What Happens If You Plug A Fridge In Too Soon?

Did you recently transfer your refrigerator or receive a newly delivered one? If you want to plug it in soon, but wonder if you should wait, don't worry—we got your back. To help you, we asked the experts, and here's what they said.

When you plug a refrigerator in right after relocation or delivery, it may lead to serious mechanical issues. Not placing the appliance in an upright position disturbs the compressor oil. Technicians recommend waiting several hours before turning on a refrigerator that has been moved.

Refrigerators are essential appliances in any home or food business. In this post, we'll explore related topics, such as the best time to plug a refrigerator in and parts and maintenance. Please keep on reading to learn more.

Cropped view of man holding unplugged power cord of fridge isolated on white. - What Happens If You Plug A Fridge In Too Soon?

Can You Plug A Refrigerator Immediately?

Cropped view of man holding unplugged power cord of fridge isolated on white — Photo

You can plug a refrigerator in soon, even after you move it, provided you ensure it was in the standard position while being transported. If it was in a horizontal or tilted position, you cannot plug it immediately. The compressor fluids need to settle first.

What Are The Internal Parts of A Refrigerator?

Serviceman In Overall Working On Fridge With Wrench In Kitchen — Photo

Refrigerators have an uncomplicated cycle. Although we entrust technical parts to professionals, it is still convenient to be familiar with its primary elements. It will help you maintain its performance and assess whether the situation calls for service.

As with air-conditioning systems, the liquid evaporates when compressed to soak up the heat and release cool air. Below are the five hidden yet significant parts of a refrigerator, regardless of the variety:

  • Compressor
  • Interior serpentine heat pipes
  • Exterior coiled set heat pipes
  • Evaporative refrigerant liquid
  • Expansion valve

Why Does A New Refrigerator Need To Settle Before You Turn It On?

Open refrigerator with food items

Letting a newly delivered refrigerator settle is important because of the unavoidable movement when relocating. If you turn it on too soon, here are the potential consequences:

  • It primarily stresses out the compressor and possibly damages it.
  • The temperature will fluctuate and cool the space inconsistently.
  • Perishable goods such as medicines and leftovers inside the refrigerator will spoil because the temperature is not within the required level.
  • It produces loud and annoying sounds.
  • When you plug it in, there is an unnecessary vibration of the unit.

How Long Should You Wait Before Turning It On After Moving?

The girl switches the freezer icemaker to serve ice cubes.

Depending on its brand, the waiting time varies between three hours and one day.

When transported upright, leave the unit for at least an hour before plugging it in. On the other hand, if you or the courier tilted or laid the refrigerator down, turn it the right way up and allow it to settle for at least three hours.

Before using the refrigerator, it is best to perform the following steps.

  • Ask the delivery clerk about the best timeline.
  • Read the manufacturer’s manual carefully. Follow the instructions on how to switch on the unit.
  • Avoid putting fresh food into it for 24 hours.

How Soon Does A Refrigerator Get Cold After You Plug It In?

Door of home fridge with dairy products in night

Wait for three to 24 hours to allow a standard refrigerator to cool. The cooling down will go faster if you position it a few inches away from the wall. You can also place a bucket of ice in the freezer.

If the refrigerator does not get cold, check the electrical connection. Once ruled out, check the compressor or call your trusted technician.

What Are The Causes Of Refrigerator Damage?

Aside from being plugged in too soon, here are a handful of causes why your refrigerator malfunctions.

  • You overloaded or under-filled it with food and drinks.
  • The coils are dusty and filled with debris, such as pet and human hair.
  • Tight-fitting cabinets of fridge housing have no allowance for air vents.
  • The door is always open.
  • Your refrigerator is old and beyond the average lifetime.

What Maintenance Does A Refrigerator Need?

Cropped view of woman cleaning fridge shelf isolated on white

An ounce of care is better than a pound of repair. Hence, we made a list for preventive maintenance of your refrigerator, regardless of its dimension and specs. Cross out each task upon completion so you don't miss anything.

1. Clean The Refrigerator

Spills, smudges, and crumbs inside and outside quickly build up over the week or month. As a result, your refrigerator becomes cluttered and produces nasty odors.

You should turn the cooler off, remove its contents, and throw out spoiled items. Next, wipe off the crevices, shelves, and surfaces using a damp microfiber cloth with mild soap or baking soda. Finally, before turning it on, blot a clean, dry rag to remove the remaining suds.

