The Correct Way to Move a Refrigerator

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Transporting a refrigerator can be a challenging task due to the considerable size, awkward shapes, and substantial weight of these appliances. Refrigerators are also filled with perishable items, both frozen and nonfrozen, as well as ice, fluid refrigerant, and fragile components. They are costly to replace or repair. So, it would be wise to enlist professional help for the move. Opting for professional movers ensures a skilled team and the essential tools to transport not just your refrigerator but all your belongings safely. If you’re in Los Angeles or anywhere along the West Coast, reach out to Royal Moving & Storage Inc company. For a flat hourly rate, Royal Moving provides numerous services, from packing, disassembling, and reassembling furniture, moving container rentals, and storage options, to moving your fridge or everything you own. If you are not on the West Coast, or you need to move a refrigerator ASAP with no time to make other arrangements, we provide you with this guide to learn what is the correct way to move a refrigerator.

Required Equipment to Move a Refrigerator

Despite having the proper equipment, relocating a refrigerator remains a highly hazardous undertaking. Falling refrigerators have contributed to numerous fatalities over the years. Before embarking on the task of moving your sizable refrigerator, ensure you gather the appropriate equipment. You will get injured without it, so don’t risk it, especially when you are moving up or down stairs. Using the correct equipment is essential to prevent any harm to your valuable appliance. Repairing major refrigerator issues can incur costs ranging from $85 to $450, but it can go above this price too. In addition, it is easy to put unattractive scratches and dents on its sides with proper preparation.

refrigerator in the kitchen
Refrigerators are pretty expensive so be very careful during the relocation.

Additionally, there’s the potential catastrophe of your refrigerator falling down a staircase. The expenses for new refrigerators far surpass the costs of repairs. Top-mounted freezer models run between $350 and $600, bottom-mounted freezer refrigerators cost $800 to $1,200, and side-by-side models range from $700 to $2,100. Put simply, invest the time to move your refrigerator correctly. Attempting to move it without the necessary equipment to save money might end up costing you more in the long run. Ensure you have the following items for a secure relocation of your valuable appliance:

  • The correct way to move a refrigerator is to use an appliance dolly
  • Straps
  • Moving blankets
  • Rope
  • Measuring tape
  • Screwdriver or drill with screwdriver bits
  • Plank
  • Appropriate vehicle for transportation: truck or van
  • Two or more people

Or, you can leave this to professionals. Opt for the packing service Los Angeles locals usually use and the moving professionals will take care of your appliances. In this way, you can skip gathering packing supplies.

Cleaning Out Your Refrigerator Before Moving It

Before clearing out your refrigerator, assess whether defrosting is necessary. The decision to defrost before moving depends on the relocation distance. If you own a new refrigerator, it’s likely auto-defrost, also known as automatic defrost, self-defrosting, frost-free, frostless, or no-frost. In essence, you technically shouldn’t need to defrost it before moving. However, some “frost-free” models can still collect a thin layer of ice, so beware. Older and some newer models start accumulating frost as soon as they’re plugged in, and this frost begins to thaw when unplugged. As it melts, it creates a slippery mess that can damage wood floors and carpets, posing moving hazards and risking slips and falls. Thus, if your fridge move lasts more than 30 minutes, defrost it first. Begin by removing all the food from the inside.

a woman cleaning and thinking about the correct way to move a refrigerator
The correct way to move your refrigerator includes the step of cleaning and defrosting it prior to the move

Proper Defrosting is Crucial

Once you’ve cleared out the food, allocate a minimum of eight hours for a thorough refrigerator defrost. Ideally, set aside an entire day to ensure ample time for the process. Here are the steps for a proper defrosting job:

  1. Remove the food from the refrigerator and freezer.
  2. Lay down towels to catch the water as the ice melts and to minimize clean-up and damage to the floor.
  3. Unplug the refrigerator before defrosting.
  4. Let the ice melt naturally. Refrain from scraping off the frost as it may harm the refrigerator. The natural melting process is less cumbersome and ultimately more effective.
  5. After the ice has melted, take away the towels from the floor, clean up any remaining residue, and thoroughly wipe the inside of the refrigerator until it is entirely dry. Skipping this step might result in mold growth inside your fridge.
  6. Placing a moisture-absorbent substance like activated charcoal inside the refrigerator after it is defrosted and dried will help prevent odors from building up during the move

To expedite defrosting, follow the mentioned steps and enhance by placing a pan of boiling water in the freezer, refreshing every 10 minutes. Afterward, thoroughly clean the entire refrigerator, removing shelves and drawers for better access. Use a non-abrasive sponge, dish soap, and water for cleaning, employing a multipurpose cleaner, dish towels, or paper towels for the interior, including walls, shelf seams, and the rubber door seal. An old toothbrush is effective for tight crevices.

Moving Perishable Refrigerator Items

The best approach to dealing with your refrigerator perishables is to eat them all. Prepare for your move a week ahead by consuming leftovers, fruits, vegetables, and opened beverages. Take this time to discard expired foods and condiments. If you have unconsumed items, ensure you have adequately sized coolers and enough ice to keep perishables fresh during the move. This proactive approach minimizes food waste and streamlines your moving process. The next option is to hire furniture movers Los Angeles residents recommend and treat them with some delicious food you have. Everyone happy.

