A level refrigerator is crucial for optimal performance. If your refrigerator is wobbly, doors don’t close properly, or if it just looks lopsided, chances are that you need to level your fridge. Leveling your refrigerator is easy to tackle with a friend and a few tools. Follow this step-by-step guide to see what you’ll need to conquer this task.
Why refrigerators need to be level
An unlevel refrigerator is not just an eyesore and an inconvenience, it also prevents it from working at peak performance. If your refrigerator is unlevel, it may cause fluctuations in temperature that could spoil your food. That's why leveling is one of the most important steps when installing a refrigerator.
If your doors aren’t closing properly, or if the door switch isn’t actuating, then the culprit could be your unlevel refrigerator. You could also develop moisture problems, as well as an accumulation of frost on the evaporator coils which can hinder heat removal. If you’re experiencing other potential issues, check out our refrigerator troubleshooting guide.
What you’ll need to start
Getting started is easy, but you’ll need an extra person to do this task safely, as well as a few tools:
STEP 1: REMOVE THE GRILLE/KICK PLATE
To level your refrigerator, first remove the grille or kick plate. Depending on the refrigerator model, you may need to use a screwdriver to remove the screws that are located on the front of the grille. Some models will require you to open the refrigerator doors at a 90º angle before removing the grille.
Once the screws have been removed, place both your hands on either side of the grille, and pull straight toward you. Specific instructions on how to remove your grille will depend on your model, so check your owner’s manual for details. Put it aside until you’ve leveled the refrigerator.
STEP 2: LOCATE THE REFRIGERATOR’S LEVELING LEGS OR ROLLERS
Depending on the model of your refrigerator, you’ll either have leveling legs or adjustable rollers. They are located directly behind the grille or kick plate, on either side of the fridge. If you’re having trouble finding them, check your owner’s manual for further instructions.
STEP 3: USE LEVEL TO DETERMINE HOW TO ADJUST THE HEIGHT OF THE REFRIGERATOR
To determine whether you’ll need to raise or lower the front leveling legs/rollers, place the level on top of your refrigerator and measure from front to back and side to side.
If your refrigerator model has leveling legs, then you’ll most likely need to use a wrench to lower or raise the refrigerator. For this part, ensure that your refrigerator is back to its installation location. Since leveling legs are essentially brakes, you will not be able to move your refrigerator once you’ve adjusted the legs down.
The wrench size you’ll need will vary, so check your owner’s manual for details. If your refrigerator has adjustable rollers, you may need to use a screwdriver instead.
Note: If you have a freestanding refrigerator that needs to be tipped forward, you'll have to apply shims to the floor beneath the rear end of the fridge, since most freestanding refrigerators do not have rear adjustable legs.
Have a friend ready to help
A second person will need to gently push the top of the refrigerator back to move some of the weight off the levelers.
If you want to lower your refrigerator
To lower your fridge, turn the wrench to the right, or clockwise. This will shorten the leveling foot and lower the refrigerator.
If you want to raise your refrigerator
To raise your fridge, turn the wrench to the left, or counterclockwise. This will extend the leveling foot and raise the unit higher.
STEP 4: CHECK TO MAKE SURE YOUR REFRIGERATOR IS LEVEL
To check if your refrigerator is level, place the level on top of the refrigerator again to measure from front to back, and side to side. Open the refrigerator door(s) and let go, if they close on their own, your refrigerator is now level.
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