Rather than start this post with a big disclaimer about how I have no idea what I’m doing, I figured I’d just put it in the post title. With that caveat dispensed with, I’m here to tell you all about our new dishwasher!
As you may recall, last week I shared that after our bisque dishwasher sprung a leak, we made the hasty decision to replace it with a new stainless steel one that we got for just $299 on sale at Lowes (looks like the sale is over and it’s back to being $499 — making me feel even luckier for our timing, if a leaking dishwasher can be lucky!).
The delivery was a little frustrating, because they told us we needed to be home to receive it and so we asked them if they could deliver it Friday morning when I would be home from work. They said yes, and that they would confirm the delivery window Thursday evening. Then Thursday evening we got an automated call saying the delivery was confirmed for 2 – 4pm on Friday, which is decidedly not “morning.” So then I called them back and said I wouldn’t be home Friday afternoon (I was leaving town for a trip), and could they deliver it Saturday morning instead. They said yes, and that they would call Friday evening with a window. Which they did, and that window was 3 – 5pm. Again, not “morning.” Sam arranged his schedule to be home during that time (his dad was visiting, so that meant juggling their plans accordingly), and then at 1pm on Saturday I got a call (while I was in the Hudson Valley camping) to say they were 10 minutes from the house. I told them we weren’t home yet, and they said that was fine and they could leave in our driveway. Great! Except that the whole reason we waited a week for the delivery is because they said that we had to be home for it. Anyway, all’s well that ends well, but that was definitely a scheduling pain we could have done without.
The dishwasher was waiting outside the back door for Sam when he got home from a bike ride/run with his dad and sister, and they brought it into the house where it awaited me when I arrived home late Sunday afternoon from camping. Camping was super fun by the way, I was with my best friends from college (we live spread out across Boston, New York, and Connecticut, and try to do a camping trip each year). This year we even had a baby in tow:
In any case, I got home to this lovely sight in the dining room:
I wasn’t planning on installing it while Sam’s dad was still visiting, but he and Sam’s sister ended up having plans at 5pm so that left Sam and I to our own devices for a few hours and of course I was itching to get the new dishwasher in. I really hate handwashing dishes, apparently.
First we needed to remove the old dishwasher. We didn’t really have any idea what we were doing, but we managed to bumble our way through it. I’m sorry in advance for the poor/limited photos (it did not lend itself to lots of photo-taking) and I would say that if you’re trying this at home I would definitely recommend you consult some more professional resources too, but here’s what we did that worked:
First we turned off the power and water. If your dishwasher plugs in you can just unplug it, but our dishwasher is hard-wired so we flipped the breaker for it and also turned off the power to the garbage disposal which is right next to it to be on the safe side.
Next we used some cardboard from the box with the new dishwasher to protect the floor while we started pulling out the old dishwasher. I did not want the little feet to scrape our new floor! (Note: If your dishwasher is screwed into the counter with little brackets like ours was, make sure to unscrew those first.)
We managed to get the old dishwasher most of the way out of the cabinet cavity, which allowed us to determine that it was hooked in three ways: to the power supply coming from the basement, to the water supply coming from the sink cabinet, and to the drain hose also coming from the sink cabinet (which feeds into the garbage disposal — that black hose feeding into the right side of the garbage disposal in the photo below).
The power supply line was creating too much tension for us to turn over the dishwasher to more easily detach the water supply and drain lines, so we started with unwiring the power. To do so, we removed the kick plate, which is the panel along the bottom front of the dishwasher. I totally forgot to take a photo of this whole part…. (what a great tutorial!)
With the kick plate removed I was able to access the junction box under the dishwasher and disconnect the power line from the dishwasher wiring (which is as simple as removing the wire connectors and un-entwining black from black and white from white). Obviously be really sure your power is off before you do this step!
With the power line removed we were able to lie the dishwasher on its side to get to the bottom and disconnect the drain hose and water line. During this step the dishwasher proceeded to spill massive amounts of water all over our floor that it has somehow been storing inside itself, so we didn’t manage to get photos in the midst of the chaos but I would highly recommend if you’re going to lay your dishwasher down you put it on something absorbent like an entire linen closet’s worth of towels. You may be able to disconnect everything without laying it down, but we just weren’t able to get a good angle on either line to remove them.
