How Much Does a Refrigerator Weigh? (Plus Moving Tips)


how much does a fridge weigh

Refrigerators have a wide range of weight depending on capacity and conveniences. A refrigerator is one of the heaviest standard appliances in the home. And for many residents, it has gotten larger and larger.

A small compact upright refrigerator can weigh about 100 lbs. while a large capacity French Door refrigerator can weigh almost 400 lbs.

Americans and Canadians have the largest capacity refrigerators, with an average refrigerator capacity of 17.5 cubic feet. However, most refrigerator makers offer larger capacity models today.

Today’s Refrigerator Styles

There are four styles of freestanding refrigerator, the newest being the really popular French Door refrigerator, which reviewers refer to as luxurious. A number of these French Door models certainly have a luxurious price tag.

The other models are the more traditional Side-by-Side, Top Freezer, and Bottom Freezer refrigerators. A fifth luxurious model is the Built-in refrigerator, professionally installed in kitchen cabinetry.

Capacity and Configuration of the Refrigerator

When buying a new or used refrigerator, buyers want to consider how much capacity the family really needs. In today’s refrigerator models, capacity is a major factor in the weight of the unit. With advancements in technology, refrigerators are not as heavy as comparable units from thirty years ago.

However, many of today’s refrigerators have much larger capacities and many more weight-adding features, such as door-in-door. The capacity and configuration, or style, is important to enjoying the refrigerator for years to come. The pros and cons of a previous refrigerator should generate a list about what is essential in a new refrigerator.

Too Much Capacity is a Waste of Money and Food

Buying more capacity than is really needed or the wrong style of refrigerator can be expensive in the long run. The large capacity refrigerator tends to get overstocked, and food may go unused.  And with an inconvenient refrigerator configuration, food may also go unused. The food goes to waste and is eventually thrown away.

Also, the refrigerator is an appliance that is constantly operating. While the new refrigerator models are energy efficient, they are still running 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Why is the Weight of a Refrigerator Important?

There are two major reasons why the weight of a refrigerator is important. The first is the area in which the refrigerator is placed, and the second is moving the refrigerator.

What the Floor Can Support

Buyers often do not consider weight when they see that beautiful French Door refrigerator on the showroom floor. They may only consider whether or not the refrigerator will fit in their kitchen space. However, floors are designed to hold only so much weight. Wooden floors are still the most popular floor structure in residential homes.

Determining Floor Support

In residential building codes, a floor has a dead load and a live load. These are measures of how much weight a floor can support.

Dead Load Measure

A dead load refers to the materials used in the construction of the floor and any permanent floor covering such as vinyl or carpet. For a wood floor, the dead load is generally between 8 – 9 lbs. per square foot (psf).

This figure varies depending on other factors, such as materials other than wood used for the flooring.  Another factor may be materials attached to the underside of the flooring, as in a multi-story structure.

Live Load Measure

A floor’s live load refers to human occupancy, furnishings, non-fixed equipment, and anything else not permanently fixed to the floor. Most local residential building codes require the International Residential Code for live loads. This uniform code specifies a load of 40 lbs. per square foot (psf) for wood flooring.

The uniform code calculation will vary with other types of flooring, such as concrete, which supports a much higher live load. Live loads are further defined as evenly distributed weight on the floor area.

Floor Support in the Area Occupied by a Refrigerator

Using the International Residential Code as reference, you can calculate how much weight can be safely applied to an area. Below is a table showing some of the top-rated freestanding refrigerators.

The third column in this table shows the unit weight in pounds of each refrigerator model. The next column shows in inches the width and length dimensions of each refrigerator on the floor.

Based on those dimensions, the next column shows the total square footage that each refrigerator occupies on a floor. The last column shows the building code live load a wooden floor can safely support in the square footage area.

Refrigerator Weight vs. Live Load Area Weight

French Door Refrigerators

French Door Models Model Number Unit Wt.

(lbs.)

Dimensions

W” x D”

Total Sq. Ft. (sqf) Code Live Load Wt. (40lbs. per sqf)
Samsung 25.5 cu. ft.  (3-Door) RF260BEAESR    306     36 x 36        9           360
Frigidaire Gallery 21.8 cu. ft. (4-Door) FG4H2272UF    335    36 x 30      7.5         300
Kenmore Elite 29.9 cu.ft. (4-Door) 72483    397    36 x 38      9.5         380
Samsung 27.8 cu. ft. (4-Door) RF28R7351SG    391    36 x 34      8.5         340
LG 30 cu. ft. Door-in-Door (3-Door) LRFVS3006S    341     36 x 34       8.5           340
LG 26 cu. ft. Wi-Fi enabled (3-Door) LFXS26973S    284     36 x 33       8.25           330
GE Profile 27.7 cu. ft. WI-FI enabled (3-Door) PFE28PSKSS    370     36 x 36        9           360
Maytag 25 cu. ft. (3-Door) MFI2570FEZ    328     36 x 33       8.25           330
Samsung 22 cu. ft. Family Hub (4-Door) RF22N9781SG    342     36 x 30       7.5           300
Bosch 21 cu. ft. (3-Door) B36CT80SNS    332     36 x 28         7           280
GE Cafe 23.1 cu. ft. (3-Door) CWE23SP4MW2    333     36 x 29       7.25           290
Haier 15.3 cu. ft. (3-Door) HRF15N3AGS    201     28 x 27      5.25         210

Side-By-Side Refrigerators

Side-by-Side Models Model Number Unit Wt.

