Does Fridge Need To Be Level And Why?

When it comes to buying a new fridge or relocating an existing one, you’ve probably heard that you must keep the appliance perfectly level. In this article, we’re going to tell you why that is, what happens if the fridge isn’t level, and how you can ensure that your fridge is perfectly level.

Let’s be clear about one thing: yes, a fridge must be perfectly level no matter where you put it. There are three reasons for this, namely: to ensure that the oils and lubricants in the cooling system can move around freely, to allow water to drain correctly (most important), and to prevent your food items from sliding out.

Let’s take a closer look at each of those three reasons why you should keep your fridge level.

The Cooling System

What is it: Have you ever wondered how a fridge stays cool? Well, that’s because of the cooling system that all refrigerators depend on. 

This system consists of several mechanical parts, the most important of which is the compressor. That’s the component that compresses the coolant so that it can lower the temperatures inside the fridge.

For the compressor to work effectively, it must circulate a particular type of oil inside to absorb heat and ensure that everything moves smoothly.

Why it fails: When a fridge isn’t perfectly level, those oils will have a tough time trying to reach all the nooks and crannies inside the system. As a result, those parts will not stay well-lubricated, and in a worst-case scenario, they may even overheat!

Not only would that cause the fridge’s entire cooling system to fail, but it might also cause the mechanical parts to damage themselves and require a replacement.

How to fix: To ensure that your fridge’s cooling system is working efficiently, all you have to do is ensure that the refrigerator is perfectly level.

Manufacturers design fridges so that they’ll operate at their best when they’re standing perfectly flat and level on the ground.

The Fridge’s Drainage System

What is it: Let’s think about how a fridge usually functions. In the fridge compartments, the appliance takes warm air and turns it cold.

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Much colder compartments like the freezer, for example, sometimes generate frost, which is why modern fridges automatically defrost from time to time.

These processes generate a lot of condensation. That means that inside your fridge, there’s a lot of water moving around.

That’s not a big deal, though. Manufacturers always build excellent drainage into the fridge to ensure that all that water can flow away easily.

Why it fails: By design, all fridges can drain excess water and moisture. However, that ability depends on the refrigerator being perfectly level.

If you do not place your fridge on a perfectly flat surface, then all of that water will not flow through the drainage system correctly.

As a result, the bottom of your fridge may overflow with water leading to puddles on your kitchen floor.

How to fix: When it comes to the drainage system, there’s not much that you need to do other than to ensure that your fridge is perfectly level.

Once it’s leveled, gravity will do all the work. Any excess water will flow through the fridge’s drainage, leaving you with a cold and dry fridge.

Preventing Food Items From Sliding Out

What is it: Last but not least, another important reason to keep your fridge perfectly level is to ensure that all of your items inside do not slide out.

After all, there would be nothing worse than to open your fridge door only to have bottles and containers falling onto the floor!

Why it fails: Remember: manufacturers design your fridge to be perfectly level. The shelves inside aren’t able to keep your food items in place if the unit stands on an uneven surface, which could result in them sliding out when you open the door.

How to fix: Keeping your fridge perfectly level is the best way to ensure that nothing slides out from the shelves of your fridge. By doing so, your fridge’s compartments can do their job effectively and keep everything in place.

How To Level A Fridge On An Uneven Floor

Sometimes, our homes’ designs feature uneven floors and will make it much more challenging to keep our fridges level. Don’t worry, though. There are several ways to work around it.

Some Fridges Have Adjustable Mounts

Before you do anything, try and figure out whether your fridge has adjustable mounts or legs. You can do this by referring to the user manual, or you can just shine a flashlight underneath it to see what kind of legs the unit has.

Plenty of manufacturers proactively include adjustable mounts with their fridges. Typically, all you’ll need is a basic tool like a screwdriver to adjust each leg until it’s at the perfect height.

Underneath your fridge, you’ll find at least two or four adjustable legs that you can use to level your fridge. To make the process easier, get someone to keep an eye on the level while you adjust each leg.

You Can Buy Fridge Shims

If your fridge doesn’t have any adjustable legs, you can also purchase shims instead. These are little pieces of plastic or other sturdy materials that go under your fridge to make it perfectly level.

Usually, shims aren’t expensive at all, and you can get them almost anywhere. Be sure to check your preferred hardware store or buy them online.

