How To Install A Dishwasher

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

How To Install A DishwasherWhen I bought my 1967 Spanish/Ranch style house, one of the things that didn’t work was the old dishwasher. I don’t use dishwashers much anyway for just one person, but when I’m canning produce from the garden, it’s unparalleled for sterilising jars. After a dinner party, it’s my best friend.

I won’t make you ill with descriptions of the old one. Suffice it to say it was a health hazard, and removing it made my life infinitely better.

The new one will be purchased in the spring. I’ve waited patiently for it to go on sale, and it’s Energy-Star and Water-Saver rated, meaning I’ll have lower electric and water bills every month.

It’s not hard to install a dishwasher. I can do it, and I’m no mechanical, plumbing or electrical genius.

You will need:

  • Measuring tape
  • Notebook and pen
  • New dishwasher
  • Air gap (if required by code)
  • Drain hose and hose clamps
  • Screwdriver
  • Level
  • Adjustable wrench
  • Flexible tubing made for dishwasher water supply
  • Drain line with dishwasher outlet
  • Hacksaw with general blade
  • Water supply valve with dishwasher connection

Prep Work:

If the pipes under your sink do not have a drain pipe with a dishwasher connection, remove the drain pipe from the main sink that connects to the p-trap below. Take this pipe with you to the DIY store and match the size to a pipe that does have a dishwasher connection. The associate will be more than happy to assist you. If the pipe is too long, don’t worry. PVC and metal pipes today are easily cut with a hacksaw.

If your water supply (cold water) does not have two spigots- one for the sink faucet and one for the dishwasher, get one at the DIY store. Again, take the existing supply faucet with you (turn the water supply off at the house first) to match the size. You’ll replace it with the new one.

Measure the cabinet space the dishwasher will be installed in. Take the recorded measurements and your tape measure with you. Buying a smaller dishwasher is okay, wood fronts can fill the space surrounding the unit. It makes no sense to buy a huge unit and return it because it won’t fit.

I’m replacing a dishwasher from the 1970’s. The cabinet space and today’s models are a little different.

There should be a hole in the cabinet next to the dishwasher area. If not, drill one. The supply and drain hoses will have to pass through. Thread the supply and drain hoses through.

Step One:

Remove everything from the box for your new dishwasher. Go over the instructions for your particular model.

Some mounting plates are different; be aware of specific instructions for your unit.

Slide the dishwasher into the cabinet. While accomplishing this, make sure the supply line and drain lines are not kinked or damaged. They should be threaded under or in back of the unit where their connections are- check your manual. You might be able to connect them before sliding the unit into place.

With the level, adjust the threaded feet at the bottom until the unit is level. This will avoid knocking and damage to the unit while it’s running. You may have to remove the front kick plate to access the area- check your specific model’s manual on how best to accomplish this. Tighten the locknuts.

Step Two:

Attach the water supply tube to the intake valve, or solenoid. Your manual will point out where this is on your unit.

Make sure the connection is tight, but don’t overtighten it. Teflon tape, wrapped over threads help eliminate leaks.

Step Three:

Assuming you’ve already installed the new pipe with dishwasher connection for the drain line, or have a connection already, connect the dishwasher drain to the pipe connection and tighten the hose clamp.

If your unit drains into the disposal unit, connect it there.

Many codes require an air gap, which allows the dishwasher to drain, but does not allow the drained water to back up into the unit. If your local codes require a separate connection and you don’t already have one, find out first if you need a permit to replace the dishwasher.

An air gap is created one of two ways: a) the unit’s drain hose is connected to the sink drain pipe, then the hose is raised up under the sink as high as possible and tied or wired to a screw, eye-hook or other device, or b) a separate device is purchased at the DIY store. There is a flange, and two connections. The dishwasher connects to one, the disposal intake hose connects to the other. The flange is mounted as high as it can be under the sink.

Step Four:

Hook up the power. Using your manual, connect the power cord to the wires on your unit, using the wire nuts provided. Some power cords are already attached to the units, some aren’t.

Step Five:

Turn the water supply valve on and check for leaks. Following your manuals instructions for first time use, give the unit it’s first run.

If everything works fine, replace the kick plate, attach the unit to the cabinet with the mounting plates and screws, and use your new appliance with ease. If not, follow the troubleshooting guide in your manual. It’s usually something very simple.

I don’t expect to have any problems with my new dishwasher. The only one I had last time was it wouldn’t fill with water- and I couldn’t figure out why. I took the unit out, and went over my manual letter by letter until I found the answer in fine print, easy to overlook. There was a plug in the inlet attachment for shipping that had to be removed. It looked just like a connection, and I was able to attach the hose to it. I hope they changed their manual.

Mat

A complete novice trying to navigate in the world of DIY. I bought my first home about 2 years ago & ever since I've been trying to research & learn how best to tackle common household problems.

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