Most refrigerator models are quite bulky, so when it comes time to move one, you may wonder if it is safe to move a fridge on its side. So, here we’ll explore this topic in more detail, so you can plan your appliance move.

What Happens If You Put a Fridge On Its Side?

The main reason why many professional movers avoid putting a fridge on its side is that there are some effects that result from this action. When a fridge is laid horizontal, the compressor oil can move around into the coolant lines, potentially clogging them.

Some manufacturers specifically warn that you should not move certain models of fridge on their side under any circumstances. For example, there may be compressor brackets that can be placed under lateral strain if there is any sideways movement.

Before you start moving your fridge, you should check if the model is suited to be moved on its side. There are some models that should never be placed horizontally including French door, compact, and bottom freezers.

Other Issues With Laying A Fridge On Its Side

Another reason why laying a fridge down can be a bad idea is the shelves. Even if you’ve removed all of the food items, most refrigerator shelves are made of glass, which may break due to shifting. The shelves are designed to slide out easily, but there is still space for them to bounce and crack if you lower the fridge into a horizontal position.

You may also create problems with the refrigerator doors. Refrigerator doors have a slight vacuum seal, but this will not prevent the doors from opening during moving.

Turning On A Fridge That’s Been On Its Side

If your manufacturer has stated that it is possible to lay your fridge horizontally, you will still need to take care before turning it on. You should avoid plugging it in immediately or you could risk damage to the compressor.

Place your fridge upright and leave it unplugged for at least the same amount of time it was horizontal. So, if it was on its side for three hours, stand it upright and unplugged for three hours. If your fridge was delivered on its side, assume it has been horizontal for a day, so allow a full 24 hours before you plug it in.

Tips for Moving a Refrigerator

If you want to properly move your fridge, there are some tips to save yourself potential problems, whether you move it standing up or on its side.

  • Unplug Overnight: It is a good idea to turn off the refrigerator and unplug it the night before you plan on moving it. Leaving it overnight will allow sufficient time for the appliance to defrost, but if you are struggling for time, two or three hours may suffice. Bear in mind that if you have any food you want to keep, you should find an alternative way to keep it cool before you start this step.
  • Remove the Shelves and Drawers: The shelves and drawers can be mostly glass, which could be damaged if there is any shifting. So, it is a good idea to remove them before you tape the fridge doors shut. This will not only protect the shelving, but also the interior and doors, which could be damaged by sharp glass fragments.
  • Keep it Fresh: If your fridge will be closed for more than a day, try putting a box of baking soda inside. This will help to absorb any odors.

If your fridge is past its best and not worth moving, consider an upgrade. You can explore your options with our online collection or speak to one of our home appliance specialists for further help.