Tips for Moving a Refrigerator

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Have you ever bought a refrigerator only to take it home and find out that it did not work? The experience can be disheartening. Particularly if you’re low on funds and you’re doing your best to save money. Well, maybe there was nothing wrong with the refrigerator itself. The problem could have occurred during transportation. Here’s why.

Some people don’t realize that laying a refrigerator on its side or back causes the oil to flow away from the compressor. If you plug in the fridge and there’s not enough oil for the compressor to work with, it can burn up.

It is better to transport any appliance in an upright position to prevent mechanical damage and avoid scratching it, particularly a refrigerator. The reason is that any time a refrigerator is laid on its side or back, even after repositioning it in an upright position, you run the risk of some of the oil not flowing back to the compressor. Nonetheless, if you must lay it down for transportation purposes, there are things to keep in mind before plugging it in.

  • It is important to wait one hour for every hour that it laid on its back or side, according to GE's website.  For example, if you lay the fridge on its side for 3 hours, you should leave the fridge in an upright position for 3 hours prior to plugging it in. This should be sufficient time for the oil to flow back to the compressor.
  • Additionally, remember to remove the shelves prior to loading the refrigerator. This will ensure that they don’t come loose and break during transport, particularly if it’s a bumpy ride. Also, make sure you secure the doors so they don’t fly open when you’re going down the highway. Bungee cords work very effectively for this purpose.
  • If you use tie straps, you want to tighten them enough to secure the fridge in place but not too tight that you bend the metal on the fridge. If you’re transporting the refrigerator in an upright position, two straps should do the job. One strap should go across the top towards the back in a horizontal position. The second strap should secure the top front part, also in a horizontal position. Clamp the straps on to the trailer or truck, whichever you’re using. Avoid strapping the unit front to back to prevent dents in the doors. 

Moving a refrigerator is not as complicated as it might appear. Tips such as the ones mentioned above can help you get your refrigerator in good working order to its new location.

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