How to Install a Dishwasher – A Definitive Guide

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It’s rare to find a modern household that doesn’t have a dishwasher installed in this day and age. This is because they can save a lot of time, effort and money, and it’s just much more convenient to throw your dirty dishes into a machine than wash them yourselves, and there may actually be many more benefits to opting for the dishwasher, as explained here.

However, you can only experience the benefits of this appliance once it’s been installed, and this may be the most difficult part. However, it doesn’t have to be difficult, and the installation can be problem-free as long as you know what you’re doing.

Dishwashers generally come with its own manual which specifically explains how to install the appliance, as well as informing customers how to use it, discussing individual features and functions that are specific to the model.

This article will provide a step-to-step guide on how to correctly install a dishwasher. Although some dishwashers will differ slightly, this will be a general guide that should apply to most standard dishwashers.

1. Read through your dishwasher user manual first

Before installing your dishwasher, it’s important to read through its user manual, installation guide, as well as any other paperwork that comes with it. This will allow you to get to know your dishwasher, and it will tell you how to install it and if there are any specific instructions for your particular model.

dishwasher manual

2. Plan where your dishwasher will be located

Before installing your dishwasher it’s important that you know where it will go. This means that you must know the measurements so you can make space for it. You must also be sure of what type of dishwasher you have; most household dishwashers are built-in and can therefore be put in place of a storage cabinet.

It’s important that dishwashers are placed in the kitchen, and this may therefore take priority over the washing machine which can be located elsewhere if necessary. Ideally, your dishwasher could be placed next to the washing machine so they can share the waste/drain pipe, but it all depends on how your house/kitchen is arranged.

buit-in dishwasher

3. Position and measure the water and electrical lines

It’s advised that in order to ensure that everything is connected correctly and efficiently, you should measure out and stick down the pipes so that they are secure. To do this, you should locate the two ‘front-to-back’ paths that can be found under the dishwasher.

These are believed to prevent the copper tubes and electric wires from interfering with the motor. It’s then advised to measure the distance between these paths to the sides of the dishwasher, making a note of which side is meant for the copper tubing and which is for the metal wiring, before taping them both down so that they follow the correct paths.

water and electrical lines

4. Connect the water supply

Before connecting the dishwasher to the water supply, you should turn off the mains water supply. The dishwasher’s water supply will be found under the kitchen sink, and one end of the dishwasher’s cold water hose should be connected to the water supply pipe. This may require users to use a ‘Y connector’ or a ‘self-tapping screw’.

The other end of this hose should be connected to the rear of the dishwasher, using a hose clamp to tighten and secure the water pipe in place. The appliance will be tested for potential leaking later, as discussed in step 9.

connect the water supply - dishwasher

5. Connect the dishwasher to an energy supply

Without switching the power on, you must plug the dishwasher’s power cable into a nearby socket. There will be different coloured wires that need to be connected to their corresponding colour (these are generally black-to-black and white-to-white), before tightening them with wire nuts and covering them with electrical tape.

The copper piping should now be connected around the green screw, and this should subsequently be tightened using a screwdriver. It’s incredibly important to ensure that all power is turned off while connecting to an energy supply, and it should only be turned on when the whole dishwasher is connected and secured.

Connect dishwasher to energy supply

6. Connect to a waste/drain pipe

The dishwasher’s drain pipe will be positioned in the rear of the appliance, and it should be connected to a waste pipe. This waste pipe will likely be the same one that is used by your washing machine.

It’s important to ensure that the drain pipe isn’t kinked or wrapped around anything, or it may get blocked. You should then secure each end of the pipe using a hose clamp which can be tightened by turning the screw.

If you can’t connect your dishwasher’s drain hose to the waste pipe, you can alternatively connect it to the sink drain with a suitable connector or spigot.

Connect dishwasher to drain pipe

7. Securely position the dishwasher and slide it in place

Now that everything is connected, you can position the dishwasher into its location.

The appliance must be manoeuvred very carefully and very gently, and it should easily slide into its rightful place, which will probably be under the counter.

You can then adjust the feet on the dishwasher’s base so that the mounting brackets are level with the other kitchen cabinets.

slide dishwasher in place

8. Make sure all parts of the dishwasher are securely fastened

Before turning on the water and power supply and performing a test-run of the dishwasher, it’s advisable that you make some final checks to ensure that everything is secure and that there are no parts unfastened.

You may need to fasten the dishwasher to the underside of the kitchen counter by screwing the mounting brackets, just so that it stays in place.

test-run dishwasher

9. Check that it works properly and that there’s no leakage

Once you’ve installed the dishwasher and fastened it, you can now turn on the water supply and the power supply. Over the next few hours, keep checking to see if there are any leaks at the water connections.

If there are signs of leakage, turn off the power/water supply and tighten the parts. If there’s no sign of leakage, you can test-run the dishwasher and it should run smoothly and effectively, and then you’re good to go.

dishwasher no leakage

10. If in doubt, recruit a professional

While this job shouldn’t be too complex, it’s sometimes best left for the professionals. If you’re unsure how to go about installing your dishwasher yourself, or if you have any uncertainties then it may be best to swallow your pride and hire a plumber who knows what they’re doing.

Some retailers will give customers the option to have it professionally installed for them, but otherwise you can recruit somebody yourself.

install a dishwasher

2 COMMENTS

  1. Wow, I had no idea that there would be so many steps to getting a dishwasher installed! However, I guess it makes sense since they are such complicated machines. I thought that I might be able to install my new dishwasher on my own, but I don’t think I should be connecting pipes and energy supplies on my own. Instead, I think I’ll have a professional move and install it for me. That way, I won’t have to worry about messing anything up!

  2. George, I like the idea to read through your dishwasher manual before installing it. Ours have recently started to break down and it is causing some serious issues. I definitely think that we should have it replaced with a brand new one.

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