Can You Lay a Refrigerator on Its Back or Side? 

When purchasing or moving a refrigerator, a question that will naturally arise is how on earth are you expected to move it. 

Quite obviously, you will need to tilt it to get it through the door. But won’t this damage it? And what happens if you simply have to transport the fridge lying on its side? 

Hopefully, you only have to go through the hassle of moving a fridge a couple of times in your life. Here is what you need to know about this endeavour: 

Can You Lay a Refrigerator on Its Back? 

You shouldn’t lay a refrigerator on its back, not even to transport it. This is where most of its important components are located, and laying a fridge down on its back even for a short amount of time can cause serious damage.

To be perfectly safe, lay a fridge on its sides if you absolutely need to. This will protect the compressor, condenser, and all the other parts of a fridge that may be damaged were you to lay it on its back. 

The condenser coils on the back of your fridge would most likely not survive the weight, and would be crushed and damaged, leaving you with a broken fridge. 

Can You Lay a Refrigerator on Its Side? 

No, you shouldn’t lay a refrigerator on its side either to move it or to store it. The oil from the compressor may flow into the coolant lines, damaging or even breaking them. 

When you lay a fridge on its side, the oil that helps the compressor run properly can trickle down into the cooling coils. It will clog them and prevent the refrigerating gas from flowing through them properly. This means your fridge won’t cool as well (or at all). The coils may even break if too much oil gets trapped in them. 

If the compressor doesn’t have enough oil, it can also overheat and get damaged as well. 

You’ll know something has gone wrong if you hear a loud banging or shuddering after you have turned your fridge back on, after it has lain on its side. 

To prevent this, either aim to keep your fridge upright at all times, or let the fridge stand for the same amount of time it has spent on its side before you plug it in again. 

Can You Lay a Refrigerator on Its Front? 

You shouldn’t lay a refrigerator on its front if you can help it, as it can damage the doors. It is however a better choice than laying it on its back. 

You will have to check if your fridge model can be laid on its front, and make sure you protect the doors with a piece of cloth that will prevent them from slipping, getting scratched or otherwise damaged. 

You also need to make sure that the doors are very tightly locked into place, as they will more than likely open if you don’t secure them in place.

Can You Transport a Fridge Lying Down?

You should aim to transport your fridge in an upright position. If this is absolutely impossible, choose to lay it on its side, rather than on its back or front. 

It will sometimes be understandably difficult to transport an upright fridge. If you need to lay it flat, either in the car or truck or while you are manoeuvring it through a door, make sure the doors are secured in place, and that no undue weight is placed on the compressor. 

Don’t forget to remove all the shelves and drawers from the fridge before you lay it down. 

Make sure the fridge stands upright for the same amount of time it was laid on its side before you plug it back in. 

Can I Lay a Fridge Freezer Down to Transport It?

You shouldn’t lay a fridge freezer down to transport it if you can prevent it. Chances are the oil from the compressor will flow into the cooling coils and may not drain even when you place the appliance back in an upright position.

You may also end up damaging some of the parts when you lay a fridge freezer down, as they are meant to carry weight in a certain way, and the shift can cause cracks and breaks. 

You may get away with laying a fridge freezer down, but it may also stop cooling properly or even completely break down, so don’t risk it if you can, and try to keep it in an upright position at all times. 

Is It OK to Transport a Refrigerator on Its Side?

If you have to transport a fridge on its side, make sure to turn it so that the compressor tube is facing upwards. This will minimise oil leakage into the cooling coils and prevent possible damage.

Some brands warn you to keep their models upright at all times, and you should certainly heed this plea. Also, all refrigerator models that have French doors, bottom freezers or that are built-in must never be moved on their side. 

Aim to keep your fridge horizontal for as short a time as possible, to minimise oil leakage and to prevent any breakage or other type of damage. Also remember to remove any items (including drawers and shelves) from the fridge, especially if they are made of glass. 

How Long Can You Lay a Refrigerator on Its Back?

You shouldn’t lay your fridge on its back at all, as it will damage the components and coils located on the back. The sheer weight of the fridge will cause breakage and cracks. 

If you have to lay your fridge down, always do so on its side, and never on its back. Aim the compressor tube upwards, and try to keep the time the fridge is not upright to a minimum. 

Can You Lay a Refrigerator on Its Back for a Short Time?

You shouldn’t lay a refrigerator on its back for even the shortest amount of time, as the weight can damage its integral components. 

Fridges are meant to stay upright at all times, and should never be placed on their backs. If you need to move your fridge, you can lay it on its side for the duration of the move, but even then, make sure the back of the fridge is not on the bottom. 

Which Side Do You Lay a Fridge Down?

Lay your fridge on its side so that the pipes coming out of the compressor are on the top. This will prevent oil leaking into them and causing a clog. 

Some fridges have pipes coming out on both sides of the compressor, in which case you need to figure out which one is the discharge pipe. Look at the base of the fridge and pinpoint the two pipes. The smaller and thinner one is the discharge pipe, which needs to stay on the top side. 

Wait to plug in your fridge for the same amount of time it has spent laying down after you have moved it. 

How Long Should a Fridge Stand After Being Moved?

If a fridge has lain on its side, make sure it stands upright for the same amount of time, but no longer than 24 hours. This will allow the oil to flow back from the coolant pipes into the compressor. 

If the fridge has been moved in an upright position, you can safely plug it in immediately. However, if you had to tilt it even a little to get it through the door, let it sit for a couple of hours just to be perfectly safe.

You can use this time to clean both the outside and the inside of the fridge. Use water and dish soap, or even a bit of baking soda to get rid of any stains and smells. 

How Long Should I Wait to Plug in My Fridge After Laying It Down?

Wait for the same amount of time the fridge has spent laying down before you plug it in. This will allow any oil to flow back into the compressor from the cooling pipes. 

You should plug the fridge back in after 24 hours even if it has lain flat for longer, as that should have allowed for enough time to prevent any possible damage. 

Wrapping It Up 

Remember to regularly clean your fridge to ensure it keeps your food fresh for as long as possible, and try not to shake it or move it too much, as it does certainly prefer to stand tall at all times. 

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