Help with dorm refrigerator transport


Old 08-26-15, 06:13 AM
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Help with dorm refrigerator transport

This concerns a new 4.4 cubic foot dorm refrigerator, still in box, to be transported to college in my SUV. In the box it is too large to stand upright in the SUV. When I picked it up at the store to take home, we had to lay it on the side, but salesman said this was not good, but it was a short ride home.

Is it really a problem to transport this on its side, rather than upright? Between packing and unloading it might remain on its side for about 24 hours. Do you think this would be ok? Thanks!
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Old 08-26-15, 06:22 AM
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That should be OK. The clerk was correct though. You generally should only transport a fridge or freezer upright. There is oil in the system to lubricate the compressor. When you turn it on its side the oil can collect in places it shouldn't but letting it sit upright for a day before plugging it in will let the oil drain back down.
Old 08-26-15, 06:22 AM
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Just let it stand upright for as long as you can before plugging it in after the trip. 24 hours would be ideal, but at least a few hours. This allows the lubricating oil and refrigerant to get back where they are supposed to be. Side transport can also stress the compressor and motor mountings but they should be OK for occasional transport.
Old 08-26-15, 06:23 AM
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Remove the box. You can transport it safely without it. For a short time, I would transport materials for Home Depot customers. Many who live in Queens & Brooklyn don't have vans or SUVs so they hire people who hang around in the parking lot. We watched a guy who was trying to put a hot water heater into the back seat of his car for almost an hour. Finally, I told him to remove the box.

Another guy loaded 2x6s into his SUV. When he closed the back gate, he pushed the wood right through his windshield.
Old 08-26-15, 06:36 AM
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Thanks for all the repsonses. Very helpful.
Old 08-26-15, 07:56 AM
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It's always been my understanding that brand new [never plugged in] fridges/freezers can be laid on their side and then immediately plugged in when installed BUT I've always erred on the side of caution and let them set in place overnight [maybe 24 hrs] before plugging them up.
Old 08-26-15, 08:02 AM
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Thank you marksr. Erring on the side of caution is the plan.
Old 08-26-15, 08:22 AM
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The problem isn't so much the oil separation as it's a compressor mounting issue. The compressor sits on springs and is held captive in those springs.

Putting the unit on its side could cause the compressor to hang by the refrigerant lines. When you lay it on its side for the travel..... look at the compressor to see if it's solidly mounted and not hanging.

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