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How To Move a Refrigerator? [Step by Step Guide]

There is no secret technique that will make relocating a refrigerator any less difficult.

Refrigerators are not only inconvenient and unwieldy, but they are also prohibitively expensive.

Knowing how to move a refrigerator correctly, on the other hand, will make the task much simpler.

Depending on your circumstances, it may be preferable to delegate this task to a professional in certain instances.

Nonetheless, if that is not a viable alternative, we can still help you out.

If you want to avoid damaging this costly home equipment, you’ll need to be patient when preparing and make use of all of the appropriate tools.

This article will assist you in moving a refrigerator from point A to point B, regardless of how far it must go.

owner moving a refrigerator away from the wall
How To Move a Refrigerator
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You’ll need the following supplies:

  • a dolly for appliances with straps
  • A measuring tape is a piece of tape that is used to measure something.
  • Drill or screwdriver are also acceptable options.
  • Blankets for transporting items
  • a piece of tape or rope
  • A minimum of two individuals is required.

What should I do to prepare my refrigerator for relocation?

1. Take everything out of the refrigerator

Although it may seem apparent, you should begin by removing everything from the refrigerator’s inside.

Start one or two weeks before you want to relocate the appliance by consuming all of the refrigerated food that you do not intend to bring with you on the relocation.

Never forget to store all of the items you won’t be able to access during the relocation, either by sharing them with someone else or by putting them in a cooler for the duration of the transfer. After that, remove the shelves and drawers from the refrigerator.

2. Disconnect all water lines and electrical wires

The more technologically sophisticated a refrigerator is, the more expensive it is.

Disconnect the water pipes and wiring if your home has in-door screens, an ice or water dispenser, or any other special features.

Take extra care while inspecting the waterline.

As a mover, we’re a bit reluctant to play with anything that includes water, says Isaac Pulkkinen, a mover and trainer with Gentle Giant.

“It’s generally pretty easy to disconnect the water lines,” he adds.

“If it is not turned off correctly, it may do a great deal of harm. “

In certain instances, you may need the services of a plumber to properly switch off the water.”

Because of liability concerns, most movers will not even touch the wiring or water lines, according to Gabe Misinksi, a lead mover with Olympia Moving & Storage in Olympia, Washington.

Movers will supply you with the necessary tools, but they will not do the work themselves.

3. If required, defrost the refrigerator

It is not necessary to defrost your refrigerator in preparation for the transfer.

According to Misinksi, “if your refrigerator is going into storage, you need to defrost it.”

The weather will determine whether or not you will need to relocate if it is only a short local relocation.

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The term “short” refers to a relocation that takes little more than six or eight hours in total.

It will not be an issue throughout the cold months.

However, throughout the summer, the refrigerator in the vehicle will begin to thaw and leak water.

If you find that you need to defrost your refrigerator, make sure you give yourself plenty of time before moving day to do the task.

How long should a refrigerator be turned off before it is moved?

A refrigerator may defrost in as little as a few hours, depending on its size, but you’ll want to be proactive about it so that it doesn’t seep out into the truck and damage your belongings while you’re not expecting it.

Close all of the doors and leave them open for 48 hours.

Fill the empty fridge with old towels and leave it unplugged for the same amount of time.

To ensure that everything is soaked up, replace the towels as required.

4. If required, remove the doors from the frame.

The doors of the refrigerator or the doors of your house will most likely need to be removed after the fridge has been defrosted and dried inside.

Pulkkinen observes that modern refrigerators are very big in comparison to older models.

Some of them are much larger than a normal door size, and they’re just growing larger.

If you are unable to simply slide the appliance out the door, remove the hinges from the door frames.

5. Make sure the flooring, walls, and refrigerator are all protected

If you’re renting a space, you’ll want to make sure you lay rubber mats down on the floor wherever the refrigerator will be wheeled.

It doesn’t matter if you’re using a four-wheeled dolly (which is ideal) or just pulling it along on its own (which you shouldn’t do if you value the appliance).

Those suckers are very heavy and may damage flooring almost immediately.

