Any tips for moving refrigerators purchased second hand?

21 Replies

I'm looking to purchase a refrigerator from Craigslist or similar, to save money. I can DIY a lot of things, but refrigerators are too heavy for me.

How do you move yours? @Jim K. ?

@Mindy Jensen I tip it over into the back of my truck.  When I unload I leave it upright for about an hour.  If you don't have a truck, find a friend that has a truck.

Also depending on the spread you can find people on craigslist that will help you move it for a small fee.  If you buy a $300 fridge adding $50 in delivery is still better than $1200 delivered fridge.  

Lastly the seller will sometimes deliver if you ask.  

Good luck!

@Mindy Jensen if you get the straps where two people can lift it together, it really isn't that heavy or tough, check out forearm forklift moving straps at Home Depot and find a friend.  I was surprised to be able to lift stoves and refrigerators without much difficulty and going downstairs!  

That's how movers move heavy appliances without destroying their knees and backs. 

If not, I would look to hire someone off of craigslist or nextdoor looking to make an extra $50-$75 to move the fridge. 

Rent a truck that has a lift on the back so the refrigerator can remain upright and does not have to be lifted manually. If rolling the refrigerator over a nice hardwood floor or another kind of floor that a could be damaged, have two pieces of thin Masonite hardboard, about 3 feet by 4 feet, so you can roll the fridge onto one, then move the other into the path, until you get to the destination.

A dolly/hand truck and my van.  Remove the seats and lay it in.

Like stone mentions, a short time on its side will require you to leave upright for an hour or two prior to plugging in until the Freon re-stabilizes.

If long time on it's side, wait a full 24 hrs upright before plugging in.  Don't forget to remove any glass shelves , ice cube trays,  etc prior to laying it over!

I used a hand dolly rented from home depot.  also find someone with an open trailer. Preferably with a tall ramp that sticks high when it's closed.  Helps support the fridge.  

Home Depot usually will rent you a truck for around $20 an hour.  In the past when I have need to move bulky items I just rent the Home Depot truck for an hour or two.

@Mindy Jensen

Find a Craigslist seller who will deliver it (there are plenty of them out there for sure). Some don't even charge :)

You can also have your contractor pick it up for you

Originally posted by @Mindy Jensen :

I'm looking to purchase a refrigerator from Craigslist or similar, to save money. I can DIY a lot of things, but refrigerators are too heavy for me.

How do you move yours? @Jim K.?

Sorry it took me so long today, Mindy. Forget the van, forget the truck, move the thing upright. You're in the clear as long as your main vehicle has a hitch. You rent a small 4×6 utility trailer with a lift ramp from Lowes, HD, a friend, etc. You use a hand truck to pull the fridge up the ramp, then secure the ramp, then use ratcheting load straps to strap the fridge to the middle of the ramp.

The fridge won't be anywhere near heavy enough to cause you axle loading issues even on a small utility trailer.

You can buy a custom hitch and wiring harness for most sedans, vans, station wagons, and utility vehicles. We had to do it with the RAV4 when I stopped borrowing my buddy's Honda Odyssey.

Appliance dollies are well worth the  $$. Don't rent vehicles by the hour at home depot, when for the same price you can rent a pickup at uhaul. And with uhaul you get it all day.

You don't realize how much you needed an appliance dolly until you own one.

Wesco appliance dolly.  A tool I will not live without.  One person can manage most everything except the most massive machines.  Handled our ginormous subzero that bent the tailgate on my farm truck levering it over.

Appliance dolly (with straps) and get a small Uhaul...of course, if you can organize your moving tasks to maximize the Uhaul, it works out better, but renting a Uhaul for a few hours beats tipping it into a pick-up...in my experience, anyway...

Most of my units are on upper floors with narrow stairwells. After a few times I decided my health was not worth the hassle of DIY moving fridges, and hiring the inexperienced would be a disaster, it barely works for 40 gal water heaters. I just suck it up and buy from the big box. Even so, one delivery crew laid waste to my stairwell.

I'm a big fan of lift straps and a hand truck.  If you get the shoulder mounted (hump strap) style, vs the forearm ones, two people can move just about anything, because you are lifting with your legs, and the hand truck has leverage.  Then you just need access to a trailer and some ratcheting straps.

We buy used fridges from a local used appliance store. They're refurbished, and come with a 30 day guarantee, delivery, and disposal of the old one. The last one we got was $300 delivered.

Try not to lay them down while moving them.  If you do the Freon will settle and it takes at LEAST 24 hours for it to drip back down into the reservoir.  If you turn it on before it refills the reservoir, you can burn up the compressor. 

I use a my truck, trailer with a ramp & the proverbial appliance dolly. BUT why is I that the ones that need to be replaced are ALWAYS up 2 flights of stairs. I have a couple of guys that will drop by & split $50 & do it all.  

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