How to Move a Fridge Safely

Moving a fridge? It's more than just heavy lifting. This guide transforms a challenging task into a smooth operation. Discover essential tips, safety precautions, and step-by-step instructions to move your refrigerator without a hitch. Ready to make your move as cool and effortless as your fridge itself? Let's get started.

12 min read

How to Move a Fridge Safely

Key takeaways

  1. Empty, clean, and defrost your fridge at least 24-48 hours before moving.
  2. Gather the handy moving supplies, you should have an appliance dolly, trolley, moving blankets, straps and other necessary tools.
  3. Don't forget to measure the refrigerator and doorways, and plan a clear path for moving.
  4. Assemble a team and assign roles for efficient and safe moving and always ensure continuous communication at all times.
  5. Use proper techniques to lift and move the fridge, keeping it upright to prevent any compressor oil displacement that can damage the fridge.
  6. Secure the refrigerator in the moving vehicle with straps and drive cautiously.
  7. Allow the fridge to stand before reconnecting power and water lines, and then restock after it reaches the right temperature.

Imagine this: You're standing in your kitchen, staring at your refrigerator, the culinary cornerstone of your home. It's not just an appliance; it's a storage haven for your carefully chosen groceries, a gallery of kids' art, and perhaps a display of magnets from far-flung destinations. Now, it's time to move it. Whether you’re transitioning to a new home, upgrading your kitchen, or simply rearranging, moving a fridge can feel like such a headache.

You have to make sure it's defrosted and prepped properly, then maneuver its bulky frame through narrow doorways, all the way to safely transporting it to its new home. Mishandling this process can lead not only to physical strain and potential injuries but also to damaging one of your most prized household appliances.

This is where this guide on how to move a fridge can help! It is designed to provide you with all the necessary information, tips, and tricks to make moving your fridge a seamless and safe process. So, if you're gearing up for a move or planning a kitchen renovation, read on. This guide will ensure that your refrigerator arrives at its destination in perfect working order, ready to cool your groceries and refreshments in its new kitchen.

Preparation your fridge for the big move

Before you start lugging your fridge around, let's make sure it's prepped and ready. This ain't just about safety, but also about keeping your precious fridge in one piece. So, here's how you can get your single fridge or double french door fridge all set for its big journey:

Disconnect the fridge

  • Power off: First off, disconnect the fridge from the power general power supply. This enables you to start getting the refrigerator ready to move.
  • Water supply off: Next, if there's a water or ice dispenser function, turn off the water supply before disconnecting the water line and start draining any leftover water.

Emptying the fridge

  • Clean out: Begin by removing all the food inside from your fridge. This not only makes it lighter but also prevents items from shifting or spilling during the move.
  • Safe food storage: Plan how you'll store perishable items. You might need an esky, coolers or a temporary refrigerator to keep your food fresh.

Defrosting

  • Time it right: Start defrosting the fridge freezer at least 24-48 hours before the move. This ensures all ice melts, and your freezer safely dries before moving day.
  • Avoiding leaks: Place towels around the base of the refrigerator to soak up any water that results from the defrosting process.

Securing loose parts

  • Remove internal components: Remove or secure glass shelves, drawers, and any other loose components inside the fridge. Wrap them separately and place in boxes for safe transport.
  • Tape and apply protective wrapping: Secure the fridge doors with strong tape to prevent them from opening during the move. Remember to protect the fridge surface from scratches by using bubble wrap or a protective blanket.

Gathering necessary supplies

Having the right tools and equipment is vital for moving a fridge safely. Here’s a list of supplies you’ll need to ensure your fridge’s journey is as smooth as possible:

  • Moving dolly - This is essential for moving a heavy refrigerator. An appliance dolly with straps will help secure the fridge during the move.
  • Furniture trolley - an alternative to the moving dolly.
  • Moving blankets - Wrap the fridge in moving blankets to protect it from scratches and dings.
  • Tape and rope - Use strong tape and rope to secure the moving blankets and any fridge door or loose parts of the fridge.
  • Ratchet straps - Used to secure the fridge onto the moving trolley.
  • Measuring tape - Essential for measuring the refrigerator and the doorways or paths it needs to pass through.
  • Screwdriver - Handy for removing any fridge doors or handles if necessary.
  • Gloves - Wear heavy-duty gloves to protect your hands during the move.
  • Closed-toe Shoes - Ensure that everyone involved in the moving process wears closed-toe shoes to prevent foot injuries.
  • Heavy duty ramps - This is to safely wheel the fridge onto the moving vehicle.
  • Appropriate moving vehicle - Ideally, a moving truck or commercial van would be suitable for moving refrigerators. However, trailers and Utes can also work if equipped with suitable ramps.

