How to Transport a Refrigerator on Its Side

Written by shauna zamarripa
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How to Transport a Refrigerator on Its Side
Refrigerators are difficult and cumbersome to move. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

Ideally, a refrigerator should be moved standing up, since moving it on its side can cause the oil to leak from the compressor and run into other parts of the refrigerator, damaging the fridge and its ability to cool. However, when moving a fridge on its side, you may do so with proper preparation and planning.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Dolly
  • Box or padding
  • Masking or duct tape
  • Moving straps

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  1. 1

    Take all items out of the refrigerator. You may place perishable items in an ice chest or dispose of them before moving.

  2. 2

    Remove all shelves from the refrigerator. Tape all of these shelves to the bottom of the refrigerator to prevent damage to shelves when moving. If the refrigerator has an icemaker, place tape around the ice cube tray, securing it to the interior of the door.

  3. 3

    Move the refrigerator away from the wall. Disconnect the electrical cord from the wall. Tape the refrigerator doors shut to prevent them from opening during the move. Place a box or padding on the dolly. Lay the refrigerator on its left side on top of the box or padding. Locate the tubes on the back of the refrigerator and orient them upward to prevent leaks after it's on its side. Try to keep the padding at an angle so that the top of the refrigerator is higher than the bottom half; this prevents oil leaking from the compressor into the coils. If using a transport vehicle, load the refrigerator into it carefully.

  4. 4

    Move the refrigerator to its new location. Lift the fridge to its upright position, and allow it to sit upright before connecting it for at least as much time as it was on its side.

Tips and warnings

  • If the move is going to take more than one day to complete, leave the doors of the refrigerator open, allowing airflow and reducing mildew growth inside.
  • Wrap the fridge in protective cloth when moving to prevent damage.
  • Always have a helper when moving a refrigerator to avoid personal injury.

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