Single Girl's Guide to Installing a Dishwasher

  • Install kit
  • Teflon tape
  • level
  • measuring tape
  • dishwasher
  • tools; crescent wrenches, screw driver

Step One: Have your new dishwasher ready. And your cell phone, just in case you have to call your Dad.

Step Two: Turn the dishwasher onto it's back so that you can access the electrical and water supply connections. This is the kit for dishwasher installation. Generally about $15.00 at Lowe's or any other home improvement store. It's likely you won't even need all the parts for it. 

Step Three: Access the electrical connection box on the dishwasher and remove the screw to reveal the electrical wires and components. Ground the green ground wire to the green ground screw. Connect the cords from the actual dishwasher with the cord saved from the old dishwasher. You can buy new ones but we reused ours to save a little cash.

Replace the silver box cover to protect the components.

Step Four: Find the water supply connection point. Identify the necessary adapters and fittings from the install kit shown above. The most common is what you see here, the elbow.

Step Five: Wrap the threads of the adapter with three rounds of Teflon tape....

Support the bracket (silver thing beneath the wrench in the picture below) while you tighten the adapter with the wrench. In this case it has to end up pointing to the back of the dishwasher.

Attach the flexi hose from the kit in a similar fashion. Should be your end result:

Step Six: Feed the drain hose and the supply line through the cabinets...

 And the same with the electrical cord. In my case it went over the divider. Be sure to keep the power and the water separate. Safety first!

Step Seven: If there is enough room you can add the old insulation blanket from your previous washer in order to make it even quieter.

Ease the dishwasher slowly into place, be sure to check the gaps on the side as you go.

Step Eight: Measure the gap between the top of the dishwasher and the bottom of the counters. This is too much space, so we have to raise the adjusters in order to bring up the washer.

The gap was created in my case because of the difference in floor height between my tile and where the dishwasher sits. You can see that measured out in this picture:

Step Nine: Using a wonder bar, or some other source of leverage, raise the frame to make it easier to extend the adjusters into position. You want to keep it as even as possible so that you end up with a level dishwasher.

If needed you can add additional leverage to raise the frame.

The tricky part is adjusting the back adjusters properly.

Step Ten: Check to make sure that the dishwasher is level. I have this ever so handy and adorable pink level that my Dad loves to use around the house. :)

Step Eleven: Connecting the water supply to the valve located under the sink. This part was not the most fun, I will warn you. 

Because of the different valve and supply hose sizes, had to make an emergency trip to the hardware store in order to find an adapter that would work with the supply hose. This photo is before adding the Teflon tape to the threads of the fitting, be sure to put teflon tape on all the threads.

 Water supply finished product.

Step Twelve: Connect the new drain hose to the air gap. You may have to cut down the drain hose depending on the size of the fitting. Most disposals require no trimming. We make it difficult in manufactured homes.

Step Thirteen: Check your work. Run a rinse cycle through the washer. Cancel the rinse cycle and make sure that everything drains. You may need to tighten up some of the fittings and that kind of thing to avoid leaks. Recommend putting a pan under the water supply just in case there are any leaks.

A Single Girl's Guide to Dishwasher Removal in Ten Steps!

This Messy Business is a blog about a single girl's adventure in DIY and home ownership. Well along with all the fun painting projects and redecorating sometimes.... I have to get a little technical. Recently two of my major appliances went out (at the same time of course) in the kitchen. In order to save some ca$h we decided to do a little dishwasher DIY install. Seeing as I originally had no clue what to do, I called on my wonderful Dad to help me out. (Thanks Dad!) With his help we constructed a little bit of a step-by-step process on how to first remove your dishwasher and then replace it. Could save you a hundred bucks!

Alright, let's get started!

Step One: Call your Daddy.
Step Two: Make sure that the dishwasher is empty. Key step. Also clean out under the sink so that you can get to the wiring and plumbing.

Step Three: Unplug the dishwasher. Also key. (If your dishwasher is hardwired and not just plugged in be sure to throw the breaker. Safety first!)

Step Four: Turn off water. Usually a small valve under the sink. (That's pretty rockin wallpaper right?)

