9 min read

How to Move a Fridge Like a Professional

Andrew Macfarlane
How to Move a Fridge Like a Professional

Appliance Removals Services across SA

Low-cost appliance removals service, trusted by thousands of customers. Door to Door delivery. Any Item Size. Same Day service. Fixed prices.

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What are you moving?

Moving is stressful. No matter how well-organised you are, there’s always that one household item that causes pre-moving stress. Namely, the fridge.

The household fridge is cumbersome, heavy (depending on the model and year), and they are expensive on top of all these issues. So, to avoid causing any damage, here are the top tips for moving your fridge like a professional.

The Number One Rule For Moving a Fridge

There is one rule to moving a fridge like a professional
Never Transport a Fridge On Its Side.

When moving your fridge, you must make sure the mover you’ve booked can transport it upright. The reason for transporting a fridge upright is how its cooling system works.

Understanding the Inner Workings of Your Fridge

A fridge works by circulating refrigerant through a system of pipes, condensers, evaporators, and capillary tubes. Simply, this liquid (refrigerant) evaporates, and when it does, it has a cooling effect.

When you tip a fridge on its side, this network of pipes and fluids sloshes around, mixing them together. Or oil from the central compressor mixes with the refrigerant.

If you move the fridge on its side and turn it on without allowing it to rest, this mixture will restrict how well the appliance works.

While more modern fridges don’t utilise this system anymore, it’s always in your best interest to read the manual.

And if, by accident, your fridge has been transported on its side, make sure that it is allowed to rest for around 24 hours to ensure all the fluids have returned.

Whenever in doubt, allow your fridge to rest.

So, what tools will you need to move a fridge like a professional?

Tools to Help In Moving A Fridge

Moving a Fridge with the right tools

Preparation is key before any significant job, especially when moving a fridge. The items you’ll need are:

    • A moving trolley or dolly
    • Cargo straps
    • Measuring tape
    • Screwdriver or drill
    • Blankets
    • Tape and rope will also do
    • And an assistant (very important!)

While you can do without some of these items, being prepared is better than landing up in an awkward position holding a fridge.

Here are our pro tips about moving a fridge.

How to Prep a Fridge for Moving

When it comes time to move your fridge, you need to complete it in specific steps. Here are our step-by-step instructions:

Clear and Clean Out the Fridge

As soon as you know your moving dates, it’s time to start clearing out the fridge gradually. We’d first suggest planning your meals around the fact that you don’t want to transport fresh goods that are more prone to going off.

By eating your fresh food first, you’ll be able to cut down on the need for cooler boxes. This planning also extends to your frozen foods in the deep freezer. Plan to prep items that cannot be refrozen.

On the day, make sure you have enough cooler box space for the food. Then, for items like ice trays, you’ll want to take them out with enough time to defrost thoroughly.

For those looking to move a fridge a short distance, don’t be foolish to move it with the items inside. Always empty it, even if you place the items on countertops.

A simple damp cloth will do to wipe down the shelves in the fridge. We highly recommend removing the drawers and shelves from the fridge as they can become damaged during transit.

Place the shelves and drawers into a box where they are appropriately wrapped and stored. While some fridge layouts will differ, we always recommend packing removable parts of the fridge separately.

With some fridges, you’ll need to remove the automatically created ice, or ice water, from its container in the fridge door.

Preparing for the Move

Once you’ve removed all the items from the fridge, it’s time to unplug the unit. When unplugging the unit, make sure to tape down the cable securely.

Also, some units that automatically produce frozen water or ice will stop producing by disconnecting the fridge.

When your fridge is unplugged, depending on the model, you might be required to defrost it. For fridges that require defrosting, you will need to plan ahead and allow them to defrost for around six to eight hours.

The water can be absorbed with towels, placed near the drainage system, or into the garden for the plants.

Once this is all completed, it’s time to plan your fridge’s route out of your home.

