New Dishwasher

Since the beginning of human kind, people have been coming up with new ideas about how to clean the dishes we eat off. Today's dishwashers have come a long way from that old noisy time gulping energy eating monster that overwhelmed the kitchen, making normal conversation impossible.

The dishwashers of today offer many features that make life a lot easier. They range from auto wash cycles to pots and pan scrubbing cycles and  they rinse the dish's to a crystal clear finish. No spots, no milk rings. Unfortunately even the new machines tend to have a short life span and will need replacing eventually.

How To Economically Replace A Dishwasher For Homeowners, will differ from the way the army washes their dishes. You may think you have as many dishes as an army, but the solders often disappear before the heavy lifting is done. 

Military Dishwashers

This article will walk the average homeowner through the process of changing their dishwasher. Potentially saving hundreds of dollars on installation costs.

SPT Countertop Dishwasher, Silver
Amazon Price: $285.00 Too low to display Buy Now
(price as of Jun 10, 2015)

Removing The Old Dishwasher

Taking out the old dishwasher will be the first part of the task. You'll need a few basic tools for this part of the job. Plumbers pliers, or channel locks are the best for undoing the nut on the water feed. You'll need a flat head and Phillips screwdrivers and possibly a basin wrench. This last tool is a specialty wrench for getting at hard to reach fittings. I have pictured one below and they are available from as well as any home improvement outlet and most hardware stores.

Basin Wrench

The job can be accomplished without this tool but it sure does make it easier if you have one. This wrench allows you to get at the water piping nut that is in a very small area. A smart investment because the twenty dollars or so you spend on this will save a lot of time and frustrations when your trying to get the pliers and your hands into that little space.

Start by shutting off the power to the unit at the electrical panel. Attempt to start the unit after you've shut it off or test the wires to make 100% sure you have the right breaker and there is no power at the dishwasher.

Next locate the water shutoff which is usually under the sink. Some will be remote in the basement or another cabinet. Follow the water line out of the unit until you get to a stop. Shut of the valve and your ready to go.

Remove the kick plates at the floor level and observe the workings that are revealed. A good flashlight is recommended.

Locate the electrical hookup and disconnect the wires. Push them out of the box and toward the back of the unit for now.

Next locate the water supply and undo the brass compression nut that connects it to the unit. Use the basin wrench for this job or a small pair of plumbers pliers. Once the nut is off the supply tube will pull out of the valve.

water hookup


Now you must locate the drain and I recommend doing this under the sink from the end that ties into the drain. This way you can pull out the unit with the old drain hose connected to it. We will be using the new drain that comes with your new appliance.

drain lines for dishwasher

Remove the two screws that secure the unit to the underside of the counter and then pull the dishwasher straight out. Your drain hose will come out as well and the water and electrical wires will stay in place.

Now we have an empty hole just waiting for our shiny new unit to be installed. Clean up the dust and dirt that inevitably finds it's way under that appliance from god knows where. Hopefully this will be the last chance you get for many years to clean this space.

Danby DDW1899BLS 18-Inch Built-In Dishwasher - Stainless Steel
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(price as of Jun 10, 2015)

Installing Your New Dishwasher

In With The New

Open the packaging and remove all the contents from the inside of your new unit. Make sure to read through the instructions thoroughly as all units will differ slightly.

Lay a towel or other protective implement on the floor and lay your unit down on it's face or door side. looking at the bottom of your new appliance, you will find the water, drain and electrical connection locations. Familiarize yourself with these locations before you install the unit. It can be very hard to know where things are after the unit it in because of the difficulty seeing into the space.

Once you have read all instructions and you know what it looks like in there, we can connect the fitting from the old dishwasher to the water supply solenoid valve. Use Teflon tape as well as a good pipe thread compound on the water pressure line in. Any way to prevent potential leaks should be observed and implemented. Some will say tape alone is enough some use just compound. I say why not use both if we can.

Find the drain hose and unhook any packing straps allowing the hose to extend out the back and route it to the old connection under the sink.

After the water fitting is installed and the drain is stretched out e can slide the dishwasher into place. Now is the time to adjust the legs for hight and level. Once this is accomplished the two screws that hold the unit to the counter can be reinstalled to secure the new unit.

Now for the fun part. We must go in through that little hole in the toe space to connect our wires. Black to black and white to white and make sure to securely fasten the ground wire to the green screw shown in the directions. Close the cover box and reinstall the screw to hold the wiring box closed.

Next the water line is pulled into the new solenoid valve fitting and the nut is re tightened. Use a small amount of pipe thread compound on the compression fitting to help avoid any leaks on this stage.

Now we can hook up the drain under the sink. Some will tie directly to the sink tail piece using a special tee that's installed in the drain below the sink. Some will have their own hook up. Usually you will be hooking up to exactly where the old one came out from.


Once all your lines are hooked up you can slowly open the water feed line and check for any leaks. A good tip is to listen closely as you turn the water back on. This will allow you to hear air escaping as the water comes on if there are leaks present. If there are no leaks you may turn the power back on and run the machine through a cycle.


Now test the drain for leaks by visually inspecting the line as the unit drains. Once this cycle completes and there are no leaks. The covers can be put back on the toe space and your job is done. Your new dishwasher should provide years of trouble free maintenance and we can put away our tools until the next honey-do job comes up.


Amana Tall Tub Dishwasher, ADB1400PYS, Stainless
Amazon Price: $429.00 Buy Now
(price as of Jun 10, 2015)
Martha Stewart Clean Dish/Hand Soap, 17 oz. ( Pack of 6 )
Amazon Price: $32.20 Buy Now
(price as of Jun 10, 2015)