To prevent damage to the fridge itself, cover it in moving blankets and hang them in case you accidentally bump against any walls.

6. Take measurements for the refrigerator, doorways, and other openings

In order to guarantee that your refrigerator will go through any doors or openings, it is essential to obtain accurate measurements before you begin the relocation.

Using a tape measure, begin by determining the dimensions of the refrigerator’s height, width, and depth.

After that, sketch up a detailed plan for relocating the refrigerator.

Identify and measure any doors and openings that may possibly impede its ability to be transported to its new site.

If the refrigerator’s dimensions are more than the width or height of a door or aperture, you will have to be creative with how you move it.

Tilting the fridge or removing the fridge doors are both effective ways of making more room and moving the fridge securely into tight corners.

Steps in Moving a Refrigerator

However, although we strongly suggest that you use professional movers to handle this kind of relocation, we understand that this isn’t always a viable option.

Because it is not always feasible to hire movers or labor-only experts, it is possible to move a refrigerator yourself with the proper preparation, materials, and (of course) an additional pair of helping hands if you don’t want to spend the money.

Follow these 10 simple steps to moving a refrigerator successfully and without hurting your back to guarantee a successful relocation.

1. Locate the necessary moving supplies and materials.

Moving a refrigerator without the assistance of experts will need the collection of all necessary moving materials by the homeowner himself.

Cleaning goods, such as paper towels and all-purpose surface cleanser, a moving dolly, a tape measure, moving blankets, a cooler for leftover food, and a strong rope or moving strap should all be included on this list.

Consider hiring an appliance dolly from The Home Depot if you aren’t sure where to get one.

These dolly rentals are capable of supporting up to 800 pounds, which is more than enough to support a refrigerator or freezer.

2. Enlist the assistance of others

Given the fact that the typical refrigerator weighs several hundred pounds, it is very essential that you choose the most qualified individuals for the task.

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The task of locating friends and family members who are both competent and willing to assist with relocation may be difficult.

As a result, I suggest that you get help as much in advance as possible.

Your chances of finding someone who can assist you increase the earlier you inquire.

Recruit at least two buddies, and make certain that they arrive on moving day dressed appropriately and wearing sturdy shoes.

If you are unable to get the assistance of friends, consider employing professional labor-only movers via HireAHelper, an online marketplace that assists people who are relocating to discover and book moving labor specialists in their region of residence.

3. Hire a moving truck to transport your belongings

The majority of refrigerators are too big to fit in the trunk of a typical vehicle.

Prior to relocating your refrigerator, make sure you have a moving truck or cargo van set aside just for the task.

In an ideal situation, you should search for a truck rental that has a loading ramp.

You’ll be able to bring the dolly all the way up to the truck’s bed in this manner, saving time.

Moving truck rental businesses are many, which makes it easy to choose the right one for your needs while planning your next move.

Just make sure you pick the one that is most appropriate for your budget and specific requirements.

If you’re just intending on moving a few boxes and an appliance, you shouldn’t need much more than a pickup truck or a small box truck to do the job.

Moving your whole home? I recommend checking into the biggest moving vehicles that are currently available.

Check out Moving.com’s truck rental hub for additional information and savings on a variety of truck rental providers.

4. Take measurements for your refrigerator, doors, and stairwells

Make careful to take accurate measurements of all doors and stairwells before relocating the refrigerator.

Measure the refrigerator as well to determine whether or not your refrigerator will fit through these openings.

As long as you can get the refrigerator and dolly through the doors and stairwells, you should be OK to proceed.

Are you concerned about a small front door? If you have a limited amount of room, you may need to consider relocating your refrigerator via a big window or an alternate entrance.

5. Take everything out of the refrigerator.

Have you finished collecting materials, locating assistance, booking a truck rental, and measuring the doorways?

Great! It is now necessary to begin preparing for the real relocation.

First and foremost, it is essential that you empty the refrigerator completely before transferring it.

It may sound obvious, but you’d be shocked at how many people fail to clean out their refrigerators before they relocate.

Pour all of the food from the refrigerator into a cooler and throw away the remainder of the contents of the refrigerator.

