Can You Lay Down a Refrigerator?

A refrigerator is a major appliance in the home and not a small expense if it needs to be repaired or replaced. In addition to regular care and maintenance, an owner should ensure a refrigerator is transported properly -- for example in the event of a move -- to prevent damage to the unit.

Appliance delivery
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Read the manufacturer's instructions before moving a refrigerator, since some models should never be laid down for any amount of time.

Moving the Fridge

Refrigerators should always be unplugged, emptied, defrosted and packaged securely to protect the unit during transport. Most manufacturers recommend that refrigerators always be moved in the upright and vertical position. When a refrigerator is placed on its side, oil from the interior compressor can drain into the refrigerant tubes and cause damage to the unit. If it is unavoidable to transport a refrigerator upright, lay the unit down on its side -- on the freezer side for side-by-side models or else opposite the hinges -- instead of the back. Stand the unit upright at the new location and allow it to sit unplugged for the same amount of time that it was on its side to allow the oil to drain back down. Compact units should always be transported upright because of the drain design.