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How to Install a Dishwasher

A step-by-step guide on how to replace your old dishwasher with a new one is here. This will take a few tools and your time to get this task complete.

The Right Way to Install a Dishwasher

Why pay someone else to install your new dishwasher, when it's easy enough to do on your own? Follow this step-by-step guide on how to replace your old dishwasher with a new one. This will take only a few tools and your time to get this task complete.

Must-have tools for dishwasher installation

  • 4-in-1 screwdriver
  • Adjustable wrench
  • Level
  • Pliers
  • Voltage tester
  • Tape measure
  • Rug or piece of cardboard

Getting Started

When replacing your dishwasher, no special skills or tools are required to get this task done. Most dishwashers are a standard 24 inches wide, so it's unlikely for there to be a need to alter your kitchen cabinets. If, however, you change the size of your dishwasher, you will have to change your cabinet size. This will probably require a skilled carpenter with specialized tools. But for a standard-sized dishwasher, use this do-it-yourself guide to replace your dishwasher with ease.

In most cases, changing a dishwasher requires one to loosen the counter top or remove your flooring. If you are not confident enough to do this, consider seeking professional help. Those who are confident enough should get a blanket, old rug, or cardboard to protect your floor. Have two adjustable wrenches and a screwdriver. Other tools you will need include a tape measure, a pair of pliers and a level. You will also need a bucket and a rag to collect water which normally drains from the lines.

The first step is to turn off the power to your dishwasher at the main panel. You can also unplug it under your sink. Second, turn off water to the dishwasher to the nearest shutoff valve. A good option is to remove the cabinet doors from your sink base, which allows easier main line disconnection.

Disconnecting the electrical cable and water line

Electrical and water connections are normally placed underneath the dishwasher. Before shutting them off, always check whether the power is off using a voltage detector. After removing the electrical line from the box, it’s important that you leave the cable clamp on. This will be reused with your new dishwasher. If you notice your cable clamp is in bad condition, you can always purchase a new one.

In most cases, the water supply line is coated in copper or braided stainless steel. The first step is to remove the nut and secure it to the 90 degree fitting on the dishwasher. If the nut and ring are in good condition, there’s no need to replace them. You can bend the copper line slightly, but make sure not to kink it. Kinking the copper line means you will have to replace it altogether.

The third step is to remove the 90 degree fitting for use on your new dishwasher. Make sure you orient the fittings in the same direction as used on the old dishwasher. This ensures the water line feeds directly into it without any leakages.

The last step is to sponge out any water inside your old dishwasher before removing the drain. Slide the dishwasher out and simultaneously work on the drain hose back. Make sure to use the hole in the kitchen cabinet for this. Ensure you have an extra rag to wipe out water which might run out of the line. Lowering your old dishwasher will give you space to slide the dishwasher out. Make sure you are able to slide a cardboard or rug under  the old dishwasher to avoid gouging the floor.

Installing the new dishwasher

Uncrate the new dishwasher as instructed by the manufacturer. Users can easily see a manual and dishwasher installation instructions on how to install one. Make sure you carefully go through how to install a dishwasher before proceeding. Instructions may not be the same as what we will discuss below.

Once you are ready, tilt the dishwasher on its back and attach the 90 degree fitting. Make sure you are not using your old drain hose. Your new dishwasher will come with a new drain hose. The manual will clearly show you how to replace your dishwasher and how to adjust the leveling feet. Ensure you level the dishwasher before sliding it into the cabinets.

How to reconnect your new dishwasher

Slide the new dishwasher in by grasping it by its sides. This will avoid any denting on the front panel. Wait until you make all adjustments and connections before securing it to the countertop.

Installing a dishwasher involves connecting the copper water line well enough so it doesn’t leak. Make sure to align it so it slides straight into the threaded parts. Once you successfully connect the supply line and electrical cable, turn on the power. Always check the positioning before screwing the dishwasher to the countertop.

Over the course of the life of your dishwasher, be sure to also clean your dishwasher regularly and troubleshoot any dishwasher problems so you can repair them properly.

Resources— Compact ApplianceLowe's

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