If your dishwasher is on its last legs or runs less efficiently than the newer models on the market, it might be time to upgrade. The following steps will walk you through the process of installing an integrated dishwasher in your kitchen to replace your old one. Keep in mind that this installation can become quite involved and should only be attempted by professionals or experienced do-it-yourself homeowners.
1. Prepare the space for installation.
If the old dishwasher has already been removed from your kitchen, the water and electricity should have already been shut off. Before beginning installation, consider removing the doors from the cabinet under your sink to make it easier to connect your water supply and drain lines.
2. Make sure your integrated dishwasher will fit into your space.
Since most integrated dishwashers require a 24-inch wide opening, you shouldn’t need to adjust the width of the space when replacing your old dishwasher with a new one. If the layers of flooring in front of the space make it difficult to slide the new dishwasher into place, you may need to remove a layer of tiles or loosen the countertop above it.
3. Hook up the water supply line beneath your kitchen sink.
Disconnect the hot water supply inlet to your sink and attach a dual outlet valve to this inlet. Reconnect the sink’s hot water outlet on one side and the dishwasher water supply line to the other outlet.
A dual outlet valve allows water to run into the sink and dishwasher at the same time. If you are replacing an old dishwasher with a new one, you probably already have this dual outlet valve so look for it before buying a new one.
4. Connect the water supply line to your dishwasher.
Most dishwasher models require you to hook up the water lines and electricity behind the dishwasher. Before attaching the water line, apply Teflon tape around the dishwasher’s water inlet. Now attach a right angle elbow to it before connecting the water line to the elbow.
However, some newer models have a front-side panel that connects to the water lines and electricity. In this case, you must tape down the water and electrical lines securely to the floor so the new dishwasher can be placed on top of them.
5. Attach the drain line to the dishwasher.
Attach the dishwasher’s drain pipe to the drain piece under the sink. When replacing an old dishwasher, there should already be an existing dishwasher drain piece ready to be hooked up. If not, you must replace the sink’s drain pipe with a dishwasher tailpiece. This way, you can securely fasten a piece of dishwasher drain tubing to the sink drain directly above the trap.
Make sure the top arch of the drain tube is located higher than the drain inlet to prevent water backups. Some building codes require you to install an air gap in the water supply line for this purpose, so be sure to check your local building codes to find out if this is necessary.
6. Hook up the dishwasher’s electrical wiring.
In the electrical box at the back of the dishwasher, there should be black wiring, white wiring, and a ground screw. Using electrical wire nuts, attach black electrical wire to the dishwasher’s black wiring and white electrical wire to the dishwasher’s white wiring. A ground wire, which is usually green, also needs to be connected to the dishwasher’s ground screw.
Once all of your wires are securely connected, tuck them into the dishwasher’s electrical box.
7. Slide the dishwasher securely into place.
Push your new integrated dishwasher into place. Make sure none of the dishwasher’s wiring or water hoses become crimped while sliding the dishwasher into place. If it’s not level, adjust the leveling feet on the bottom. Use the dishwasher manufacturer’s hardware to mount the front of the dishwasher onto the unit.
8. Perform a test run.
After turning the power and water back on, run the dishwasher through a complete cycle to ensure there are no leaks or other issues. If there are no problems, you are ready to mount the top of the dishwasher to the bottom of your countertop. Use the manufacturer’s hardware included with the dishwasher.
Remember, you should only attempt this fully integrated dishwasher installation if you are a professional or experienced DIY homeowner. Otherwise, contact a professional plumbing service to ensure your new dishwasher is installed correctly and to prevent unnecessary problems down the road.