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    How to install a dishwasher

    This might be a DIY project best left for the professionals

    Alex | Oneflare

    How easy is it to install a dishwasher?

    Installing a dishwasher for the first time can be intimidating. However, the process is possible for a DIYer if the right steps are followed. 

    How to remove a dishwasher

    If you are faced with removing a dishwasher, the following steps should be followed to ensure an easy DIY dishwasher install.

    Prepare the area

    Your dishwasher should be located close to the kitchen sink. Clear out the area beneath the kitchen sink, the countertop immediately above the dishwasher and at least 5′ floor space in front of the dishwasher. Line the floor area with a drop sheet or other material to prevent scratching the immediate area when the dishwasher is pulled out.

    Disconnect water & power

    Open the cabinet located under the kitchen sink. You will notice three lines coming from the direction of the dishwasher. One of these will be an electrical cord that is plugged into an outlet. This is the first and most important part of how to disconnect a dishwasher. 

    Drain hoses under the sink

    The second line will be a water line. Follow this line to a shut-off valve and turn to stop the water flow. The last line will be the drain line. Follow it to clamps that are holding it in place. Remove any clamps or other hardware that is keeping the line secure. 

    Remove dishwasher from its place

    There should be a removable plate below the front door of the dishwasher. Remove this panel and look for any bolts and screws that may need to be removed. Notice a water line attached inside the panel. Disconnect the coupling on this line with a small wrench. You can then slide the dishwasher out from its place.

    Replacing an existing dishwasher is possible to do yourself / Source: Shakeadog Photography

    How to replace an existing dishwasher

    Once the old existing dishwasher has been removed, the new one needs to be hooked up and made operable.

    1. Unpack new dishwasher and adjust feet: Remove your new dishwasher from the packaging and adjust the feet for a proper balance. A dishwasher plumbing installation follows the same rules as the above steps, but in reverse. 
    2. Connect water, waste, and power lines: Line up the dishwasher with the space under the cabinet. Leave enough room to reach into the opening and locate the three lines that will be attached to the new unit. Maneuver the cables through the space under the sink. Allow enough slack to prevent the lines to become tangled behind the cabinets. First, connect the water line by sliding the hose into the valve. Hand tighten clockwise until snug. The next step can either be plugging in the power cord or adding the drain hose. The drain hose installation can be tricky if you are connecting the dishwasher drain hose for the first time. A U-bend should have been packed with the new unit. This is used to carry the drain hose as high as possible to avoid a siphon effect. Once in place, tighten down the hose with a clamp. 
    3. Slide new dishwasher in place & secure with screws: Make sure the feet are level against the floor, and there is no rocking. You may have to pull the unit out to adjust the feet. When comfortable with the placement, secure to the countertop with screws.
    4. Turn on power and water: Plug the power cord in and open the water valve. Run an entire cycle and watch for any leaks or problems under the sink with the lines. 

    How to install a dishwasher where there was none prior

    Installing a dishwasher in existing cabinets may sound like an easy job, but there has to be plumbing, electrical and carpentry work to consider. 

    Contact local plumbers

    Required tools & materials 

    You will need a lot more tools and equipment to install a dishwasher where there was none. Some of these include:

    • A drop sheet
    • Drill
    • Crowbar
    • New tap and drain connections
    • power cabling for a power outlet

    Remove cabinets to create space for the dishwasher

    This step can be done by the DIYer without much difficulty. There only needs to be enough space for threading hoses into the under sink cabinet. 

    Install drainage, water and power cables in the adjacent cabinet

    If you have little knowledge of installing a plug in with the required voltage for a dishwasher, it is time to seek help from an electrician. The same applies to tapping into water lines and drains, as you will need a plumber to help you do this. 

    Install a new dishwasher using the steps above

    Once the lines have been created to attach to the new unit hoses and lines, the same steps as replacing a dishwasher will complete the installation.

    Custom dishwashers are hard to replace without a professional’s help / Source: Mastercraft Kitchens

    How to hire a plumber

    Researching problems that can occur when adding a dishwasher may change your mind on hiring a plumber. How to connect a dishwasher is simple for a licensed plumber. 

    Licensing and qualifications

    Each state has specific licensing and registration requirements to be able to operate as a plumber. Many times a plumber has worked under the supervision of practical training or received an AQF (Australian Qualifications Framework)certificate III or IV. Contact the plumbing authority in your state for a list of documentation to ask for:

    Reputation and experience

    Earning a reputation for giving excellent service and being well-educated often comes with a full calendar. However, it is usually worth the wait. Holding a positive presence in the community is also a winning signal that you have found a good plumber. 

    A written quote

    A plumber can charge between $50 to $250 an hour. Depending on the amount of work that needs to be done to install your dishwasher, the price could run several hundred dollars. Replacing a dishwasher is an easy task for someone with handyman skills. However, when starting from scratch or wanting to locate the unit further away from a sink, a new set of problems could arise. It is a good idea to balance your skills against a plumber when experience is needed.

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