How do I Install a Dishwasher?

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  • Written By: Brendan McGuigan
  • Edited By: C. Wilborn
  • Last Modified Date: 16 November 2019
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A dishwasher is the name given to any sort of mechanized device intended to wash dishes and flatware, often with some level of sterilization included. Although many appliance companies offer competitive rates to install a dishwasher you purchase from them, many people wish to install a dishwasher on their own. Given the right tools, a bit of plumbing know-how, and a conducive setting, it can actually be surprisingly easy to install a dishwasher. In certain circumstances, however, or if you do not feel entirely comfortable with plumbing and intermediate-level handiwork, it may be worth hiring someone.

The first step to installing a dishwasher, of course, is to pick the dishwasher you want. They come in all sorts of sizes, so it’s important to make sure that the unit you want to install will fit in the space you have for it. The standard size for dishwashers in the United States is 24 inches (61 cm) wide, and most houses that have a space included for a dishwasher will have an opening of at least this size. Some modern varieties of dishwasher may be slightly smaller than this standard size, and some may be a bit larger, but your appliance dealer will be able to let you know the full dimensions so you can measure the opening to see if you’ll need to enlarge it.


Next, you’ll likely need to create some holes in the cabinet set-up in order to run the wiring, drainage, and water supply lines through. A good electric hole saw will make quick work of these holes, allowing you to change the bore of the hole easily and drill straight through the wood. Hand bores will work as well, but if you have hard wood it may require a great deal of force, which can be problematic, especially in a more cramped space.

The next step is to remove the plate from the base of the dishwasher in order to easily access the inlet and drainage lines and the electrical components. Generally when you set out to install a dishwasher, you’ll want to attach all of these components before actually pushing the dishwasher back into its space, so that you have room to work. You can begin by attaching the drainage line, usually using an air gap attached to the sink hole, which keeps the kitchen plumbing running properly. Once you’ve connected the line, you can fasten it down with a hose clamp.

Following the drainage line, you’ll want to attach the supply line, which will feed water into the dishwasher. One common mistake people make when installing a dishwasher is forgetting to turn off the main water line, so make sure to close it off, otherwise water may spray out everywhere. You should then be able to easily attach the supply line to a hot water pipe found beneath the sink, and you may want to tape the line to make sure no leakage occurs.

The last step to install a dishwasher is to connect the electrical supply. Before beginning, you’ll want to turn off the electricity by flipping the breaker for the area, to make sure you don’t electrocute yourself. Then you can just connect the black and white wires straight to the electrical box, and connect the ground wire. Let the dishwasher sit for a bit after turning the power and water back on, to make sure there are no serious leaks, then push it back in to its opening. You’ve now successfully managed to install a dishwasher on your own, congratulations!



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