(lbs.)

Dimensions

W” x D”

Total Sq. Ft. (sqf) Code Live Load Wt. (40lbs. per sqf)
Frigidaire 22.1 cu. ft. FFSS2315TS    285     33 x 32       7.33           293
LG 26.1 cu. ft. Door-in-Door LSXS26366S    304    36 x 34      8.5         340
GE 25.3 cu. ft. GSS25GSHSS    320    36 x 33      8.25         330
Whirlpool 21.4 cu. ft. WRS321SDHZ    243    33 x 32      7.33         293
Samsung 25 cu. ft. RH25H5611SR    305     36 x 34      8.5         340

Fridges With Top Freezers

Top Freezer Models Model Number Unit Wt.

(lbs.)

Dimensions

W” x D”

Total Sq. Ft. (sqf) Code Live Load Wt. (40lbs. per sqf)
GE 17.5 cu. ft. GIE18GSNRSS    165     28 x 33       6.5           260
Frigidaire Gallery 20.4 cu. ft. FGTR2037TF    220    30 x 32      6.67         267
LG 24 cu. ft. LTCS24223S    224     33 x 34      7.8         312
Samsung 17.6 cu. ft. RT18M6215SG    181     29 x 30        6           240
Frigidaire 13.9 cu. ft. FFHT1425VV    130     28 x 30       5.83           233
Magic Chef 10.1 cu. ft. HMDR1000WE    117    28 x 26       5         200

Fridges With Bottom Freezers

Bottom Freezer Models Model Number Unit Wt.

(lbs.)

Dimensions

W” x D”

Total Sq. Ft. (sqf) Code Live Load Wt. (40lbs. per sqf)
Whirlpool 18.7 cu. ft. WRB119WFBM    200     30 x 34       7.1           284
Kenmore Elite 22.1 cu. ft. 79023    231    30 x 33      6.9         276
Kenmore Elite 24.1 cu. ft. 79043    249    33 x 33      7.6         304
LG 24.1 cu. ft. LDCS24223S    235     33 x 35         8           320
Kitchen Aid 20.9 cu. ft. ABB1921BRW    525    36 x 25      6.25         250

Eight of the refrigerators shown exceed the uniform code live load for the square foot area. Add 50 lbs. of food, and seven more refrigerators are over the live load limit. In some larger capacity refrigerators, food can add one hundred pounds or more.

The newest French Door refrigerators are very popular. However, all but one of the ten models shown here, either empty or with 50 lbs. of food, exceed the live load specification. Top Freezer models are the most compliant with the uniform code specification. For almost all shown here, their unit weight allows for a stocked refrigerator that is still within code specification.

Generally, the larger the refrigerator, the less likely it will be within code specification for wooden floors. This is especially true when stocked with food.

Condition of the Floor in the Designated Refrigerator Area

The condition of the floor is another factor with the weight of the refrigerator. The uniform code live load refers to a newly constructed floor. If the floor is not new, there are other things to consider before moving a refrigerator into an area.

  • Over time, a wooden floor suffers fatigue. The floor may show signs of sagging, especially in the area that you want to replace a refrigerator.
  • There may be water damage, perhaps from a previously leaking refrigerator. Warped vinyl or cracked tiles in the designated area may also indicate water damage.
  • If the floor is over a crawl space, a lack of or a deteriorating vapor barrier in the floor will allow damaging moisture. The floor will be degraded and likely can no longer safely support the uniform code live load.
  • Termites cause damage similar to water damage and can thrive on an already moisture damaged floor. Other insects also feast on moist wood.

These are just some of the possible conditions for the wooden floor to no longer support the live load. Checking the entire kitchen floor for wood fatigue or moisture may prevent a later more costly construction project.

So, before you move that luxury Kitchen Aid bottom freezer (525 lbs. empty) into your home, you want to determine what your floor can support. You also want to check on the current condition of your floor, especially where the refrigerator will be.

Moving a Refrigerator

If moving a refrigerator, size and weight might determine whether or not you can do it yourself.  You may be hauling the refrigerator to a garage or storage area while remodeling. Or, you might be hauling it to a new home across town.

While it can be done, you might consider leaving the move of a heavier French Door refrigerator to the professional movers. The prospect of damaging the refrigerator or yourself in the move is real.

To move a refrigerator yourself, you need a plan and the right equipment for the move. The larger the refrigerator, the more complicated moving it might be. Most refrigerators are heavy, bulky items. If you have the manual, look for the unit weight of the refrigerator. Or you can go online and find the unit weight in the specs for your refrigerator model.

