Where is the Knockout Plug on a Dishwasher: A Comprehensive Guide

If you’re a new dishwasher owner or someone looking to troubleshoot issues, you might find yourself wondering, “Where is the knockout plug on a dishwasher?” The knockout plug is a small but crucial component of your dishwasher installation process. In this guide, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know about the knockout plug, its purpose, and how to locate it for a seamless dishwasher setup.

When installing a new dishwasher or replacing an old one, understanding its components is essential. The knockout plug is one such component that often requires attention during installation.

Understanding the Knockout Plug

The knockout plug is a small plastic piece that covers the garbage disposal port in the dishwasher. It prevents debris and water from entering the dishwasher during shipping and installation.

Importance of the Knockout Plug

Leaving the knockout plug in place can cause drainage issues, potentially leading to water accumulation at the bottom of the dishwasher. Proper removal ensures the dishwasher functions correctly.

Locating the Knockout Plug

The knockout plug is usually located near the dishwasher’s water pump or motor assembly. It might be found at the back, bottom, or sides of the dishwasher, depending on the model. Refer to your dishwasher’s manual for precise instructions.

Tools Required

For removing the knockout plug, you’ll need:

  • Screwdriver
  • Pliers
  • Safety gloves
  • Flashlight

Step-by-Step Removal Process

  1. Safety First: Turn off the dishwasher’s power supply and water source.
  2. Access the Plug: Pull out the dishwasher to access its sides or back.
  3. Locate the Plug: Identify the knockout plug; it appears as a circular plastic piece.
  4. Use Pliers: Gently grip the plug with pliers and rotate it counterclockwise to loosen it.
  5. Remove by Hand: Once loosened, remove the plug by hand and set it aside.
  6. Inspect and Clean: Check for any remaining debris. Clean the area if necessary.
  7. Reposition Dishwasher: Push the dishwasher back to its original position.

Safety Measures

  • Always wear safety gloves to prevent any injuries during the removal process.
  • Double-check that the dishwasher is disconnected from power and water sources.

Alternative Methods

In some cases, the knockout plug might pop out when water flows through it during the first wash cycle. However, it’s recommended to manually remove it to avoid any potential issues.

Common Issues without Plug Removal

Leaving the knockout plug intact can lead to:

  • Improper drainage
  • Foul odor buildup
  • Incomplete cleaning of dishes

Reinstallation of the Knockout Plug

If you ever need to move your dishwasher, ensure the knockout plug is securely back in place to prevent leakage and operational problems.

Tips for Smooth Installation

  • Read the dishwasher’s manual thoroughly before installation.
  • Keep all required tools handy for a hassle-free process.
  • Check for any specific manufacturer guidelines.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: Can I use my dishwasher without removing the knockout plug?

A: It’s not recommended, as it can lead to drainage and cleaning issues.

Q: Is removing the knockout plug difficult?

A: Not at all. With the right tools and precautions, it’s a straightforward process.

Q: What happens if I forget to remove the knockout plug?

A: Your dishwasher might not drain properly, and water accumulation could occur.

Q: Can I reuse the knockout plug?

A: Yes, you can. Make sure it’s clean and in good condition before reinstalling.

Q: Is professional installation necessary?

A: While it’s possible to install it yourself, professional installation ensures everything is set up correctly.


Knowing where the knockout plug is located and how to remove it is essential for proper dishwasher functionality. By following the outlined steps and safety measures, you can ensure a seamless installation process and avoid any potential issues down the line.

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