Unhooking a Refrigerator

Replacing an existing refrigerator or moving it to a new location requires some basic preparation and disconnection procedures. Proper disconnection will help reduce the possibility of damage and ensure your refrigerator is ready for transport. For best results, start the process on the day prior to moving to allow time for the interior to dry. Doing so will reduce the possibility of mold or mildew.

Unhooking a refrigerator requires more than just unplugging it.

Step 1

Turn the refrigerator off, and slide the refrigerator away from the wall far enough to safely disconnect the power cord from the outlet.  Doing so at least 24 hours prior to moving will allow the unit to return to room temperature, making it safer to move.

Hook the disconnected end of the power cord over the top of the refrigerator or safely out of the way. 

Step 2

Remove all food and wipe the interior clean with paper towels.  If the unit is equipped with an ice maker, empty the ice storage bin.

Step 3

Turn off the water supply line valve by rotating the handle in a clockwise direction as far as it will turn.  Disconnect supply line from refrigerator by turning the nut in a counterclockwise direction with an adjustable wrench.

Place the disconnected end of the line into a bucket to catch any excess water. 

Step 4

Secure or remove any loose shelves, drawers or interior parts.  Tape or tie the refrigerator door shut for safety.

Things You Will Need

  • Adjustable wrench
  • Phillips and flat-head screwdrivers
  • Bucket
  • Paper towels
  • Packing tape


  • On some models, the power cord may be designed to be removed by the customer for transport.
  • The water supply line valve may be located on the wall behind your refrigerator or near where it is tied into your main water line under the kitchen sink.


  • Be careful not to tip the refrigerator over.
  • Most manufacturers caution against placing a refrigerator on its back.

About the Author

Jeff O'Kelley is a professional photographer and writer, currently based in the Tampa, Florida area. His images and words have been featured by websites and publications such as CNN, Creative Loafing and Tampa Bay Times. O'Kelley holds associate degrees in telecommunications and website design from St. Petersburg College.

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images