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Installing A Dishwasher Yourself
Just like other home appliances, a dishwasher helps to make chores less time-consuming and free of hassle. Most modern kitchens have a dishwasher or a cabinet space for dishwasher installation built into them. An older kitchen with no dishwasher or cabinet space for one might require a little reconstruction to accommodate dishwasher installation.
Installing a dishwasher requires basic knowledge of plumbing and electrical wiring. This article contains the steps involved in dishwasher installation, dishwasher installation tips, things to consider when installing a dishwasher in a kitchen that previously had no dishwasher in it, and tips for maintaining a dishwasher.
Steps Involved In Dishwasher Installation
Step One: Gather the Necessary Supplies
Gather all the required items and keep them near the installation site for easy reach. The materials and tools you will require include the following:
• A screwdriver
• A hose clamp
• Duct tape (optional)
• A brass fitting
• Teflon tape
• A pair of pliers
• An adjustable wrench
• A drill
• Braided steel water line
• A pair of rubber hand gloves (optional)
• Wire nuts
Step Two: Take Safety Measures
First, turn off the power socket and unplug the power cord if it is a plug-in dishwasher. Then, proceed to turn off the circuit breaker. Next, turn off the hot water shut-off valve under the kitchen sink and run the tap to ensure the water supply is shut off. Protect your kitchen floor close to the installation area with an old rug or a piece of drop cloth.
Step Three: Remove the Old Dishwasher
This step only applies if your kitchen has an old dishwasher that you want to replace. Remove the cabinet door to gain complete access to the old dishwasher. Next, remove the cover of the access panel located at the bottom front side of the dishwasher. Locate the junction box inside the access panel.
Now, unscrew the terminal screws holding the wires in place at the junction box. Then, remove and tuck the wires out of the way with duct tape. Locate the dishwasher water inlet tube, undo the brass fitting and disconnect the water supply pipe from it. Put the disconnected end of the water supply line pipe into a bucket or bowl to collect any water remaining in it.
Reach down beneath the sink to undo the drain hose. Loosen, then clamp and disconnect the drain hose of the dishwasher from the tailpiece of the sink. Next, put the disconnected end of the drain hose into a bucket to collect the water and debris.
With all the connections out of place, remove the screws holding the dishwasher in place with a screwdriver, gently pull the dishwasher out from the cabinet and set it aside. You can use a piece of cloth or towel to clean up the mess made or any water spillage on the floor. Also, clean the cabinet where the old dishwasher was before installing a new one.
Skip this step if you are having a dishwasher installed for the first time in your kitchen.
Step Four: Install the New Dishwasher
Carry your new dishwasher unit close to the area of installation. Unpack it and go through the user manual. Lay the dishwasher on its back so the bottom is exposed and accessible.
1. Connect the Water Supply
Wrap Teflon tape on the tip of the water inlet pipe located at the bottom of the dishwasher. Screw on the 90 degrees brass fitting to the taped inlet pipe and tighten it with an adjustable wrench. Most dishwasher units do not include a brass fitting, but they are available at hardware stores.
Once you have the fitting, connect the new water supply line to the elbow of the brass fitting. Pass the other end of the waterline through one of the cabinet holes and place it on the floor beneath the kitchen sink.
2. Attach the Drain Line
Locate the dishwasher drain standout pipe, connect the drain line to the dishwasher, and secure the connection with a hose clamp. Pass the other end of the drain line through the cabinet hole and place it towards the sink drain tailpiece.
3. Slide the Dishwasher into Place
Attach the adjustable legs to the front of the dishwasher. Carefully slide the dishwasher under the countertop into the cabinet. Stop halfway and ensure everything is in a good position before sliding it in completely. Finish hooking up the water line by connecting the other end to the dual shut-off valve located under the kitchen sink.
Proceed to connect the drain hose through an air gap to your garbage disposer, if you have any, or to the drain tailpiece of your sink. If you do not have an air gap, make a high loop with the drain hose before connecting it to the garbage disposal or the sink drain tailpiece.
4. Hook-up the Electrical Wires
Remove the cover of the access panel and unscrew the cover plate of the junction box. Connect the wire from the circuit breaker to the wire at the junction box. Next, connect the white wire to the white wire at the junction box, the black to the black, and the green wire to the ground wire.
Use wire nuts to secure the connection tightly in the junction box. Screw back the cover plate of the junction box and close the access panel. Skip this step if your new dishwasher has a power cord wired to it at the manufacturing factory.
5. Complete the Installation
Give the dishwasher a test run to see if it is operating correctly. Check for water leaks at the water lines and drain line. In addition, check for leaks around the dishwasher. In the absence of any issue, adjust the height of the dishwasher by adjusting the legs.
Screw the metal brackets to the underside of the countertop with a screwdriver. Doing this will keep the dishwasher in place and prevent it from tipping forward. Finally, pack up your tools and clean up the floor.
