on its side, prep is key. Remove all contents, defrost, and dry it out to prevent water damage. Secure internal components like shelves and drawers or remove them entirely. Tape the doors shut, and wrap the cord securely. Most importantly, choose the side that keeps the compressor lines facing upward if possible.

Transporting a Refrigerator on its Side: The Outcome

Laying a refrigerator on its side can be risky business. Engineers have said that refrigerators transported on their sides showed a noticeable difference in performance post-move. If you must tilt, minimize the time spent on its side and allow it to stand upright for at least the same amount of time before plugging it back in.

Step-by-Step Guide to Safely Transporting Your Refrigerator

Can I Transport a fridge on Its Side

1. Measure all doorways and paths

Before you move an inch, grab a tape measure and jot down the dimensions of your fridge. Then, measure any doorways, staircases, or tight corners on the path out of your current home and into the new one. This can prevent scuffed walls as well as a fridge that won’t fit through the front door.

2. Secure loose parts inside the fridge

Those shelves might seem snug, but in the back of a bouncing truck, they’re like pinballs. Tape them down or take them out and move them separately. This will prevent damage to the interior of your fridge. Plus, it will help you avoid the symphony of clattering glass and plastic during transport.

3. Turn off and disconnect the fridge 24 hours before moving

Your refrigerator needs to chill out before the big move. Turning it off a day in advance allows the evaporator to defrost. This will also reduce the risk of water damage and mold growth. It also gives the oils and fluids inside the compressor time to settle, which is vital if the fridge will be on its side at any point.

4. Defrost and clean the interior

Thawing out the freezer isn’t just about avoiding water damage. This step will also help you start fresh in your new place. Especially if you’re moving into a brand new construction home, you’ll want to have fresh appliances. Wipe down the walls and drawers to prevent odors and to keep your food-toting friend in tip-top condition. Plus, a clean fridge is much more pleasant to move than a sticky, smelly one.

5. Tape the doors and power cord securely

The last thing you want is a fridge door swinging open mid-move. Use strong tape to keep the doors closed and secure the power cord to the back of the appliance so it doesn’t trip anyone. This will protect both your fridge’s doors and the walls of your home as you move.

6. Load the fridge onto the dolly and strap it tightly

When it’s time to get moving, wheel out the appliance dolly. Tilt the fridge carefully onto the dolly and fasten it securely with moving straps or ropes. This is crucial! A fridge that falls off a dolly can be a danger to people and property.

7. Carefully tilt and move the fridge

Slow and steady wins the race. When you start moving, keep the fridge as upright as possible and take corners and transitions slowly to avoid abrupt tilting, which can disturb the internal mechanics.

8. Keep the fridge on its side for the shortest time possible

If you must transport your refrigerator on its side, make it quick. The less time spent on its side, the less likely it is that oils and fluids will seep into places where they shouldn’t be.

9. Upon arrival, place the refrigerator upright

The home stretch! Once your fridge is safely in its new home, don’t plug it in right away. Let it stand upright for several hours so gravity can work its magic, pulling the oils back to where they belong. This patience can be the difference between a fridge that runs for years and one that sputters out prematurely.

By following these steps with care, you’ll ensure your refrigerator arrives in its new kitchen ready to cool another day.

How to Settle Your Refrigerator into Its New Home

You’ve arrived! Set your fridge upright in its new spot. Remember, do not plug it in immediately. Allow your refrigerator to stand for several hours, giving the oil time to settle back into the compressor. This patience can prevent function mishaps and extend the life of your refrigerator.

Moving Tips for Large Appliances

Professionals in the moving industry emphasize the importance of planning. They recommend scheduling your fridge move for later in the day so that it can sit upright overnight. This reduces the risk of damaging the compressor and ensures better functionality from the get-go.

Tread With Caution When Moving Your Fridge

Remember, while it’s possible to transport your refrigerator on its side, it is not the preferred method. When in doubt, consult your refrigerator’s manual or seek advice from professional movers who have played this game of kitchen Tetris before. Do the research before laying your fridge on its side during transport.