Click here to see this pack of microfiber cloth on Amazon.

2. Monitor The Thermostat Panel And Vents

The thermostat and vents are two vital parts of a refrigerator for optimal functioning. Inspect the temperature to make sure it is within the ideal level. Otherwise, set it to where the system will not overwork to prolong the refrigerator's lifespan.

As per the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the recommended temperature inside the refrigerator should be at or under 40 degrees Fahrenheit. The freezer chills at zero degrees Fahrenheit.

Check the vents to see whether they are blocked. Remove any boxes or containers because they can reduce the airflow quality and triggers higher electricity consumption.

3. Drain the Drip Pan

The cooling condensers release water that is caught by the drip pan. To drain, you can either detach it manually or unscrew the tabs. Wash the tray to remove the dust and other specks, then return it properly.

4. Defrost The Freezer

With the new technology, most refrigerator systems have addressed the previous issues with older models. Nowadays, they are frost-free or auto-defrost.

Nonetheless, if you see the pile of frost, it is time to defrost the freezer. Rub a diluted vinegar solution to speed up the melting without switching off the fridge. To prevent future frosting buildup, increase the temperature.

5. Sanitize the Coils And Fan Blades

Dust off the grime on the fan blades and coils of the condenser and evaporator. It will promote an efficient heat transfer system.

Unlike other tasks, you can accomplish this chore by yourself or with the help of a specialist because these are critical areas, demanding less movement and pressure.

6. Examine The Gasket And Light Fixtures

Another task you can delegate to professionals is securing the door gasket and light fixtures in good condition.

The gasket rubber serves as the seal for the refrigerator door.It needs caulking or replacement when it becomes loose or ripped. You should inspect the hinges and latches to whether they are still parallel.

While good lighting is aesthetic, it is also essential for guiding you to locate goods inside the unit.

Click here to see this food-grade caulk sealant on Amazon.

7. Replace Broken Wiring And Fans

Like other home appliances, refrigerators are subject to normal wear and tear. This usually occurs when it has been working for several years. Consult the experts when you notice incomplete wiring covers and hear the noisy fans.

Click here to see this evaporator motor fan on Amazon.

How Often Do Refrigerators Need Maintenance?

Your refrigerator needs regular care, and the frequency of the mentioned tasks varies. It can be monthly, biannual, annual, or every five years.

First, do the minor chores, such as decluttering, once a month. Next, deep and water-related cleaning is crucial at least twice a year. Give attention to the appearance of the gasket, coils, and frost yearly.

You should check the wiring and change the worn-out fans if your fridge is in its fifth year.

What Is The Cost Of Servicing A Refrigerator?

Companies charge based on the extent and difficulty of the maintenance services you need. They are usually between $200 and $300. The hourly rate selection is ideal for short tasks, whereas the more pricey one-time option is convenient when there are multiple labors to fulfill.

Is It Cheaper To Repair Or Replace A Refrigerator?

Adult bearded repairman in working overall fixing refrigerator by screwdriver in kitchen — Photo

It is cheaper to repair a broken unit or replace some parts than to buy a new one. In the U.S., you will only allot $250 on average for the services of a technician to expand its lifespan. Moreover, the fee for installing a new door seal and drip pan is lower than the compressor replacement.

However, based on a 2018 study, most American homeowners opt for refrigerator replacement instead of repair despite the high price. This trend is justifiable for two reasons: the repair is never-ending and goes over 50 percent of the replacement's worth.

A refrigerator's typical costs differ depending on their brand, style, and additional features. For instance, a French door style has a value between $1500 and $3000. Compared to the previous ones, the top freezer selection from reputable brands is more affordable, ranging from $530 to $1050.

Click here to see this French door stainless refrigerator on Amazon.

Final Thoughts

Moving a refrigerator is inevitable, whether it is old or new. Therefore, you should determine the best time to plug it in after traveling. Otherwise, it might cause you a headache and unexpected repair services.

Remember, it is your responsibility as an owner to have basic knowledge about this appliance and perform regular maintenance to make it long-lasting and clean.

If you enjoyed this post, explore these articles about common problems with refrigerators:

Fridge Not Cooling But Light Is On - What To Do?

How Much Space Should You Have Around A Fridge

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