Moving A Refrigerator

Moving a Refrigerator

The refrigerator is an great piece of equipment and is one of the most important items in your home. You use it for so many things, from cooling water and drinks, to freezing meat, making ice, and saving that left over chicken salad. I am sure you can think of a few other practical uses you’ve had for yours. Living without it would be quite a hassle.

The biggest challenge is moving it without damaging it, the floors, and yourself. Refrigerators are extremely heavy.  This can be a serious issue when you attempt to move one. But, with the alternative of buy a new one or paying someone else to move it, it’s much cheaper to move it yourself. Refrigerators appear to be very strong because of their size and look, but many parts are very fragile. If you don’t move it correctly, you run the risk of damaging, scuffing, or even causing it to not work at all. The good news is, if you follow the right procedures, you should be able to successfully move your refrigerator to its new location.

Here are a few safety tips before you move.

Remove all the contents from the refrigerator and make sure that it is not plugged into an outlet.  After you unplug it, wait a few hours to give it time to defrost.  You may want to put some towels on the floor while it is defrosting.  Sometimes water will leak out.

Take advantage of this time to clean out the refrigerator. If you leave food inside to long, it will become hot inside and start to spoil very quickly.  This will create a very unpleasant odor that you may not be able to get out later.

Secure the shelves by taping them together or removing them until the move is done. Take out any shelves that are made of glass, and make sure to properly wrap them individually for extra protection. After they are wrapped and you have loaded the refrigerator on to the truck, you may place them back inside the refrigerator during transit.  Just make sure they won’t move and are padded well.

Once you are ready to start the move, pull the refrigerator out.  Make sure you don’t damage anything as you slide it out.  You can rent a dolly from your local hardware store to move it safely.

To keep from damaging the refrigerator, walls, and doorways, wrap it in furniture blankets or any kind of blanket for that matter.  You also should secure it to the dolly with ratchet straps.

How to move a Refrigerator on its side:

A lot of people think that moving a refrigerator on its side can damage it.  We agree. When moving a refrigerator on its side,  some of the oil may escape from the compressor and run up the lines.  If this happens the appliance may be damaged.

This is the number one problem when moving a refrigerator on its side. We suggest that you don’t lay a refrigerator on its side to move it.  If it is the only option you have, you should call a professional.  Otherwise, you run the risk of permanently damaging it..

How to move a refrigerator in a pickup truck

Carefully slide the fridge onto a cart or dolly and use straps to wrap around it.  Make sure they are tight. Back your pickup truck as close as you can to the house.  The less distance you have to travel with it, the better.

At the back of the pickup truck, place yourself on one side and have your helper stand on the opposite side. Bend your knees while maintaining a very good grip.  Be sure to lift with your legs to avoid back injury.  You may want to also wear a back support brace.  Use smooth and slow movements to avoid hurting yourself in the process.

You can now slide the unit to the back of the cab.  Tied it down with rope or straps.  Remember that there will be wind blowing on the top part of the refrigerator as you are driving.  This will try and make it move backwards.  Don’t use bungee cords. If you do, the refrigerator will move all over the place the faster you go .

Don’t speed and avoid bumps in the road.  You should try to take streets that have lower traffic and go during times when there won’t be as many people on the road.

When you get to your new place, unstrap it and move it to the foot of the tail gate. Slowly take it down and remember to bend your knees to avoid hurting your back.

Moving a refrigerator to clean behind it

When moving a refrigerator to clean it, it can be very simple on one hand, and difficult on another. Newer fridge models now have wonderful helping resources in the form of wheels! This makes moving your fridge from point A to B a lot easier than the older models. If your fridge has wheels, you won’t have an issue moving it. The only recommendations are that you should remove items on the top, or just to be mindful of the items that are there. There are plenty of horror stories about a blender, rice cooker, and other objects falling and the glass breaking or someone getting hurt simply because someone totally forgot about it. Since your fridge has wheels, you won’t have to remove the contents from inside, however, be very mindful when you are moving it about. Remember the contents that you may have inside that can get spilled and damage other edible goods. After cleaning the area, safely slide the fridge back into its space.

If your refrigerator model has no wheels, to remove it from its current position to clean, you may need some help to lift it so that it does not damage your flooring or carpeting. Using a dolly or another item will help. Also, remove the contents from the top of the appliance because it will be elevated and this will eliminate any accidents to anything on top and your persons. You may also want to remove contents that have the ability to spill inside, such as water, cups of juice, and dishes of food. If the item cannot spill at all, then it is most likely safe to stay; just use your best judgment. After it has been lifted from the space, you can clean, and then carefully put it back. Now you are able to replace the contents back inside.

