A DIY Guide to Safely Installing a Dishwasher

You open your dishwasher after the cycle is over and see a puddle of water sitting on the bottom. It doesn’t seem like your appliance drained at all during the cycle and your dishes are covered in leftover residue.

It sounds like it’s time for you to pick up a new dishwasher. The appliance itself is pretty expensive, so we can understand that you don’t want to pay extra to have it installed.

Truth be told, installing a dishwasher is an easy weekend DIY project that almost anyone can accomplish. Check out this guide to learn how to get the job done.

Things You’ll Need for the Job

Before you take out your old dishwasher, you’ll have to pick up a few things from your local hardware store. You’re going to need a set of pliers, adjustable wrenches, safety goggles, a bucket to catch any leftover water, a screwdriver, and a drop sheet. If you can’t find a drop sheet, a piece of cardboard will work too.

Your new dishwasher should come with all the other materials you need to install it. Keep in mind that you shouldn’t buy a new machine without measuring your cabinetry. The last thing you want to do is remove your old dishwasher only to realize that the new one won’t fit in its place.

Removing Your Old Dishwasher 

Now that you have everything you need, you can begin the removal process. For safety reasons, head over to your circuit breaker and turn off the electricity going to the dishwasher.

Poke your head under your sink and turn off the shut-off valve. Grab your screwdriver and take the front access panel off the dishwasher. Carefully disconnect all the wiring.

You’ll need to use your adjustable wrench to disconnect the water supply line. As soon as you disconnect it, water will most likely pour out of it. This is what your bucket is for.

Disconnect the drain hose and remove the brackets that are keeping the appliance locked into place. Put your drop cloth or cardboard down before you pull the old dishwasher out. If you don’t, you risk scratching up your floors.

Once the dishwasher is pulled out, you’ll notice a single electrical wire. You’ll have to tape it down. This way, it doesn’t shift as you put the new appliance in.

Preparing Your New Dishwasher 

It’s time for the moment you’ve been waiting for. You’re going to learn how to install your bright, shiny new appliance. First things first, slide the dishwasher out of the box and take out the instruction manual.

Reading the Manual

You shouldn’t install any kitchen appliances without reading the user manual first. It will list anything specific you need to know about your dishwasher. Things that we can’t tell you because it varies from machine to machine.

Now that you’ve read the booklet, move your dishwasher so it’s resting on its back. This will give you easy access to all the connections.

Getting the Supply Line Ready 

In your dishwasher kit, you’ll see an elbow fitting. Connect that to the water valve on the appliance. Remove the supply line from your old dishwasher and route the new supply line through the sink cabinet.

Once it’s through the hole, secure it in place with tape. You won’t actually connect it until the dishwasher is in place. Attach the new line up to the shut-off valve under the sink.

Drain Hose

Like you did with the supply line, you’ll have to remove the old drain hose. It will either be connected to your garbage disposal or sink tailpipe. Toss the old hose to the side and route the new one through the hole in the sink cabinet.

Use tape to secure it in place until we get to the next step. Connect the new drain pipe to the garbage disposal or, sink tailpipe and you’re ready to move on.

Connect Everything

Grab your pliers and connect the supply line to the appropriate place on the dishwasher. Turn your water supply back on and look for any leaks. If there is drippage, make adjustments to stop it.

After that’s done, go ahead and attach the drain hose and any electrical connections. You’re now free to turn the circuit breaker back on and slide your dishwasher into the appropriate place.

Test the Dishwasher and Make the Final Adjustments

Your dishwasher should be flush with the front of your cabinets. If it’s even the slightest bit off, it won’t drain the way it should. You can use a leveler to make the necessary corrections.

Your kit most likely included brackets to secure the dishwasher in place. Take those out and do that now. Place the front access panel on the machine and run it through a cycle to make sure it works.

Other Things to Note 

Dish-drawer-style machines are a little bit special. You might have to take the draw out before you place the dishwasher where it needs to go. This will make installation a bit harder.

Installing a dishwasher for the first time can be a bit dangerous because you’re working with both electricity and water. If you don’t feel comfortable with this fact, it’s better to hire a professional.

Installing a Dishwasher isn’t as Hard as You Think 

Installing a dishwasher isn’t as difficult as you may think. Once you have all the connections in place, it’s only a matter of sliding the appliance into the opening, securing it, and turning it on.

This being said, the process can be a bit dangerous. Use this guide and the machine user manual during installation so, you can avoid the worst-case scenario.

Dishwasher installation is one of the easiest DIY projects you can accomplish in a weekend, but it’s not the only one. Check out our blog for even more home improvement tips.

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