General Guidelines For Installing A Dishwasher
Dishwasher installing in a kitchen without one can be overwhelming, especially if it's a DIY project. But, with adequate planning, it can be achieved. Bear in mind that your dishwasher would require space, a drain line, water, and electricity supply.
Picking the Right Position is Important
The position you decide to keep your dishwasher matters. For instance, installing a dishwasher next to the kitchen sink cabinet will provide you with easy access to the water line and drain line beneath the sink. Also, consider picking a position closer to your crockery storage unit.
This is to enable easy offload of utensils from the dishwasher. Simply put, you need to ensure the position you choose is accessible, out of the way, and gives adequate room for you to open your dishwasher without any hindrance.
After choosing your dishwasher cabinet space, you will need to drill holes to pass the drain and water line. Read the user manual to determine the size and positions of the hole.
Planning the Water Supply and Drain Line Placement
You should know by now that a dishwasher requires hot water to wash the dishes and a downpipe to drain out the dirty water. The closest source of water supply to the dishwasher is the hot water pipe beneath the kitchen sink. Just replace the hot water stop valve under the kitchen sink with a dual stop valve that will connect to the sink and the dishwasher.
If you do not have a garbage disposal unit, swipe out your sink drain tailpiece with a drain pipe shaped like a Y. Your building code might require running the drain pipe through an air gap, depending on where you reside.
If you have a washing machine already installed in your kitchen that shares a water line and drain line with your sink, you might need plumbing reconstruction or a new plumbing installation for your dishwasher. Get your local plumber to fix it for you.
Ensuring the Electrical Connections are Orderly
Your dishwasher needs a supply of power to function. Your dishwasher might require a separate circuit fuse, for which you will have to run a wire from the main circuit box of your home to your dishwasher and hard-wire it. Use a 15 or 20 AMP circuit to avoid overload of power. Get an electrician to wire the circuit fuse if you cannot handle it on your own.
If you decide to hard-wire the dishwasher yourself, ensure to observe the following precaution measures:
• Switch off your main power control panel and wait for it to get cold if it is hot.
• Ensure that you wear protective gear to prevent unnecessary accidents.
• Avoid working with rusty or damaged tools.
• Ensure that the circuit fuse you intend to use is compatible with the main circuit breaker in your control panel.
Additional dishwasher installation tips include:
• Avoid reusing the water supply line you took out from your old dishwasher as it might leak. You should use a new one instead.
• Go for a braided steel water supply line because it lasts longer than the normal ones.
• Before purchasing a new dishwasher, ensure that its measurements are the same as the old one.
• Different brands of dishwashers come with different installation and care instructions, ensure to read the user manual before installing yours.
• Ensure that your water heater functions well and the hot water supply line is not clogged because lack of hot water supply to the dishwasher can lead to poorly washed dishes.
Practical Tips For Maintaining Your Dishwasher
Clean the Filter Regularly
Most dishwashers drain through a filter; remove the filter and clean it to get rid of whatever is stuck in it. Rinse it off afterwards. To locate the filter and learn how to remove it, use the user's manual.
Clean the Dishwasher's Interior
Clean the interior of your dishwasher with a sponge soaked with vinegar or fresh lemon juice to remove the deposit of hard water and washing detergent.
Always Keep the Seal or Gasket Clean
The seal prevents water leakage from the dishwasher. A dirty seal would prevent the doors from shutting properly and lead to water leakage during a washing cycle. Dip a piece of rag, cloth, or towel into a bowl of liquid dish soap and warm water and gently wipe the seals clean.
Keep the Drain Clean
The drain beneath the dishwasher is where the food particles and debris settle. Frequently keeping the drain clean will prevent it from clogging and the dishwasher from developing an odour. After all, nobody wants to clean their dishes with a stinky dishwasher.
Clean the Spinning Arms
The spinning arms spray water on the dishes during the washing cycle. The sprayers have holes that can get clogged if dirty. Clean the sprayers with a towel soaked in water, and use toothpicks to unclog the holes if clogged.
Use the Dishwasher Frequently
Using the dishwasher at least once a week helps to keep its motor in good shape and prevent it from becoming rusty. When your dishwasher is not in use, running it weekly without dishes will keep the interiors clean and prevent foul smells.
Further tips for maintaining your dishwasher include:
• Avoid overloading the dishwasher.
• Always pour out food particles like bones and eggshells before loading the plates into the dishwasher.
• Always arrange the racks and ensure they're in order before loading the dishwasher with dishes.
• Remember that frequent maintenance will ensure your dishwasher lasts longer.
Reach Out To A Professional Dishwasher Installer
If you are conducting a dishwasher install in a kitchen where none existed before, you should reach out to a trusted plumber to help with the installation process, as it is more complex.
Moreover, if you do not trust your DIY skills, you can still reach out to a professional plumbing company to help out with installing a new dishwasher. There is no shame in reaching out for help to avoid an error-filled installation process.