Side-by-side refrigerator from Maytag and a coffee pot on the adjacent counter

How To Install A Refrigerator

Purchasing a new refrigerator can help keep your household running smoothly for your family and their favorite foods, but how do you install your appliance? Tackling this project yourself may be easier than expected. Learn how with this step-by-step guide for a seamless freestanding refrigerator installation.

If you prefer to leave it to the professionals, explore the dependable and contactless delivery and installation options from Maytag brand.

Open kitchen with a French door refrigerator, white cabinets and kitchen island

Refrigerator Installation: What You’ll Need

The specific tools and supplies you need will vary based on the model of your freestanding refrigerator. Refer to your installation guide for exact instructions and necessary tools. When moving and installing large appliances, remember to always use two people.

SUPPLIES

  • Water supply installation kit

  • Flat cardboard

  • Hand cart or dolly

  • Packing tape

Tools

  • A level

  • Adjustable wrench or socket wrench

  • Measuring tape

White Maytag® top freezer refrigerator

Installing a Refrigerator Step-by-Step

This simple 13-step process will walk you through some tips and tricks you’ll need to know when installing a freestanding refrigerator, including removing existing appliances to connecting water lines.

For assistance with water lines and plumbing connections, consider contacting a professional if needed.

Disconnection symbol

Step 1: Disconnect the Existing Refrigerator

The first step to refrigerator installation is cover the floor with cardboard and disconnect the existing appliance to make space for the new refrigerator.

  • Place a flat piece of cardboard on the floor to help protect it from damage.

  • Turn off the ice maker and water supply valve.

  • Disconnect the water line connection.

  • Unplug the power cord and securely tape it to the back of the appliance.

Block of cheese and sausage link

Step 2: Remove Contents in the Existing Refrigerator

After the refrigerator is disconnected, remove its contents before moving the appliance.

  • Empty your refrigerator and freezer.

  • Remove drawers and shelves to reduce weight.

  • Tape the refrigerator and freezer doors closed (or remove doors for maneuverability).

  • With another person, use a dolly or hand cart to carefully move the appliance.

A ruler

Step 3: Measure the New Refrigerator’s Dimensions & Cutout Space

Next, determine the width, height and depth of the new appliance and measure the desired space to ensure an accurate fit and help avoid damage to walls or counters.

  • For proper ventilation, make sure to account for at least ½ inch of breathing room between each side of the refrigerator and one inch between the appliance and back wall.

  • The appliance should be able to rest flat and centered with the doors able to be fully opened.

Generally, standard refrigerator sizes range from 24 to 40 inches wide, 62 to 72 inches tall and 29 to 36 inches deep. Learn more about measuring refrigerator dimensions.

Excessive Weight Warning
A refrigerator with left and right arrows on each side

Step 4: Prepare to Move the New Appliance

With your new refrigerator outside, unpack and remove the drawers, shelves and any other contents to lighten the load and help prevent damage while transporting. Next, make sure to secure the doors closed with tape.

 

With another person, use caution when moving freestanding refrigerators and heavy appliances.

  • Using at least two people, carefully load the refrigerator upright onto the dolly and make sure it is securely strapped in place. Be careful to not lay the appliance on its side.

  • Clear a path, and guide the refrigerator into the kitchen.

Maytag tip icon

Maytag Tip

For an easier move, consider removing the refrigerator doors to reduce the weight and increase maneuverability.

Side-by-side refrigerator

Step 5: Position the Appliance and Let Rest

Once you have your refrigerator in the kitchen, position it near the cutout or desired space, leaving yourself ample room to move behind and around the appliance. 

  • If the appliance was placed on its side at all, be mindful to let it sit upright for a few hours.

  • This is necessary to allow the refrigerator to settle before connecting to an electrical outlet.

water droplet

Step 6: Locate the Water Line Tubing

If you are swapping out a refrigerator that was previously connected to your home’s water line, your new appliance can also be attached to the existing water valve that extends from the floor or the wall.


Learn more about refrigerator parts and how they function.

 

Your appliance’s installation guide will notate what parts are needed and included. If you have a Maytag® refrigerator, you can use your model number to search for your guide here.

  • Turn OFF the main water supply.

  • In the back of the refrigerator, locate the ¼ inch copper or PEX water line tubing.