Planning the Route for Your Fridge

It’s best to plan a clear route out of your old home and into your new space. Fridges can be deceiving - you might think they’ll fit, but unless you make sure you could find yourself in a tight spot. And, trust us, the less you have to move a fridge, the better. So, measure twice, cut once, or, in our case, move it once.

If you had someone move the fridge into the home, or you’ve simply forgotten how the fridge got to its position — you’ll need to check your route again. If you’re at the stage of moving your fridge into its new place, it’s best to walk the route and measure whether the fridge can fit through the doorways.

Make sure to take the measurements of your fridge, including its height, width, and depth. This will help to gauge whether it will squeeze through narrow doorways. If you are forgetful, make sure to write down the measurements.

These measurements will help to determine if you can just carry the fridge through the home or whether or not you need to remove a door or two.

Once you have ensured all the doorways are wide enough, it’s time to remove any obstacles. This means just placing furniture out of the way and ensuring that pets and young children are in separate rooms.

Both pets and children are in danger of getting in the way when moving an item as large as a fridge.

Now it’s time to move the fridge.

Moving the Fridge

Moving a Fridge

Following the step-by-step plan, you should have a straight shot of the moving vehicle. What’s more, most fridges have wheels so you can roll them back and forth for cleaning underneath. Those are helpful during a move, especially when you need to get it away from the wall to prepare for the trolley.

Before loading the fridge onto the dolly or trolley, make sure to wrap the fridge in a blanket to ensure that it doesn’t get scratched.

Once happy with the coverage of the blanket, use some cargo straps to secure the closed doors.

When happy with the fridge’s wrapping job, make sure to roll it away from the wall and prepare to load it onto the trolley.

Have your assistant grab the top of the fridge and tilt it forward. When it’s tilted forward, roll the trolley into place.

Make sure to place the fridge in the centre for the loading arm. Use additional cargo straps to secure the fridge to the trolley, and you’re ready to move it into the moving vehicle.

When walking the fridge on the trolley, ensure not to tip it back more than 45 degrees to avoid the oils and fluids from mixing.

Also, walk slowly. This is especially important if you have to move it downstairs. When approaching a staircase, have someone guide it down the stairs and drop the fridge slowly per step.

This is a really tricky process, and using a professional is highly recommended.

You might be required to pick it up at the truck or moving vehicle. Use some gloves if you are picking up from the bottom of the fridge — protection from hidden spiders and sharp edges.

Some moving transportation will have a ramp where you can push the trolley into the loading bay. While fridges are heavy, make sure to use bungee cords to keep the unit in place when in transit.

If this seems like a lot of effort, you can always call a professional to move your fridge.

Moving a Fridge FAQ

Can you move a fridge on its side?

It is highly recommended to keep it upright. Transporting it on its side can damage your fridge.

How long should a fridge stand after moving?

A fridge should stand for at least 2 hours after moving to allow the oil to settle in the compressor.

Does a fridge need to settle after moving?

Yes, a fridge needs to settle after moving to allow the oil to settle in the compressor.

How long should a fridge be off after moving?

A fridge should be off for at least 2 hours after moving to allow the oil to settle in the compressor.

How to defrost a fridge for moving?

To defrost a fridge for moving, unplug the fridge and leave the door open for around 3-4 hours. This will allow the ice to melt so that you can properly clean the fridge. It's a good idea to do this if you have to move your fridge as you have to clean it anyway.

Get a Professional for the Job via Wise Move

Moving a fridge is always a big job. Even though newer fridges are lighter, they require care when being moved.

Instead, use Wise Move to help you get the best fridge moving quote and mover for the job.

If you think you might hurt your fridge or move a lot of furniture, it will be worth it to find a professional to help you out.

It’s never been easier than with Wise Move. Obligation-free quotes mean you get to decide once you have all the information.

Try Wise Move out today! You won’t regret it.

Appliance Removals Services across SA

Low-cost appliance removals service, trusted by thousands of customers. Door to Door delivery. Any Item Size. Same Day service. Fixed prices.

9.3 · 3,534 reviews
What are you moving?

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