Can I unplug my refrigerator?

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Can I unplug my refrigerator?
Unplug your refrigerator only when necessary. (PhotoObjects.net/PhotoObjects.net/Getty Images)

Keeping the refrigerator plugged in ensures your food supply stays sufficiently cool. If you keep food in the refrigerator while it is unplugged, you may compromise the safety of your food supply. But, at times, it may become necessary to unplug your refrigerator. Follow the suggestions and precautions that advise you on when you should unplug the refrigerator. Heed the advice on what to do once the refrigerator is unplugged if you are preparing it for a move or storage.

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Reasons for Unplugging

Unplugging a refrigerator prepares it for storage, cleaning, care, repair or moving. Refrigerator manufacturers recommend also unplugging the refrigerator when you are on vacation for longer than one month. Manufacturers also recommend unplugging the refrigerator in plenty of time before you move or plan to store the appliance to prepare it properly.

Moving and Storage

Before moving or placing the refrigerator in storage, it may require defrosting. Manual-defrost refrigerators require you to turn off and unplug the refrigerator. The refrigerator is defrosted once the ice is completely melted from the freezer. Even if you have a frost-free refrigerator model, it needs time to warm and dry before you move or store it. After the refrigerator is defrosted and warm, wiping down the inside of the refrigerator removes any excess moisture to prevent mould build-up.

Care, Repair and Cleaning

Most manufacturers do not mention the need to unplug your refrigerator before you clean its interior. While there is a low risk of electrocution, you can aim on the side of safety and unplug it before cleaning the interior. When cleaning around electrical components, always unplug the refrigerator. Refrigerator manufacturers warn against performing any repairs, including simple repair such as replacing lights within the refrigerator, without first unplugging the refrigerator.

Other Suggestions

Place any food you wish to keep in a sufficiently cooled cooler or another refrigerator or freezer. Defrost and dry your refrigerator about one week before you plan to move or store the refrigerator. As an extra precaution, use gloves to avoid getting cut when replacing the light bulbs in your refrigerator.

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