Moving Equipment

  • A tape measure
  • Adhesive tape for taping interior shelves, grilles, covers, and any other fixed items that may come loose in transport
  • A heavy blanket or furniture padding
  • An appliance dolly capable of hauling the weight of the refrigerator
  • Straps for fastening the refrigerator to the dolly
  • A van or truck with ramp if moving the refrigerator elsewhere

Planning the Move

If remodeling, for example, map the route the refrigerator will be taking through the house, out of it, and back into the house. You want to measure doorways, hallways, entry ways, and any turning corners for fit.

If you don’t know the measurements (width, depth, height) of your refrigerator, do those also. You may need to remove doors from the refrigerator and/or doors in the house. Add the half inch or so of the blanket or padding used to protect walls, furnishings, and the refrigerator itself.

If moving to a new home, the same kind of measuring needs to be done. Also, stairways and possible outdoor impediments to the moving path need to be considered.

Before Moving the Refrigerator

  1. Turn the refrigerator off ahead of time, but don’t unplug it yet. Allow it to defrost for a couple of hours to avoid mold and excess water in transport. Left turned off overnight is a good idea.
  2. Remove all food while the refrigerator is defrosting. Wipe down the empty interior before transport.
  3. Unplug the refrigerator. Disconnect any tubes.
  4. Use a strong no-residue tape to secure the interior’s loose items. These may include shelves, grilles, covers, and any other fixed items that might come loose in transport. You can also remove any loose parts and box or bag them for transport.
  5. Use tape to secure any loose cords, wires, or tubing to the back exterior of the refrigerator. You may also want to tape exterior doors and drawers.
  6. Apply the blanket or furniture padding, especially to protect the exterior of the refrigerator from damage in transport. You may want to lightly secure the blanket or padding with straps or tape.

Moving the Refrigerator

  1. Hopefully, the refrigerator has casters or wheels to move it out from the wall. You may want to put cardboard down to protect the floor. Pull the refrigerator straight out. Do not jostle it from side to side.
  2. Using the dolly, do not try to load the refrigerator from the front of the unit. The dolly should be applied only to the side of the refrigerator.
  3. Wrap the heavy-duty straps around the refrigerator midway from the top and bottom of the refrigerator. Then secure the straps to the dolly.
  4. Pull the refrigerator on the dolly as you move it through the house; don’t try to push it.
  5. The refrigerator will travel on the dolly at a tilt, never more than a 45-degree angle. Have another person help you steady and guide the refrigerator from the front.
  6. It is important to keep the refrigerator upright to avoid damaging the sealed system. French Door and Bottom Freezer models, according to manufacturers, should always remain upright in transport. They can be tilted some to get through doorways, up stairs, and into moving vans.
  7. Use the ramp to load the refrigerator into a van or truck. With another person guiding, pull the dolly into the van or truck. When exiting, with help, carefully push the dolly out of the van.
  8. Side-by-Side and Top Freezer models can be laid carefully on their side for loading if unavoidable. The main concern in this position is the doors coming open during transport. However, if the doors have been secured, this should not be a problem.
  9. Be sure the refrigerator is secured in the moving vehicle. It should not be able to roll or move.

After the Move

Consider cleaning the refrigerator coils while the refrigerator is not yet in place. This is routine maintenance that will keep the refrigerator running efficiently. You may want to put some added moisture-barrier protection on the floor underneath the refrigerator. Moisture is a primary factor in wood deterioration.

If the refrigerator was on its side for transport, it needs equal time standing upright before being plugged in. This procedure is to protect the critical cooling system. However, it is a good idea to do this even if the refrigerator traveled upright.

After plugging in the refrigerator, depending on the refrigerator model, it will take time to return to its temperature settings. You may want to wait a day before putting food back in it. Moving a refrigerator is not an easy task, but it can be a more efficient task with the necessary planning, equipment, and help.

Related Questions

Why is my fridge so heavy?

Your fridge is probably heavy because of its large capacity.  It will have a lot of features and conveniences that can add to the weight of the unit.

Besides extra doors, extra partitions, fancy ice makers, and water filters, there are the various specialized shelves and bins. These add weight along with all the mechanical stuff to efficiently operate these extra features and cool the larger refrigerator.

Do I have to unplug and move the refrigerator to clean the condenser and coils?

Unless there is easy access to the back of the refrigerator, you have to move it out from the wall to clean. If you have an icemaker, you need to detach the water supply line for the move.

The move and cleaning will take more than 30 minutes. So, the perishable foods in the refrigerator will also have to be moved to a cooler or another refrigerator.

This cleaning maintenance should be done about once a year. When done, the refrigerator will operate more efficiently.

What is the correct temperature for my refrigerator?

Just above freezing – around 35F to 38F degrees. This temperature range is above freezing and yet below the temperatures that cause foods to spoil. Use a refrigerator thermometer to get an accurate reading in your fridge.

Related Articles

UpgradedHome has many useful articles on kitchen remodeling. Here are just a few:

How to Install Wall Cabinets without Studs

What Is the Easiest Countertop to Maintain?

How Many Coats of Primer on Cabinets?

Upgraded Home Team

We are a team of homeowners and home improvement enthusiasts who enjoy sharing decorating, gardening, home improvement, and housekeeping tips with other homeowners! Whether you're looking for advice on furnishing your living room or the next outdoor DIY project, we've got you covered.

Recent Content