Kitchens & Dining Rooms

Can You Transport a Refrigerator on Its Side & How to Do It?

Written by

Rosanne Jones

Writer, Designer


Steven D. Carrico


can you transport a refrigerator on its side

Moving house is one of the most exciting yet challenging projects to complete, so spending a little time making it easy and achievable is important. Besides packing and arrangements, it is difficult to carry your electrical appliances, especially the refrigerator. Therefore, it involves a little forethought in ensuring that these items are safely carried.

The ideal method to move a fridge is usually upright, however, when it’s not possible, can you transport a refrigerator on its side? This article will provide you with the answer and some information before and after moving it.

Can a Refrigerator Be Transported on Its Side?

Thankfully, you may place a fridge on the side without any long-term consequences. If you need to carry it that way, it should stand up straight for the same period as it had been on its side before you switch it on. For example, when you lay it for three hours, keep it standing and off for a minimum of three hours before running again.

Certain types simply cannot be moved on their side because of their layout. If your refrigerator is one of those kinds, you’ll need to make other arrangements and shift it vertically while transporting. Hence, you should spend some time looking at the moving guidelines in your handbook or the manufacturer’s website before you eventually start moving it. Usually, the instructions will inform you which side is ideal for models with several doors or less typical door configurations.

What Will Happen When You Lay a Refrigerator on Its Side?


You should be aware of the issues it can bring before you decide to put a refrigerator on its side. Two primary issues that can ruin your refrigerator will be listed below.

Water leaking

Water dripping is the first and most likely concern. When the defrost cycle begins every 24 hours, the drainage tank gathers water from the freezer which will be drained away by the compressor heating. This tray has water in it most of the time. This water pours into the PC if you turn the fridge directly to the side that has the computer. If we switch it on when the computer is wet, it will burn.

However, solving this problem is not complicated. The first option is to absorb the leaking water with a towel. Put a water-absorbing towel on the tray, let it soak for half an hour or more. Trap another towel between the compressor and the computer to collect any water before putting the refrigerator on its side. The second alternative is natural drying. Keep the refrigerator off at your new location for a couple of days. It’s going to be alright as long as the water is dried.

Oil compressor

Refrigerators evaporate and condense a coolant gas to create a cooling effect in the compartment constantly. They are using a compressor to push the refrigerant gas into the coils of the fridge. It carefully formulated lubricants that lubricate and refresh the compressor to assist the compressor in proper functioning. This oil can cause problems when you put the fridge on its side.

The oil is kept in the compressor when it’s in the usual upright position. Some oil can exit the compressor and enter the cooling system if we lay the fridge horizontally. The oil is a thick liquid, which blocks the cooling pipes and limits the cooling capacity of the refrigerator. The compressor may also suffer from a lack of lubricant. As a result, your fridge will not cool.

Before turning it on, wait for 24 hours in the usual upright position if it has been on the ground for a while. This allows enough time for the oil to go back into the compressor from the cooling system. If noisy shaking sounds from the compressor occur after you switched it on, you will know things go wrong.

Methods for Moving a Fridge on Its Side


Moving around the refrigerator, one of the most complicated and sensitive equipment, is not that easy. Therefore, when transporting a refrigerator on its side to a new place, it is necessary to follow these guidelines here to make your trip faster and more efficient.

1. Empty the refrigerator

Take frozen and cooled food and place them in a picnic cooler to prevent spoilage. Next, remove shelves, racks, and drawers to make transportation safer and lighter. Lock the shelves firmly with tape if you cannot remove them.

2. Defrost the freezer

Switch it off a few hours or overnight to let the evaporator time defrost and then wipe out all the remaining water before you haul a refrigerator on its side.

3. Seal the door

The doors do not securely shut while moving the refrigerator on its side. So sealing will stop your refrigerator door from fluttering around your side, which means that you can move this large, sturdy box much easier. If you don’t seal them with tape, the doors will keep opening on the way. Moreover, their corners and hinges might be damaged when opening in transport. It is a good idea to place some active coal or a box of baking soda inside to absorb aromas if your fridge is sealed for the whole day or longer.

4. Water leaking and Oil compressor issue

If you need to put the appliance on its side, place it on the other side of the compressor lines. For instance, you may set the fridge to the left if the compressor line goes out from the unit on the right.

5. Examine your doors and entrances

Make sure the fridge fits your front entrance, lobby, every corner, and every door in your current and new house so that it won’t damage anything in the house.

What Should Be Done After the Relocation?

You potentially harm the compressor if the refrigerator is plugged in immediately after being transported.

  • Take the fridge off and place it in its final place as soon as you come to your new house.
  • After you move a refrigerator on its side, it should be standing upright for the same amount of time it was laying on its side. If it’s more than a day, leave it upright 24 hours before operating. But only a few minutes of stand time are enough while resting on its side just for cleaning or adjusting.
  • Run for at least 2 hours at the maximum temperature setting when it is empty to attain the exact temperature necessary to preserve the food effectively.
  • Food can be put in the fridge now


You can put a fridge on its side even though it is not recommended since the oil compressor is an issue that leaks and damages. You may have found the appropriate techniques and methods of transferring your refrigerator on its side via the help of this post.

Always Check the user handbook and the installation instructions before you use this sort of equipment for your kitchen. Was this article on can you transport a refrigerator on its side effects for you? Leave your thoughts in the comment box and if you like them, share them with your family and friends.

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