Published On:
October 2, 2023

When Moving a Fridge: Tips for a Smooth Transition

Moving major appliances like a fridge may be considered a challenging task to most of us, especially inexperienced ones. It's bulky and heavy and can be easily damaged if not properly handled. However, with the right preparations and safety measures, you can make the process a lot easier and safer.

In this article, we will provide you with a step-by-step guide on how to move a fridge safely and effectively. I'll also answer some common questions about turning off the fridge, laying it down, and how long it needs to be off after the move.

Tips on Moving a Refrigerator Safely

Moving a fridge safely requires a bit of careful planning and preparation. Here are some tips you should follow to ensure that you can perform the task safely:

Gather the Necessary Supplies

When you want to move a refrigerator safely, especially when you're doing it on your own, you'll need specific materials to make it efficient and without damage or injury. Some items that you'll need include measuring tape, packing tape, moving blankets, moving straps, and an appliance dolly.

Additionally, you may also be considering cleaning your old home before moving. With that, you may refer here for the cleaning supplies you should prepare for the task.

Clear Out the Contents of the Fridge, Including the Fridge Freezer

One of the important tasks to do when moving a fridge is to empty its contents. Remove all the food, drinks, and other items from the fridge and freezer. You can store them in a cooler or an icebox while you move the fridge. Make sure, though, that you wipe down all the cooler surfaces before you place your perishable goods.

This step of clearing out the contents of the fridge is important for several reasons.

For one, it helps to reduce the weight of the fridge, making it easier and safer to transport. Another thing is that removing the contents prevents any potential damage to the food or drinks during the move.

Clearing out the fridge also allows for proper cleaning and defrosting, ensuring that the appliance is in good condition before the move. This also helps to prevent any unpleasant odours or mould growth during transit. However, should mould growth occur before the move, you may opt to employ a mould cleaning service to ensure that your new home will not be infected with mould.

Disconnect Water Lines and Electrical Connections

As refrigerators use both water and electricity, it's important to disconnect water lines and electrical connections to prevent any electrical hazards or water leaks.

To disconnect the water line, turn off the water supply and use pliers or an adjustable wrench to detach any fittings or connectors from the water line. You also need to unplug the fridge's power cord from the electrical outlet.

It's recommended to start the disconnection process 24 hours before moving to allow the ice to melt and to remove all food, shelves, and bins from the fridge.

Defrost the Refrigerator (If Needed)

If your fridge has a lot of frost buildup, it's important to defrost it before moving. This will prevent water from leaking out and damaging your floors during the move. To defrost the fridge, turn it off and leave the doors open for a few hours. You can also use a hairdryer to speed up the process.

Take Off the Refrigerator and Freezer Doors (If Needed)

Before moving, measure the doorways and pathways to ensure the refrigerator will fit through without any issues. However, if your fridge is too wide to fit through a doorway, you may need to remove the doors. This is also good if you're worried about the doors swinging open and damaging the fridge during the move. You'll need to unscrew the hinges and lift the doors off to remove the doors.

Keep the Floors, Walls, and Refrigerator Protected

Moving a fridge can be rough on your floors and walls. To prevent scratches or dents, you should lay down a protective wrapping. You can use cardboard, blankets, or moving pads to protect your floors and walls. You should also wrap the fridge in bubble wrap, moving blankets, or moving pads to protect it from scratches and dents.

Use a Dolly to Transport the Refrigerator

Moving a fridge by hand is not only difficult, but it's also dangerous. It's best to use a dolly to transport the fridge. A dolly will make the job a lot easier and safer. Make sure the dolly is in good condition and has straps to secure the fridge.

Place It Securely in the Truck and Fasten it Down

Once the fridge is on the dolly, you can move it to the truck. Make sure you have a clear path and that the truck is parked as close as possible to the entrance. When loading the fridge onto the moving truck, make sure it's placed securely and that it won't tip over during the move. Use ropes or straps to fasten it down and prevent it from moving.

Employ Professional Movers

Alternatively, you may also opt to employ the help of professional house movers Singapore like Nimbus Homes because of its many benefits over doing it yourself. These benefits include ensuring the safety of the appliance, saving you time and effort, and providing peace of mind during the relocation process.

Reassemble and Reconnect the Fridge in the New House

When moving a refrigerator, it is important to reassemble and reconnect it in the new house to ensure proper functionality and prevent potential damage. Doing so allows it to function correctly in its new location. It ensures that all components are properly aligned and connected, enabling the fridge to cool efficiently and maintain food safety.

To do this, first wheel the fridge inside using an appliance dolly with straps. Once inside, reconnect the wiring and water lines following the instructions in the user manual. Next, make sure all connections are secure and properly tightened then plug the fridge into a suitable electrical outlet.

Finally, allow the fridge to settle for at least 30 minutes to 1 hour before turning it back on to allow the refrigerant to settle and prevent potential damage.

When Should You Turn Off the Fridge When Moving Houses?

When moving houses, the option of turning off the fridge or keeping it turned on depends on how long the fridge will be unplugged. If you're only moving a short distance and the fridge will be unplugged for less than an hour, there's no need to turn it off.

However, if you're moving a long distance and the fridge will be unplugged for several hours, you should turn it off at least 24 hours before the move to allow it to defrost and for the oils and fluids to settle. This will help ensure the safe transportation of the fridge.

It's also important to note that turning off the fridge for an extended period can cause the food to spoil. If you're moving a long distance, you should empty the fridge and freezer and store the food in a cooler or an icebox.

Why Should the Fridge Be Transported in an Upright Position?

Transporting a refrigerator while lying down can indeed be problematic, and thus, it's important to keep the fridge upright during its transport. When a fridge is moved on its side, the oil from the compressor can clog the coolant lines and damage internal parts.

Some manufacturers even warn against moving their refrigerators on their side. However, if it's necessary to lay the fridge down, it is better to keep it at an angle rather than laying it completely flat, allowing gravity to keep the oil in the compressor

How Long Does a Fridge Need to Be Off After the Move?

After moving a refrigerator, it is generally recommended to wait at least 30 minutes to 1 hour before turning it back on. This allows the refrigerant inside the compressor to settle down and prevents potential damage.

Moving a fridge can cause the coolant to flow into the compressor, and turning it on immediately can lead to cooling issues or compressor failure. It's important to give the fridge some time to stabilize before plugging it back in.

Additionally, even when transported upright, the fridge may have been tilted or jostled during the move, so waiting ensures that any oil or fluids have a chance to settle back into their proper places.

Final Words

Moving a fridge can be a challenging task, but with the right preparations and safety measures, you can make it a lot easier and safer.

Remember to clear out the contents, disconnect the water and electrical connections, and protect the floors and walls. Use a dolly to transport the fridge and secure it in the truck with ropes or straps. Also don't forget to wait at least 24 hours before plugging it back in after the move.

By following these tips, you can ensure that your fridge arrives at its destination safely and in good condition.