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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.

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39 thoughts on “Refrigerator Laid On Side When Moving Now Will Not Cool Properly”

  1. Tim,
    When you transport a refrigerator on its back, like in your case, it’s important to let it sit unplugged and upright for at least 24 hours to allow the oil to return to the compressor. After this period, plug it back in and monitor for any unusual noises and ensure both the fridge and freezer are cooling effectively. Allowing the fridge to stand for the recommended duration usually resolves any potential issues. Yu should be just fine!

  2. Hi so I just moved a used fridge and in the process of moving I did put it on its back during the 5 minute truck ride. I plugged it in when I got it in my room but like 5 hours later I came across this information and unplugged it immediately. The freezer was getting pretty cold but the fridge only a little bit so far. If I let it sit now for 24 hours or so do you think my fridge will be okay?

  3. Graciela M Ribeiro

    we moved a used fridge laying down, as soon as it got home we plugged it in and it turned on, cooled a little bit but freezer does not freeze just cools. After wards we read online to leave unplugged so we unplugged but the same thing. there was no noise or rattling. how can I fix it?

  4. Kingston Mwanjasi

    Transported my upright fridge sideways then waited for 7 days to settle down, now I switch on and it cuts off after a few seconds. What should I do?

  5. I would start with the external wiring on the top front of the fridge. Make sure everything is good on connection. Make sure the cord was not compromised in any way. I would lean more toward something came unplugged unless the falling over was a fair impact. If every thing checks out on plug to play options. Your best investment would be a tick tester or a tester that you can trace to see how far the electric 120v is going. From the cord in. A tick tester is nice because it can tell you where there is power just by touching it to the wire inductive. However hard to isolate multiple wires. Be careful. Good luck.

  6. I move my frigde standing transporting more than 80 km after that I put plug on without wait so now it’s not cooling. What must I do?

  7. Maytag French door refrigerator model MFD2561heb – We hauled our refrigerator on the side flat for probably 10 mins home. This a 15 yr old refrigerator we let it sit upright for 2 days before plugging it back in. The refrigerator is only getting down to the lowest of 44 degrees and the freezer is down to 15 16 degrees. We thought it was possibly low on Freon. It was very little so we recharged with 2 psi of r134a, and is still doing the same thing with the temperature. No noise from compressor or anywhere else, no frost build up on freezer either.

  8. Hello, my freezer was lay down flat for 1 hour to get to my new home.
    Waited 6 hours, then I plugged it in.
    The inner freezer still feels like a room temperature after 4th days but the outer body feels cold . What is that mean?

  9. I moved my fridge flat on a distance, and plugged it in on after like an hour it arrived but is not cooling..It’s been on for like 20 minute ..now have turn it off..Could it be that the fridge is yet to unlock or what?

  10. Ok so i just received a fridge a few days ago, my mom gave me it. It was her old fridge. Worked just fine when I went to pick it up. Brought it home and i plugged it in. I did tilt it at an angle when moving it. Left it plugged in overnight thinking it was ok then it wasn’t cold in the morning. Looked up information for why it wasn’t cooking and left it unplugged for 24 hours. The fans are blowing and there is no rattling or unusual noise except like a little click every 5 minutes or every 10 minutes like it clicks and pulls extra power because my light flickers in the fridge when it happens. Any advice? Doesn’t cool or freeze but it hasn’t been long since i plugged it back in.

  11. Sounds like coolant leaks or other parts breaking may happen when moving a refrigerator so it cannot be assumed oil in the lines is always the problem.
    It would be nice if they put the entire refrigerators cooling system into a module on the back that could be removed and replaced with a new cooling module, like installing a new window air conditioner.
    In fact some people have altered the temperature sensor in an air conditioner so it could be used to make a walk in refrigerator room. So there are options for the mechanical minded.

  12. ALLEN VETTER - DIY Repair Assistant

    Let the refrigerator stand upright for AT LEAST 24 hours before plugging in.
    If you already plugged it in before waiting for 24 hours, unplug it, let it sit for 48 hours to let the oils, refrigerant settle.
    After this time, plug back in and give the refrigerator some time to begin to cool, be sure compressor runs within 15 minutes of plugging it in.
    Also check to be sure the control panel is set properly so the fridge is not in some sort of NO COOLING MODE.

  13. Unknowingly I transported my Refrigerator from one location to another 100% flat.
    I plugged it in after few days, I can’t feel cold air after it is on for half hour, the light is on but I can’t hear any sound from compressor.
    Does the fridge stop working or I need to leave it on for a day to check?

  14. I had a friend give me a fridge. Upon getting it sit up inside we plugged it in. Although it was only laying about half way down, we plugged it in and immediately smelled a horrible smell coming from it. The fridge was transport in a upright position and only laying in a half way position about 5 minutes. Once inside we stood it upright and proceeded toplugg it up. My question : “what caused the terrible smell coming from it??” We immediately unplugged it! What else do we need to do?

