In Germany, more than eight million people move every year – almost ten percent of the total population. In most cases, such a move is costly: Furniture and other possessions have to be transported from the old to the new home. This is particularly difficult for fragile items. Display cabinets, dishes and the like are easily damaged during the move. But refrigerators are also among the appliances that quickly lose their functionality during an improper move. How you can transport your refrigerator without damaging it (and why the danger is quite high), we tell you in the following lines.
Why does it matter how the refrigerator is transported?
Most items we can stuff tetris-like into the moving truck, making the most efficient use of the available space. With the refrigerator, however, we should be careful. This is due to the cooling system built into the unit. If we turn the refrigerator around and look at the back, we will see that there is a complex system of pipes and other metal elements. If we were to start disassembling this system now, we might find that there is a cooling liquid inside the pipes. In addition, the refrigerator has a thermostat and a motor that is coupled to the thermostat. This ensures that cooling mechanisms kick in when a certain temperature is exceeded.
During transport, it is necessary to prevent the coolant from being distributed in the system in such a way that it reaches places where its presence is not intended. In addition, there is a risk that oil from the compressor of the refrigerator will enter the cooling circuit and remain there. As a result, the oil for compressor operation is missing, so damage occurs here.
Transporting the refrigerator: upright or lying down?
To avoid the problems described, it is recommended to transport refrigerators standing up. However, in practice, this is not always possible without further ado. Therefore, before moving, many people wonder if it is possible to transport their refrigerator lying down. There is no clear answer to this; the likelihood of resulting damage also depends on the model used. Many newer refrigerators have been built in such a way that it is difficult for oil to enter the cooling circuit. In older models, on the other hand, the probability of such problems is usually higher.
However, if the horizontal transport of the refrigerator can not be avoided, you should take some important precautions.
- Lay the refrigerator on its side so that the rear elements do not touch the ground.
- Polster the refrigerator by placing it on a blanket or rug rather than directly on the floor.
- Fix the refrigerator well so that it can not slide back and forth during the journey. Use for this purpose, for example, tension belts.
- Drive carefully and avoid abrupt braking.
- Bring the refrigerator after arrival at the destination as soon as possible in a standing position.
In addition, it is important that the refrigerator is not immediately put into operation after lying transport. Instead, it should stand in an upright position for at least twelve hours, or better yet 24 hours, before it is used again. This is to ensure that all liquids are returned to their intended places.
Also, if you’re transporting the refrigerator standing up, you shouldn’t put it back into use immediately for the aforementioned reason. In this case, however, a standing time of two to four hours is sufficient.
Preparations for the refrigerator transport
However, the refrigerator is susceptible to damage not only because of its cooling and compressor system. The large number of unattached elements also ensures that it can be easily damaged. However, this can be easily counteracted by a good preparation of the transport. Therefore, before you transport your refrigerator, you should take the following measures:
- Remove all glass and plastic panels that are inside the refrigerator.
- Remove all the inserts from the door of the refrigerator.
- Remove the fruit and vegetable compartment of the refrigerator.
If the refrigerator is transported completely empty, the risk of damage decreases significantly. When transporting the refrigerator can otherwise break glass and plastic elements. In addition, in the worst case, they lead to damage to the refrigerator itself – for example, by damaging fastening elements inside. This is possible because they could come loose from their position during travel and fly around freely inside the cabinet.
Transporting your freezer safely
Furthermore, if your refrigerator is a freezer combo, meaning it has a freezer compartment built into it, you must defrost it before you can transport your refrigerator. Otherwise, defrosting will inevitably occur during the journey. As a result, the water created during defrosting would make its way out of the refrigerator and flood your moving truck – which could damage other transported items.
Transporting a refrigerator – in a nutshell
- Clear out the refrigerator before transporting it, also remove all inserts.
- Defrost the refrigerator and freezer compartment completely before transporting.
- Transport the refrigerator ideally standing up.
- If it should be transported lying down, cushion it well and do not put it on the back.
- Secure the refrigerator with tension straps.
- Put it upright as soon as possible after transport and let it stand for two to four (standing transport) or twelve to 24 hours (lying transport) before using it.