Comprehensive Dishwasher Installation Guide

From plumbing fixes to re-purposing your cabinets, dishwasher installation can be easier than you imagine. It is one of the most satisfying and transforming activities that you can do to modernize your kitchen.

Water-saving and energy-efficient dishwashers might have the most modern technology, but all of them have the same basic connection.

It doesn’t matter the type of dishwasher you are installing as all of them have the same standard connection. A dishwasher has a water supply, an electrical hookup, and a drain line.

This means that even if you are replacing your old dishwasher with a modernized one, it will be a super easy job. All you’ll do is to break the connections from the old dishwashers and reattach them to your new appliance. However, you need to turn off the power at the breaker panel.

Also, shut off the hot-water valve that is installed under the sink. Besides, be sure to unscrew the old appliance from the underside of your cabinets before pulling the dishwasher out.

Dishwasher installation in the kitchen work

When installing a dishwasher, you’ll need three basics things;

  • A power supply
  • A sink drains or waste pipe
  • A water supply

The Tools Required for Dishwasher Installation

  • Drill
  • Hole saw
  • Drill bits
  • Level
  • Screwdriver
  • Tubing cutter
  • Adjustable wrench
  • Marking pencil
  • Safety glasses
  • Tape

The Materials for the Dishwasher Installation


  • Wire nuts
  • Compression fittings
  • Water supply line


Preparing For the Dishwasher Installation

  • You need to read the manufacturer instruction first to know the location of the drainage lines and power supply.
  • Remove the access panel at the bottom part of the dishwasher to find the inlet solenoid valve, drain outlet, and power cord connection.
  • Measure them and mark a location on the wall of your cabinet where you’ll make a one and half inch hole.
  • Place the dishwasher into the location that you need it installed to verify whether it will fit well.
  • Slide it out and start the process of dishwasher installation

How to install a dishwasher?

Step 1: Setting and Installing the Water Supply

Use a drill or driver fitted with a two-inch hole-saw to make a hole through the side of your sink cabinet that is facing the dishwasher bay. The hole should be two inches in from the back wall and three inches up from the floor.

If you measure the holes and find out that they fall below the cabinet flow, make two one and quarter inch holes at the back of your cabinet floor. After that, uncoil the copper tubing and thread it loosely from the dishwasher bay up into the cabinet and through the cabinet side through one of the floor holes.

Make sure to uncoil enough so as to get past the front of the dishwasher bay. Cut the line using the tubing cutter and insert a narrow tube-bending spring into the end of the copper tubing near the hot-water valve.

Use the spring to shape the copper tubing towards the hot-water valve then down to the hole you made in the cabinet. You need to be extra careful so as not to kink it in any way. Slide the compression nut and ferrule over the copper tubing end at the valve. Tighten the nut using your hands onto the valve.

Now use the adjustable wrench to tighten it to a quarter turn. Remember that the tube-bending springs can fit either on the outside or inside a pipe. The inside springs make tighter turns, and you should use it on the pipe ends. For the outside springs, gently curve the tube-bending through the middle of the pipe.

Step 2: Positioning the Electrical Lines and Water Lines

Before positioning the electrical and water lines, you need to identify the two front-to-back clear paths. You can get these on the underside of the dishwasher. The front-to-back clear paths are meant to protect the electrical wiring and copper tubing from its motors as they run from the back of the bay to the front of the dishwasher.

After identifying the two clear paths, measure the distance from these two paths to the sides of the dishwasher. Now transfer these measurements to the floor inside the dishwasher bay. Identify the side leading to the wiring and the side leading to the water hookup.

Shape the copper pipe using the outside bending spring so that it wraps along the mark and down the cabinet side for the water-pipe channel. Coil the electrical wire so that it lies in the right path as well. Using the tape, secure both the electrical and water lines in paths over their marked lines.

Step 3: Connect the Water Supply

Lay down a cover to protect the floor and then slope the dishwasher on its back. Remove the tarp panel at the bottom of your appliances and then wrap the Teflon around the water inlet threads. Screw one brass elbow onto the water inlet and tighten it using an adjustable wrench.

Now Lift your dishwasher and push it to the bay. Confirm that the electrical lines and water lines are properly aligned. Connect the end of the drain line from the unit via the cabinet side and up through the unused hole on the floor. Have someone to help you slowly slide the dishwasher in the right place.

Step 4: Tighten the Nut into the Water Inlet

Turn the copper supply to the elbow using the inside bending spring. Use the tubing cutter to cut off any protruding pipe. However, leave 2-inches of straight copper for the purpose of the compression fitting.

Insert a compression nut and ferrule over the end of the water pipe. Hand-tighten the compression nut into the inlet. Tighten it to another quarter turn using the adjustable wrench.

Remember to hold the dishwasher on its side when sliding it or tilting it. Holding it by its door will weaken the door hedges.

Step 5: Electrical connection

At the end of the exposed wires, there is a cable clamp. Slide it until it’s around the metal or plastic casing and bundle the wires together. Tighten down the clamping bracket that is over the casing using the screwdriver to hold the wires in place.

