Hey there! If you’re wondering who you need to call to install a new dishwasher in your home, you’ve come to the right place. Some appliances seem deceptively simple to install, but dishwashers can be tricky if you don’t know what you’re doing. In this article, we’ll walk through everything you need to know to get your new dishwasher up and running. I’ll cover when you need a new one, how to install it properly, and whether to hire a plumber, electrician or do it yourself. Let’s dive in!
When Is It Time for a New Dishwasher?
How can you tell when your trusty dishwasher has reached the end of its useful life? Here are some signs it may be time to upgrade:
Rust and Cracks
Peeking inside and spotting rust or cracks around the tub is a red flag. This likely means there’s a leak somewhere in the water supply lines. Unresolved, leaks can lead to water damage on surrounding floors and cabinets. No good!
If your dishwasher starts making unusual gurgling, grinding or buzzing noises, the motor could be on its last legs. Repairing or replacing the motor can be pricey – sometimes as much as a new dishwasher itself.
Dishes Aren’t Getting Clean
If your dishes are still dirty after a full cycle, the heating element may not be working properly to get dishes hygienically hot. The FDA recommends commercial dishwashers heat water to at least 150°F.
From latches and racks to controls and hoses, if critical dishwasher parts are broken or hard to replace, it also makes sense to replace the whole unit.
Time for an Upgrade
The average dishwasher lasts only 9-12 years. Newer models are bigger, quieter, more water and energy efficient, and have cool features like smart sensors.
Removing the Old Dishwasher
Let’s get into the nitty gritty! Here are the key steps to remove your existing dishwasher to prep for the new one:
Turn off Power and Water
Safety first! Start by flipping the circuit breaker switch for the dishwasher circuit and turning off the hot water valve below the sink.
Disconnect Water Line
Under the sink, disconnect the water line from the L-shaped supply valve. Place a bucket underneath to catch any water still in the hose.
Disconnect Drain Hose
Remove the clamp holding the drain hose to the sink tailpiece or garbage disposal and detach the hose.
Remove Mounting Brackets
Take out the screws securing the plastic mounting brackets on each side of the dishwasher. Carefully pull the unit forward.
Disconnect Electrical Wires
Locate the electrical junction box at the back of the dishwasher and disconnect the hot wire and neutral wires.
Installing a New Dishwasher
You have the old one out – now for the fun part! Follow these steps:
Prep the Electrical
Use wire nuts to connect the new dishwasher’s hot wire (black) to the hot supply wire, and neutral wire (white) to neutral. Ground the green wire.
Mount New Brackets
Attach the new plastic mounting brackets to each side of the dishwasher using the screws.
Slide the dishwasher back into the cabinet opening until the brackets click into the cabinet sides.
Attach Water Supply Line
Connect the new copper water line to the L-shaped valve under the sink. Make sure the valve is turned off before attaching!
Connect Drain Hose
Attach the new drain hose to the sink tailpiece or disposal using the clamp. Be sure there are no kinks.
Double check your work, verifying the dishwasher is level before securing it with screws through the bracket holes. Turn on the sink valve and electrical power. Moment of truth – test it out!
From unboxing to testing the new unit, the whole installation takes 2-3 hours. Professional installation ranges from $200-$450 based on your location and dishwasher model.
To Hire or Not to Hire?
Replacing a dishwasher yourself can save money, but is it worth it? Here are the pros and cons of hiring a pro versus DIY:
Pros: Expertise working with plumbing codes and parts, preventing leaks, and calibrating water pressure.
Cons: Hourly costs can exceed $100 for labor.
Pros: Can safely handle electrical codes, circuits, and provide new outlets if needed. Licensed and insured.
Cons: Hourly rates around $100. Potential costs to upgrade electrical panel or wiring.
Pros Saves on labor costs, flexible timing, learn new skills.
Cons: Risk of leaks or electrical issues if inexperienced. Physical demands of moving appliance.
Ultimately, the complexity of your specific install determines if DIY makes sense or if you should call in a pro.
Key Installation Considerations
To avoid headaches down the road, keep these need-to-know details in mind:
Code requires dishwashers have a dedicated, grounded electrical circuit able to handle the electrical load. Newer units need 120V and generally draw 5-7 amps.
The water supply line should be 3/8 inch copper tubing with 20-120 PSI water pressure. The drain line uses 5/8 or 7/8 inch hose. Install a shut-off valve near the dishwasher.
Measure twice, cut once! The cut-out width must match your new dishwasher, and height must accommodate plumbing and electric. Smooth any rough edges.
Parts and Tools
Have on hand wire nuts, screws, silicone, crimping tool, screw gun, pliers, bucket, flashlight, and wire stripper. Verify all parts are included before it’s go time.
Troubleshooting Common Dishwasher Issues
Of course new appliances can have their quirks too. Try these tips if your recently installed dishwasher has problems:
Clogged or Leaking Drain
A clogged drain line will prevent water from exiting. Try snaking the hose with a wire coat hanger. Check seals and connections.
Leaking Water Supply Line
Tighten any loose connections with pliers. Inspect the valve and rubber seals for cracks. Replace damaged parts.
If the dishwasher won’t start, verify the circuit breaker is flipped on. Test outlets with a multimeter for power. Check junction connections are secure.
Buzzing or grinding noises point to a bad motor which may need replacement. Add rubber feet covers to minimize vibration.
Dishes Not Cleaning
Check the spray arms spin freely and clean out debris. Refill rinse aid dispenser and use recommended detergent type and amount.
Maintaining Your Dishwasher
A well maintained dishwasher can last over a decade. Maximize lifespan with regular TLC:
- Clean the filter monthly to remove food particles
- Use citric acid to descale mineral buildup on the heating element
- Inspect and replace supply lines every 5 years
- Test float switches and door seals for deterioration
Everything you need to know about installing a new dishwasher! While it may seem intimidating, take your time, follow safety precautions, and don’t be afraid to call in a professional if needed. A properly functioning dishwasher is a game changer when it comes to saving time and cleaning hassles in the kitchen. Here’s to many years of sparkling clean dishes!