Home Improvement

How to Plumb a Dishwasher

Getting a new dishwasher is a dream come true for any household, especially if you were doing dishes by hand until the joyful moment of the purchase. But how do you actually get such an appliance installed? You don’t just place it in your kitchen and connect it to an electrical outlet, right? It can’t be that easy. 

Well, you are right – it’s not. So if you:

  • recently bought a dishwasher and are looking for ways to plumb it in with no difficulties
  • have other integrated appliances and wonder whether you should buy an integrated dishwasher as well
  • just moved into a new house which doesn’t have a dishwasher

Then, read along…

Table of Contents:

Installing a dishwasher yourself is not an easy task but it’s not an impossible one, either. Basically, the key element of completing this project is a lot of patience. Anything else, such as instructions and list of tools you can find here, in this article. But before we get to the actual guide… 

What model of dishwasher do you have? 

There are two main factors of great importance when it comes to installing this appliance: the type of your dishwasher and its size. 

Types of dishwashers


This is the most popular dishwasher type out there. Unlike other models, this one is designed to stay visible with its door is placed on an accessible area. Due to the fact that many homeowners choose this type of appliance for their kitchen, there is a wide range of colour options, styles, etc. A major bonus to owning a freestanding dishwasher is that it’s not built into your kitchen, meaning that you can easily transport it in case of a move. And, of course, the negative aspect of this model is that it doesn’t have the sleek and blended look like an integrated option would have. 


Looking for a more uniformed look for your kitchen? Integrated dishwasher options can bring that exact vibe to your kitchen. Again, like with the freestanding one, you get a lot of style and colour options and, if you wish, you can even have the appliance completely concealed behind a cabinet door. 


Basically, this dishwasher option is the best of both worlds – you get to have the appliance concealed, while the control panel is placed on an accessible and visible area. This means that you don’t need to open the dishwasher door every 20 minutes to check if it’s ready. 

DIfferent dishwasher sizes

Full size

If the pile of dirty dishes after dinner gets a little scary at times, a full-size dishwasher is your best bet. As the name states, they have a larger capacity than other options available on the market with up to 16 place settings. And don’t let the bigger size worry you – such an appliance can be a freestanding or an integrated model. Both options are around 60 cm in width. Another benefit of having a bigger dishwasher is that it saves water and it’s energy-efficient as you get to wash a larger number of dishes at the same time.


If your kitchen is narrow or just small, a slimline model is the way to go. Most models are just 45 cm wide and can wash around 10 items. The downside of owning this type of dishwasher is that it will be a bit harder on your water and electrical bill.


Portable dishwashers no bigger than a large microwave are perfect for people who are living alone, don’t cook as much, and frown at the idea of washing dishes. Compact dishwashers don’t take a lot of space and can store around 6 items. And because of its size, this dishwasher model is more budget-friendly when it comes to monthly bills.

Tools you need

Before we get to the actual installation process, you need to gather some tools and materials for the project. Most of them you probably have to lay around in your home and those that you don’t own, you can get from your nearby hardware store. Note that some of the items can be on the expensive side, especially the power tools.

  • Meter key;
  • Pliers;
  • Disposal wrench;
  • Adjustable wrenches;
  • Flat-blade screwdriver;
  • Hammer;
  • Power drill;
  • Tubing cutter;
  • Dual outlet/dual shut-off valve;
  • Tongue-and-groove pliers;
  • Tape measure;
  • Hacksaw;
  • 1 1/2-inch hole saw;
  • Emery cloth;
  • A piece of clean cloth.
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How to remove the old dishwasher

In case you are replacing a dishwasher with a newer, nicer model, you’ll have to remove the old one, right? Here are the steps you need to take:

  • Turn off the water supply. This step is vital for the deinstallation process. To do this, you must first locate the valve which is probably under the sink. Twist it slowly to turn off the water supply. Try running some hot water afterwards to be completely sure that there is none. If this doesn’t work, you’ll have to cut your house’s main water supply.
  • Turn off the power. A trip to the hospital due to electrocution is not a fun way to spend your day. Go to the electrical panel and cut the power for your dishwasher. Try to turn on the appliance and if doesn’t react in any way, continue with the next step.
  • Open the dishwasher and cover the wires inside. First, you’ll have to unscrew the attachment bolt to open the dishwasher. They are located on the top part of the counter flange of the appliance. Remove the top and then dislocate the bottom cover. Now, locate the cover wires. Protect the cables with wire nuts, disconnect them from the terminal screws and set them to the side. 
  • Disconnect the water supply. Find the water supply of your dishwasher. It’s usually located under the appliance. Once you’ve spotted it, disconnect the supply line from the water inlet by gently unfastening the nut. After that, you’ll need to remove the hose, loosen the clamp and remove the part in order to disconnect the drain hose from the sink. 
  • Move the appliance. Once you’ve disconnected and unscrewed everything, it’s time to move your dishwasher out of the way. Set a blanket on the ground in front of the appliance and carefully set it on top. Remember that piece of cloth from earlier? Keep it close in case of potential water spillage. All you have to do is keep the area clean and you are ready to proceed to the next step of installing a dishwasher.
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How to plumb in a dishwasher

Now that you’ve got all of your tools gathered and the old dishwasher removed, it’s time to get your new appliance installed and here is how this process goes:

  1. Get the water out of the way.

    Turn off the main water supply before doing anything else. Drain any excess water from the plumbing lines by opening the faucet located closest to your shut off. 