With the drain hose and water line removed, the dishwasher was free and we moved it out of the kitchen completely. Here it is hanging out in our yard until trash day, thus solidifying us as totally awesome neighbors (which they already obviously knew after the toilet incident of 2014).
Our neighbors were having a cookout next door and watching us manhandle the dishwasher out the back door with some amusement. Of course they offered to help because they are the nicest people ever and we totally don’t deserve them. They also asked us if we would ever be done with the kitchen, to which I responded by laughing maniacally.
With the dishwasher gone, we were left with our empty cabinet cavity. Well, briefly empty because of course Murphy needed to get in there immediately.
In that photo you can see the power line, water line, and drain hose (ignore the cat trying to eat the power line). Here they are labeled:
Next it was time to put in the new dishwasher! This was as simple as following the instructions that came with it. First we tipped the dishwasher on its back and adjusted the feet to the right height for our cabinet opening using the guide in the instructions. We were sure to account for the fact that our floor is higher than the floor inside the cabinet, and the dishwasher would need to be short enough to fit between the taller floor and the countertop in order to slide in.
Then we stood the dishwasher up and slide it into the cabinet opening. The power line, water line, and drain hose all attach under the dishwasher via access from the front kick panel, so we laid all three out straight on the ground protruding out of the cabinet cavity and then slid the new dishwasher in so that it was right on top of them.
Next we hooked up the water. A few people had warned that this particular dishwasher came missing a $5 part necessary for it to work but no one actually specified what that part was. Fortunately I had bought an extra water line in case I needed it and that came with the part we needed, which was a 90 degree elbow fitting like this:
It would have been cheaper if I could have bought just the fitting and not a whole new water line ($5 compared to $15), but I was just glad we had on hand the part we needed.
To hook up the water we screwed the skinny end of the elbow piece to the water line and then the wide end to the appropriate fitting on the bottom of the dishwasher. Similarly we connecting the drain hose to the drain hose fitting on the dishwasher and secured it with a hose clamp. Here is a photo of the two attachments:
To ensure that the water line was securely attached, we put a towel under it and then turned the water on to see if there were any leaks. There were the first time, so we turned the water off, removed the fitting, and attached it again in case something was wonky the first time. You should only hand tighten (not use a wrench), but I had Sam tighten it this time for added strength. When we tested it again, no leak! Hurray. The only way to test the drain hose for leaks was to actually run the dishwasher, which we eventually did and were in the clear.
But first we still had to hook the dishwasher up to the power supply line. Like with the water line and drain hose we had the power line waiting under the dishwasher. First we removed the face plate off of the junction box, which left it open in the front for us to do the wiring. Then we threaded the power line through the hole in the back of the junction box. You can see here the power line snaking up from under the dishwasher and through the back of the junction box, with the dishwasher wires waiting to be attached.
Before we attached the wires, we added a strain relief fitting that will keep the wiring from ripping apart if we move the dishwasher down the line. This also didn’t come with the dishwasher, but we can had from our old dishwasher. (I don’t understand why this dishwasher doesn’t include all the parts required for installation…).
Then we attached the power supply line to the dishwasher wiring — black to black, white to white, and copper to grounding screw, and secured the attachments with wire connectors. With that accomplished, we attached the faceplate of the junction box.
The last step was to screw the dishwasher into the underside of the counter with the attached brackets.
And with that, we were done! We ran a full cycle before attaching the kick plate to make sure there weren’t any leaks (because the kick plate hides the wiring and water connections underneath), and after a successful run we attached the kick plate.
Success! Now here are a bunch of photos of it from slightly different angles.
It sticks out a little bit from the cabinets because we just couldn’t slide it in any further (it must be deeper than the old one?), but I think it looks just fine — it’s still more shallow than the counter overhang.
I’m so happy we figured out how to do this ourselves, and despite this not being part of our original plan I think the stainless steel is going to look so much better with our stainless steel fridge and eventual stainless steel range hood. Now back to our regularly-scheduled program reno plan!