Learning Center4 Steps to DIY Dishwasher Installation

4 Steps to DIY Dishwasher Installation

Learn how to install a dishwasher yourself in just four simple steps.

Mint green kitchen with stainless steel dishwasher and matte black faucet

Whether you’re an avid home chef or an occasional cook, a dishwasher is one of the most convenient appliances in your kitchen design. When it’s time to replace your dishwasher, don’t worry about calling in the professionals and paying a high installation fee. Discover how to install a dishwasher yourself and spend that extra dough on upgraded features for the appliance itself. All you’ll need are a couple common household tools, a few free hours, and this step-by-step guide. Before you begin, measure the space you have available and choose from the many dishwasher sizes for your new appliance. 

What You’ll Need

  • Dishwasher 
  • Wire Connectors 
  • Dishwasher Connection Kit 
  • Pliers 
  • Bowl 
  • Protective Cloth 
  • Adjustable Wrench 
  • Screwdriver Set 
  • Tube Cutters 
  • Safety Glasses 

Step 1: Remove the Existing Dishwasher

Before your new dishwasher installation, you’ve got to get rid of the old one. 

Turn Off the Electricity

Before you can do an electrical project, it’s important to cut the electricity to the area. Go to your circuit breaker and turn off the electrical for your dishwasher. 

Residential circuit breaker panel

Turn Off the Water Supply

Find your water shut-off valve under the sink and turn off the water supply to your sink and dishwasher. 

Remove the Front Access Panel

At the front of your full console dishwasher, just above the floor is a front access panel to your dishwasher. Remove that panel using a screwdriver. This will give you access to the terminal box. 

Disconnect the Wiring

With the terminal box exposed, disconnect any electrical wiring running to your old dishwasher. 

Disconnect the Water Supply Line

Using an adjustable wrench, disconnect the water supply line from the dishwasher, making sure to have a bowl on hand to catch any remaining water in the line that may spill as you complete this task. 

Diagram of dishwasher water supply line

Disconnect the Drain Hose

After removing the water supply line, disconnect the drain hose from the dishwasher. 

Diagram of dishwasher drain hose

Remove Anchor Screws

You will notice a series of brackets that anchor your dishwasher to the cabinets on either side. Using a screwdriver, make sure to remove the connection of all brackets to the surrounding areas. 

Remove the Dishwasher

With everything disconnected, it’s time to remove the old dishwasher. Make sure to lay down old towels or a blanket to protect the flooring in your kitchen as you shimmy the dishwasher out. 

Step 2: Prepare the New Dishwasher

With the old dishwasher out of the way, you can take a few minutes to prep the new dishwasher for installation. 

Keep the Electrical Cable Accessible

Before you do anything else, take a little tape to secure the electrical cable in a place that it will be accessible for the new dishwasher installation. 

Unpack the New Dishwasher

Now that you’ve chosen the dishwasher for installation you’ll add to your kitchen, it’s time to unpack the exciting new appliance. You can always use the deconstructed box to help protect your floors as you work. 

Lay Down the Dishwasher

Once you unpack the dishwasher, gently lay it on the back side so you can have better access to all the connections. 

Follow Manufacturer Instructions

Your new dishwasher should have an installation kit. Following the instructions specific to your make and model, installing the 90-degree elbow fitting onto the water valve and then moving on to future steps. 

Install a New Water Supply Line

Your kit probably has a new supply line. Disconnect the old supply line from the shut-off valve and feed the new water supply line through the hole of the sink cabinet, connecting it to the shut-off valve. Like you did with the electric line, secure the supply line to the floor with tape to keep it handy once you nestle the new dishwasher in place. 

Add a New Drain Hose

Detach the old drain hose from the sink pipe or garbage disposal and connect the new drain hose in the same manner. Like you did with the other two lines, tape the drain hose to the floor for easy connection in the next step. 

TIP: If any of the three lines are long and have extra slack, make sure the extra slack is inside the sink cabinet and attach the extra slack to the side or back of the cabinet to keep it out of the way when you’re storing cleaning supplies. 

Step 3: Connect All Lines

You’re Ready to complete your dishwasher installation by connecting all the lines and getting your new appliance securely in place. 

Stand Up the New Dishwasher

It’s time to make sure your dishwasher is standing up properly again. With that front panel removed, you’ll be able to start connecting each of your lines. 

Connect the Water Supply Line

With a pair of pliers at the ready, connect your water supply line to the 90-degree fitting you installed. You’re going to want a nice, secure fit to avoid any leaking water. Go ahead and turn on the water supply, looking carefully for any water leaks. 

Connect the Drain Hose

All that water needs a place to drain. Attach the drain hose according to the manufacturer instructions. 

Connect the Electrical Connections

It’s time to power the new dishwasher by attaching the electrical wires to the new appliance per the instructions in your manual. Once you’re done, you can turn the breaker back on to make sure all electrical is working with the new dishwasher. 

man wiring a new dishwasher

Secure the Dishwasher

Once you’re sure it is all working properly, it’s time to secure the dishwasher in place. Using a level, make sure the appliance is both level (horizontal) and plumb (vertical). You can always adjust the legs to get the dishwasher in line. Use the included brackets to secure the dishwasher to the surrounding cabinetry, just as the previous unit had been. 

Step 4: Enjoy Squeaky-Clean Dishes

Now that you know how to install a dishwasher, try your hand at installing other appliances around the home. Now that your new dishwasher is in place, whip up your favorite meal and test it with a full round of dishes. Making sure your home has a water softener will help extend the life of your new dishwasher, and all the other appliances in your home.  

You don’t need a plumber to install a new dishwasher when you take a few minutes to learn the basics of how to install a dishwasher yourself. So how long does dishwasher installation take? Depending upon your set-up and whether or not you have anyone helping out, you can install your dishwasher in as little as an hour or two. When you don’t have space to install a full-console dishwasher, try out a countertop dishwasher instead. A variety of dishwasher sizes makes it easy to find the right appliance for any kitchen.