Securing Your Refrigerator for a Safe Move

Disconnect your refrigerator following the guidelines provided in the user manual, as each refrigerator model may have distinct instructions. If your refrigerator has an ice maker and water filter in your fridge, make sure you disconnect them well in advance using the method that is advised in the owner’s manual. Even when employing a professional moving company for your refrigerator, ensure it is disconnected correctly. Some moving companies will not disconnect it for you, and even if they do, you will be charged for the time it takes to disconnect it.

a woman in front of the boxes
It is very important to pack your fridge properly and protect it.

Once the refrigerator is unplugged and fully disconnected, safeguard the cords by rolling them up and securely taping them to the back. Remove the drawers and glass shelves for safe transport. While some owner’s manuals recommend removing the fridge doors during the move, you may find this step a bit excessive, but it’s an option you might consider. If you don’t remove the doors, they must be secured shut. Using tape to secure the doors shut leaves residue once the tape is removed, so secure them closed using bungee cords or a rope.

Avoid over-tightening ropes or cords to prevent damage to the refrigerator’s surface. Keep all screws and pieces together in a zip-lock bag, placing it in a box with other essential items for moving day. Once the refrigerator doors are secure, wrap the exterior in moving blankets or suitable padding to prevent scratches and dings. Use bungee cords or ropes to secure the blankets neatly in place.

Create a Moving Plan to Safely Move Your Refrigerator

Refrigerators, being cumbersome, may pose challenges navigating doorways, whether at their current or new location. Sometimes, both home doors and refrigerator doors must be removed for successful maneuvering. Using a measuring tape, record the refrigerator’s height, width, and depth, as well as the dimensions of doorways and hallways in both spots. With the measurements in hand, devise a plan for smoothly fitting the refrigerator through each entrance. Forcing the fridge through a doorway risks damage to both the house and the appliance. Ensure a safe move by removing any obstacles in the way.  Remove doors from hinges, take off stair railings, and clear the path of all obstacles, including furniture, toys, rugs, pets, and children, so you have a clear path out of the house and onto the moving truck. You can hire apartment movers Los Angeles locals trust the most and let them handle the relocation.

The Correct Way to Move a Refrigerator to Avoid Damage and Injury

After devising a moving plan and prepping your refrigerator, it’s time to slide it out and secure it to the dolly. Many fridges have wheels, making the initial slide forward easy. Lift the fridge slightly, placing furniture sliders beneath for added safety. Position yourself at the front, gripping both sides and guiding it side to side while moving forward. Sometimes, a straight shot works too—just keep your knees bent and back straight. It is commendable to hire local movers Los Angeles locals give top marks to and entrust them with the relocation of your fridge. This will help you prevent the damage.

two women talking about the correct way to move a refrigerator
Master the correct way to move a refrigerator and prevent damage.

Now, load the fridge onto the appliance dolly. Have one person lift it slightly as the other slides the dolly underneath its side—avoid front or back placement. Leaning the fridge onto the dolly sideways helps in maneuvering and prevents damage. Strap it in securely but not too tight. Don’t tip the fridge back over 45 degrees.

Start moving slowly, prioritizing safety. Lower the fridge gradually with assistance on the other side. For stairs, walk it to the first step, taking extra care descending. Guide the dolly down step by step, pulling it back toward you while keeping the fridge tilted at 45 degrees. Always maintain control by pulling the dolly and ensuring the fridge remains toward the back of it. Never push the fridge down the steps—pull the dolly back towards you for a controlled descent.

How to Transport Your Fridge

When you reach the truck, streamline the process by guiding the refrigerator using a plank, facilitating an easier transfer compared to lifting it. Avoid laying the refrigerator down. Instead, secure it in the truck with straps along the top and sides. Keep the dolly attached for convenience. Upon reaching your destination, use the plank to remove the refrigerator from the truck. If stairs are involved, ascend step by step, with one person on top guiding the dolly and the person below pushing for control. Wait a few hours before plugging the refrigerator back in. After plugging it in, allow 24-72 hours before placing food inside, adhering to the manufacturer’s instructions for the recommended time.

a moving track and a man in front of it
Load the truck with utmost care.

The Easiest Way To Move a Refrigerator Is To Get Professional Help

Relocating a refrigerator isn’t a simple task, involving numerous steps and essential tips for a successful move. Despite the complexity, opting for moving services Los Angeles residents recommend the most proves advantageous. Hiring a moving company not only ensures the proper handling of the refrigerator but also provides expertise in navigating the challenges of the moving process. The benefits include efficient and secure transportation, minimizing the risk of damage. Professionals will know the correct way to move a refrigerator. To find a suitable moving company, start by researching local options online and reading customer reviews for insights into their reliability. Requesting quotes from multiple companies allows for cost comparisons, and checking their credentials, such as licenses and insurance, aids in making an informed decision. Ultimately, hiring a reputable moving company can simplify the challenging task of relocating a refrigerator while offering peace of mind throughout the process.

a moving professional with boxes advising about the correct way to move a refrigerator
Having professional movers at your side makes the move smoother.

Don’t Skip Any Steps To Ensure Your Fridge Is Moved the Right Way

Mastering the correct way to move a refrigerator involves a careful orchestration of steps and considerations. From defrosting and proper disconnection to strategic loading onto a dolly and securing it in the moving truck, each step plays a crucial role in a successful move. While these tasks may seem daunting, enlisting the services of professional movers emerges as a prudent choice, ensuring not only the refrigerator’s safe transportation but also offering a range of benefits, including expertise, efficiency, and reduced risk of damage. By adhering to these guidelines and possibly seeking professional assistance, you won’t have to think about the costs of new refrigerators as you’d move yours safely to your new home.

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