Can You Transport a Fridge on Its Back: Important Moving Tips

Moving day is finally here, and hopefully, you’ll love the place you’re taking your fridge. Can you just lay it down on its back in a truck and go, or is there a better, safer way to transport your refrigerator? No one wants to break an expensive appliance, so doing a little research before you move your large machines is a smart move. Typically it would be best if you moved a fridge standing up. However, if you can’t fit it in the space you have without laying it down, then please set it on the side instead. Some handles can break in front, and all the delicate mechanical parts are in the back, so you’re a lot more likely to do damage if you choose either of these methods of transport. Sure, a handle isn’t as big of a thing as a busted compressor or multiple broken parts, but either way, it’s just smarter to move your fridge upright. I’ll explain more about why and offer you some other vital tips on settling the fridge and keeping it in peak running condition. 

Can you transport a fridge on its back? You should not rest a fridge on it’s back to transport it. Since almost all the electrical components are inside the back of the refrigerator, even setting it down this way can cause serious damage. Instead, keep it standing up, or lay a fridge on its side to prevent problems and breakage. 

The Safe Way to Transport a Fridge

You should never transport a fridge on it’s back, but there is only one excellent way to move it. Leave the refrigerator standing up. If you have enough space, such as inside a moving van or on an open tow platform, then there’s no reason to lay it down at all. Even moving a fridge on its side can damage the compressor. 

Please make sure you get good quality ratcheting tie-downs or pack enough things around your fridge to keep it from shifting regardless of the position. Additionally, use bungee cords, paracord, or rope to wrap around the fridge and through the handles to keep the doors shut during transit. Doing this will keep you from damaging a door or losing your fridge as you turn a corner. 

A high-quality set of Sunferno Ratchet Straps will keep your fridge secure while you move. With a 2500 lb break strength, your large appliances are no challenge for these tie-downs. Moreover, the rubberized hooks help prevent hand injury while the ratchets give you a secure, tight fit every time. See the Amazon reviews right here

If you absolutely must lay the fridge down for transport, choose the side the doors face. For many upright refrigerators, both doors face the same way. If your freezer and fridge are side-by-side, then you should tie the handles together and wrap a rope around the top and bottom of the doors to prevent opening. Moreover, for this style, the side doesn’t matter as much.

For fridges with two side-facing doors with a top or bottom freezer, laying it on the side with the door handles up is the worst position (other than the back). The doors are more likely to open during the move if you lay it this way. However, it is still better than trying to lay the refrigerator face down on its handles or on it’s back.  

Instead of risking broken handles, or ruining your fridge entirely, choose one of these three positions to get where you’re going with a functional refrigerator. By taking the time to secure doors, tie it down, and position your refrigerator correctly, you can avoid costly hassles and repairs, not to mention wasted food and money. 

Let a Fridge Settle After Moving & Transport

Hopefully, you haven’t already transported a fridge on it’s back. However, if your refrigerator was transported laying down in any position, then you need to set it upright and allow it to settle before you plug it in. Settling is just a word for allowing the internal fluids to return to their original position.

While a fridge on its back can damage most of the internal components, simply tilting a fridge on its side can still affect the compressor. This is the part that creates the cooling effect. A new refrigerator that runs but won’t cool was probably moved on its side. 

A compressor has oil inside which stays in place because of gravity. If you change the orientation, you also change the way gravity pulls on your refrigerator. Resultantly, the oil moves out of place and may collect in the coolant lines. It can take time to recollect. Don’t plug your new fridge in right away. 

Fridges transported on their side should sit up, without being plugged in, for a minimum of three to five hours. However, if the refrigerator lay down for more than a day, you need to let it settle for at least a full day before you can use it. Plugging in your fridge before the compressor oil is fully returned can cause the compressor to break down. 

Laying on the side can also cause the compressor oil to settle in other parts of the refrigeration system causing a blockage. If you know which side the fridge was transported on, it’s a good idea to lay the fridge on the opposite side before settling it. 

I recommend using ABN Ratchet Anchor Cargo Tie Down Straps to transport that fridge right-side-up. The one and a half-inch-wide straps are ideal for large items like your refrigerator. Furthermore, wide-angle j-hooks are suitable for attaching to many different shapes and sizes. Learn more on Amazon when you click here. 

Even when you transport a fridge upright, you should still let it settle for a couple of hours. Movement from the ride can cause splashing within the compressor and coolant system. It’s safer and smarter to wait a while to avoid possible issues. 

Fridge Tips For Better Durability

While there’s no ‘good’ fridge to transport on it’s back, there are some additional tips that can help you get the most out of your refrigerator. Firstly, it’s imperative to choose the right model. Not only do you need a fridge that fits your style, kitchen, and needs, but it’s also important to make sure you have a recent model. Energy-Star fridges are the best for your electric bill, but merely choosing a more recent model year can help avoid problems like old-fashioned toxic refrigerants and higher energy consumption. 

Make sure you keep a pair of DC Cargo Mall Tie-Down Ratchet Straps for transporting your new refrigerator. These safety yellow straps have ultra-durable steel double-j hooks. Moreover, the polyester straps are UV resistant and have a working load limit of over three thousand pounds. Best of all, DC Cargo Mall offers a 100% payment back guarantee. Have a set delivered to your door when you order from Amazon right here

Once you turn it on, it’s okay to allow a new fridge to cool for a couple of hours before you put food inside, but you shouldn’t run an empty fridge in general. Without mass inside from foods, the whole system has to work harder to cool empty space, which can cause your refrigerator to burn out faster. Meanwhile, cold food helps retain that chill with far less power because the temperature is preserved in the thermal mass of your meats, veggies, and milk.

Pay attention to the compartments. Each drawer and unique area in your fridge is scientifically designed to do the best job of keeping a specific type of consumable. Take the time to put butter in the butter tray, eggs in those rounded slots, and veggies in a crisper drawer to prevent food loss and make sure your appliance is doing the best job possible. 

When you have a power outage, don’t open the fridge to get food out. When you leave it sealed, the temperature should remain stable for up to four hours with no power. Meanwhile, in the freezer, things can stay cold for twenty-four to forty-eight hours: the fuller the freezer, the more cold it will retain. 

Final Thoughts

One look will tell you that your fridge needs to stand up to work, but laying it down can cause serious issues. Never transport or store a fridge on its back or front, and avoid the other sides whenever possible. When you can’t move it upright, pick a side and lay it that way. You can tie doors shut, but replacing parts is expensive. 

Choose the side the doors are facing for the easiest possible side-move. Because the doors won’t be fighting gravity to open, you are less likely to have problems. However, keep in mind that you still need to let it rest before plunging in your refrigerator even when it was a short trip because fluids take a while to redistribute themselves.

Avoid the headaches that come with a broken fridge by making sure you take basic precautions during transport. Use tie-downs, secure doors, and make sure you plan ahead to move that fridge standing up.

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Aron Blake

I am the lead copywriter on Homezesty and the Webmaster. I have a lot of experience in home renovations and the creation of style. I enjoy writing and sharing my tips on how to create the best living environment. My Linkedin Profile, My Twitter Account

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