Moving a Refrigerator

We installed a new refrigerator in our old house a few years ago, using a bike to transport both the old and new refrigerators. Here's how we did it.

loading old refrigerator onto trailer

We first had to remove the old refrigerator. We backed the trailer up to the back door, which fortunately was at the same level as the top of the trailer. We simply rolled the old refrigerator out the door using an appliance dolly over the back end of the trailer, then tipped the refrigerator over on its side. The trailer fenders supported the weight of the refrigerator over the wheels. We tied the refrigerator down with a few bungee cords, leaving the appliance dolly strapped to the refrigerator so it could be easily moved around when we reached our destination.

(Although the bulk of the weight of most refrigerators is in the bottom [where the compressor is located], it's still a good idea to carry a refrigerator on a bike trailer laying on its side, not standing upright. Otherwise, the refrigerator might tip over when rounding a turn or going over a curb. When hauling a refrigerator on its side, it's a good idea to load it so that the side nearest the compressor is on the bottom. This not only make the trailer more stable, it prevents oil in the compressor from flowing down and clogging the expansion valve. If you don't do this, you'll likely have to wait a few hours before the refrigerator will work properly.)


old refrigerator in transit

Old refrigerators, we were told, tend to be heavier than new ones, and this one was no exception. It probably weighed about 250 lbs (113 kg). The actual process of carrying a refrigerator on a bike, tho, isn't difficult. It is, after all, mostly just a big, empty, steel box. The trailer is quite stable as long as the refrigerator is loaded properly over the wheels.

The staff at the appliance store helped us unload the old refrigerator and load up the new one. We decided to carry it in its original packaging to prevent scratching it in transit. The new refrigerator was shipped in styrofoam, surrounded by plastic wrap, with cardboard on the ends. One side was marked "The Refrigerator May Be Laid On This Side While in Transit", so we put that side down on the trailer. We secured it to the trailer using bungee cords like we had on the old refrigerator.


new refrigerator in transit

The new 18.1 cu ft. refrigerator weighed about 200 lbs; it was noticably lighter than the old one even tho it was larger in size. Once we arrived at our destination, we backed the trailer to the door as before.


backing up new refrigerator

We unloaded the refrigerator by sliding it thru the door, then turning it upright. We removed the packaging, installed the shelving and produce trays, and plugged it in. In a few hours, we were enjoying some cold glasses of orange juice.


new refrigerator, installed

Here's the new refrigerator, installed.


(Special thanks to the people at Ken's Appliance for letting us use their dolly, helping us unload and load our refrigerator at their store, and offering advice on this job.)