Content Summary

Having a wine fridge can come in handy for any wine enthusiast. However, the installation process may seem intimidating, especially for beginners.

In this guide, we will provide you with step-by-step instructions on how to install your wine fridge, whether it is a freestanding wine cooler or a built-in wine refrigerator.

We will also give you the factors to consider before purchasing and installing a wine fridge, as well as some useful tips to ensure a successful installation. So, let's start.

Preparation Process

1. Measure The Space

  • Before buying a wine fridge, measure the space where you want to install it, whether it's a freestanding, under-counter wine cooler or a built-in model. Ensure that the fridge fits the area perfectly.
  • For ventilation purposes, make sure there is enough clearance on all sides, making sure it is free of dust and debris.
  • Keep in mind that built-in models require some additional space for ventilation, so ensure you have sufficient room to keep it cool.
  • Check the electrical outlet: Ensure that the outlet you intend to plug in the wine fridge is compatible with the voltage and that it is grounded correctly.

2. Factors To Consider

Choosing the right wine fridge for your space is vital. You need to consider several factors to ensure that it fits your preferences, size, capacity, and the type of fridge you require.

  • Built-in wine coolers can be expensive, but they offer a more seamless look. These models require special housing due to their size and ventilation needs.
  • Under-counter wine fridges can be less costly, but they do require additional floor space. These fridges are versatile as they can be installed below the counter, or simply stand free.
  • Always consider the wine fridge's capacity to ensure that it accommodates your wine collection.
  • Consider the fridge's power and voltage requirements before purchase.

3. Tools Required

Before you start installing your wine fridge, you need to have the appropriate tools.

  • This includes a measuring tape, screwdriver, screws, pliers, wire strippers, a voltage tester, a level, and a power drill.
  • These basic tools will help you measure and mark the areas, connect the wires, and fix the fridge in place.
  • In the case of built-in installation, you may require some additional tools like a jigsaw or saw for cutting your cabinetry to the perfect size.
  • You also need to have some silicone to seal the gaps between the wine fridge and the cabinetry.
  • Always read the installation manual of your wine fridge to ensure you have all the necessary tools required to complete the installation process.
  • Take your time.

Installing A Wine Fridge

1. An Under-Counter Wine Fridge

Under-counter wine fridges are freestanding wine coolers. When installed properly, this fridge will appear to be a fully integrated wine cooler.

  1. Start by measuring the length, width, and height of the cutout space and compare it with the wine fridge's dimensions to ensure that the fridge fits perfectly. Note: leave one inch of air around the appliance for ventilation.
  2. Once you have the measurements, drill a hole for the power cord at the back of the space.
  3. Slide the fridge into the space and assuming it has adjustable feet, level it correctly.
  4. If it does not fit, you need to make some adjustments to the cabinetry.
  5. Secure the fridge using screws and ensure it is tightly fit.
  6. Once installed, you can cover the gaps with silicone to achieve a seamless look, but not all the way: make sure there is enough ventilation around the fridge.
  7. Plug in the fridge and test it to ensure it runs correctly.

You can find a complete guide on how to install a built in wine cooler on Wine Expert Storage here.

2. A Built-In Wine Fridge

Built-in wine fridges require a special housing space to prevent them from overheating and ensure proper ventilation. The installation process is similar to an under-counter fridge but may be a bit more complicated.

If you don't feel confident doing this all by yourself, ask a friend who has experience, or ask for professional help.

  1. Ensure that you have measured the space precisely to ensure that the fridge fits perfectly.
  2. Once you've determined the measurements, carefully create an opening in the counter or wall where you intend to install the fridge. Be precise.
  3. You need to ensure that it is leveled and squared with the walls and the cabinetry.
  4. You can use a dolly to move the wine fridge to the desired location and adjust the feet accordingly.
  5. Connect the power cable to the outlet and slide the fridge into the housing space.
  6. Ensure the fridge is secure using screws and level it correctly.
  7. Turn on the fridge and test it to ensure it runs correctly.

Wine Fridge Installation FAQs

Here are some common questions about installing a wine fridge. Read on!

Do you just plug in a wine fridge?

Before you plug in your wine fridge, ensure that it is installed correctly according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Once you've done this, you can plug it in and check if the fridge runs correctly. 

If not, make sure that all connections are secure and there is no damage to the power cord. If the issue persists, it is best to call a professional technician for help.

Is it easy to install a wine cooler?

That comes down to the type of wine cooler you have and how familiar you are with the installation process. 

Under-counter wine coolers are usually easy to install, but built-in wine refrigerators are more difficult since you require additional tools like a jigsaw or saw for cutting your cabinetry to the perfect size. 

If you are unfamiliar with the installation process, or feel you have "two left hands", it is best to consult a professional for help.

Can you put a wine fridge in an existing cabinet?

You can install a wine fridge in existing cabinetry. However, it is important to make sure that the dimensions of the cabinet match the dimensions of the fridge, and that there is enough air ventilation around it. 

If not, you will need to make some adjustments to the existing cabinet, or create a new one.

Do wine fridges need ventilation?

Wine fridges need ventilation to work properly. If there is not enough air circulation, the fridge may become too hot and not cool your wine correctly. Make sure there is at least one inch of air around the appliance for proper ventilation.

If you are installing a built-in wine cooler, ensure that the housing is correctly sized to allow for proper airflow. It is always best to consult a professional technician if you are unsure.

How much space does a wine fridge need for ventilation?

For proper ventilation, a wine fridge needs around one inch of air space on all sides. To check if the cabinet is large enough for your wine fridge, measure the space and compare it to the manufacturer’s specifications. 

If there is not enough space for proper ventilation, you will need to make some adjustments to the existing cabinet.

Does a wine cooler need plumbing?

A wine cooler does not need plumbing. Plumbing is only needed for built-in regular fridges with an integrated ice maker, requiring a water line.

What kind of outlet does a wine fridge need?

A wine fridge typically needs a standard 120-volt outlet

  • It is always best to check with the manufacturer’s instructions for the recommended type of outlet and power requirements for the specific model that you have. 
  • If your outlet does not match the requirements, it is best to call a professional electrician for help.

Tips & Tricks

  • Always refer to the installation manual provided by the manufacturer to have a hassle-free installation experience and avoid any mishaps or damage to the wine fridge.
  • Use a level to ensure that the wine fridge is perfectly leveled and squared.
  • Give enough space (at least one inch) between the wine fridge and other appliances or cabinets to avoid any heat buildup or ventilation issues.
  • Clean the wine fridge before installing it to avoid any dust or debris that may affect its performance.
True Undercounter Unit Installation | True Residential

Installing a wine fridge is not as daunting as it may seem. With the appropriate tools and careful consideration of the factors, you can install a new wine cooler easily and efficiently. Whether you require an under-counter or built-in wine fridge, the installation process is relatively straightforward.

A wine fridge not only improves the ambiance of your space but keeps your wine collections chilled and well-organized.

If you need help selecting a high-quality wine storage solution, we recommend reading our blog post that features the top choices for under-counter and built-in refrigerators currently available on the market.

Best Under Counter Wine Fridge: 7 Appliances | Catchy Finds
Whether you’re a novice or an experienced wine enthusiast, having an under-counter wine cooler makes it easier to enjoy all of your favorite drinks. Check out these 7 picks!

Happy installing!

Catchy Finds