  2. Pull the supply valve from the pipe.

    Once you’ve located the water supply valve (should be under your sink), get a pair of pliers and loosen the compression nut on the valve that connects the water supply to the faucet. Don’t worry if a little water comes out – it’s perfectly normal. Gently loosen the nut that holds that secures the valve to the copper pipe located under the sink. You can use an adjustable wrench for this part. After that, pull the supply valve from the pipe. Do the same for the compression nut and the copper ferrule part placed underneath it.

  3. Clean up the pipe.

    Get an emery cloth any clean any deposits from the pipe. Wipe off the emery residue with a clean towel. 

  4. Connect the valves to the copper pipe.

    Slide the compression nut from a dual outlet/dual shut-off valve over the copper pipe. The threads must face forward. Place the brass ferrule that comes with the valve onto the pipe. Now, slide the new dual-outlet/dual shut-off valve on to the pipe. Then slipe the ferrule right next to the valve and then the nut over it and onto the threads of the new valve. Secure the nut.

  5. Secure the valves.

    Get the adjustable wrench and secure the supply valve with it. With the use of another wrench, gently tighten the valve compression nut.
    Almost there – attach the water supply line to one of the dual shut-off valves. Remember to leave the other valve for the supply line of the appliance. Tighten both valves until they are in an “Off” position.  
    Carefully slide in the appliance. It’s best to screw the front legs of the dishwashers, so you can move it easier. 

  6. Place the new dishwasher on its spot.

    Get someone to pull the drain hose from under the sink, while you manoeuvre with the appliance. Attach the water line underneath to the dishwasher. Pull out the electric cable through the sleeve of the appliance. Secure it, so the wire doesn’t come out afterwards. 

  7. Do some wirework.

    Connect the wires to their according colours – ground wire to the green screw, white wire to white wire, and black wire to the black wire. Secure with a few wire nuts. 

  8. Finishing touches and test.

    Now, attach the hose to its previous position. Fill the waterline by turning on the water valve. Make sure to test for leaks. 
    Level the dishwasher by adjusting its front legs. Secure the mounting screws by driving them into the underside of the countertop and through the flange to attach the appliance. Turn on your dishwasher and make your first load of dirty dishes!

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How to install a dishwasher to a garbage disposal

Want to connect your dishwasher to the garbage disposal so you can make life a bit easier? The job is not as complicated as you might think.

  • Unplug the waste disposal from its electrical outlet.
  • Unfasten the two screws that secure the discharge tube to the appliance.
  • Once loose, gently pull the part, so you don’t damage the drain pipe.
  • Get a disposal wrench and insert it into one of the three circular tabs located on the mounting collar that hold the garbage disposal to the bracket.
  • Secure the waste disposal with one hand, while you unfasten the collar from the sink. 
  • Place the waste disposal at the bottom of the cabinet and insert a flat-blade screwdriver into the dishwasher drain connection. You can find it located above the discharge tube connection.
  • Gently tap the screwdriver with a hammer in order to kick out the drain plug from the wall of the disposal appliance.
  • Remove the plastic piece. 
  • Now, using the same flat-blade screwdriver, replace the disposal in the mounting bracket. Just turn the mounting collar counterclockwise in order to attach the appliance to the sink.
  • Secure the discharge tube the garbage disposal and plug back the machine. That’s it, you are done!

Call professional plumbers for an easy dishwasher installation

As you can see for yourself, the answer to the question “How to install a dishwasher?” is neither short nor simple. There are a lot of things involved in the process – from buying special tools and equipment to having to deal with wirework. By all means, we don’t want to discourage your appliance installation project, but why not spare yourself a little bit of cash from tools and a few headaches by getting your dishwasher installed or repaired by experts?

We, at Fantastic Services, offer professional appliance installation and repair services. The technicians come fully equipped for the job with all the necessary tools and equipment. They are specially trained and fully insured and can visit you on any day of the week thanks to their flexible work schedule.

So, drop that screwdriver, get your phone and make your appointment with us today! In case you prefer to get a helping hand, now you can.

Visit the main website for price rates on our professional plumbers!


  • No matter if you are installing or deinstalling a dishwasher, the first thing that you should do is cut the water and power supply. 
  • Prepare a good amount of towels and cloth pieces – things can get messy. 
  • Get a friend to help you out with the project!

Did you find our article on how to fit a dishwasher helpful? Leave your thoughts and experiences in the comment section below!

Image source: Leszek Glasner/shutterstock.com

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