  • Ensure the tubing ends are long enough to connect to the water supply valve.

Refer to your installation guide for water pressure requirements. For additional questions about connecting your refrigerator to the water line, consult a professional plumber for assistance.

 

Connected circuit symbol

Step 7: Connect the Water Line Tubing to the Water Supply Valve

After you have located the copper or PEX tubing, connect it to the water supply valve (shut-off valve) with the compression fittings found in the water supply line installation kit, if applicable.

 

If you do not have a water supply line installation kit, consult your installation guide for specific instructions and necessary parts.

  • Place the compression sleeve and compression nut onto the tubing.

  • Using an adjustable wrench, secure the tubing to the shut-off valve but do not overtighten.

Faucet dripping

Step 8: Clear Out the Tubing

Now that one end of the tubing is connected to the shut-off valve, the free end can be connected to the refrigerator water line. However, the tubing will need to be drained first to help prevent malfunction.

  • Place the open end of the tubing into a bucket or sink.

  • Turn ON the main water supply to flush clean.

  • Turn OFF main water supply once the tubing is clear and the water is clean.

Side-by-side refrigerator and power cord

Step 9: Connect the Tubing to the Refrigerator

From the back of the refrigerator, locate the water line port and connect the free end of the tubing to it.

 

  • Similar to Step 7, place a compression sleeve and compression nut onto the free end of the tubing.

  • Using an adjustable wrench, secure the tubing to the fridge’s valve but do not overtighten.

  • Leave the extra slack of the tubing coiled in the back of the refrigerator. This allows leeway for the refrigerator to be moved away from the wall.

  • Turn ON the main water supply.


Now that your water line is connected, learn how to replace your refrigerator water filter to help maintain fresh ice and drinking water for your family.

Power cord plug

Step 10: Plug in the Refrigerator

After you have connected the refrigerator to the main water supply, your appliance is ready to be plugged into the electrical socket.

  • Plug the refrigerator into its own electrical socket.

  • Make sure the water line tubing and electrical cord do not become tangled or pinched.

  • Gently slide the appliance into place.

A level

Step 11: Level the Refrigerator

Ensuring a stable, level refrigerator is imperative for proper function, use and aesthetics. Using a level and a wrench, you may be able to raise or lower the legs of your appliance to ensure a level fit, if applicable.

 

Refer to your owner’s manual for specific details and instructions if your refrigerator does not have leveling legs.

  • Place a level on top of your refrigerator and measure all sides.
  • Remove the base grille, if present.
  • Locate leveling legs at the bottom of the refrigerator.
  • Using a wrench, adjust the height of the legs until level.

 

Turn the wrench clockwise to shorten the leveling legs and lower your fridge.

Turn the wrench counterclockwise to extend the leveling legs and raise your fridge.


Learn more about leveling your refrigerator.

Misaligned refrigerator doors

STEP 12: LEVEL THE REFRIGERATOR DOORS

An aligned fridge door helps ensure proper sealing for your appliance. Adjusting the door’s hinges can allow for a seamless fit.

  • Using a socket wrench, loosen the hinges on the misaligned door.

  • Align the door in its proper place and tighten the hinges.

Hand on a flat surface

Step 13: Replace Shelves and Drawers

For the final step in the refrigeration installation process, clean the drawers and shelves and place them back inside the refrigerator.

Woman selecting drinks from the door of an opened refrigerator

Refrigerator Installation FAQs

For common questions on the installation of your refrigerator, browse the following FAQs.

Do You Just Plug in a Refrigerator?

Before plugging into an electrical outlet, allow the refrigerator to sit upright for a few hours. This resting period allows the appliance to settle before connecting. It is recommended to dedicate an outlet solely for your refrigerator to ensure maximum and reliable power. Do not use extension cords or adapters.

Keep in mind that it may take up to 24 hours for your fridge to reach its optimal temperature for food storage.

Can I Install My Fridge Myself?

The process of moving and hooking up a fridge requires at least two people due to the large size and bulkiness of most refrigerators. This helps avoid damage to the appliance and promotes a smooth installation process.

Learn more about the different sizes and types of refrigerators.

Now that you know how to install a refrigerator and connect the water line, let your appliance handle the rest with long-lasting, reliable capabilities you and your family can depend on.

 

SHOP FOR MAYTAG® REFRIGERATORS

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