How To Install A Dishwasher

Installing a dishwasher is a fairly simple do it yourself project. This article teaches you how to install a dishwasher in typical kitchen cabinets. If you need to know how to wire a dishwasher you should read the article Wiring A Dishwasher.

brief how to

In this article, you will find information about:

  1. Verify The Cabinet Opening For The Dishwasher
  2. Connect The Drain Line
  3. Install The Water Supply Line
  4. Connecting The "T" To The Hot Water Line

tools and materials

  • Adjustable wrenches (2)
  • Flat head screw driver
  • Phillips head screw driver
  • Wire Strippers
  • Wire Nuts
  • Drill with 1 1/2" bit
  • Hammer

step 1 Verify The Cabinet Opening For The Dishwasher

Most dishwashers are 24 inches wide and fit in a cabinet opening that is 24 inches wide. Double check the dimensions of your cabinet opening and the dishwasher before beginning to install you dishwasher so you don't hook the dishwasher up and then find out the cabinets need adjustment. Also, make sure the floor under the dishwasher is the same height as the kitchen floor so the dishwasher will easily roll in and out of the cabinets. check the counter top height, the height from the floor to the bottom side of the lip under the edge of the countertop.

step 1 Connect The Drain Line

Dishwasher drains are preferably connected to the inlet on the side of the garbage disposal but if there is no garbage disposal then you can attach the drain pipe to the sink drain.

The first step to installing a dishwasher drain line is to cut or drill the hole(s) in the cabinet so the drain line, water supply line and possibly the electrical wiring can go from the dishwasher discharge to the sink drain

Attaching the dishwasher drain pipe to a garbage disposal: Most garbage disposals have a drain inlet on their side. Locate the drain inlet on the side of the disposal and use the screw driver and hammer to remove the plug on the inside of the inlet flange. Attach the flexible drain pipe to the flange on the garbage disposal using a clamp, the clamp usually comes with the dishwasher.

Use the 1 1/2" hole saw to drill a hole at the back of the cabinets, next to the wall, and as close to the counter top as possible. This helps to prevent water from the sink from flowing into the dishwasher. Install the drain pipe by connecting it to the garbage disposal, run the drainpipe from the garbage disposal thru the hole just under the counter top and down to the dishwasher.

Attach the drain pipe to the dishwasher by putting the pipe over the drain flange on the dishwasher and tightening a cable clamp on to the connection. Make sure it is tight enough to not leak but don't crush the flange.

Air Gap Fitting: Your local building department may enforce the code that requires the use of a special fitting for dishwashers called a Air Gap Fitting to prevent water from being sucked from the sink into the dishwasher.

If you need to install a air gap fitting it should be installed as high as possible and still be under the countertop. It is best to install it by strapping it or screwing it to the underside of the countertop inside the sink cabinet. If you need to install it in the dishwasher cabinet opening then be sure to put it far enough back so the dishwasher does not hit it when the dishwasher is installed.

Using The Sink Drain

If there is no disposal or the disposal has no dishwasher drain inlet then you can use the drain on the kitchen sink to drain the dishwasher

option, drain the dishwasher into the drain on the kitchen sink.

Purchase and install a sink drain tail piece that has a special dishwasher "T" tail;piece. This dishwasher tailpiece must be installed between the bottom of the sink and the "P" trap.

Install The Water Supply Line

The most common way to install water to a dishwasher is to connect into the plumbing in the house is under the kitchen sink. If a "T" is not already installed you will need to cut the hot water line going to the sink faucet and install a double outlet shut off valve in the line. A double outlet shut off valve will allow water to run to the sink and the dishwasher. It will also allow you to shut the water off if there are ever problems with the dishwasher or sink.

Verify the size of both the dishwasher and sink water supply lines before purchasing the necessary materials.

Connecting the "T" To the Hot Water Line

If you need to install a shut off "T" you will need to find out the size and type of supply line so you will be able to purchase the right fittings. Most sink supply lines are 3/8" and most dishwasher water supply lines are 3/8"

Typical materials used for water supply lines include: copper, braided, and plastic.

The easiest connection to prevent drips is a braided line.

Wrap the male threads with 3 wraps of teflon tape when installing the water line to the dishwasher to prevent leaks. s

Using teflon tape on the threads of screw together fittings, like the connection of the water line to the dishwasher helps prevent leaks. Simply wrap the tape around the male threads and connect the two sides of the fitting together and hand tighten it until you can't turn it anymore. Then use two wrenches, one on the male side and the other on the female side and tighten the fitting another quarter turn.

Installing The Electrical

Dishwashers are either hard wired like a light fixture or plugged in like a refrigerator.

Hard Wired: To hard wire a dishwasher you will bring the electric cable into the junction box that is at the front bottom of the dishwasher. Start by removing the toe kick plate on the front of the dishwasher and locating the metal junction box and remove it's cover. There should be 2 black wires and 2 white wires and a ground wire into he junction box. Connect the wires as follows:

Black Wires: Remove 1/2" of the insulation from the black wires using the wire strippers. Line the two ends of the wires up to each other and screw the wire nut onto them. Connect the two black wires together using a wire nut.

Whiter Wires: Remove 1/2" of the insulation from the white wires using the wire strippers.Line the two ends of the wires up to each other and screw the wire nut onto them. Connect the two white wires together using a wire nut.

Ground Wire: The ground wire attaches to the grounding screw inside the junction box. Use the end of the needle nose pliers to create a hook at the end of the ground wire coming from the power supply. Loosen the grounding screw and put the hook on the end of the ground wire over it. Tighten the screw, clamping the ground wire to the junction box.

Attach the cover plate to the junction box but wait to install the toe kick on the dishwasher until the dishwasher is installed in the cabinets.

Hopefully when the dishwasher was originally wired there was enough cable used to pull the dishwasher out when it needed to be worked on. If not you will need to hook up the water supply and drain lines, push the dishwasher into its hole and then attach the electrical.

After the electrical and water supply lines are installed turn the dishwasher on and run it through a full cycle. check for water leaks at all the water supply and drain line connections. Tighten any connections that are leaking.

step 6 Install The Dishwasher In The Cabinet

The dishwasher is now ready to be installed in the cabinets. Coil up the electrical cable and the water supply and drain lines so they don't get pinched or otherwise obstruct the dishwasher when it is pushed into it's home. Carefully push the dishwasher into the cabinet opening. Adjust the feet on either side to make the gap reveal around the edges even.

Use the installation instructions to locate the attachment points on the front edges of the dishwasher. Use the screws that came with the dishwasher to screw the dishwasher attachment points to the cabinets. Be extra careful if you have granite counter tops because long screws can crack the granite.

After you are happy with the dishwasher installation you are ready to install the kick plate. The screw holes on most kick plates are slotted so the kick plate can adjust up or down depending on how high or low the feet on the dishwasher are adjusted.

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