Ensuring a smooth passage for your refrigerator

Before you start moving your fridge, make sure to measure and plan your path carefully. This preparation ensures that the fridge will fit through all doorways, hallways, and any other spaces you need to navigate safely. Here's how to do it:

  1. Measure your fridge - Make sure you measure the height, width, and depth of your fridge, including any parts that stick out like handles or the back coil. Oh, and don't forget to check the manual or look up the model online to find out how heavy it is. It'll give you an idea of whether you'll need some extra muscle to move it.
  2. Measure doorways and pathways - Take measurements of all the doorways, hallways, and any tight spaces along the moving path. Make sure to compare these measurements with the dimensions of the fridge to ensure a clear path. And don't forget to keep an eye out for potential obstacles like stairs, sharp corners, or uneven surfaces. Plan ahead on how to safely navigate through these challenges.
  3. Creating a clear path - Make sure to clear the path of any obstacles like furniture, rugs, or décor so you don't trip and fall. You might even want to lay down some protective coverings on your floors to avoid scratches, especially if you've got hardwood or tiled floors. We don't want any unexpected surprises while you're moving around!
  4. Planning the move - When it comes to moving the refrigerator, you've got to figure out the best route based on your measurements and the layout of your home. If it's a tricky path to navigate, you might want to consider getting some extra help or even consulting with professional movers especially if you have an expensive fridge.

By taking the time to measure and plan your route, you reduce the risk of damage to your fridge and new home, ensuring a smoother and safer moving process.

Working together safely and efficiently

Moving a fridge is definitely not a one-person job. Trust me, it requires some serious teamwork and careful coordination. So, here's the lowdown on how you and your team can work together effectively and, more importantly, safely:

Assembling your team

  • Seek helpers - Ideally, you should have at least two to three people to assist with the move. More hands make the work lighter and safer.
  • Assign roles - Designate specific tasks to each team member. For example, one person could be responsible for navigating, while the others do the lifting or bracing the fridge as it's being rolled out.

Safety precautions

  • Always lift with your legs, not your back. Keep the refrigerator in an upright position to prevent internal mechanism damage.
  • Maintain clear and constant communication with your team. Use verbal cues when moving, turning, or navigating obstacles. Ensure you are all moving in sync at the same time and direction.
  • Move slowly and deliberately. Rushing increases the risk of accidents and injuries.

Dress appropriately

  • Wear sturdy, closed-toe shoes and gloves. This protects your feet and hands ultimately gives you a better grip on the fridge.
  • Wear comfortable, non-restrictive clothing that doesn’t risk getting caught on anything during the move.

In case of an emergency

  • Have a first aid kit accessible in case of minor injuries.
  • If the task seems too risky or difficult, it's totally fine to reach out to professional furniture removal experts. It's always better to play it safe rather than end up regretting it later.

The step-by-step guide to moving your fridge safely

Now that you've got your fridge all prepped and your team ready, it's time to get moving. Follow these steps to make sure the whole process is smooth and safe:

  1. Double check connections - Ensure all power leads and water lines to the fridge have been disconnected before any attempt on moving the refrigerator.
  2. Secure the fridge doors - Secure the fridge and freezer doors with strong tape or moving straps. Wrap a cloth or bubble wrap around the tape to protect the fridge’s surface and handles.
  3. Wrap the fridge - Wrap the fridge with furniture moving blankets to ensure it's nicely padded to prevent scratches or dings.

Preparing for the lift

  1. Positioning the dolly - Slide the appliance dolly or moving trolley next to one side of the fridge. It's usually best to approach from the side rather than the front or back.
  2. Tilting the fridge - With one person on each side of the refrigerator, tilt the fridge slightly back and slowly before sliding the dolly underneath. It's crucial to do this gently to avoid jolting internal components.
  3. Securing the fridge - Use the straps to securely fasten the fridge onto the dolly or trolley. Make sure it's tight enough to hold the refrigerator in place but not so tight that it causes damage.

Moving the fridge

  1. Move slowly - Once the fridge is placed onto the dolly, you can guide it around with people bracing either side.
  2. Balancing point - If you are wheeling the fridge out with the furniture trolley, find the refrigerator's balancing point on the trolley. This is where the fridge feels neither too heavy to lift nor like it's going to fall backward. Make sure one person holds the trolley and steers while others are bracing the fridge to keep the weight centre and not off balance.

Navigating spaces

  1. Move slow and steady - Move slowly and deliberately. Quick or sudden movements can cause the fridge to become unbalanced.
  2. Communication your direction - Keep communicating with your team, especially when navigating through tight spots.
  3. Turning corners - When turning corners, do it slowly and make sure the path is clear. It's helpful to have a spotter who can guide the person navigating the dolly or trolley.

Dealing with stairs

  1. Extra caution on stairs - If you must navigate stairs, move very slowly. Best to use a stair climber trolley. It's safest to have one person guiding the trolley from the front and another stabilising from behind.
  2. Step-by-step approach - Move the stair climber trolley one step at a time, ensuring it's stable on each step before moving to the next.

