Can You Lay a Refrigerator Down Safely Without Damaging It?

Can You Lay a Refrigerator Down?

Yes, a refrigerator can be laid down, but it is not ideal.

Laying a refrigerator on its side can temporarily affect it, and there are precautions to take to prevent damage.

Refrigerators should be left upright for at least 4 hours (maximum 24 hours) before being turned on to allow the oil in the compressor to settle.

Certain refrigerator models such as French Door, Side-by-Side, and Bottom Freezer should never be laid on their side.

The compressor can be damaged, and the cooling coils can become clogged if the refrigerator is turned on its side.

It is important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions and consult the user’s handbook for specific moving instructions.

Key Points:

  • Yes, a refrigerator can be laid down, but it is not ideal.
  • Laying a refrigerator on its side can temporarily affect it, and precautions should be taken to prevent damage.
  • Refrigerators should be left upright for at least 4 hours (maximum 24 hours) before being turned on to allow the oil in the compressor to settle.
  • Certain refrigerator models such as French Door, Side-by-Side, and Bottom Freezer should never be laid on their side.
  • The compressor can be damaged, and the cooling coils can become clogged if the refrigerator is turned on its side.
  • It is important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions and consult the user’s handbook for specific moving instructions.

Did You Know?

1. Contrary to what many people believe, it is actually possible to lay a refrigerator down. However, this should only be done for a short period of time, and it is recommended to avoid doing so whenever possible.

2. When transporting a refrigerator, it is best to keep it upright. This is because laying it down can cause the oil from the compressor to flow into the cooling lines, which can lead to damage and a reduced cooling capacity.

3. Some refrigerators have a specific feature called a “transport mode” that allows them to be laid down temporarily without causing any harm. This mode keeps the compressor and cooling lines protected during transportation.

4. If you do need to lay a refrigerator down, make sure to let it stand upright for at least 24 hours before plugging it in. This helps to ensure that any oils or coolants have settled back into their proper positions before you start using the appliance.

5. It’s worth noting that not all refrigerators can be laid down safely. It’s always recommended to consult the manufacturer’s guidelines or contact customer support before attempting to transport a refrigerator in a position other than upright.

Temporary Effects Of Laying A Refrigerator On Its Side

Laying a refrigerator on its side may be necessary in certain situations, such as when moving or transporting the appliance. While refrigerators are typically transported upright to avoid potential damage, temporarily laying them on their side is generally safe. However, it is important to note that this can have some temporary effects on the refrigerator.

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When a refrigerator is laid on its side, the oil in the compressor can run off and potentially clog the cooling coils. This can prevent the refrigerant gas from passing through and chilling the refrigerator properly. However, this is only a temporary issue that can be easily resolved. It is crucial to leave the refrigerator upright for a certain period before turning it back on to prevent any long-term damage.

  • Laying a refrigerator on its side may be necessary in certain situations, such as when moving or transporting the appliance.
  • Refrigerators are typically transported upright to avoid potential damage.
  • Temporary effects may occur when a refrigerator is laid on its side, including the oil in the compressor potentially clogging the cooling coils.
  • This can prevent the refrigerant gas from passing through and chilling the refrigerator properly.
  • To prevent any long-term damage, it is crucial to leave the refrigerator upright for a certain period before turning it back on.

    “It is important to note that laying a refrigerator on its side should be done temporarily and with caution, as it may have temporary effects on the appliance’s functionality.”

Precautions For Laying Certain Refrigerator Models On Their Side

Although laying a refrigerator on its side is usually safe, some models require extra precautions and should never be laid on their side. French Door, Side-by-Side, and Bottom Freezer models fall into this category. These refrigerator designs have specific configurations that make them more susceptible to damage when laid on their side.

Therefore, it is essential to consult the user’s handbook or the manufacturer’s website for specific moving instructions. Some models may have specific requirements, such as placing a certain side first when laying the refrigerator down. By following these guidelines, you can avoid potential damage and ensure the safe transportation of your refrigerator.

Potential Damage To Compressor And Cooling Coils

One of the main concerns when laying a refrigerator on its side is the potential damage to the compressor and cooling coils. The compressor plays a vital role in the refrigeration process by evaporating and condensing the refrigerant gas with the help of specially made oils. When the refrigerator is turned on its side, these oils can run off, causing the cooling coils to become clogged.