You must use two wrenches to detach the water supply so that you don't wreck the plumbing that is already there.

Step Five: Disconnect the drain hose. (The white hose in this picture) This is an air gap that may or may not be required by code. Otherwise it will connect right to the disposal, if you have a new disposal or one that has never been connected to a dishwasher make sure that you punch out the plug.

Using a nut driver we removed the clamp from the drain hose.

Step Six: Now that you have detached all the plumbing and power, look under the edge of the counter to see where the two mounting tabs are located. You can use a standard screwdriver to simply detach the screws holding the mounting tabs in place. This is typical other options are side mounts and screw to the floor.

Step Seven: First you have to remove the kick panel that is underneath the door of the dishwasher, generally just two Phillips screws. After you remove the kick panel you will see two adjusters. They sort of look like little footies. If your floor is level you probably won't have to do much with these, but in my case we had tile that stopped at the dishwasher. You may have to get on the floor and use your fingers to wind these guys up to get it out. Lucky for me my Dad was there to raise it up off the floor which made it a little easier. He used the wrench as a lever in order to raise the dishwasher enough that I could twist the adjusters back into the footies so we could pull the dishwasher out of the cabinets.

Step Eight: Pull the dishwasher out of the cabinets. Be careful with the hoses and power supply, water may still be in some of the hoses and leak as you remove the dishwasher. After we pulled the dishwasher out we laid it on it's back so that we could access the electrical and plumbing easier.

The big silver box in the center of this photo is the high voltage electrical connection box. Hence forth called the silver box.

Remove the cover from the silver box in order to reveal the wiring inside. 

 Step Nine: This is what the wiring inside of the silver box looks like. Remove the three wire nuts (the yellow and orange things) and then remove the power cord from the back of the box. This was a push in washer which made removal fairly easy. You may have to turn a couple of metal connectors or nuts depending on your particular washer. We also removed the hose and the water supply from the dishwasher.

Step Ten: You can now sit the dishwasher back up on it's legs and dispose of it properly. Sadly my dishwasher smelled like something had died somewhere inside of it so my Dad carried it out to the porch so we wouldn't stink up the whole house with it. I don't know why it smelled so bad. We didn't really go all Sherlock on that particular case. We just set it outside on the porch and the next day the Lowe's guys take it away. Sorry Lowe's guys!

And of course if you look in almost all of the above pictures you can see a glimpse of Lucy somewhere. Here she is intent on the process.

PS: I am over at The Junk House guest posting about a couple of my favorite projects so far! Be sure to check it out!


I hope that everyone enjoyed their Christmas holiday weekend! I know I did! I got loaded up with some pretty great stuff this year! I missed out on all the fun of baking because I had to work Christmas Eve but! I figured I should show you my new gleaming white appliances!

My  lovely new dishwasher! *Ignore the messy kitchen. Starting the reno process is messy.

My beautiful and HUGE new fridge! My old one was so tiny compared to this guy!

And my all time favorite part! All of the shelves! And drawers! It's so awesome! Obviously it's a little empty since all my food went bad with my old fridge. Yay for Christmas leftovers!

My Mom knows me so well when it comes to Christmas, she bought me a glue gun! And glue sticks of course!

Not my most beautiful photos but! I was excited for my glue gun lol.

My friend Seth bought me this handcrafted wine chest. It's the coolest thing! It holds two full sized bottles of wine. 

Drill bits! Projects! yay!

Everyone teases me about my lack of cooking abilities so my Mom decided to help me out and bought me this Crock-Pot and a new cookbook. Lol. I shall have to raid Pinterest to get some good recipes!

One of my favorite accessories are scarves, but they are also my least favorite to store, generally ending up wadded and forgotten in my closet. My parents bought me these IKEA holders for them! I love organization! I have one for my scarves....

And one for my belts! It works out fantastically!

Oh! I forgot to show you... we hosted our own little family Ugly Sweater Contest at my parent's house for Christmas. Here's my sister and I in all our glory. (The shirt I was wearing was so uncomfortable I thought I was choking!)

I hope everyone had a very Merry Christmas! 

PS. I am buying paint for the cabinets tomorrow. Wish me luck!