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Can You Transport a Refrigerator on Its Side?

Can You Transport a Refrigerator on Its Side?

Moving is not always an easy task. Packing everything and moving to a new location can be overwhelming, especially if you have not done it in a long time. One of the problematic tasks when moving involves transporting your kitchen appliances without damaging them.

The trickiest appliance to transport is a refrigerator. It is bulky, big, and has some delicate parts that should be cared for during moving to avoid any damage. If you plan to transport your refrigerator, you should understand that transporting it in an upright position is the best decision. A refrigerator’s compressor contains oil, which is held in place by gravity. Transporting a fridge on its side can damage its compressor and prevent it from doing its job.

Here is what you should know about transporting a refrigerator on its side:

Why Can’t You Lay a Refrigerator Down?

It would help if you didn’t lay a fridge down when transporting it because of its compressor. The compressor is full of oil, which is a crucial part of a refrigerator’s operation. When a fridge is in an upright position, gravity ensures that the oil remains in the compressor. Whenever you lay the fridge down, some oil tends to leave the compressor and find its way into the cooling lines.

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It would be best if you remembered that this oil is dense and thick, and it can clog your fridge’s cooling line; therefore, hindering the fridge’s cooling ability. Additionally, not having oil in the compressor can damage it.

What Should You Do When You Can’t Transport a Fridge Upright?

Sometimes it might be impossible to transport a fridge upright when moving. When in this situation, you should ensure that the refrigerator lays on its side or front and not its back. Laying a refrigerator on its back means that its weight will be on its working parts, and it might damage them, even when the parts are not exposed.

Laying your fridge on its side can work during a short move; however, if the trip is more extended, you should always ensure that it’s in an upright position.

Tips When Transporting a Fridge on Its Side to Minimize Risks

While transporting a fridge in an upright position is recommended, it is not always ideal. If you move a refrigerator on its side, you should know what can happen to it and the precautions to take to ensure that it’s not during transportation and set up in your new location.

Here are some tips to help your fridge remain in good condition when transporting it on its side:

Concerns About the Compressor Oil

When you transport a fridge on its side, the compressor oil will most likely flow from the compressor tubes into the coolant lines. When transporting a refrigerator on its side, ensure that the side you lay it down is opposite where the compressor’s lines run out of the compressor.  For instance, if the compressor line is on the left side, lay the fridge on its right side.

Handling Doors Problems

When transporting a fridge on its side, you should ensure that the doors are secured. Unsecured doors will open when you transport the refrigerator on its side. You can lay the fridge down and have the hinged side on the top. When in this position, gravity will help in keeping the doors closed. However, there is still a risk that the doors will open when in transit and damage the door handles and the hinges.

To minimize the risk of damage, you should secure the fridge’s doors with rope, tape, or twine to ensure that they do not open when it’s on its side.

What Should You Do After Receiving a Fridge That Was Transported on Its Side?

It is best not to plug your fridge right away after moving it on its side because you risk damaging the compressor. After moving your refrigerator on its side, you should ensure that it sits upright for roughly the same amount of time it was laying on its side. This step allows any oil that had flowed into the coolant lines to have enough time to flow back to the compressor.

FAQs About Laying a Fridge Down

Laying the fridge upright is recommended, but it might not always be possible. Here are some frequently asked questions about laying a refrigerator down.

Which Side Do You Lay a Fridge Down?

When you have to lay a fridge on its side, you should ensure that you lay it on the side that is opposite the hinges. This ensures that the door remains closed during transportation. If your fridge is a side-by-side model, ensure that you lay it on the freezer side to prevent the door from opening.

How Long Can a Refrigerator Lay on Its Side?

It is advisable that you only lay your refrigerator on its side during a short move. It should remain upright when the trip is longer. After transporting it on its side, put it in an upright position for the same amount of time it was on its side before you plug it in.

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Moving a fridge to a new place can be tricky. Ensure that you read your model’s manual about transporting it to ensure you do it the right way. If you decide to transport it on its side, take necessary precautions to ensure that your refrigerator is not damaged.