Replacing a Dishwasher

So our dishwasher officially bit the dust a few months ago, and last week we finally got around to buying a new one. The Easter bunny delivered it yesterday and we immediately got it up and running. The dishwasher is a very easy appliance to replace, and doing it yourself can save you money (I believe the installation charge was close to $100). If you are being offered free installation, of course that is the way to go, but when you have to pay out of pocket, I am sure that cash could be better used elsewhere. Below are the step by step instructions on how to replace a standard built in dishwasher.

Step #1: Disconnect the old one

Unplug the dishwasher and turn off the water under the sink (remember righty-tighty to close the valve). Unscrew the mounting hooks (if installed) and slowly pull out your old dishwasher. Disconnect the water feed from the bottom of the dishwasher, and keep a bowl or towel nearby to catch any remaining water in the line. Lastly, disconnect the drainage hose from the air gap under the sink.

Step #2: Swap the power

Appliances do not typically come with power cords attached, so you can either buy one separate, or take the cord off your old dishwasher. Since our dishwasher was dead and being donated for parts, we decided to reuse the old cord. To do this, remove the cover plates at the bottom front of the old dishwasher, unscrew the wire nuts and the grounding screw, and remove the cord. If your cord is not color coded, you may want to mark which wires are “black” and “green” so you don’t have to figure it out again later. Open the cover plates on the new washer, and attach the power cord.

Step #3: Adjust the leg height

Most washers have adjustable legs so they can fit perfectly into your opening. Our manual had a height chart that showed where the legs needed to go for each standard opening height, but if you don’t have this you can just measure. Also make sure to check that you keep your dishwasher level by checking each side from the top with a small level.

Step #4: Connect your dishwasher

Connect the water to your new washer (make sure to use teflon tape on the threads to avoid leaking). Depending on the model, you may need to purchase special connectors (you should ask about this when purchasing your dishwasher). If you are not sure what you need, I suggest doing the entire process while your local hardware store is open, just in case you run into a problem. Once the water is connected, slowly turn on your water and check for leaks. If no leaks are present, fully turn on the water, connect the drain back to the air gap, and plug in the dishwasher (make sure you wipe up any water before plugging in the cord). Slide your dishwasher into place and (if the option is available) mount your dishwasher to minimize vibration noise and prevent your dishwasher from “walking” or tipping over.

Step #5: Have fun with your box!

If you have young kids, don’t forget that a large appliance box can provide hours of fun for your little one (and put a smile on your face). Make the box into a little house or spaceship; let your child decorative it and pick out where the windows will go.

I hope this blog was helpful for those of you that are looking to replace a dishwasher. Please feel free to leave your comments or questions below.

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