Should You Defrost Fridge Before Moving?

So, you're all set for the big move? You've got all your clothes and personal items packed in boxes. But what about your expensive appliances? In particular, do you know how to move your refrigerator safely so that it won't get damaged? Do you need to defrost it before moving and for how long prior to your relocation? We consulted the top moving companies regarding this concern and here's their advice.

It is best to defrost your fridge 24 hours before moving. This gives your fridge time to thaw all the ice buildup and drain the excess water. At the same time, the gas and other fluids inside your refrigerator will be able to settle so that they won't get inside your fridge's components during the big move. This will prevent your appliance from getting damaged as you transfer it from one point to another.

Continue reading because we'll tell you the importance of defrosting your fridge before you move to a new house. We'll also share helpful tips from professional appliance movers on how to get your fridge ready before and after your big move.


A huge two door fridge inside a modern kitchen, Should You Defrost Fridge Before Moving?

To defrost or Not to defrost the Fridge Before Moving

Defrosting is making sure there's no ice in your fridge. Over time, ice tends to accumulate in the interior of the refrigerator. The thing is, ice melts when you turn off your appliance. When ice melts, it can spill over to the floor and the moving truck, making moving day messier and more stressful. It can also damage the inner parts of your refrigerator. That's why it's best to defrost your fridge before moving.

How Do You Prepare A Refrigerator For Moving?

It takes a lot of planning to be able to move your fridge safely from point A to point B. Defrosting is just one of the important things that you need to do before you relocate it. You've got to keep in mind that there's more to your refrigerator than meets the eye. There are different components inside that you need to take care of to ensure that your fridge will function properly.

Let's run through the refrigeration process briefly. The main components in your refrigerator are the compressor, condenser, expansion valve, and evaporator. The refrigerant passes through all these parts in a specific order to be able to provide the cooling effect inside your fridge. At every stage, there are changes in the refrigerant's pressure, volume, and temperature so that the appliance can function effectively and efficiently. This process ensures that your refrigerator is able to maintain a cold temperature to keep your food fresh and safe for longer.

Preparing your refrigerator for moving entails you take care of its outer and inner parts. This is what a responsible owner does. Otherwise, you risk having your fridge damaged and we all know how expensive it is to have it fixed or worse, you'll have to buy a new one. We highly recommend you go through your owner's manual for specific instructions regarding defrosting and moving your refrigerator.

Two moving personnel moving the fridge

Tips on How to Ready Your fridge for moving day

Know your schedule so that you can do the necessary preparations to move your fridge safely. Preparation starts weeks before the actual moving day. It's a good idea to do an inventory of all the food and drinks you have inside and use them all if possible prior to moving. Throw away expired products that have been sitting in your fridge for too long. This will make it easier for you to empty and clean your fridge before you transport it.

Now, here are the things you need to do a day before you move your refrigerator to your new home:

  1. Remove all items inside your fridge. This includes food, drinks, and detachable parts of your refrigerator, such as the shelves, trays, and drawers. You can put the food and drinks in a cooler to avoid spoilage.
  2. Turn off the power of your fridge and remove it from the switch.
  3. Tuck the power cord securely at the back of your fridge by using packing tape.
  4. Defrost your fridge overnight. But if your refrigerator is frost-free, then it'll just take a couple of hours to completely drain all the water inside. Don't scrape off the layers of ice as it could damage your appliance. Just let it thaw naturally.
  5. Put mats or towels around the fridge to absorb the water should there be any spills.
  6. When morning comes, empty the water collecting tray.
  7. Clean the whole fridge including the trays, shelves, and drawers. You can use a mild soap mixed with water and a soft cloth for this.
  8. Wipe everything using a clean cloth. Keep the door open for at least an hour to make sure that everything's dry.
  9. Cover the shelves and cabinets with bubble wrap for added protection. Put them in a separate box along with other fragile kitchenware.
  10. This one is optional. Put a moisture-absorbent substance inside your refrigerator to prevent odor build-up.
  11. Tie a strap or rope around the fridge so that the door won't fly open while moving. You can also cover your appliance with a blanket to protect it from scratches.
  12. Make sure that your refrigerator is always in an upright position.

Get the services of your trusted moving company to help you with your relocation. They are pros who know exactly what to do and have the materials needed to make sure that your refrigerator, along with your other appliances, stays safe as you transfer to your new house. Of course, you can also do the transporting yourself with the help of your family and friends, especially if you want to save money. But make sure you know how to move your fridge safely. Otherwise, it'll not be worth it as refrigerators are quite sensitive to movement.

How long should you turn off a fridge before moving it?

You've got to turn off your refrigerator 24 hours before you move. This will give your refrigerator enough time to defrost and for the gas build-up to stabilize. You're also trying to prevent the oil and other fluids inside your fridge to get inside the cooling pipes. These are precautions to ensure that your fridge's refrigeration system won't be damaged during the relocation.

Can you move a fridge straight after turning it off?

It is possible to move your fridge right after you turn it off, especially if you're moving to a short distance. But load your refrigerator at the last minute so that the ice (if there's any) won't melt that much. Put your food items inside the freezer and seal them tight as well as the refrigerator door. You can also put towels inside the freezer and underneath the fridge to soak up all the water.

However, it is not recommended that you move your fridge right after turning it off. This is because there are some things that are still going on inside your fridge after removing it from the switch. You need to give it sufficient time to defrost completely to avoid damaging the evaporator. The oils and fluids also need to stabilize so that they won't move through the fridge's compressor while on the move. As mentioned earlier, these are precautionary measures to avoid causing any harm to the main components of your refrigerator that could affect its proper functioning.

How long do you wait to plug in a fridge after moving it?

Once you reach your new home and have placed your fridge where you want it to be, you can't turn it on right away. You should put it in an upright position. You have to wait for at least 4 hours before you plug it in. This is the period when the oils and fluids need to stabilize as they might have been unsettled during transit. If you turn your fridge on immediately, these substances might move through the compressor and damage its function.

Do you have to let a fridge settle after moving it?

As previously mentioned, you have to give your fridge enough time to settle after moving it. In particular, the oils and fluids inside your refrigerator might have been disrupted during transit so they need to stabilize before you plug in your fridge. Otherwise, you risk having them get inside the compressor's cylinder and a chemical reaction will occur which could lead to slugging and performance failure.

Final Thoughts

Make sure you defrost your fridge a day before moving to be able to transfer it to your new home safely and more smoothly. It will ensure that no water gets inside the components of your appliance. You also want to let the gas, oil, and other fluids inside your fridge to settle before and after moving to prevent them from damaging your refrigeration system. This is one way of taking good care of your appliance to make sure that it will still function effectively and efficiently when you use it in your new house.

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