How Do You Fix a Refrigerator That Was Laying Down

When transporting a refrigerator, it’s often necessary to lay it down to fit it into a vehicle or move it through tight spaces. However, laying a refrigerator on its side can cause issues that need to be addressed before you can safely use it again

How Do You Fix a Refrigerator That Was Laying Down

Understanding the steps to properly fix a refrigerator that has been laid down is crucial to ensure it runs efficiently and avoids potential damage. In this guide on how do you fix a refrigerator that was laying down, we’ll walk you through the essential steps to get your refrigerator back in working order and ready for use.

Why Laying Down a Refrigerator Can Cause Problems

Laying down a refrigerator can lead to several potential issues primarily related to the internal fluids and components.

Refrigerators contain both oil and refrigerant that are crucial for the cooling system. When a refrigerator is laid down, the oil from the compressor can flow into the refrigerant lines, disrupting the necessary circulation of the refrigerant.

This can cause the compressor to struggle or fail when the refrigerator is turned back on.

Additionally, any air bubbles that enter the refrigerant lines during transport can impede the system’s efficiency, potentially leading to cooling problems or even permanent damage if not addressed.

Understanding these risks underscores the importance of taking proper precautions when moving a refrigerator to avoid these common yet preventable issues.

Needed Materials

Before attempting to fix a refrigerator that has been laid down, you’ll need to gather several materials to ensure a smooth and safe repair process. These include:

Soft Towels or Blankets:

Lay Down Soft Towels

To protect the exterior of your refrigerator from scratches or dents, it’s essential to lay down soft towels or blankets before positioning it on its side. This will also provide a cushioning layer to prevent any potential damage to the doors or handles while moving the refrigerator.

A Dolly:

Using a dolly can make transporting a refrigerator easier and less physically demanding. Make sure the dolly is equipped with straps to secure the refrigerator in place during transport.

Refrigerator Oil:

If you suspect oil has entered the refrigerant lines, you’ll need to add more oil to balance out the system’s required levels. Make sure to use the appropriate type of oil for your specific refrigerator model.

A Level:

To ensure the refrigerator is properly positioned before turning it on, you’ll need a level to check its placement. If the refrigerator is not level, it can lead to cooling problems or cause the doors to not close correctly.

7 Steps on How Do You Fix a Refrigerator That Was Laying Down

Step 1: Unplug the Refrigerator

Unplug the Refrigerator From the Power Source

Before beginning any repairs or adjustments, it is crucial to unplug the refrigerator from the power source. This is an essential safety precaution to prevent electrical shock or any accidental activation of the appliance during the fixing process.

Locate the power cord at the back of the refrigerator and carefully disconnect it from the outlet.

Ensuring that the refrigerator is completely powered off allows you to proceed with the necessary steps without any risk to yourself or the appliance.

Step 2: Let the Refrigerator Stand Upright

Once you have safely unplugged the refrigerator, the next crucial step is to let it stand upright. This allows any displaced oil in the refrigerant lines to return to the compressor and settle into its proper place.

It is recommended to let the refrigerator stand upright for at least as long as it was laid down, but ideally, you should wait a minimum of 24 hours.

This waiting period ensures that the internal fluids are correctly redistributed and minimizes the risk of damage when the refrigerator is turned back on.

During this time, you can also use a level to verify that the refrigerator is in a completely upright position.

This will help guarantee that the unit operates efficiently and that doors close properly once it is powered back on. Patience during this stage is vital to avoid long-term issues and to maintain the longevity and performance of your refrigerator.

Step 3: Clean the Exterior and Interior

While waiting for the refrigerator to stand upright, it’s an excellent opportunity to clean both the exterior and interior of your appliance.

Dust or debris may have accumulated during the transport process, and cleaning it will help ensure optimal performance once you turn on the refrigerator.

Mild Soap Solution

Use a soft cloth and mild soap solution to wipe down the exterior surfaces, including doors, handles, and control panels.

