3 steps to installing a dishwasher

October 15, 2014

No need to spend that hefty installation fee. In most cases, a do-it-yourselfer can correctly hook up a new dishwasher in only an hour or two. Here are some helpful hints to get you started.

3 steps to installing a dishwasher

It’s comforting to know that your home’s busiest appliance is a lot simpler to install than you think. Once you realize that there are only three key connections—power, hot water and sewer—it’s really just a matter of wrenching them into place.

1. Scope out the job

If you’re simply replacing a dishwasher with a later model, chances are you already have the right elements in place for the new appliance. But if the house has never had a dishwasher, then you’ll need to tap into the hot water and sewer lines, and bring power to the unit.

  • If your plumbing is already fairly rickety and therefore might be prone to breaking, or if you lack basic plumbing skills, then it’s probably going to be a task for a professional.
  • In any case, measure the space available. Your new machine has to fit there, otherwise you’re looking at an expensive cabinet reconfiguration.

2. Remove the old unit

  • Shut off the dishwasher’s hot water source under your sink (or your home’s master water shut-off), and either unplug the old unit or, if it’s hard-wired, turn off the power at the breaker panel.
  • Disconnect the hot water hose with a crescent wrench, and also the drain line, which usually involves loosening a hose clamp.
  • If those lines are threaded through a complex routing under your cupboards, tie a string on them so that, once the old machine is removed, you can pull the new hose ends back to where they belong.
  • Then remove the kick plate, open the door and take off the screws that fix it to the cabinetry, either at the side or top of the dishwasher. Now you’re ready to pull it free.

3. Set the new unit in place

Inspect the site for signs of previous leaks. You can get away with re-using both drain and supply hoses, though it’s usually a good idea to buy a dishwasher installation kit that contains all-new hoses and connectors.

  • Start by tightly screwing on the brass elbow to the water intake line at the bottom of the machine.
  • Thread on the water hose at both ends and snug it up with a crescent wrench. Likewise, attach the sewer hose with its pipe clamps.
  • Using wire nuts, connect the three wires (black, white and green) to the source wire, or to a conventional electrical plug if that’s what your model calls for.
  • Finally, level the machine using the adjustable feet, affix to the cabinetry with screws, and do a test run before you replace the kick plate to verify that no leaks are present.

Congratulations, you’re now an appliance installer.

*Not only is it dangerous, it may even be illegal in some provinces, such as Québec, to do your own electrical wiring. The solution: consider hiring a master electrician.

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