Remove the star-shaped screw on the clamp and push the threaded end of the clamp together with the wires through the hole in the dishwasher’s junction box. Hand-tighten the screw back from the inside of the junction box.

Use screwdriver or pliers to tighten the nut. Line up the wires with similar colors together- black to black and white to white. Use the wire nuts to tighten them together. If you’ve plastic sheathed (Romex) cable, connect the dishwasher’s bare copper or green wire to the green ground wire. If you are using the BX cable, use the armoured jacket as your ground wire when compressed to the junction box.

Tie the exposed ground wire of the dishwasher around the screw on the junction box and fasten it down with the screw. Compress the wires into the junction box and cover it with a metal cover plate. Clamp the plate into the box.

Step 6: Fix the drain line

Slide the hose clamp over drain line of the dishwasher and push the hose to the sink drain inlet. You can do this by either branching off the side of a garbage disposer or the drain tailpiece. Ensure that you don’t wrap the drain line around the spray hose line or kink it. Slip the hose clamp over the connection and tighten the screw down.

Step 7: Strap the drain line to the cabinet wall

Look for plumber strapping loops that can match up a pair of holes and wrap them around them around the drain line. Hold the strapping and hose against the cabinet wall so that that it makes an arc that is a little bit higher than the drain inlet. Use the screwdriver to attach the strapping to the back of your cabinet wall.

Step 8: Adjust and Screw the Dishwasher in Place

Adjust the feet on the front side of the appliance until the mounting brackets align themselves on the underside of the counter. Using a torpedo level, adjust the feet of the dishwasher until the level equalizes. Make sure you are levelling it when the dishwasher door is open.

Step 9: Screwing the Dishwasher Underside of Your Counter Tops

Having confirmed that all the sides are in a level, fasten the dishwasher to the underside of the kitchen counter using driving screws via the mounting brackets. Make sure to replace the tarp panel at the base of the dishwasher.

Now turn on the water and power supply to check for leaks at the water connections. If you detect any leakages, tighten the compressions fittings at the point of connection slightly. If there are no leaks, congratulations.

Now test-run your dishwasher. After this, turn on the water and power supply for several hours to check for leakages. If any appear, tighten the fittings slightly.

Precautions to Take During Dishwasher Installation

With the high cost of living in almost everywhere in the world, saving on everything and anything is paramount. Good energy and water efficient dishwasher can save you a lot. This is because most of the modern units come with self-adjusting sensors that allow it to wash with the correct amount of energy and water. Moreover, you don’t have to pre-rinse your utensils in the sinks since they’re excellent at scrubbing which saves you time.

However, the biggest cost-saver is the fact that you can be able to install a dishwasher on your own without the need of an electrician or a plumber. In that case, you need to take several precautions to ensure that your appliance functions properly.

1. Hydrogen Gas

The chemical process inside your water heater produces a significant amount of hydrogen gas. If the hot water doesn’t get utilized for a longer period, like two weeks, the hydrogen gas can accumulate inside the water pipes or water heater. If it accumulates and exceeds some level, it can explode. Though a rare occurrence, it’s important to take precautions.

Turn all the hot water outlets and let the water run for some minutes before using any electrical appliance connected to the hot water system. This will allow any hydrogen gas that has been trapped in the system to escape. Also, avoid using open flame or smoking when the dishwasher is running as hydrogen gas is flammable.

2. Hot Water

The dishwasher uses hot water to make sure your dishes come out clean. To heat water, there is an automated sensor inside the dishwasher that automatically senses the temperature of the water during the wash cycles. For excellent washing, the water temperature should be regulated at 49 degrees Celsius and shouldn’t exceed 63 degrees Celsius. If the water overheats, it might damage your dishes and the interior of the dishwasher.

3. Monitor your Electrical Power

Ensure that you have a reliably grounded outlet near the power cord for the 3-prong plug. Avoid using an extension cord or cutting the 3rd prong plug. No other appliance should be connected to this circuit when the dishwasher is running. If possible, provide a different circuit for that. Besides, the dishwasher should be protected by a 15-amp time-delay fuse or circuit breaker in case of any electric surges.

4. Built-in Models

Before setting the dishwasher in place, make sure that the cabinets and countertops are well set. Also, consult your plumber to ensure that you have enough hot water supply. Confirm the water pressure and temperature. To be on the safer side, ensure that the plumber follows the drain instructions noted on the dishwasher installation guide.

do dishwashers really clean

Other precautions to take when installing a dishwasher and after dishwasher installation:

  • Use the dishwasher only for its intended purpose, as prescribed in the usage guide of the dishwasher.
  • Connect it to a protected and properly installed power-supply circuit to avoid any electrical overload.
  • Do not put plastic items unless allowed in the dishwasher usage guide.
  • Use only the detergents and rinse agents that are recommended to be used in a dishwasher.
  • It should be properly located and installed in accordance with the installation guide.
  • Do not touch any heating element during or immediately after the dishwasher has stopped running.
  • Do not tamper with controls.
  • Finally, don’t operate the dishwasher until you are through with the installation process.

We hope that this guide on how to install a dishwasher will be helpful and will help you install a dishwasher yourself. Share with us any other thing that you might find important for dishwasher installation.

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