Can You Lay a Mini Fridge on Its Side to Transport It Easily?

Updated: | Author: Brad Javernick | Affiliate links may be present.

People often do not put much thought into transporting a mini fridge because it is easier to transport than a full size appliance, but there are components in the mini fridge that should not rattle or move around during transport.

Most experts recommend that a mini fridge should remain in an upright position at all times. They recommend against transporting a mini fridge on its side because of the damage this can cause. Once a mini fridge is damaged, it’s not worth the cost to fix it.

However, if the mini fridge must be transported on its side, I’ve outlined a few steps below that can be followed to prevent damage as much as possible.

You shouldn’t lay a mini fridge on its side in order to transport it, as it’s more sensitive than a regular refrigerator. You can, however, take a few precautionary steps to keep any potential damage to a minimum, including emptying the fridge, placing it inside a box, using cardboard as padding, and securing it with a rope or strap.

Before You Move Your Mini Fridge

  1. Start with unplugging your mini fridge to allow it to defrost.
  2. Remove all food and beverage items from inside the mini fridge.
  3. After the fridge is thoroughly defrosted, clean and sanitize the fridge. Dirt or mold can damage the mini fridge in addition to being a health hazard.
  4. Remove all drawers, racks, and shelves that are removable. Components inside the mini fridge can crack and break. These components can be wrapped up and either transported separately outside of the mini fridge or inside provided they are secured so that they do not rattle around during transport.

Scope of Damage When You Lay a Mini Fridge on Its Side

The primary concern is shifting fluids. Refrigerant, lubricants, and oil can shift and move into areas or components of the mini fridge where they do not belong. This can either cause a decrease in its efficiency or a more serious damage that could make it stop working altogether.

The compressor can be damaged. Oil can drain from the compressor into the refrigerant lines causing the compressor to lock up when the mini fridge is plugged back in after being transported on its side.

Disruption of the shelves can cause damage. The shelves inside the mini fridge can slide around becoming dislodged and bounce around, which could cause damage to mini fridge mechanical components.

How to Move a Mini Fridge on Its Side As Safely As Possible

If the mini fridge must be transported on its side, it must be securely strapped down so that it is not jostled during transport to avoid permanent damage.

Don’t transport the mini fridge on its front or back. Transporting on its back is especially risky because the weight of its body can damage the components on the back of the mini fridge where the compressor is located, even if they are not exposed.

Avoid jostling the fridge while carrying it or when it’s being transported. Jostling while it’s on its side will damage your mini fridge.

Don’t let the mini fridge sit on its side for extended periods of time. The longer it sits on its side, the more likely the mini fridge will be damaged.

Keep It Still During Transport

Use a Box

Move the mini fridge in a box, if possible, to keep it secured. A box will provide the mini fridge with the stability it requires so that it does not move around during transport.

Put extra cardboard under the fridge for protection. This will provide extra padding and cushioning for your mini fridge during transport.

Use a Rope

Use a rope to tie it down and secure it to something so that it doesn’t move. Maybe secure it to the side of the moving truck/van or a heavy piece of furniture so that it will not move during transport.

Use Both

To provide maximum safety for your mini fridge when it’s transported on its side, place it securely in a box with newspaper or other cushioning to keep it from moving during transport.

In addition to placing the mini fridge in a box, use a rope to securely strap down the box with the mini fridge inside. Attach the rope to the side of the moving truck/van or something heavy so that the box does not move during transport.

Secure the Plug

It is also important to tightly secure the plug so that it is not damaged during transport.

  • Wrap it with a twist tie.
  • Do not let it dangle during transport because it can snag or tear against something.

Final Thoughts

If your mini fridge must be transported on its side, take all the precautions provided above to avoid permanent damage. It is extremely important to let the mini fridge stand upright for 24 hours before plugging it in and turning it on.

The fluids that shifted during transport while the mini fridge was on its side need to settle back into their correct places. If the mini fridge is plugged in prematurely, it can be permanently damaged.

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About Brad Javernick

Brad is a licensed home inspector and the editor of Home Oomph. He's a massive DIYer, and loves to take on new home renovation projects!

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