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How To Replace a Dishwasher

Automatic dishwashers vary in quality from very inexpensive units with minimum controls to top-of-the-line dishwashers that do almost everything except make your coffee in the morning. No matter which product line you choose, they will eventually wear out or need repairs. Due to the cost of parts for most dishwasher brands, the less expensive units typically get replaced rather than repaired. While it is less common to replace an expensive dishwasher, nevertheless, they do require replacement at times. Replacing a dishwasher is another project that is relatively easy to do for an experienced do-it-yourselfer.


Replacing a dishwasher is a good project for a do-it-yourselfer

Replacing a dishwasher is a good project for a do-it-yourselfer

  1. Lay down some cardboard or plastic to protect your kitchen floor covering.
  2. Turn off the water supply to the dishwasher at the shut off valve in the kitchen sink cabinet, in the basement, or under the house. If your dishwasher does not have a water shut off valve, you should shut off the water to your whole house.
  3. Before turning off the electricity to the dishwasher, turn the unit on briefly with the water off to depressurize the dishwater water fill system.
  4. Find the circuit breaker in the electrical panel that controls the power to your dishwasher. If you are not sure which one it is, simply turn on your dishwasher and turn off and on circuit breakers in the electrical panel one at a time until you find the one that turns off the dishwasher. Mark it with an indelible marker or ink pen, turn it off, and label it with a red tag for safety.

Removing the old dishwasher

Using a Philips screwdriver or a nut driver, remove the lower access panels at the front of the dishwasher.

Remove the cover plate of the electrical box underneath the dishwasher. Check the wires for power, pull out the wires, unscrew the ground wire, remove the wire nuts and romex connector and pull the wires out of the box.

Unscrew the water supply line at the front of the dishwasher on the left. Leave the dishwasher supply line in place.

Find where the dishwasher drain hose connects to the sink waste under the kitchen sink. Loosen the hose clamp at that point and remove the drain hose. If there is a garbage disposal and an airĀ  gap fitting, the dishwasher drain hose will connect to one end of the air gap. If there is no air gap, the drain hose may connect directly to the garbage disposal or to a branch tailpiece that is part of the sink drain itself.

Open the door of the dishwasher and remove the two screws at the top front of the dishwasher that fasten it to the bottom of the cabinet face frame or countertop.

Turn the two front feet of the dishwasher clockwise to lower the unit slightly.

Grasp the base of the dishwasher and pull it gently out of the cabinet space. You may need to pull the dishwasher a little, then feed the drain hose through the cabinet as much as possible in order to remove the unit gradually.

Installation of the new dishwasher is the reverse of removal.


When installing the new dishwasher, remove all the contents inside the new unit including the racks and trays.

Run the new unit through at least one cycle to check it for proper operation and leaks before washing any dishes in it.

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