Refrigerators can be tricky when moving. The internal components are very sensitive when moved and could cause a problem if not moved correctly. Depending on how your refrigerator is moved will determine how long after moving you should wait until you plug it in.

How Long After Moving A Refrigerator Can I Turn It On?

You may plug in your refrigerator immediately if the refrigerator was moved in an upright position. If your refrigerator has been placed on its side during transit (which it should never), you’re supposed to wait the same amount of time it has been laying on its side. If it’s been on its side for 30 minutes during transit, wait 30 minutes once it’s back upright. If it’s been on its side for more than a day, you should wait 24 hours.

What To Do If You’ve Moved Your Refrigerator On Its Side

You’re not supposed to move a refrigerator on its side. If you do, you can ruin the internal mechanisms and potentially break the refrigerator.

When a refrigerator is laid on its side, the oil in the compressor will flow from the compressor tube into the coolant lines.

After a refrigerator has been moved on its side, it must sit in an upright position for the same amount of time it was on its side. This is to allow any oil that may have flowed into the coolant lines to have enough time to return to the compressor and clear the coolant lines.

For example, if the unit was on its side for two hours, it must sit upright for at least two hours before you plug it into the wall outlet.

If you have no other choice than to move it on its side, make sure you lay it down on the side opposite from where the compressor lines run out of the compressor.

For example, if the compressor line exits the compressor on the right side of the unit, lay the refrigerator on its left side

The best thing to do really is to not lay the refrigerator on its side at all. Although moving a refrigerator on its side doesn’t mean it’s 100% going to break, there’s just no sense in risking the chance if you’re able to move it upright.

Refrigerator Compressor

Don’t Forget: Clean The Coils

Cleaning your refrigerator’s coils will help it run more efficiently and help save energy in your new home. Every 3-6 months, you’re supposed to check and clean your coils. Before putting your refrigerator in its place, consider cleaning the coils now while it’s out.

Dirty Refrigerator Coils

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How To Keep Floors From Scratching When Moving A Refrigerator

When pulled out of or pushed into their cubbyholes, refrigerators can sometimes scratch floors. A good way to keep the floors from scratching during this maneuver is to place a piece of sturdy cardboard or thick blanket underneath before moving.

When Moving Your Refrigerator – Do Not…

  • DO NOT transport a refrigerator on its side. To keep the inside components working, refrigerators must ALWAYS be standing upright.
  • DO NOT keep a refrigerator door completely closed in storage for a long period of time. Prop the door open an inch or so with a ball or tape or piece of cardboard. This will keep the inside from collecting odors.
  • DO NOT store a refrigerator in storage if it is unclean.

How To Move A Refrigerator and Keep it Safe When Moving

  1. Turn off and disconnect the refrigerator a few hours before moving to allow the evaporator time to defrost.
  2. Completely clean and remove all food from the refrigerator. If left unclean overnight or if they get too warm, refrigerators will begin to smell. More on how to clean a refrigerator.
  3. Secure or remove shelves inside. Take out any glass shelves and wrap them separately. After wrapped, you may place them back inside the refrigerator during transit.
  4. Carefully pull out the refrigerator from its location making sure not to scratch the floors.
  5. If you have a really nice expensive refrigerator then wrap and secure the entire piece with furniture blankets and secure with tape or large movers rubber band.
  6. Attach the refrigerator to an appliance dolly with a strap
  7. When loading it on the truck, go back up the ramp with you in front and the refrigerator following. Another man may be needed to help push and guide it up the ramp.

Remember, when moving, refrigerators shouldn’t be treated like any old piece of furniture. There are certain ways you need to handle a refrigerator and things you need to do before plugging it in.

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