HomeKitchenHow Long After Moving a Fridge Can It Be Turned On?

How Long After Moving a Fridge Can It Be Turned On?

When you move a fridge, whether it is your old one or a brand new one, you will need to wait a while before you turn it on. Waiting before you put food in a new fridge is also important, as it will give it enough time to cool down properly. 

How long is long enough, and what do you need to watch out for when moving a fridge? 

How Long After Moving a Fridge Can It Be Turned On?

If your fridge has been moved in an upright position, you can plug it in after 2 to 4 hours. However, if it has been transported on its side, you should give it up to 24 hours to settle. 

A fridge should not be laid on its back or side, however, this is sometimes unavoidable, especially if you are moving it yourself. The reason is simple: a fridge’s compressor contains oil, which may spill into the cooling coils during transport. This oil needs to settle back into place before you plug the fridge in. Otherwise, it may cause some very costly damage.

So, if you’ve moved the fridge in an upright position, you can plug it in and turn it on after 2 to 4 hours. If it has spent any amount of time on its back or side, it needs to spend the same amount of time standing up before you turn it on. To be on the safe side, wait 24 hours. 

Note that 24 hours is the longest you should wait before plugging the fridge back in and turning it on. 

What To Do If You’ve Moved Your Refrigerator On Its Side

A fridge should never be moved on its side, as it can cause irreparable damage. The compressor oil may damage the cooling coils, and the weight of the motor may damage the sides. 

If you had no choice but to lay the fridge down to move, you need to make sure it stands in an upright position for the same amount of time it has spent on its side before you plug it in. You can wait up to 24 hours. 

You should also aim to lay the fridge down so that the compressor lines are not damaged. If they run out on the right side, lay the fridge on its left. This should go a fair amount of way in preventing damage, but it’s not a foolproof method. 

What Happens If You Turn the Refrigerator on Too Soon?

If you plug your fridge in too soon, it can damage the compressor, as it needs to work overtime to get the temperatures down. 

You may not immediately see there is anything wrong with the fridge. However, over time, you may notice it is making extra noise, taking longer to cool down, or not getting as cool as you need it to. 

Fixing a faulty compressor or cooling lines can be quite expensive, and you may even be better off buying a brand new fridge. To be safe rather than sorry, always give your fridge enough time to settle after you have moved it before plugging it in and putting any food in it. 

Things To Do Before You Turn a Fridge On After Moving 

After you have moved a fridge, you want to run through a couple of steps before you turn it back on. 

Clean It 

Start by cleaning the fridge both inside and out. Use warm soapy water, and make sure you scrub away thoroughly at any stains that will naturally occur in any fridge. They can cause all kinds of bacteria to develop and spoil your food. 

Don’t forget to regularly clean your fridge, as this is what will keep it working well for a long time. 

Wipe the Coils 

Now that the fridge is unplugged, you can take some time to clean the coils on the back too. There is usually quite a dust buildup on them, so get a clean and dry rag and get rid of all of it. You can also use a vacuum cleaner if you are extra careful. 

Choose the Right Temperature

You also want to choose just the right temperature for your fridge, depending on the kinds of items you usually store in it. Check the manufacturer’s manual, as it usually has plenty of sound advice on making this choice.

Wrapping It Up 

If you give your fridge plenty of time to settle after moving before plugging it in, you’ll avoid any costly damage that may make you regret moving it in the first place. 


  1. The position of the fridge during transit will have the biggest impact on the waiting time. An hour may be sufficient for the oil to settle if you move a fridge upright for a short distance.

  2. What if I moved a fridge and plugged it in right away after getting it home? Can I unplug it and start the process over


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