For any stubborn stains or spills inside the refrigerator, mix warm water with baking soda and use a sponge to gently scrub them away. Make sure to dry all surfaces thoroughly before proceeding to the next step.

Step 4: Check for Fluid Leaks

After the refrigerator has had ample time to stand upright and redistribute its internal fluids, the next step is to check for any fluid leaks. Inspect the area around the refrigerator, paying close attention to the base and any visible connections.

Look for signs of oil or refrigerant leaks, which can appear as puddles, damp spots, or oily residue on the floor.

If you detect any leaks, it’s crucial to address them immediately before proceeding. Use a flashlight to help you see into tighter spaces and check all accessible areas around the compressor and refrigerant lines.

In the event of a significant leak or if you are unsure about any findings, it is advisable to consult a professional technician to assess and fix the issue. Ignoring leaks can lead to more severe damage, reducing the efficiency and lifespan of your refrigerator.

Once you are confident that there are no leaks, you can proceed to the next steps of the repair process.

Step 5: Plug in the Refrigerator

After ensuring that there are no leaks and the refrigerator has been standing upright for an adequate amount of time, you can now plug it back into the power source.

Carefully Connect the Power Cord

Carefully connect the power cord to the outlet and switch on the appliance. Listen carefully for any unusual sounds or vibrations coming from the compressor, which may indicate a problem.

Leave the refrigerator running for at least a few hours before checking its temperature.

You can use a thermometer to verify that it is cooling properly. If you have any concerns about its performance, wait several more hours before rechecking the temperature. It is essential to have patience during this stage, as the refrigerator may take some time to reach its optimal temperature.

Step 6: Adjust the Temperature Settings

If you notice that the refrigerator is not cooling properly or has difficulty maintaining a consistent temperature, you may need to adjust its temperature settings. Refer to your owner’s manual for specific instructions on how to do this for your particular model.

Typically, adjusting the thermostat to a cooler setting can help compensate for any potential damage caused by laying down the refrigerator. However, it is crucial to monitor and maintain safe temperatures inside the appliance at all times. If the problem persists, it is best to consult a professional technician for further assistance.

Step 7: Regular Maintenance and Care

After successfully fixing your refrigerator that was laid down, it’s crucial to prioritize regular maintenance and care to keep it running smoothly. This includes cleaning the condenser coils at least twice a year, checking for any leaks or unusual sounds regularly, and replacing broken parts as needed.

Additionally, always refer to your owner’s manual for specific instructions on how to properly maintain your refrigerator model. By following these steps on how do you fix a refrigerator that was laying down, you can ensure your appliance stays in optimal condition and prolong its lifespan.

In case of any problems or concerns, do not hesitate to seek professional help. With proper care and maintenance, your refrigerator will continue to provide efficient cooling for years to come.

Additional Tips for Safe Transportation of Refrigerators

In addition to the steps mentioned above, here are some extra tips that can help ensure a safe and hassle-free transportation process for your refrigerator:

  • Avoid laying down your refrigerator if possible. If it cannot be avoided, make sure to follow the steps outlined in this guide.
  • Double-check that all shelves, drawers, and other removable parts are securely in place before moving the refrigerator.
  • Use proper lifting techniques to avoid straining your back or causing injury. If possible, enlist the help of others to move the refrigerator safely.
  • Consider hiring professional movers who specialize in transporting appliances for a stress-free experience and added protection during transportation.

By following these tips and taking necessary precautions, you can ensure a smooth and successful process when transporting your refrigerator. Remember to always prioritize safety and patience throughout the entire process for optimal results!


Fixing a refrigerator that was laid down during transport may seem like a daunting task, but by following these steps on how do you fix a refrigerator that was laying down, you can ensure a successful repair process.

Always prioritize safety precautions and carefully follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Remember to let the refrigerator stand upright before plugging it in, clean both exterior and interior surfaces, and check for any fluid leaks before turning it on.

Monitor its performance and adjust temperature settings if necessary. With regular maintenance and care, your refrigerator will continue to serve you efficiently.  So, always keep these tips in mind when transporting or moving your refrigerator. Happy cooling!

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