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How Long do You Have to Wait to Put Food in a New Refrigerator

You have your new fridge, awesome! How long do you have to wait to put food in a new refrigerator? A refrigerator can be a very sensitive piece of household equipment if you don’t understand how it operates.

There’s a very real danger o damaging it and attracting some unnecessary repair bills if it’s not on warranty. Depending on the type and brand of refrigerator you have, it takes anywhere from 2 to 24 hours for it to reach the optimum temperature where you can load your food into it.

The rules slightly differ depending on whether or not you are talking about loading the freezer or cooler.

How Long to Wait Before Switching on a New Refrigerator

Since we are talking about a new fridge here, we also need to factor in how it was transported to you in the first place. Whether it was transported upright or on its side all need to be considered and the relevant action taken in order to prolong the life of the refrigerator.

The pipes in a refrigerator transmit lubricant and gas. These need to settle properly before the fridge is switched on. If the fridge was transported in an upright position, it needs about 2 hours before it is switched on.

If, on the other hand, it was transported on its side, you will need to give it about 4 hours for all the gas and lubricants to settle properly. Some refrigerators like the Whirlpool actually can require up to 24 hours before they are switched on.

How Long You Have to Wait to Put Food in a New Refrigerator?

Now that I have covered the precautionary stuff so that you get to enjoy the use of your refrigerator for years to come, let’s get to answering the question that this article set out to answer.

How long do you need to wait before you load your refrigerator with food and why do you necessarily have to do this? As already stated,

you need to give a new refrigerator a minimum of 2 hours for it to reach the right temperature in order to preserve food properly.

This is the recommendation that Samsung has on their website. They also state that another good reason to switch it on for 2 hours prior to loading food is to actually establish whether or not the fridge is working in the first place.

Refrigerators like the Whirlpool actually require that you allow up to 24 hours. This is mainly due to the fact that they have a lot of o functions like ice making and it takes about 24 hours to fill up the ice bin.

What is the Downside of Loading the Refrigerator Before the 2 Hour Timeframe?

A refrigerator operates at an optimum temperature determined by the thermostat settings. The 2- hour time allocation allows it to reach this optimum temperature.

When you load your food before it is reached, it takes much longer and it ends up straining the refrigerator. In the case of food which needs to be frozen, the cold will not reach the food furthest from the walls and it will not freeze properly.

It also means that the overall temperature within the freezer itself will be at higher than recommended temperatures.


To wrap this up, let’s look at the main pointers you need to take home. Make sure that you find out the position the fridge was in when it was transported then allow the recommended time to elapse before switching it on.

After the time has elapsed, give your fridge at least 2 hours to run and reach optimum temperature and in the case of a Whirlpool, give it up to 24 hours so that it is fully functional.

You might be excited about your new fridge and want it up and running and fully loaded but be patient enough to allow a few more hours before you get that pleasure. These few hours will end up securing your years of great service from your kitchen appliance.

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