Leaving a fridge or freezer to stand after being transported

Do you need to leave a new fridge or freezer to stand before plugging it in after it’s been delivered (or after transporting one to another house)? Yes, but it’s not possible to quote a definitive period of time it should be left for. This article explains why you shouldn’t plug it in without leaving it to stand, and advises on how long to leave it.

Why is leaving a fridge or freezer to stand necessary?

Fridge or Freezer After being transported, unless it’s been kept totally upright, the oil inside the compressor may leak into the refrigeration system. This oil needs to slowly settle back into the compressor. If the compressor is switched on before it’s settled it could be pumped around the refrigeration system and cause a breakdown due to a system blockage.

How long should it be left before plugging in?

Advice from different manufacturers varies considerably so check your instruction manual. In my Neff fridge’s instruction book it advises only, “at least half an hour”, which is surprisingly low.

A Smeg fridge freezer instruction book says, “let it settle for 6 hours”. This 6 hour recommendation is increased to 24 hours if it is known that the appliance has been laid down. In an AEG integrated freezer instruction manual it says to leave it at least 4 hours before plugging in.

Leave to stand

And I just recently bought a new tall freezer made by Blomberg. This one said to leave the freezer to stand for at least four hours after delivery before plugging it in.

It should be taken as a given that any fridge, freezer or fridge freezer that has been transported should be left to stand before plugging it in. Failure to do so could cause damage. However, none of the refrigeration appliances I have bought have ever had this warning stuck to the outside of the appliance, or prominently displayed on any of the paperwork or manuals that come with it.

So a substantial percentage of people are very likely to plug in the freezer before seeing such a warning. We can only conclude that either it’s a token warning and highly unlikely any problems will occur – or the manufacturers are being negligent in not displaying proper warnings.

So always check the instruction manual before plugging one in after it’s been transported.

If you have transported the appliance yourself and know it has not been laid down it can be left for a shorter period, but I’d still give it several hours at least or ideally 12. At the end of the day, the last thing you want is a system blockage. If the appliance has been delivered to you from a retailer the delivery men should advise a standing time period. But again, none have ever mentioned it to me and I doubt they are told to either. Any system blockage directly after delivery will not be covered on the guarantee.

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