How to Move a Refrigerator Down the Stairs

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Moving a refrigerator down the stairs can be a risky venture. A fridge is one of the heaviest appliances in your home, and can cause bodily harm, damage to your walls and floor -- and damage to the refrigerator itself if not handled with the utmost care. Don't attempt to do the job yourself. Gather a crew together strong enough to put in serious physical labor, and remind each person to lift with their legs. Once you get your fridge relocated and plugged in, reward each mover with a cold, hard-earned beverage.

  • Prepare the fridge by removing food and detachable parts that could shift during the move. Take out ice trays, shelves and drawers; pack them away carefully, but keep them easily accessible for quick replacement once your fridge reaches its new location. Tape or tie down refrigerator and freezer doors, so they don’t swing open in transit.

  • Unplug the fridge. Pull it forward about a foot in length, to keep the appliance from scraping or denting the wall when you tip it back for transport. Wrap your refrigerator in a blanket or furniture pad, to protect it from scratches, scrapes or dents during the move.

  • Rock the fridge back far enough to get a furniture dolly underneath; fasten the dolly straps around the fridge to ensure it's attached securely. Tip the fridge and dolly backward, to easily transport the appliance at a slight angle. Don’t tip the refrigerator so far back that the angle is extreme; refrigerators should be transported as upright as possible, to keep compressor oil from flowing into the cooling lines.

  • Scout the route of transit before the move. Count the number of stairs down which you’ll need to move the fridge; also, make note of banisters, turns and the width of the stairwell. Position a leader at the bottom of the stair well to direct movers through each step. Progress slowly, taking one step at a time. The person handling the dolly and the people supporting the bottom and sides of the fridge should be in constant communication, and should make coordinated, synchronized movements until the job is done.

  • Wear heavy gloves and boots to protect your hands and feet during the move. Boots protect your toes in case of an accidental stumble, and provide traction to your feet, enabling you to step safely and securely. Gloves help you grip the appliance securely, and protect your fingers in case your hand is squished or pinned during the move.

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  • Photo Credit Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Getty Images
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