Seven tips for moving a fridge

February 17th, 2012

Appliance Talk Fridges & Freezers

Moving house?  Taking your trusty appliances with you?  Here’s a guide from Appliances Online to moving one of the biggest, most awkward and most sensitive appliances around – the refrigerator.

Empty the fridge first

This should be a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised by how many people forget about it.  Eat up the food you don’t want to lose, and let the rest go (maybe store the good bits at a friend’s house).  Your fridge will be lighter, making it easier and safer to move, plus it’ll be much cleaner upon arrival!


Water and ice will not only make things more difficult for your movers, but while the fridge is in transit, they could get into where they don’t belong and damage your unit.  Before moving, leave the fridge/freezer off until all accumulated ice has melted, then wipe away all the leftover water.

Take the shelves out

While stable enough when the fridge is stationary, loose shelves will move around while in transit, resulting in damage.  If you can’t remove the shelves, secure them firmly in place using tape.  Speaking of which…

Tape the door shut

This keeps your fridge door from flapping about in your face – it’s much easier to move a big, solid box without having one of its sides falling open all the time.

Work as a team

Emptied out, fridges may feel deceptively light (depending on your make and model), so you may feel that with a trolley handy, you can move one all by yourself.  However, fridges are still big and bulky and require a great deal of careful handling when moving, so it’s worth bringing a friend to help (try promising them a few cold drinks out of the fridge once it’s been set up…).

If possible, keep it vertical

Old wives’ tales say that older-model fridges should never be laid down flat in the back of truck during a move, as this causes the oils, gases and coolants in their workings to flow out of position and badly damage the unit when it’s started back up.  Those old wives were onto something, as even new fridges can be wrecked by rough transportation.

Whether it’s new or old, laying a fridge on its side during a short move (e.g. to the next suburb over) shouldn’t be a major problem, but when taking one on a longer trip (e.g. from Sydney to Gosford), you should make sure it stands upright to prevent damage.  If you do lay your fridge down to move it, you can lay it on its front or side, but it’s not recommended that you lay it on its back – the weight of the fridge’s body on its working parts could damage them, even if they’re not exposed.

In any case, when you arrive at your destination, you should leave the fridge standing upright and unplugged for at least two hours before starting it back up again, so that the oils, gases and coolants flow back into their correct positions.  If the compressor is very noisy when you start it back up, it may have been damaged in transit, or you could just have a faulty compressor.  At this point it’s probably best to make a service call – Appliances Online can help you find the contact details of the manfacturer.

Be gentle

While a big, solid-looking person may be described as being ‘built like a fridge’, fridges themselves can actually be rather delicate.  One trick is to wrap the fridge in a blanket to help cushion any accidental impacts it may rack up during the move, thus avoiding dings and dents to the outer surface and damage to the working parts at the back.

And remember, no matter how tough you think your fridge is, it will never be as tough as this one:

Mark joined Appliances Online in November 2011 and has since learned more than he ever expected to know about appliances. He enjoys looking for new and unusual ways for to solve everyday problems using typical household appliances. When he’s not toiling at the desks of Appliances Online and Big Brown Box, he tries to find time to write the next big bestseller and draw satirical cartoons, but is too easily distracted by TV, music and video games. Mark’s favourite appliance is the Dyson Groom Tool, as he loves the concept of vacuuming your dog. Google+

4 responses to “Seven tips for moving a fridge”

  1. Bluefaerie007 says:

    Another way is to load all the food in an Walt and you can take it with you. As long as you put the fridge up ASAP.

  2. Bluefaerie007 says:

    Walt -esky.

  3. Mark Bristow says:

    Thanks Bluefaerie007, eskies are indeed ideal for this kind of situation. 

  4. M K says:

    “Tape the door shut.” LOL… How hard is it to make sure the hinges are on top, or higher than the centre of gravity?! Obviously, doing so would would allow gravity to keep the door shut… DUH!!

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