DIY Network

Installing a Refrigerator

This DIY Basic will provide tips on installing a refrigerator.

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Step 1: Watch an Overview Video

Step 2: Gather Your Materials and Tools

Materials and Tools:

measuring tape
power drill with bits
new cabinet/shelf
stud finder
3" screws
carpenter's level
furniture pads
heavy furniture dolly
heavy ratchet strap
bench knife

Step 3: Make Sure the New Fridge Fits

Installing a new refrigerator can be more challenging than you might think. Properly installing a new fridge can save energy costs.

Start by making sure the new fridge fits. For air circulation of internal cooling system, allow at least 2" clearance at back and top.

Tip: Improper air circulation can cause cooling system to work harder, raising energy bills.

The fridge should NOT be positioned in direct sunlight, as heat from the sun will force the cooling system to work harder, raising energy bills.

Floor should be level, same height as rest of flooring, and able to support 300 pounds. If floor is not level, doors might not close properly, losing energy, which raises utility bills.

Tip: Doors need minimum of 3-3/4" clearance to swing open freely.

If the fridge has an icemaker, leave enough space in the back so the line does not crimp.

Fridge should have easy access to water line.

Step 4: If Necessary, Remove Cabinets

Protect nearby cabinets and countertops with furniture pads.

Remove old overhead cabinets/shelves, if necessary, and install new ones.

Locate wall studs. Secure left back of cabinet or shelf to wall stud.

Level cabinet or shelf.

Secure right back of cabinet or shelf to wall stud.

Step 5: Move the Refrigerator Into Place

Measure openings, thresholds, ceilings and doors along moving route to make sure fridge will pass through.

Move fridge with heavy furniture dolly. Slip dolly under fridge and secure with ratchet strap.

Tip: Tilt the fridge slightly backward as you move it. Keep the fridge upright; DO NOT lay it on its side.

Save large section of cardboard to use as skid under fridge.

To prevent floor damage, be sure front adjusting legs are in 'up' position.

Place fridge on cardboard skid and push part way into location.

Tip: Push in one straight direction only; zigzagging can force legs into the floor.

Step 6: Hook Up the Water Line

Hook up water line before fridge is completely in place.

Turn off the main water valve, and locate the nearest cold water line.

Slip compression nut through plastic tubing and tighten compression nut onto compression fitting.

Tip: DO NOT over-tighten the compression nut.

Step 7: Ensure the Refrigerator is Level

Remove the cardboard skid.

Adjust front legs to ensure fridge is level.

Tip: Clockwise rotation lowers the fridge; counterclockwise rotation raises it.

Flush one gallon of water through filter before using to ensure great-tasting water.

Before stocking fridge with food, allow several hours for unit to cool to desired temperature.