Skip to main content

The beginner’s guide to installing a dishwasher in 4 easy steps

Your kitchen should be a space that’s clean and functional. If your dishwasher is dated or looking kind of nasty, even after a deep cleaning, it’s probably time for a new model. We’re going to walk through how to install a dishwasher in four easy steps that even a beginner DIY enthusiast can accomplish.

Image used with permission by copyright holder

Do you need an electrician to install a dishwasher?

When you’re swapping out an old dishwasher for a new one, you don’t necessarily need to hire a professional electrician, plumber, or carpenter to install your dishwasher. After all, the hookups and space are already there for you. While there are some steps involved for electrically wiring the new appliance, most models come with specific instructions on how to perform those steps.

Recommended Videos

How do you install a dishwasher for the first time?

If your kitchen is getting its very first dishwasher, however, there are some more complex steps involved that should be done by a professional if you don’t have the required tools or qualifications to do them on your own. These steps include:

  • Carving out a space in your cabinets for the dishwasher
  • Running electrical wiring and plumbing to the installation point

Once these steps are completed, you can follow the rest of this guide for installation.

What is needed to install a dishwasher?

It’s important to make sure you have the right tools and materials on hand for installing your new dishwasher. One factor to consider is that new dishwashers don’t necessarily come equipped with all of the hookups required, so you may have to purchase them. Here’s everything you’ll need for this project:

  • Blankets, towels, or cardboard to protect your floors
  • Small bowl
  • Pliers
  • Adjustable wrench
  • Electric drill and bits
  • Water supply line (be sure it fits with your new dishwasher and your home’s connectors)
  • Power cord (your old dishwasher’s power cord should work, but replace it if it’s damaged)
Raisa Suprun / Shutterstock

How to install a dishwasher in 4 easy steps

Step 1: Turn off water and power

To prevent water from pouring out of the old water supply line, the water to the dishwasher needs to be shut off. In most cases, you can shut off the water valve located under the kitchen sink that feeds to the dishwasher. Otherwise, you can shut off your home’s main water valve.

To prevent electric shocks, be sure the power to the old dishwasher is off by either unplugging the unit from the power source or shutting off the power at the breaker.

Step 2: Remove the old dishwasher

Dishwashers are connected in three areas, so you’ll need to disconnect all three before pulling the old unit out.

  • Under-counter mounts
  • Water supply line
  • Drain line

Use an electric drill to remove the screws holding the dishwasher’s brackets in place under the counter. There’s also typically a facial plate in place against the bottom of the dishwasher, and the screws holding the plate in place will also need to be removed.

Unhook the water supply line under the kitchen sink using an adjustable wrench. There may be some residual water left in the line, so place a bowl under the connection to catch any water that releases.

Remove the drain line from the vent under your sink by loosening the band clip that’s on it.

At this point, you can carefully pull the old dishwasher out of its spot. Be sure to protect your floors by laying down a towel, blanket, or piece of cardboard to rest the unit on as you’re pulling it out. You’ll likely have to lift the front feet of the dishwasher over the edge of the flooring before pulling out the dishwasher.

Step 3: Prep the new model

Lay a blanket or towel on the floor and lay the new dishwasher on its back so you can access the bottom.

Following the manufacturer’s instructions, connect the water supply line to the dishwasher. Be sure the gasket for the supply line is in place to avoid leaks.

Connect the drain hose on the dishwasher to the drain line under the sink. Typically, drain lines come with a clamp that fastens the two hoses together.

Then, go to the electrical box on the dishwasher and make the appropriate wire connections according to the manufacturer’s instructions. You should see a ground wire, a neutral wire, and a live wire that either need to be connected to wire nuts or clamps.

Adjust the feet and wheels of your new dishwasher to the right height for the cabinet opening before turning it upright.

Step 4: Install and connect the new dishwasher

Now it’s time to carefully move the new dishwasher into place under the countertop. As the unit moves in place, the water supply, drain, and electrical connections need to be fed through to reach the connections under the sink.

Before the unit is pushed entirely into its place under the counter, use a drill to connect the mounting tabs to the dishwasher. Then, slide the unit fully into the space and use a drill to secure the mounting tabs to the underside of the countertop to keep the dishwasher mounted in place.

Connect the new water supply line and drain line under the kitchen sink and connect the new dishwasher’s power cord to a power source before turning the water valve back on.

You’ll be happy to know that installing a new dishwasher isn’t usually a complex process, and most DIYers can handle the skill level required to complete the project in just a few hours. A dishwasher is a supreme convenience in the kitchen, and if your old one is getting a bit dated, a new unit can mean all the difference in your daily life.

Editors' Recommendations

Veronica Sparks
Veronica Sparks is a writer from Milwaukee, Wisconsin who loves writing about gardening, home décor, and DIY life. She’s…
3 YouTube videos that will teach you how to repair drywall quickly and easily
Learn how to refinish and repair any holes, cracks, and scuffs on your drywall
Person using drywall tape to repair drywall

There comes a time in every homeowner’s life when drywall gets damaged. A doorknob punches a hole because the doorstop went missing or the surface becomes marred when you remove a bathroom mirror during a remodel. Or, perhaps someone inadvertently steps through the ceiling while installing attic insulation.

Accidents happen, and, luckily, drywall repairs are easy. With a few good YouTube videos, even a beginner DIYer can start refinishing walls like a pro, repairing any holes, cracks, and scuffs that come their way.

Read more
7 times you should absolutely choose an eggshell paint finish
Is eggshell paint the perfect finish for your project? Here's when the answer is 'yes'
Couple posing with paint rollers in front of painted white wall

A home remodel is always an exciting project. It's a thrill to be able to reimagine a room and give it a modern, stylish facelift that matches your interior design vision perfectly. Part of the remodeling process, however, is the inevitable task of repainting the space.

While picking out a paint color and a paint brand may seem like a simple choice, there are a lot of variables to consider. One variable is the type of paint finish you need for the space. There are so many varieties of paint finishes -- including matte, flat, high-gloss, and eggshell -- all with different appearances and benefits. To help you out, we're going to discuss seven scenarios when you should definitely go with an eggshell paint finish.

Read more
The December home maintenance checklist everyone needs
Make sure your home is ready for the cold, snow, and ice with this checklist
House with vinyl siding and brick in winter

As those last leaves fall and the pumpkins hit the trashcan, a new season of to-do lists starts to emerge. With the holidays bearing down on you, it's time to start transitioning away from your fall home maintenance checklist and into the winter one. To prevent you from being caught off guard by forgotten winter tasks, we've assembled the perfect December home maintenance checklist that will go a long way in preparing you for the cold months ahead.

Get ready for snow and ice
The most pressing of items on December's to-dos regard bracing for the coming freeze. Being unprepared for snow, ice, and freezing weather can lead to stress, discomfort, and damage to your home. Not to mention it can be downright dangerous. Here are all the things you need to do to prepare for sub-zero temperatures.
Shut off outdoor faucets and store away hoses
Water expands as it freezes, and that's why burst pipes are so common in the winter. When the weather starts creeping toward freezing temperatures, it's time to disconnect your hose and store it away so that it's not punctured or damaged come spring.

Read more