What’s the best way to move a fridge? How to move a refrigerator? Generally speaking, the answer is ‘very carefully’. If you’re moving house and need to shift your refrigerator as a result, take a moment to consider a few things first.

If the fridge needs to come down a flight (or three) of stairs, it might be best to consider hiring a professional to help. Refrigerators can be incredibly heavy, and professional movers have the skills, equipment, and manpower to move them through tricky areas. But if the move won’t feature many dramatic or difficult obstacles, read on for instructions and advice on moving your fridge the safe and easy way.

Fridge not working the way it should? Check out our guide on fixing a fridge that isn’t cooling.

Safety considerations and requirements

It’s important to note that we do not advise moving a fridge without the proper equipment. This means you need an appliance trolley with appropriate straps or fasteners, rope or tape, and a minimum of one other person to help with the fridge. Some trolleys have special ‘stair climbing’ wheels that make it easier to gradually ascend or descend steps. If you have to go up or down steps, take extra care and consider bringing a third person along for safety.

Moving a fridge can be tricky without the right strategy.

Defrost the fridge and clean it out

Obviously, the first step before moving your fridge will be to ensure it no longer contains any food items. You should also thoroughly defrost the freezer section. Clean internal surfaces with water and baking soda. All water should be removed from the fridge, so that it doesn’t leak in transit. If your fridge has extra features such as an ice maker or water filter, make sure these are defrosted and turned off too.

Disconnect the fridge and prep it for moving

When the fridge is unplugged, roll up the cord and tape it to the back of the unit. Then remove the doors to the fridge and freezer or shut them tightly using rope or bungee cords. Thick tape will also work, as long as it doesn’t damage the outer surface. Remove the internal drawers and shelves and wrap the exterior in moving blankets.

Make sure you have a clear path out of the house – ideally, you’ll want to be able to wheel the fridge straight out.

One thing to keep in mind during the move is to leave the fridge in place for 4 hours before turning it on again, to avoid any potential damage to the compressor.

Bring a friend and use an appliance trolley or trailer – keep the fridge as upright as possible

When you move the fridge away from the wall, try ‘walking’ it in small sliding motions. Once you’ve got it where you want it, it’s time to load it onto the trolley or trailer. When you load it onto the trolley, lift one side first, and have another person slide the trolley underneath. Refrigerators should never be tipped past 45 degrees because of the lubricants inside the motors of most units. Take your time and communicate clearly – some misunderstandings are harmless, but others can result in a broken fridge or worse.

Use a ramp – secure the fridge well once it’s in the vehicle

A ramp for your trailer or ute will save you lifting the fridge. Again, take your time. Once you’ve got the fridge in the vehicle, secure it well. Unless you need the trolley or trailer for something else, just leave it in place under the fridge until you reach your destination. Once you get the fridge into your new house, hold off the urge to fill it up with cool beverages and plug it in. The coolant and lubricant in the internal components should be given a couple of hours to settle first. This precaution will also help to prolong the life of your fridge.

When you’ve successfully moved your refrigerator to its new location, positioning it correctly is crucial for its optimal operation and longevity. Here are some best practices to ensure your fridge runs efficiently in its new home:

Positioning the fridge in the new location: best practices

1. Ensure adequate ventilation: Refrigerators need proper air circulation to operate efficiently. Place your fridge in a location where there’s enough space around it, especially at the back and sides, to allow for adequate airflow. Ideally, leave a gap of at least 2-3 inches between the fridge and the wall. This space prevents overheating and helps the cooling system work more effectively.

2. Keep it away from heat sources: Position your fridge away from direct sunlight and other heat sources, such as ovens, dishwashers, and heating vents. Excessive heat exposure forces the fridge to work harder to maintain its internal temperature, increasing energy consumption and potentially shortening its lifespan.

3. Level the fridge: A level fridge is essential for proper operation. An unlevel fridge can lead to cooling issues and may cause the doors to not seal correctly, leading to energy loss. Use a level tool to check whether the fridge is even, and adjust the legs or rollers accordingly. Most refrigerators have adjustable feet that can be turned to raise or lower the corners of the fridge until it is level.

4. Consider the door swing: Ensure there’s enough space for the fridge door to open fully. This not only makes accessing your fridge’s contents easier but also prevents potential damage to the fridge door and nearby objects. Be mindful of the direction in which the door opens and whether it aligns with your kitchen layout.

5. Maintain distance from walls: Apart from providing ventilation space at the back, maintaining a small gap on either side of the fridge can be beneficial. It allows for easier cleaning and maintenance access and can prevent scratches or damage to both the fridge and walls.

By following these positioning tips, you can help ensure that your refrigerator operates efficiently and effectively in its new setting, contributing to its performance and the longevity of the appliance.

Frequently asked questions

Q: How do I prepare my refrigerator with an ice maker and water line for transport?

A: For refrigerators with ice makers and water lines, follow these steps before transport:

  1. Turn off the water supply to the refrigerator and disconnect the water line from the fridge.
  2. Drain any remaining water from the line and ice maker, and remove the ice bin.
  3. Secure the water line inside the refrigerator to prevent damage during transport.
  4. Follow the standard steps for defrosting, cleaning, and prepping the fridge for moving.

Q: Can I move my refrigerator without an appliance trolley?

A: While it is possible to move a refrigerator without an appliance trolley, it is not recommended due to the increased risk of injury and damage to the appliance. An appliance trolley provides greater stability, control, and safety during the moving process.

Q: How long do fridges take to defrost?

A: The time it takes for a refrigerator to defrost depends on the amount of frost buildup and the size of the appliance. Generally, it takes anywhere from 2 to 8 hours for a refrigerator to fully defrost. To speed up the process, you can remove any food and containers, turn off the appliance, and leave the doors open to allow warm air to circulate. Placing towels or trays under the fridge to catch any melting ice can help prevent water damage to your floors.

Q: How much does the average fridge weigh?

A: The weight of a refrigerator can vary greatly depending on its size, type, and features. On average, a standard household refrigerator weighs between 80 and 160 kg. Larger, more advanced models with features like ice makers and water dispensers can weigh over 180 kg. If your next question was ‘Can I move a fridge safely without the proper equipment?’, we’re here to tell you the answer is probably ‘no.’

Good luck! Need assistance? Call National Appliance Repairs

If your fridge isn’t working as well as it used to (or even at all), don’t hesitate to contact us for efficient and reliable refrigerator repairs nationwide.