How To Check If The Fridge Is Level

You have to measure the fridge’s level to ensure that you’re making the correct adjustments. The traditional way of doing this is with a bubble level, which you may already own in your toolbox. If not, they’re also very affordable at your local hardware store.

These days, you can also use your smartphone to perform the same function! That’s right. iPhones and Android phones now have applications that turn your phone into a level.

You’ll find that they’re handy while levelling your fridge!

How To Level Samsung Refrigerator Front To Back

Samsung refrigerators are pretty easy to level front to back. To get started, all you’ll need are a few tools like a level, a flathead screwdriver, and a Phillips screwdriver. Each of these tools will play a crucial role in the process.

Most Samsung fridges have leveling legs and castor wheels underneath to make them easy to move and position appropriately.

Some models, however, might have a cover that hides the front legs. You’ll need to remove that cover first before you can begin adjusting the levelling legs.

To adjust those legs, you’ll need to use your flathead screwdriver to find the notches on each of those legs. Adjust it as much as you need to, but always keep an eye on the level to know when you’ve adjusted them enough.

Once you’re done, all you need to do is replace any panel you’ve removed to start the process. Then, you’re done!

How Far Can You Tilt A Refrigerator?

Whenever you’re moving or levelling your fridge, you may feel the need to slightly tilt the entire appliance. You must know that this is a dangerous thing to do!

Remember: a fridge is a large and very heavy electrical appliance. By tilting it, you risk going just a little too far and causing the entire unit to fall over. That could cause damage and personal injury, so be very careful.

Some people estimate that you can safely tilt a fridge as far as 45 degrees. Again, given the risks involved, you might not want to push the limits of that number.

Aside from the risk of damage and injury, tilting a fridge also causes other problems. As mentioned earlier, a refrigerator that isn’t perfectly level will cause all sorts of oils, fluids, and so on to move around unnecessarily.

It’s always best to keep a fridge perfectly level so that everything stays exactly where it should be.

Does A Chest Freezer Need To Be Level?

Yes, a chest freezer must be perfectly level, and there are two critical reasons for it.

The first is related to the same points mentioned earlier. The chest freezer must stay level so that all the fluids and oils remain precisely where they need to be.

Aside from that, chest freezers are unique because their doors open vertically. If the unit isn’t perfectly level, there’s a risk that the door may not shut properly.

If that happens, warm air may get inside the freezer, causing it to work extra hard to maintain its low temperatures.

To keep your chest freezer level, look underneath for any adjustable legs or use shims if necessary.

Don’t forget to use a carpenter’s level to check that you’ve adjusted the legs far enough.

How To Stop Refrigerator From Rolling

Some fridges have caster wheels underneath to make it easy for you to move them around. Unfortunately, those same wheels can also cause your fridge to roll on uneven surfaces. If this is a problem that you’re facing, don’t worry.

All you need to do is place a small wedge at each of the wheels to keep them from moving.

Alternatively, they could also use furniture coasters in the same way. They’ll do an excellent job in preventing your fridge from rolling around when they shouldn’t.

Refrigerator Levelling Shims

If your fridge doesn’t come with any levelling legs, or you can’t lock the caster wheels in place, you can use levelling shims instead.

Manufacturers usually make these wedges from plastic or some other sturdy materials. They’re incredibly affordable and straightforward to use.

All you need to do is check underneath your fridge and find gaps between the fridge’s legs and the floor.

Those gaps are a clear indicator that the refrigerator isn’t level. Once you’ve identified those gaps, you’ll slide a leveling shim right in there to create a snug fit.

That will keep your fridge level, and it also doubles as a way to prevent your fridge from rolling, too!

Fortunately, levelling shims are very easy to find. You can check your nearby electrical appliance store or hardware store for these things.

As an alternative, you could also shop for them online to compare several different brands to find the ones you like the most.

Final Thoughts

To recap everything written in this article, remember that it’s essential to keep your fridge perfectly level.

That will allow the cooling system to work efficiently, prevent water from leaking out, and avoid your food items from sliding off the shelves.

In most cases, you can level a fridge by adjusting the leveling legs, or you could use shims to help you do that as well.

Reader Comments (4)

  1. I have model Midea HS 259C Refrigerator. It produces buzz sound and difficult to start when plunging in. I bought it six months ago.
    What can I do to fix it ?

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