Why do fridge freezers need time to settle? - Domex Ltd
4 min. read

Why Do Fridge Freezers Need Time To Settle?

If you’ve ever moved a fridge freezer, or even bought one brand new, you’ll know that you are meant to give them time to settle once they’ve been put back down again. Waiting 24 hours before plugging in your fridge prevents compressor damage and ensures proper oil circulation. The advice is to wait at least a few hours before switching the appliance on, but why is this and what harm will it do to your fridge freezer if you don’t wait for it settle?

In this month’s post, we get to grips with these questions and more regarding your fridge freezer.

letting your new fridge freezer settle

Why do I need to wait to switch my fridge freezer on?

The short answer is to keep your fridge or freezer in proper working order. This is due to an oil which is present in the compressor on your appliance, an oil which, if leaked into the refrigeration system during movement, can cause a blockage once the appliance is turned back on.

To keep your fridge or freezer working properly, it’s recommended to wait a few hours, at least 4-6 hours, before plugging it in after it’s been moved. This allows the compressor oil, which lubricates the internal components, to settle back into place. During transport, the fridge might be tilted, causing the oil to move. If you plug it in right away, the oil might not be in the right place, and there’s a risk it could leak into the refrigerant lines and cause blockages.

What is compressor oil?

Compressor oil is a substance which you might not be familiar with, but your fridge freezer requires it to keep on working. When refrigerant gases are used to help an appliance cool, it can put a strain on internal components. This where the compressor oil comes in, lubricating and cooling any parts which are getting hot, and thus reducing the wear on the appliance internally. Without this oil, our fridges and freezers would break down very quickly, requiring the constant replacement of parts in order to keep going.

How long do I really to need to leave my fridge freezer to settle for?

When deciding how long you leave a fridge or freezer to settle for once positioned, there are conflicting recommendations. Generally, if you’re going to be 100 percent sure that the oil has settled back down into the compressor, you should leave it for 24 hours. However, when having it delivered, the company you bought the appliance from may recommend leaving it only for eight hours before turning it on. Sooner still, the manufacturer may include paperwork and instructions which detail turning it on a mere two hours after having it delivered into place.

The level of caution you choose to exercise will be entirely up to you, but be warned that blockages in your system could occur – impacting the cooling capacity of your appliance – if you switch it on too early, so it’s always best to leave it for as long as you possibly can up the 24 hour mark – especially if the appliance was horizontal at any point.

Will my fridge freezer be covered in my guarantee if I turn it on before it has settled?

Most new appliances will come with a certain amount of warranty or guarantee for the working order of it. While the manufacturer probably wouldn’t be able to say that you turned the appliance on too soon, there might be clear signs of a blockage caused by the compressor oil in the refrigerant system. Whether this voids your warranty/guarantee arrangement will be different in every individual case, but this is why it is recommended that you leave your fridge freezer as long as possible before turning it on.

Avoiding unnecessary repairs and replacements will save you a lot of time and money in the long run, not to mention the inconvenience caused by having a malfunctioning fridge in your home or business.

If you’d like more important information on fridge freezers, whether that be in relation to where to position them or what size to purchase, take a look at our dedicated guide to the appliance in our Buyers’ Guide here.

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