Modern Refrigeration and Air Conditioning
19.1 Checking for Proper
Correct installation is critical to the proper opera-
tion of a refrigerator or freezer. This includes leveling
of the cabinet, providing correct electrical power, and
ensuring good ventilation. The manufacturer ships the
units carefully crated. The unit is also shipped with
full written instructions. These instructions include
information on how to move, uncrate, and install the
A refrigerator or freezer carton usually has proper
handling instructions attached to or printed on the
carton itself. These instructions should be carefully fol-
lowed. Many dealers uncrate the cabinet at the store.
Others do it just outside the home. (Most crates are too
large to fit through household doors.)
Certain areas of the cabinet can be easily damaged
during moving or uncrating:
Bottom. The condensing unit may be damaged.
Back. The condensing unit may be damaged.
Door. The door may be forced out of line or
Shipping bolts are often used to secure compres-
sors during shipping. If the compressor is mounted
on or suspended from springs, the shipping bolts are
usually removed after the unit is installed. If the com-
pressor is mounted on synthetic flexible grommets, the
shipping bolts are usually loosened two or three turns
after the appliance is installed. It is important to inspect
a unit for shipping bolts. If present, the shipping bolts
should be loosened or removed in accordance with the
manufacturer’s instructions. This will permit the com-
pressor to correctly vibrate on its mounts.
Refrigerators and freezers should be moved using
a dolly with a ratcheting holding strap. The hold-down
strap wraps around the appliance and secures it to the
dolly. The side rails of the dolly can be used as skids to
aid in moving the appliance in and out of the delivery
truck and in and out of the building.
If at all possible, the refrigerator-freezer should
be positioned so it is out of direct sunlight and away
from potential heat sources, such as ovens, radiators,
and warm air registers. If the unit must be located near
an oven or radiator, a heat shield should be installed
on the side of the refrigerator-freezer that is next to the
heat source. The room should be large enough to pro-
vide sufficient air to cool the condenser. A room size of
100 ft2 or greater is preferred.
A spirit level (bubble level) should be used to care-
fully level the refrigerator during installation. To do
this, the floor where the rear supports or legs of the
refrigerator are to rest should be checked. If it is not
level, wood shims can be added under the rear sup-
ports to level the cabinet. Usually, the front supports
are adjustable. They should be adjusted to properly
level the cabinet. To do this, one installer pushes on the
top of the cabinet, just enough to take the weight off
the front levelers. A second technician then adjusts the
levelers so the unit is level across its width and front
to back. Figure 19-1 shows how one type of leveler is
19.1.1 Installing an Ice Maker
As explained in the previous chapter, many
domestic refrigerator-freezers have automatic ice
makers. These units are connected to a cold water line
by a length of 1/4″ copper or plastic tubing. Refer to
Figure 19-2.
Before putting the refrigerator into place, run the
copper tubing to the nearest cold water line. Cabinet
partitions or the floor may have to be drilled in order
to properly route the tubing. Mount a saddle valve on
the water line. Connect the tubing to the valve (usually
with a compression fitting). Connect the other end of
the tubing to the refrigerator water line fitting. Leave
several large loops of the tubing in back of the refrig-
erator. This will allow the refrigerator to be moved for
cleaning and servicing without requiring the water
connection to be cut off.
Turn the saddle valve stem in slowly and pierce
the old water pipe. Check for water leaks. Gently move
the refrigerator to its desired location. Be careful to
avoid kinking or buckling the tubing.
Goodheart-Willcox Publisher
Figure 19-1. Most levelers are threaded legs. They are
adjusted by turning them so they thread further into or out of
the cabinet, effectively changing the length of the leg.
Previous Page Next Page