Transporting a domestic fridge

Ever wondered how it’s possible for a fridge that has been running for years decides to suddenly pack up a few weeks after being moved?
The common causes for a fridge to fail after transporting is due to incorrect transporting. The problem starts when pipes develop micro-cracks, the compressor oil has leaked into pipes or the compressor was excessively bumped.
“But it was working at my previous house” – Our favourite quote
To save you money, this guide will cover the best way to transport your fridge without any problems.

Food preparation

Empty out your fridge contents and keep what you really need. This is a good opportunity to get rid of that empty pickle jar and the suspicious looking mayonnaise.
You may want to consider finding a cooler box and fill it with ice to preserve your fridge contents during the move. Alternatively, if you can ask someone to store your perishables in the meantime.
Before attempting anything else, defrost your fridge for about 5 – 6 hours. This way you won’t have awkward water puddles forming all over the place and it makes cleaning the fridge easier.


There is no better feeling than repacking a clean fridge, it’s like starting a new life all over again. Also, a clean fridge is a happy fridge.
To clean your fridge, you can follow this helpful guide.

Remove everything!

One important note is to remove the shelves and detachables. They will find a way to dislodge themselves and cause expensive damage.

Protecting the fridge

Fridge doors have a nasty habit of slamming against cars, expensive furniture, crushing fingers and cause excessive swearing. So secure those doors!
Use bungee cords to contain the fridge doors. It’s a good idea to use some folded cardboard to protect the fridge finishes from being scuffed by bungee cords.
Try to avoid sticky tapes to secure fridge doors because they may have a “high-tack” that will damage the fridge finishings when you pull the tape off.
Make sure that the condenser unit is protected by covering it with cardboard if you want. Damaging the condenser can be costly. Good for us, but bad for you.

Carrying the fridge

Ask a friend to give a hand, but never pick up the fridge from the condenser or door handles.
Remember to bend those knees!
If you pick up the fridge and you’re suddenly yanked back, you’ve forgotten to unplug the fridge.
Remove the plug and secure it.

Be gentle

Rough handling could cause pipes to shake and cause micro-cracks which will allow the refrigerant gas to leak. It can also damage other mechanical parts on the fridge.


If you have to lay the fridge down, do not lay it on the front or back. This will only damage the handles or the condenser.
Rather lay it on its’ side but remember to place a blanket on the ground to protect the fridge finishes.
But here is the tricky part.
If you lay the fridge on the wrong side it can cause compressor oil to leak into the pipes and burn out your compressor a few weeks later.
You will have to look at the compressor (you may have to open a panel).
There will be three pipes in on the compressor (The big black rounded thing).
  • One pipe will be short, ignore that one.
  • One pipe if you follow it will lead to a very thin pipe eventually – ignore that one too!
  • The third pipe is important. This is your return pipe. If its on the left, lay the fridge on the right side. If the pipe is on the right, lay the fridge on the left side.
Laying it on the wrong side WILL damage the fridge motor (compressor).

Setting up the fridge

Once you have arrived and placed the fridge in position, do not turn it on for 24 hours.
You should allow the fridge oils to settle before running the fridge. Remember, oils in the pipe could cause the fridge to malfunction in a couple of weeks time.
We suggest 24 hours, but that’s for our disclaimers only. You can push the limits to a few hours though depending on how rough the fridge was handled or the distance traveled.
After 24 hours, plug in your fridge and set the temperature settings to 3 – 4. If there are any weird noises, turn off your fridge immediately and give us a call.
If everything seems normal, repack your fridge, keep an eye on it and you’re done.
Following this guide will help prevent issues, however, if you have hopefully skipped a few steps, read this too late and your fridge is in trouble, feel free to contact us.