  15. This exact thing happened to me yesterday. Now my unit isn’t cooling, but I know it worked before I bought it because the seller let me go by to check it out. Did you ever get your fixed? Do you have any advice on what I can do to get my unit working?

  16. Is it fixable, is my question. I bought a 2nd hand Whirlpool side by side, and not knowing better, transported it on it’s back. I left it upright for nearly 24 hours after getting it home and cleaning it. Now it won’t cool. I can hear it running, and I had cleaned off the dust collection from the coils before plugging it in. Is this fixable by a basic guy like myself or might there now be a bigger issue?

  17. The fridge was working fine when it left the starting location. It fell over while in transport – not secured properly and fell forward about 60 degrees when caught by another device. It was then laid on it’s back for about 20 min until it reached its destination. When the fridge was plugged in, it did not work – no visible signs of power (Lights didn’t work, no motor sound). Any advice? What’s the first thing to check? It’s now resting upright, unplugged.

  18. Fridge moved on its side plugged it in for 5 min before told I couldn’t unplugged it six hours later plugged it in fan nothing is running now why??

  19. What to do if already transported the fridge for about 30 and left upright for a couple of hours
    Now it doesn’t cool but freezer does.

    How to fix it
    Thank you

  20. I bought a second hand fridge laid it down to transport 1 1/2 hrs door openings down. I have let sit 12hrs but trips breaker straight away, I didn’t check it when I bought it but apparently it was running I asked them to turn it off to settle. Is it fixable. Brent

  21. Rhulani khumalo

    Morning Sir/Madam
    Please advice me here ,I was transporting my fridge to my current locatin ,on the way fridge fell down from bakkie.now when I on it does not show any power or it does not on .I need identify a problem .

  22. I have my refrigerator delivered through Dolly a national moving services. It was delivered laying flat on its bag. I nearly died ! My biggest concern is the racket it’s making. And the sounds keep changing? At first it was a strong clicking noise but we immediately and plugged it for an hour to and then I got better now it’s just raining very loud . How do I know if this was a problem before it was delivered or if it happened because of the way it was delivered ?

  23. I layed down my fridge while transporting it…when i switched it on,it made sound as if there was some fluid in the cooling compartmental lines…switched it off since then
    How do i ensure that the fluid goes back to the compressor?

  24. Moved Whirlpool 10.7 cu ft on side for a total of about an hour. Let stand upright for 24 hours. The compressor and interior fan is running but there is absolutely no cooling after running all night.

  25. Andrew Miller

    Moved upright kenmore coldspot 106.92
    Leaned it over no more than 30 seconds
    Had it running for 24 hrs blowing hot air- how bad is the damage?

  26. Not a Handyman

    I moved a large fridge to the basement and had it turned completely upside down when getting it down the stairs. I did not let it stand for hours or days before plugging it in and it seems to be cooling fine. But I notice 2 things. First, the freezer seems to be continuously running (not good) and the air being discharged from the back of the unit is coming out cold. Is this something that can be fixed and if so how?

  27. I have westpoint refrigerator Model No.WRR-209.It was moved laying on its side and unknowingly plugged immediately to power.after that the freezer is working but the cooler stoped cooling. What will be the solution to repair it.thank you for your assistance.

  28. We moved our fridge and had to lay it down but we weren’t aware of not plugging it in for x amount of time till after we had already plugged it in. Is it ruined? Or will unplugging it for some hours still work? It wasn’t getting cold when we plugged it in.

  29. My fridge fell and now it’s super hot but the freezer still works any ideas???

  30. Stephanie Gusmano

    We did not wait to plug in a used refrigerator we purchased and now it’s not cooling what to do?

  31. The frig was transported on its side for 3-5 hours. We plugged it in after 2 hours of being upright, we didn’t know about letting it sit. It has been working fine for almost a month. Today, the frig is hitting temps of 70. The freezer is working fine at 28. Should we unplug it and let it sit for maybe 24 hours?

  32. Gena Robinson

    I did all the things listed above after moving the fridge on it back.
    It still will not get cold.
    Am I missing something or is it permanently damaged?

  33. Hi just had fridge freezer given to me transported on sat was on its side didnt realise you had to let it settle so witched it on, Fridge light on fine setting at 2 for 3 hrs not cooling then turned to setting 4 overnite still not cooling. Tried 5 setting still not cooling so swithced off and left for 24hrs. Turned back on today at 5pm working but not cooling as yet any advice??, Is this now broken for good will I have to buy new one> such a shame its perfect size and in good order.

  34. 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?

  35. 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?

  36. 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?

  37. DIY Project Help Tips

    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.

  38. Muhammad Shafeeq Ahmad

    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.

  39. 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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