how to move an american fridge freezer

American style fridge freezers are incredibly useful modern kitchen appliances. With their large capacities and chilled water and ice dispensers, once you’ve had one, you won’t want to be without it.

Moving your American fridge freezer can be a daunting task if you’re moving into a new house. The average appliance weighs 90 to 170 kilogrammes, so you need to be careful.

This article will take you through how to move an American fridge freezer step by step. Once we’re done, you’ll be ready to move this giant of kitchen appliances to your new home.

What Equipment Will You Need to Move American Fridge Freezers?

Before you think about moving an American fridge freezer, you’ll need to prepare some equipment. Here’s a list of the essential gear you’ll need to get together.

  • Moving Dolly – You can rent these from tool hire centres, and they are almost essential for moving such large appliances. Check the one you’re getting is suitable for large fridge freezers.
  • Moving Straps or Rope – To secure the doors and hold the fridge freezer on the dolly.
  • Work Gloves – To improve grip and protect your hands.
  • Tape Measure – To check your planned route.
  • Screwdriver and Wrench – To remove the base and doors and disconnect plumbing connections.
  • Cleaning Products – To give the appliance a good clean before moving it.
  • Bubble Wrap, Tape, and Moving Blankets – To give extra protection to the appliance, floor, walls and doorways as you move.
  • Stepladder – To reach the top of the appliance.
  • Helpers – You’ll need at least two extra people to move the fridge freezer with minimum effort safely.

10 Steps to Move American Fridge Safely

Safely moving a fridge depends mainly on planning and preparation. Plan and follow these steps to make moving your appliance to its new location as easy as possible.

1. Empty, Defrost and Clean the Appliance

Many people wonder if you can move a fridge straight after turning it off, but this would be a bad idea. First, you need to empty everything. Prepare in advance by using up any food or drinks that have a use-by date and won’t survive the move in a cool box.

Once you’ve taken all the food out, you should remove the drawers, shelves, and anything else that could move. The glass shelves are especially heavy and delicate, so make sure you pack these up well in bubble wrap. Pack the rest of the removable parts into moving boxes.

2. Disconnect Power and Water and Empty the Water and Ice Dispenser

Once the fridge freezer is empty, you can unplug the power cable from the electrical supply. Use some tape to secure the power cord safely so it won’t get snagged while you’re moving.

You’ll also need to disconnect the water supply if your fridge’s water dispenser and ice maker are connected to the mains.

Turn off the stop tap and disconnect the pipe from the fridge. In addition, it’s a good idea to have a bucket and mop ready to catch or clean up water drips.

Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to drain all the water from the dispenser and ice maker. Keep in mind that water can spill during transit, and it’s also an unnecessary weight to carry.

3. Defrost and Clean

Now you’ll need to defrost the freezer thoroughly, and when that’s done, give the whole appliance a good clean inside.

Use detergent or hot water and baking soda to wipe clean everything. Try and dry the inside as much as possible. Leave the fridge freezer to stand with the doors open.

4. Check Your Route and Get It Ready

While your appliance is defrosting or waiting for it to dry, you can plan the route you will use to take it out of your house.

Use a tape measure and check the dimensions of the fridge. If your route is tight, ensure you consider the packaging you’ll use.

Check the dimensions of door frames and hallways and walk the route in full so you’ll be able to move your old fridge as planned. If you’re moving house, it’s also a good idea to do this in your new place, so you don’t have any surprises.

Cover rough wall surfaces you’ll be passing with blankets, so the appliance doesn’t get scratched while you’re moving. Move any furniture and delicate objects well out of the way so that nothing can get accidentally broken. Consider laying extra protection onto carpets and flooring.

5. Remove the Fridge Doors if Necessary

Having checked your route, you may find you need to remove the fridge freezer door.

Follow the user manual with your appliance and once each door is removed, carefully wrap them.

If you don’t need to remove the doors, it’s best to tie them shut for transit. You can use a rope, packing tape, or a ratchet strap. Ensure that you put protection underneath and don’t tie it too tightly, as you may damage the appliance.

6. Pack Your Fridge Freezer for Moving

Even though you’re going to be careful, you should put some protection around your fridge freezer before moving it. Wrap moving blankets or bubble sheets around the appliance to protect it. Ensure that the packaging is secured and that there aren’t any trip hazards.

7. Load Your Dolly

Move your refrigerator away from the wall. Check in advance if you need to remove the base trim to use the dolly.

Raise the back of the fridge off the floor to slide the dolly underneath one side for lifting. Make sure someone holds the front while doing this, so the appliance doesn’t fall. Then lift the front side and check that the dolly is under. You might want to use lifting straps to make the job easier.

Secure the fridge freezer to the dolly with straps, and you’re ready to move.

8. Move Carefully

Stand behind the dolly and tilt the fridge freezer towards you. You’ll find this much more manageable with some help. Move slowly and carefully as you wheel the appliance along your route with a helper to guide you. Never tilt the dolly more than 45 degrees towards you, and avoid sharp movements.

If you need to move down or upstairs, lift the dolly with two or more helpers and take each step individually. Ensure you keep your back straight and bend your knees whenever you’re lifting.

If possible, move and transport your fridge freezer in a nearly upright position.

9. Load Onto Your Moving Vehicle

If your truck doesn’t have a tail lift or loading ramp, you’ll need plenty of hands to lift the appliance carefully. It’s best to load heavy items like the fridge onto the truck first so they can go against the bulkhead.

Once the fridge freezer is safely onto the truck, secure it with straps or wedge it between other oversized items that won’t move. You can typically leave the dolly strapped in place, so it’s ready for unloading.

10. Moving the Appliance Into Your New Home

men placing  an appliance in the kitchen

Getting the refrigerator into your new home reverses what you did to move it out from your old one.

Once you’ve got it into its new location, it’s good to wait and let the refrigerator stand for a few hours. The refrigerator’s gas must be given time to settle, even if you’ve kept the appliance upright during transit.

While the refrigerator is standing, you can reinstall the water supply to the dispenser and ice maker. But, again, check carefully for any leaks, and remember that you discard the first ten glasses of water to flush the system.

You can also put the shelves and other refrigerator parts back in place while you’re waiting and perhaps give it a post-move clean.

When it’s time to switch the power back on, remember that it may take two or three days for most refrigerators to get back to regular energy efficiency. Try and keep the fridge freezer closed as much as possible so as not to let heat in unnecessarily.

Can You Move a Refrigerator Without a Dolly?

Moving a fridge freezer without a dolly is possible, but it is more challenging.

You’ll probably need three helpers to tilt and move the refrigerator together safely. Lifting straps make the process easier and keep your hands free as you lift.

You can use plastic lids to slide the fridge freezer on the flooring. Glue cloth or old carpet to the underside to move on hard floors.

Remember that if you lift fridges horizontally, it’s extra important to give the compressor gas sufficient time to settle. If in doubt, it’s best to leave it standing overnight.

Settling Your American Fridge Freezer

Moving your American Fridge Freezer has never been this easy!

As we’ve looked at how to move an American fridge freezer, we’ve seen that as long as you take your time, are careful, and have some help. Then, you can carry out a job without resorting to professional movers.

What’s more, a moving dolly makes the job easier, faster, and safer, so these are well worth getting to assist you. Also, keep in mind to let your fridge settle after moving it to ensure that it will still be in proper working order.

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