How to reverse the hinges on your refrigerator
Don't hire a handyman—you can do it yourself in minutes.
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Imagine buying a new fridge. You take all the right measurements, look online at reviews, go to a couple stores, and finally pick one. When it arrives, disaster strikes: the door opens the wrong way. A pillar, a wall, or a counter block the door from opening all the way. There's no time, all your food is sitting in coolers. All seems lost but salvation is at hand. Doors on most top-freezer models are reversible.
With a strong pair of hands and only three tools, you can reverse the way a fridge door swings in about 20 minutes. Here all the steps needed to do it yourself. If you're doing this to a new fridge, you can skip step number one.
1. Unplug your fridge and empty the door shelves.
The last thing you want is to remove the doors and have a bounty of eggs, jars, and condiments make a mess all over your floor. It's also a good idea to unplug the fridge so it won't waste energy trying to stay cool without the doors on.
2. Gather your tools.
Most likely you will only need a few tools—a ratchet wrench, a Philips head screwdriver, and a flat-head screwdriver. You'll use these to remove the screws, bolts, and plastic coverings on the fridge.
3. Remove the top bracket of the fridge.
This step is fairly straight-forwarded. If there's a plastic covering over the bracket, just pop it off. Then remove the bolts holding it down. After that, the bracket should lift right off.
4. Remove the freezer door.
At this point, you should be able to lift the freezer door right off the middle bracket. Just remove it and set it aside for the time being.
5. Remove the middle bracket and door hinge.
Unscrew the hinge from the bracket using your ratchet wrench and set it aside. Then begin removing the screws from the bracket. In order to get at them, you might need to pull off the fridge door. And thanks to the lack of a hinge, it will come off very easily.
6. Remove the fridge door.
If you haven't already, lift the fridge door off the bottom hinge and set it aside.
7. Change the position of the bottom bracket and hinge.
Now that both doors have been removed, it's time to move the bottom bracket and hinge to the opposite side of the fridge. Simply unscrew the hinge and remove the bolts holding the bracket on. Then, reattach the bracket on the other side and screw the hinge back in. Make sure it's placed in the hole on the bracket that is farthest from the fridge.
Some fridges may also have additional brackets on the doors. Just make sure to switch them to the other side.
8. Move the door handles to the other side.
On each door, there should be screws holding the handles in place—sometimes they are hidden by plastic coverings. Remove them and the handles should easily come off. Once you've removed the handles, uncover the screw holes on the opposite sides of the doors and screw the handles back in. Use the plastic coverings to hide the old screw holes, and make sure to swap the coverings over the hinge holes.
9. Put the fridge door back on.
This step is pretty simple, just set the door on the bottom hinge. There's nothing more to it.
10. Reattach the middle bracket and door hinge on the other side.
Screw in the bracket on the other side, moving the fridge door as necessary to get the screws in. Some sites say you may need to invert the hinge when you screw it in, but our test fridge here at Reviewed.com didn't require that additional step.
11. Put the freezer door back on.
Set the door on the middle hinge and you'll be ready for the final step.
12. Reattach the top bracket.
Once you've put the bolts back in, open the doors and make sure they swing shut easily. And with that, you're all done! Now you can plug your fridge back in, restock it, and say goodbye to that awkwardly positioned fridge door.
These steps might vary depending on the make and model of the refrigerator, but the idea is generally the same. Just check your fridge's instruction manual for information about the process. Now, go fix your refrigerator!