Moving a refrigerator on hardwood floors

In this move, it is best to be very careful. If you pull the fridge across the floor, it can easily damage your flooring. The most recommended solution to move a refrigerator on hard wood floor is to use a fourth-inch Luan plywood, which is a type of flexible wood. This can be purchase at local hardware stores, like Home Depots. To move the fridge on it, take a sheet of 4′x8′ luan and cut it into a two pieces, 36″x48″ or 30″x48″, depending on how wide your fridge is. You need them wide enough that they will fit through your archway and between the cabinets.

Please ensure that the floor is clean before you lay your luan down; you don’t want to trap any debris or dirt under there that could damage the hardwood.

Slide the fridge on the first piece of luan, then lay the second piece just in front of the appliance, then slide or roll it on that one. This will be like a puzzle, interchanging the tiles. You’re essentially making a pathway for your fridge to roll on. Cut a small piece of lumber, about 2 x 2 or 1×1, then put it on the wall in the spot for the refrigerator. This makes a turning point or pivot, so whenever you push the fridge into its final spot, you can easily remove the final piece of luan by pushing on the top of the appliance. It also makes it easy to insert a piece of plywood under the front feet so you can pull your appliance out and clean behind it whenever you would like.

Luckily, if the flooring isn’t going to be visible when your refrigerator is in place, you probably won’t need to protect it. So with the last piece of luan, simply push your sheet of luan directly to the cupboard kick plates and push the fridge back into its place.

Moving a refrigerator with a water line

When moving a refrigerator that has a water line, don’t fret too much. The water line does not make it difficult to handle. It’s actually very easy to pull off. First, turn the water off. It is always better to avoid accidents. Always be mindful of the things on top of the fridge because you may need to pull the fridge out a bit, depending on the availability of space in your reach. If the space is narrow, then try to bring the fridge forward, remember to take you time. Your aim is to now have some space so you can see and reach behind the appliance. Ensure that you can fit within the space as you will need to be behind the fridge to do the disconnection. If your fridge space is wide and you have the ability to rotate it 90 degrees, go ahead, so that you can have enough space to disconnect the parts. On the back of the refrigerator, your water line which comes with the fridge connects with another plastic tube which is about 25-30 feet. That plastic tube allows the water to enter your fridge. You can disconnect it at the intersection where the metal nuts are. Once disconnected, you can then move the fridge out more to clean or if you are going to move that fridge, you can wrap up the water line that is attached to it and proceed with caution using the steps above.

Moving a refrigerator a short distance

When moving a refrigerator a short distance, bear in mind how near or far away it is really going. Short distance can mean across the road, to a new room, or five minutes away. If you have a dolly and you want to move the fridge across the street or place it in the garage or someplace not too far, you can easily use the dolly to transport it. Load the fridge on it and strap it on for safety. As always, it is better to be safe than sorry and no one likes feeling sorry. You can walk moderately with the appliance or you can go really slowly, it should be obviously what works best for you. If you’re unsure, just take your time.

If you need to move the fridge a block away or up the street, a pickup truck would be needed to make it a lot easier on your behalf. If you have a few helpful friend, ask for the help to transport it or you can pay a small fee to have it moved the short distance. Try to keep it in the upright position; this is always preferable and strapping it and securing it is always important, no matter how near or far.

If it is a short distance inside the house maybe from the kitchen to the dining room, you can use the luan plywood to assist.

Moving a refrigerator up stairs

Moving a fridge upstairs requires the minimum of two persons rather than risking the possibility of damaging your appliance and hurting yourself. If you have a dolly, this would be a very helpful resource for this project. If you don’t, buy one or rent one for the day, as it best recommended for this task. Slide the dolly under your refrigerator and ensure that the fridge doors are at front, you should only see the back of the fridge if you are behind the dolly handle bars. Also, secure your appliance using the straps on the dolly to ensure safety. Tip the dolly further to the back so that fridge is balanced of the wheels. Once the dolly is at the first stair, back it up one step at a time. Once you have made it over the stairs, to the place where you want to place it, you can unstrap the fridge and have your helper assist when you are ready to take the fridge off. Have the person hold the fridge while you slide the dolly from beneath it, seeing that you have successfully made it up the stairs. Seeing that oil was unstable during the move, it is best to have it stand in the position for a few hours before plugging in.


These are just a few of the possible steps you can take to move a refrigerator from point A to point B. Remember to practice safety at all time and also remember, if you cannot handle it on your own, it is always best to ask for assistance.

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