Then, using an all-purpose surface cleaning spray and paper towels, wipe off each shelf to ensure it is clean.

It is also possible that you may wish to remove the shelves to make your relocation a little simpler.

Finally, don’t forget to throw away any remaining ice from the freezer.

6. Allow the refrigerator to defrost on its own

If you want to allow your refrigerator to defrost before moving, you’ll need to disconnect it the night before the move.

This should provide sufficient time for it to defrost. It is important that you remember to put any food that you want to carry with you in a refrigerated cooler before disconnecting the fridge.

7. Close the refrigerator doors and tie them shut with a rope.

Moving a refrigerator is difficult enough without the added difficulty of having its doors fly open during the move.

Wrapping your refrigerator with a moving strap or a thick rope before putting it on the dolly can help to prevent damage to the appliance.

Before you slide it onto the dolly, double-check that the rope is properly knotted and that the doors are securely closed.

If your refrigerator has two doors, consider tying them together first to provide an additional layer of protection.

Tip: Remove the shelves and drawers from the refrigerator before shutting it to reduce the amount of weight on your shoulders.

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8. Transfer the refrigerator to a dolly and transport it.

Slide the dolly beneath the refrigerator once it has been firmly fastened.

The fridge may need to be moved slightly away from its nook before the dolly can be placed beneath the refrigerator.

Once the dolly is tucked beneath the refrigerator, gently tilt it in your direction.

Keep in mind that the refrigerator should be moved in an upright posture during the whole process.

Your buddies or assistance should be stationed on all four sides of the refrigerator to ensure that it does not tumble off the dolly during transport.

Once you have done that, gently roll the dolly towards the door.

During the whole time, you’re moving the refrigerator, you should have a helper standing in front of it.

Preferably, if your truck rental has a loading ramp, have a buddy or two assist you in gently pushing the dolly up the ramp.

Once everything has been loaded onto the truck, I suggest covering it with moving blankets to prevent it from being damaged during the transit process.

Prop it up against other pieces of furniture or possessions to keep it from falling over.

9. Construct the structure

Have you settled into your new home?

Remove all moving blankets and undo all straps before starting the transfer.

Lifting or pushing your refrigerator into its new location in the kitchen should be done gently.

If you took your shelves and drawers out of the fridge, put them back in and set the fridge to the proper temperature setting for your needs.

10. Connect it to a power source and let it cool.

After that, connect the fridge to the wall and allow it some time to achieve the proper temperature before restocking it with food.

Keep in mind that although many refrigerators may just need a few brief hours to reach an acceptable level of cooling, others may require several days.

Once the fridge and freezer are sufficiently chilled, you may begin putting your food back in them.

Take a long, deep breath at the end.

You should give yourself a pat on the back for successfully moving your hefty refrigerator.

Our Final Thoughts

If relocating your refrigerator seems to be a more difficult task than you anticipated, you may want to consider hiring experts to do the task for you.

Check out Moving.com’s vast network of trustworthy and dependable movers – all of whom are licensed and insured – if you’re looking for a competent moving business near you.

With the help of a Moving.com mover, you can be certain that your refrigerator will be in excellent hands.

Frequently Ask Questions

Is it possible to move a refrigerator by laying it down?

In the event that you need to move your refrigerator, you may do it on its front or side; however, it is not advised that you move it on its back since it might harm the functioning components of the refrigerator due to the weight of the fridge’s body on them, even if they are not exposed.

How long should a refrigerator be turned off before it is moved?
 

After your refrigerator has been securely relocated to the kitchen of your new home, it will need some time to become operational before you can begin using it.

Enable it to remain unplugged and in an upright position for at least 4 hours to allow the compressor oil to settle before using it again.

Four hours after the start of the timer, you may plug your appliance in again.

What is the best way to slide a refrigerator?
 

Furniture sliders may be used to raise the front section of your refrigerator off the floor (with the use of a pry bar or with the aid of a partner, if necessary) and attach sliders, which are also known as “furniture glides,” to the front feet.

If everything is working properly, you should be able to push the refrigerator forward without causing any harm.

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