Refrigerator Laid On Side When Moving Now Will Not Cool Properly

If you lay your refrigerator on it’s side when you move it, oil inside the compressor may get into the cooling lines. The oil in the compressor is meant to stay in the compressor and every possible precaution to avoid this should be taken. If oil from the compressor does get into the cooling lines of the fridge, the oil may not totally drain out from the cooling lines. If oil from the compressor is in the cooling lines the fridge cannot cool.

Refrigerator Was Laid On Its Side When MovingRefrigerator Was Laid On Its Side When Moving

If you did have your refrigerator on its side when moving or transporting it, once you get it to where it will be installed, leave it in its normal upright position for at least 3 to 4 hours (or longer if possible) before you plug it in to power. If your refrigerator was on its side for more than 24 hours, let it stand upright for 24 hours before plugging it in. Allowing the fridge to stand in its normal position before plugging it in will give the oil time to flow back into the compressor where it belongs. Once you have waited the required time with your fridge upright it may take up to 3 days for the fridge to reach normal cooling temperature. If the refrigerator is not filled with food, it may take even longer.

fridge compressorWhen moving your refrigerator, keep it in the upright position!
Keep the fridge/compressor upright to avoid compressor oil from leaking into cooling lines!

Will I damage my fridge if I lay it on its side or back?
If you must lay the fridge down because of lack of transport space, avoid laying it 100% flat. Tip it at an angle if possible as this will help to keep the oil from flowing out of the compressor. Be sure the cooling and discharge lines on the compressor are facing upward. Remember when transporting your fridge you want to do everything possible to NOT let the compressor oil get into the cooling lines. Avoid laying the fridge completely flat and keeping the compressor tubes face up will help not let the oil into the cooling lines.

always move your refrigerator uprightWhen moving a refrigerator…
Always move your refrigerator in the upright position!

Can I damage the compressor when moving my refrigerator?
The refrigerator compressor is usually sitting inside the compressor housing on springs or rubber feet that support it. The springs or rubber feet hold the compressor in a vertical position. When you move a refrigerator on it’s side the springs or rubber feet on the compressor mount may stretch, break, or bend. If these springs or rubber feet get damaged the fridge may have a loud sound when the compressor starts. Your refrigerator may make shuddering and banging sounds whenever the compressor stops and possibly when it starts. If the springs, rubber feet, or any other part of your refrigerator has been damaged or broken, see below for fridge replacement parts.

fridge partsFridge replacement parts

How to Transport a Fridge by Yourself

Do you have questions or problems with your refrigerator that was laid on it’s side after moving it? Is the fridge not cooling? Please leave your comments and questions below and we will be happy to assist.

More "Do It Yourself" Tips, Tricks, Ideas, Repair:

Appliance Replacement Parts Center Online

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Lara Human February 28, 2017 at 7:26 pm

I travelled with my mini fridge for 3 days in my car.
Unaware that it had to stand upward.
First I switched it on and now it’s freezing everything!
Shall i defrost it and let it stand for a while and try again?


2 Jamie December 5, 2016 at 7:54 pm

I was given a refrigerator that had sat up for 2 years.
When transporting it though it had to be laid on its side.
Once we arrived at our destination and got it unloaded it was left unplugged for 12 hours because it was only on its side for maybe 10 minutes.
Once plugged in I checked it and it won’t get cool and the freezer won’t freeze or even get cool.
What can I do to fix it?


3 shafique Awan October 19, 2016 at 12:24 pm

Recently I shifted my refrigerator from first floor to ground floor.
But its top came down toward the ground and now not cooling.
Is there any possible technique to bring down the compressed oil to have it functioning again?


4 Muhammad Shafeeq Ahmad October 16, 2016 at 11:25 pm

During shifting refrigerator down to stairs it was wrongly downward and its head was on ground side.
Now I start it after a month but cooling system not working.
If their any special technique to down compressed oil from cooling lines to its original position in compressor?
I want that refrigerator compressor oil become in its normal position without repairing.


DIY Project Help Tips 5 DIY Project Help Tips October 18, 2016 at 12:00 am

Muhammad Shafeeq Ahmad,
You have to let the refrigerator sit for a few days before plugging it in if the compressor oil went up the lines.
If the refrigerator will not cool, unplug and let it sit for a couple days.
Plug in after a few days and try again.
Let us know if the fridge begins to cool after a couple days just sitting upright.


6 Lee July 7, 2016 at 12:05 pm

I just got a fridge used from someone else. It supposedly worked. Upon transporting it we needed to put it on its side to bring it in the truck but put it upright in the truck during the transport. Unloading it, it was on its side for aprox 10 minutes. We brought it in and plugged it. At first there was a burning smell we figured it was the dust burning. It is an old fridge (cold spot 1970). The burning smell went away and when I checked inside it was heating up. So we unplugged it and left it for 12 hours. Upon plugging it again the same thing happened where it started heating up again, and again I unplugged it.


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