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How to Move a Refrigerator Through a Doorway

Lee Weal

The excitement of a purchasing a new refrigerator might be somewhat tempered once the homeowner has to move the unit into place. Most modern refrigerators are larger than they were in the past. Enlarging a doorway is neither practical nor speedy so it makes more sense to find a way to move the refrigerator through the existing entryways. If there is at least an inch or so of clearance to avoid pinched fingers, the refrigerator can probably make it through as long as the operation is performed carefully.

Measure your space before you buy your refrigerator.
  1. Measure the doorway. If there are narrow hallways leading to the area where the refrigerator will be installed, measure the width of the halls as well.

  2. Measure the width of the refrigerator. Then measure the depth of the unit, with the doors closed, from the door handles to the coils at the back. People often measure the unit itself forgetting that the handles and coils add several inches to the refrigerator's depth.

  3. Open the refrigerator and measure the depth again but this time, measure only from the back including the condenser coils to the front of the open unit, omitting the depth of the doors. This measurement will determine whether the refrigerator can move through the doorway straight on or if it will need to be turned the other way to fit through the doorway.

  4. Remove the handles and doors of the refrigerator, if necessary. Instructions for removing the doors and handles can be found in the manual. If you don't have the manual, look for screws or bolts at the tops and bottoms of handles and door hinges. Unscrew the necessary screws, remove door hinges and place the hardware into a container. If necessary, make notes regarding the placement and order of the nuts and screws as you work as a guide when it is time to reattach the doors and handles.

  5. Carefully remove the doors and place them out of the way.

  6. Place a dolly or hand truck as close to the refrigerator as possible. This step requires the aid of a second person. Tilt the refrigerator back slightly and slide the dolly or hand truck under the refrigerator as far as it will go.

  7. Brace the dolly or hand truck with your foot to hold it in place. The person tilting the refrigerator should now lift it onto the dolly and nudge it into place. Place bungee cords, straps or tape around the refrigerator.

  8. Put cardboard or scrap linoleum down on the floor to protect the flooring. Move the refrigerator onto the cardboard or linoleum, move it into place and remove the dolly.

  9. Reassemble the doors and handles.