Imagine you’re moving or you’ve just bought a fancy new refrigerator or side-by-side fridge-freezer. Now the big question is: How do I get the bulky thing from A to B? The idea of transporting the refrigerator lying down is obvious, especially if the van or car isn’t high enough for upright transport.
But before you just get started, here are some things to consider. Because not every refrigerator likes to lie on its side. And even if the manufacturer says it’s not a problem, there are mistakes you can make when transporting your fridge that you might regret later. Here you can find out under which conditions you can transport your refrigerator lying on its side, what you should pay attention to before, during and after transport and how to avoid typical mistakes.
Basics of refrigerator transport: what you should generally consider when transporting a refrigerator
Generally speaking, when transporting a refrigerator: Preparation is key. You should completely defrost and clean the device before transporting it, because the defrosting process then begins at the latest during transport – unless you transport the device in the depths of winter.
Also think about the interior compartments, drawers and any glass panels. These should be securely stowed so that they don’t break or cause other damage during transport if they are not properly secured. Also, securely attach the power cord to the unit so it doesn’t get in the way during transport. Now you are probably also wondering: is it allowed to transport a refrigerator lying down or is that a no-go?
Is it allowed to transport a refrigerator lying down? – Myths and facts
The question of whether you are allowed to transport a refrigerator lying down cannot be answered with a simple yes or no. It depends on several factors, including the model of the refrigerator, its age and how long it will be transported.
Refrigerators and freezers contain a coolant that circulates through a closed system of pipes. When the refrigerator tips or lies down, this coolant can get into parts of the system where it normally shouldn’t be. This can cause the refrigerator to not function properly once it has been moved.
However, many modern refrigerators are designed in such a way that transporting them lying down is possible without the coolant being distributed in an unfavorable way. So if you are in the situation that you need to transport the refrigerator lying down, it is advisable to consult the manual or the manufacturer’s information in advance. There you will usually find information on whether this is possible and under what conditions. There are also some general guidelines you should follow if horizontal transport is unavoidable:
- The shorter the duration, the better. This minimizes the time during which the coolant could be distributed inconveniently.
- Use sufficient cushioning material to protect the refrigerator from bumps and associated scratches and dents.
- If possible, place the refrigerator so that the side to which the doors are attached is on top. This minimizes the risk of internal stresses. Be careful, however, not to damage the cooling fins on the back under any circumstances.
- Make sure that the transport vehicle has as flat a loading surface as possible, so you don’t damage the unit when loading it.
Preparation for transport: what to do before moving refrigerator
Before you prepare for your refrigerator move, there are some important steps you shouldn’t skip. These preparations are crucial to ensure that your refrigerator will survive the move unscathed and will be back in proper working order afterwards.
Defrost and secure the interior
The first thing you should do is defrost the refrigerator. An iced refrigerator is heavier and the extra weight can be problematic during transport. Leaking defrost water is also not ideal for the transport vehicle. After defrosting, you should also clean the refrigerator thoroughly. Then remove all loose parts inside the refrigerator, such as glass plates, drawers or compartments. Store them separately and safely to avoid damage.
Cable management and fixation
You should securely fasten the power cable to the refrigerator so that it doesn’t dangle or get tangled during transport. For this purpose, it is best to use cable ties or a proper adhesive tape (armor tape). In addition, it is also necessary to secure the door of the refrigerator, so that it can not open during transport. This may not be a problem in the car, but it will become one when you lift the appliance up a narrow staircase. You can secure the door(s) with a strap or tape. However, make sure that the tape does not leave any residue on the surface.
Choose means of transportation
Depending on how you want to transport the refrigerator, standing or lying, you should choose the appropriate means of transport. A truck or van with enough height is ideal for standing transport, so you don’t even have to worry about the issue. If that’s not possible and you need to transport the fridge lying down, make sure the loading area is level and there’s enough padding material available.
Transporting refrigerator lying down: tips for safe transport
If you’re in the situation of having to transport the refrigerator lying down, there are some special considerations you should keep in mind to make sure everything goes smoothly.
- First, you should decide which side the refrigerator will be lying on. Ideally, the refrigerator should be located so that the side with the hinges is on top. This minimizes the likelihood of internal components shifting.
- Before loading the refrigerator into the transport vehicle, place a soft pad such as a blanket or foam on the loading area. Then place the refrigerator on it and secure it with tie-down straps to prevent it from shifting.
- When transporting refrigerator lying, a careful driving style is particularly important. Avoid abrupt braking maneuvers or fast cornering, as this makes the coolant even faster into areas where it should not.
- For longer transport routes, it is advisable to take regular short breaks to check the condition of the refrigerator. Make sure it is still securely fastened and that no unusual noises are heard.
- After arriving at your destination, you should remove the refrigerator from the transport vehicle as soon as possible and place it in its final position.
Refigerator after transport: what to do when the refrigerator has arrived at its destination?
You’ve made it, your new refrigerator has finally arrived home. The first and most important thing is to let the refrigerator stand for now. Even if you transported the refrigerator lying down, you should leave it in its final position, upright of course, for a few hours after transport, ideally overnight. This is because the refrigerant needs time to redistribute properly in the system. The question of how long to leave the refrigerator depends on several factors, including the duration and conditions of transport. However, a good guideline is at least 12 hours.
During this time, you can inspect the refrigerator for any damage or problems. Look for dents, scratches or other visible damage. Also check the door seals to make sure they close properly. After you have left the refrigerator for a sufficient amount of time, you can reconnect it to the mains. When you want to turn on the refrigerator after transport, don’t cool it down immediately on the highest setting. Run your refrigerator on the lowest cooling setting first and check if it cools as expected. If everything is fine, you can set the temperature as desired.