Dishwasher Installation – The How To

Without a doubt, a dishwasher installation is the easiest of all the appliance installations IF the necessary plumbing and electrical are in place and, of course, there is a space in between the cabinets to place the dishwasher. This space should be 24 inches wide. Less space is not acceptable. More is kind of OK as you can add fillers.

Dishwasher Blanket

    • The first thing you do is unpack the dishwasher and place it in front of the cabinet opening. There will be a blanket wrapped around the tub of the unit. The blanket is very important for noise abatement, so leave it wrapped around the tub.I am amazed at the number of professional installers, during a dishwasher installation, think the blanket is packing material and throw it away.FYI: Higher quality units have thicker insulating pads than their cheaper counterparts.


    • Next, check to make sure you have all the necessary materials for your dishwasher installation.
      • A hose, 3/8” braded steel, solid plastic or copper pipe to run from the hot water connection under the sink to the bottom of the dishwasher;
      • An electrical cord to run from the electrical outlet under the sink to the front of the dishwasher; and
      • Some yellow wire nuts to connect to the dishwasher wiring.
    • The drain hose should be connected to the pump under the dishwasher. This runs to the inlet on the disposal.The drain line from the dishwasher should run high to eliminate siphoning from the disposal back into the dishwasher. It should be as high as possible or should I say as close to the bottom of the countertop as you can get and still have the hose reach the drain. You can also provide a loop inside the sink cabinet after the dishwasher is installed.
    • Connect the dishwasher drain to the outlet at the top of the disposal. MAKE SURE TO KNOCK OUT THE PLUG.
    • Use a screwdriver and recover the metal or plastic piece inside the disposal. Stick some duct tape inside Dishwasher Brass Fittingthe disposal to catch the plug or use a pair of needle nose pliers.
    • Connect the hot water line to the dishwasher. Some manufacturers include the brass fitting adapter and some do not. Make sure you have this part before you leave the store to start your dishwasher installation
    • Connect the other end of the line to the hot water shutoff valv
    • Turn the water on and check for leaks.
    • Run the electrical cord from the sink cabinet through the hole in the cabinet to the dishwasher. The plug end of the wire should stay in the cabinet, DO NOT PLUG THE CORD INTO THE OUTLET.
    • Install a romex clamp in the 3/4 inch hole in the electrical junction box in the bottom front of the dishwasher.
    • Run the cord through the clamp and leave several inches of cable in the box.

NOTE: For this dishwasher installation, I prefer to strip the electrical cord before placing in the box. I strip off 3 inches of insulation revealing the three wires (black, white and green). I then strip off 3/4 inch of insulation on each wire and tightly twist the end.

    • Tighten the screws on the clamp just enough to provide strain relief. Do not damage the electrical cord
    • Join the electrical cord to the wires from the dishwasher using the yellow wire nuts. Some manufacturers simply connect the green wire to a screw on the chassis.
    • After all the connections are completed, place the cover over the wiring. Usually it will hinge in with just 1 screw.
    • Turn on the water and check for leaks.
    • Plug in the electrical cord, no sparks or smoke? Good.

NOTE: If you open the door, hold onto the door as the brackets that keep the dishwasher from tipping forward are not yet attached.

    • Turn on the dishwasher. Does it run OK with no leaks?

Dishwasher Leveling Feet

Let it run the entire cycle. After it finishes washing it is time to push the dishwasher into the cabinet. We are getting close to the end of the dishwasher installation. Center it in the opening. Adjust the height if necessary. There are four screws in the bottom framing to accomplish this. See the picture to the left.

Dishwasher Anti-tip Brackets
There are two brackets at the top of the dishwasher. See picture above. These need to be attached to the bottom of the countertop. The purpose of these screws is to prevent the d/w from tipping over.
There, your dishwasher installation is complete.

Enjoy your new dishwasher


Dave Altman

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