Placing the fridge on the vehicle

  1. Having the right vehicle - Make sure you have the right type of vehicle that can support the load of the fridge. Moving trucks and commercial vans are ideal, otherwise a you can still make it work with trailers and Utes with the right set of ramps.
  2. Loading onto the vehicle - Once you reach the vehicle, carefully wheel the fridge up the ramp (if available) and into the transport vehicle. If you have a moving truck, you can uplift with the hydraulic lift and onto the moving truck.
  3. Securing for transit - Once inside, secure the refrigerator in an upright position for transport. Position the fridge into the corner and use additional straps or ropes to ensure it doesn’t move during the drive.

Setting up the fridge at the new location

After successfully moving your fridge to its new home or office, there are important steps to follow to ensure it's set up correctly and ready for use:

Unloading and positioning the fridge

  1. Careful unloading - Reverse the steps used to load the fridge onto the vehicle. Use the appliance dolly or moving trolley and maintain clear communication with your team as you maneuver it into the house.
  2. Positioning the fridge - Position the refrigerator in its new spot. Ensure it's level by adjusting the adjustable feet as necessary. Refrigerators need to be level for optimal operation.

Reconnecting and restocking

  1. Reassemble - If any racks or glass shelves were taken out be sure to assemble them back in the fridge along with any handles that were removed. It's also a good time to give the refrigerator a good wipe and good clean.
  2. Reconnecting power and water - Allow the fridge to stand upright for at least 2-3 hours before plugging the power cord in. This allows any compressor oils that have moved to settle back into place. If your fridge has a water dispenser or ice maker, reconnect the water line.
  3. Temperature settings: Once you turn the fridge on, set it to the correct temperature settings and allow it to cool for a two hours before you store food.
  4. Restocking the fridge - When the fridge is back to temperature, you can start restocking your food items. This is also a good opportunity to organise and clean out any expired or unneeded items.

Final checks

  1. Check functionality - Ensure the fridge is cooling properly and all functions (like ice makers or water dispensers) are working as they should without any leaks.
  2. Inspect for damage - Do a final inspection for any potential damage that might have occurred during the move.

By following these post-move steps, you can ensure your fridge is set up correctly and efficiently in its new location, ready to keep your food fresh and cool.

Final thoughts

Congratulations! You're now equipped with the knowledge and steps to move your fridge and freezer safely and efficiently. Remember, the success of moving a refrigerator lies in careful preparation, having the right tools, and teamwork to prevent damage. By following the guidelines outlined in this guide, you've learned how to properly prepare, lift, move, and set up your fridge in its new location. With these skills, you're not just moving an appliance; you're ensuring the continued preservation and functionality of an essential part of your home. So, take a moment to appreciate your effort and the newfound confidence in tackling what once seemed like a daunting task, is now a task safely mastered.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long should I defrost my fridge before moving it?

To ensure your fridge is completely ice-free before moving, it's recommended to defrost it for a minimum of 24-48 hours. This will allow ample time for all the ice to melt and prevent any potential issues during transportation.

Is it necessary to remove all food items before moving the fridge?

Yes, to prevent any potential spillage and minimise the weight during the move, it is advisable to remove all items. This will not only ensure a smoother and safer relocation process but also reduce the chances of any damage or accidents occurring during transit.

Can I lay my fridge down to move it, or does it have to stay upright?

Keep the fridge upright during moving. Having a fridge lying down can cause damage. Unless recommended by the manufacturers instructions in the user manual.

What supplies do I need to safely move a fridge?

Use an appliance dolly or trolley, moving blankets, heavy-duty tape, rope, straps, and a screwdriver for disassembly. Don't forget a measuring tape to measure dimensions and doorways as well as protective gear such as gloves and closed-toe shoes along with an appropriate moving vehicle with suitable ramps.

How do I protect my floors and fridge from damage during the move?

To protect both your fridge and floors, it is advisable to utilise moving blankets to wrap the fridge and dollies or trolleys to manuever the fridge. The floor can be protected with a layer of floor film protector. These handy tools act as a shield against any potential damage that may occur during the moving process, providing an extra layer of security and peace of mind.

What is the best way to secure the doors of the fridge during transport?

It is recommended to secure fridge doors with strong tape, straps or rope , and cover with a moving blanket to avoid scratches.

How many people are needed to safely move a fridge?

To safely move a fridge, at least two to three people are recommended to help with lifting, manuevering and bracing.

Can moving a fridge damage it? If so, how can I prevent this?

Avoid tilting the fridge slightly too much and lift carefully to prevent internal damage. Tilting too much can cause the oil compressor displacement and it is always recommend to follow each manufacturers guide on moving your specific make and model fridge.

How long should I wait before turning the fridge on in its new location?

Wait at least 2-3 hours before turning the fridge on at the new location to let fluids settle.

Are there special considerations for moving a fridge with a built-in water dispenser or ice maker?

For refrigerators equipped with water dispensers or ice makers, disconnect and drain the water line before moving. This precautionary step helps prevent potential leaks and water damage during the relocation process.

Additional Resources

    • Links to other helpful moving guides or services offered by FindAMover.com.au.

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