Moving a Refrigerator

What You'll Need
Large moving dolly
Straps or rope
Spare carpet tiles
Smooth plastic lids (such as from an ice cream tub)
Defrosting spray
Large plastic bag
Old blanket
An sssistant

Safely moving a refrigerator is essential to avoid harm to both the appliance and the person doing the moving! With adequate planning and plenty of time, you can ensure that this is the case.

Step 1 – Gather Equipment and Prepare

The last thing you want when you are in the middle of moving a refrigerator is to find that you are missing an essential piece of kit. Avoid this by gathering together all the equipment you will need prior to starting the job. Determine the route you will be using and remove any objects that may cause an obstruction.      

Step 2 – Clear Contents and Secure

Whether you are moving a refrigerator a few feet or to a completely different property, it is important to clear the contents first so that food items and shelves are not bouncing around whilst the appliance is in transit. Use a cooler to store the food from both the freezer and the main fridge. Alternatively, put the items in a plastic bag and wrap them in a blanket to preserve the cold temperature. If you are moving the refrigerator to a new property, it is a good idea to take the opportunity to defrost and clean the appliance before moving it. To undertake this task, unplug the appliance and leave it for at least 6 hours. The shelves and trays should lift out easily.

Secure the doors with a strap or ropes to prevent them falling open, and tie up the power supply cord so that it does not get caught up.

Step 3 – Short Distance Move

Moving a refrigerator a short distance can be relatively easily if you have the right equipment. Where your flooring is linoleum or vinyl, slide carpet tiles beneath the base of the refrigerator at the rear, using enough for the entire length of the edge. With you at one side and your helper at the other, carefully tilt the appliance backwards so that it rests on the tiles and slide it to its new position. Avoid tilting the refrigerator at an angle greater than 45 degrees and do not lay it on its side as this can cause permanent damage if the oil from the compressor flows into the cooling tubes. After removing the carpet tiles, carefully shuffle the refrigerator into place by gently rocking it back and forth.

For carpet flooring, replace the carpet tiles with plastic lids.

Step 4 – Long Distance Move    

Position the moving dolly as close to the refrigerator as possible before tilting the appliance onto it whilst keeping a tight grip of the dolly’s handles. If you find you are able to hold the weight alone, ask your assistant to direct from the front, especially if you need to negotiate stairs. The person in front should brace themselves whilst helping to slowly roll the refrigerator down each step. Face forward when moving a refrigerator so that you are pushing the dolly rather than pulling it.