How to remove a dishwasher

How to Remove a Dishwasher

Whether it’s because time wore down your dishwasher or you want to spruce up your kitchen with a new look, you may find yourself needing to know how to remove a dishwasher. It can seem like a daunting task, but the steps are straightforward enough even for people with no DIY experience.

Is Your Dishwasher Plugged-In or Hard-Wired?

Many dishwashers are plugged into an outlet, but some may be hard-wired into an electric circuit instead. In this case, it’s a better idea to call an electrician to shut off the circuit breaker and disconnect the wires in the control panel. However, if you have electrical experience, you can attempt to remove the dishwasher yourself by following instructions provided later in this article. 

What You Need

  • Channel-lock pliers
  • A towel or a bowl
  • Screwdrivers
  • Drop cloth or old blanket

How to Remove a Plugged-In Dishwasher

Open dishwasher filled with mugs and pans

With a couple of tools in hand, basic knowledge of your dishwasher pipes, and these instructions, you’re ready to begin. 

Turn the Power Off

First, turn the power off. It’s best to turn it off at the plug, unplug the sock, and turn it off at the breaker to be safe. 

Turn the Water Off

You should turn off the water from the shutoff valve controlling the water to the dishwasher. In most cases, it is under your sink and attached to a hot water pipe. If not, it should be a two-way shutoff valve controlling the water to the kitchen faucet and the dishwasher. If you can’t find the valve in either of those two locations, you may not have one and will need to turn off your house’s main source of water.

Disconnect the Water Supply

Place a towel or bowl under the pipes to catch dripping water. 

The water supply tube resembles a small plastic or copper tube with wire mesh and goes from the dishwasher to the shutoff valve. The valve can be a single-outlet, or a double-outlet valve if it controls hot water to both the kitchen faucet and the dishwasher. With the channel-lock pliers in hand, disconnect it from the shutoff valve outlet.

If your dishwasher doesn’t have a shutoff valve, you may have to disconnect the water by unhooking the compression fitting or coupling nut connecting the dishwasher water supply tube to the hot water pipe. 

Disconnect the Drain Line

Transparent and black pipes on white background.

Locate the rubber hose from the dishwasher and find the end connection. This may be at an air gap fitting mounted to the countertop or sink, or at the sink drain tailpiece. Place a towel or bowl under it to catch dripping water. 

If the hose is connected via a fitting, loosen the clip or clamp connecting the air gap and hose, and detach the hose. If it’s connected via the sink tailpiece, unfasten the hose at the nipple fitting.

Detach the Dishwasher

Open the dishwasher door to see if there are mounting brackets securing it. They should be around the frame. With the screwdriver, unscrew the brackets. 

Before you unscrew the dishwasher legs, you need to remove the faceplate, which is on the lower section of the dishwasher face. It might be fastened by screws or spring clips. Now you can see the dishwasher legs.

To lower the dishwasher, twist the threaded legs in a clockwise fashion. Continue twisting until the dishwasher is as low as it will go so you’re making enough space between the top of it and the bottom of the counter. This will make the dishwasher easier to pull out. 

Remove the Dishwasher

For the last step, an extra pair of hands may be useful. Slowly and carefully slide the dishwasher forward from under the counter and out from the cabinet. The second person makes it easier for you to lift it over the floor edge. They can also help feed the water supply tube and drain hose through the hole in the cabinet wall to avoid snagging. Keep the dishwasher lifted slightly while removing it to further reduce damage to the floors. For better protection, you can cover the floor with a drop cloth or old blanket. 

Then you’re done. You can now install your new and improved dishwasher. 

How To Remove a Hard-Wired Dishwasher

Blue, yellow, and pink wires in transparent junction box.

The instructions are very similar to those for the plugged-in dishwasher, but with a few additional steps.

  1. Disconnect the water supply and the drain line as you would with a plugged-in dishwasher
  2. Turn off the electricity at the breaker
  3. Remove the front access cover, or the kickboard, at the bottom of the dashboard. There may be screws to unscrew 
  4. Find the metal junction box. It may be best for you to remove the cover by unscrewing or popping it off. If you have a voltage tester, you can use it to ensure the power is turned off 
  5. Detach the wire nut that fastens the two black wires together and repeat this for the two white wires
  6. Unscrew the bare ground wire from its tab
  7. If necessary, remove the strain-relief plate. It is found above the metal junction box. To do this, unscrew both fasteners on the wire, take off the plate, and remove the wires in the junction box by pulling them 
  8. Unscrew the mounting brackets on the dishwasher and lower the feet as instructed for plugged-in dishwashers 
  9. Pull the dishwasher out

How Long Should a Dishwasher Last?

Good-quality dishwashers should last roughly 10 years. The manufacturer of your dishwasher may have a warranty to confirm this, which you’d qualify for by registering the dishwasher. 

How to Remove a Dishwasher – Conclusion

Learning how to remove a dishwasher on your own can be a money-saver. Now you can move on to installing your exciting new find. If you’re ever stuck or doubting what you’re doing, you can always get professional help from an electrician or plumber. 

Written by Elisa Sung

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