Running the compressor with insufficient lubricating oil can lead to damage and overheating. Additionally, the compressor may be at risk of physical damage, as the brackets supporting it may give way or internal parts may become displaced. To avoid these issues, it is crucial to allow the refrigerator to rest upright for at least 4 hours (but no more than 24 hours) before turning it on.

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Safe Transportation Tips For Laying A Refrigerator Down

When laying a refrigerator down for transportation, it is important to follow these precautions to ensure its safety:

  • Tip the refrigerator sideways instead of laying it flat to prevent spilling of compressor oils.
  • Place the refrigerator on the opposite side of where the compressor lines exit to minimize potential damage to the compressor.

Before moving the refrigerator, remember to take the following steps:

  • Clean out the interior to avoid spills and spoilage of food.
  • Transfer frozen and refrigerated foods to picnic coolers during transportation.
  • Remove or immobilize shelves and crisper drawers securely to prevent damage.

To keep the doors from opening during transport, secure them with tape, twine, rope, or ratchet straps. Additionally, wrap the refrigerator in a blanket or drop cloth to provide an extra layer of protection for the appliance’s finish.

By following these safe transportation tips, you can ensure that your refrigerator arrives at its destination unharmed.

Importance Of Allowing The Refrigerator To Settle Upright After Being Laid On Its Side

After laying a refrigerator on its side for transportation, it is essential to allow it to settle in an upright position before turning it on. This resting period allows the compressor oils to settle back into their proper place. Failing to observe this step can result in long-term damage to the compressor and cooling coils.

It is recommended to leave the refrigerator upright for the same amount of time it was on its side. This ensures that the oils have enough time to redistribute and that the refrigerator is ready to operate efficiently. By following this important step, you can protect your refrigerator from potential damage and ensure its optimal functioning.

Laying a refrigerator on its side is generally safe for temporary periods. However, it is crucial to follow precautions and allow the refrigerator to rest upright before turning it back on. Certain refrigerator models require additional care and should never be laid on their side. By taking the necessary steps and following the manufacturer’s guidelines, you can safely transport your refrigerator without causing any damage to its compressor, cooling coils, or other internal components.


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Frequently Asked Questions

Is it okay to transport a refrigerator laying down?

To transport a refrigerator, it is important to handle it properly in order to prevent any potential damage. It is generally not recommended to lay it down flat on its front or back due to the risk of causing harm. Instead, it is advised to securely strap it in an upright position to the side of a moving truck or other tall vehicle. However, if laying it down becomes necessary, it should only be done on either the left or right side to minimize any potential harm.

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How long can you lay a fridge down?

When transporting a fridge, it is important to keep it upright for as long as possible. However, if you do need to lay it down briefly for servicing or cleaning purposes, make sure it is only for a few minutes. In such cases, a short stand time will suffice. On the other hand, if the fridge has been on its side for more than a day, it is advisable to leave it standing upright for 24 hours before running it again. This ensures that any oil or refrigerant that may have moved during transportation gets enough time to settle back into their proper positions, preventing potential damage to the compressor.

Can you lay a refrigerator down and then plug it in?

Yes, it is possible to lay a refrigerator down and then plug it in, but it is important to consider certain precautions. During transport, the refrigerator can experience vibrations and movement, causing internal components to shift. It is advisable to allow the appliance to settle before plugging it in. If the refrigerator was transported upright, it is recommended to wait for at least an hour before connecting it to the power source. Conversely, if it was transported on its side, it should be turned upright and left undisturbed for a minimum of four hours. This period allows the internal fluids and components to stabilize, ensuring optimal performance once it is plugged in and powered on.

Can you lay a refrigerator down for a few minutes?

No, it is not advisable to lay a refrigerator down, even for a brief period. The act of laying it down, even momentarily, can cause the oil to enter the small tubes inside the refrigerator. This can lead to the oil taking a long time to drain and potentially “plugging” those tubes. It is crucial to avoid any situation where those small tubes become blocked, as it may prevent the refrigerator from functioning properly. Therefore, it is best to keep the refrigerator upright at all times.

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