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Installing Compact Built in Countertop Dishwashers E-mail

Need to replace your old countertop dishwasher? Forget about calling the plumber and paying hundreds of dollars – you can actually replace the dishwasher yourself, even if you have limited plumbing experience. Here’s a step by step guide to doing just that.

Stage 1: Removing the old countertop dishwasher

The first step to installing a new dishwasher is removing your old one. Be very careful when doing this, or you may hurt (and even electrocute) yourself.

Prepare the following materials:

  • Screwdriver
  • Masking tape
  • Voltage meter
  • Cardboard or drop cloth
  • Wrench

1. Turn off the breaker so you can work safely. To make sure that nobody turns it on while you are working, put a tape over the switch. ;

2. Shut down the water under the sink.

3. Expose the old dishwasher’s wiring by removing the front cover (located at the bottom of the dishwasher).

4. Get your voltage meter and use it to test all the dishwasher wires. This makes sure that the power is shut down.

5. Pull out the electrical box from the old dishwasher.

6. Remove the wire nuts and dismantle the wires in this order: green, then white, then black.

7. Pull out the old dishwasher’s water supply line and drain line from the stop.

8. Detach the screws attached to the underside of your countertop.

9. Slowly lift the dishwasher’s legs using your wrench.

10. Carefully pull the dishwasher (plus the drain line) out. Make sure that the wires do not tangle as you do this. You can put a piece of cardboard on the floor where the dishwasher will land to prevent scratches.

Stage 2: Prepping the area for the new countertop dishwasher

It is important that you clean the area under your sink before you install your new dishwasher. Not only is this sanitary – it also allows you to inspect the overall condition of your pipes and buy replacements when necessary.

1. Thoroughly clean the area.

2.; Examine the water lines. If you spot corrosion, replace.

3.; Carefully remove cabinet doors that are in the way so you can have more space to move around when you install the new unit.

Stage 3: Installing the new countertop dishwasher

Before installing your new countertop dishwasher, prepare the following materials. You will save time if you put all of them at arm’s reach before starting.

  • Screwdriver
  • Wrench
  • Screws
  • Electrical tape
  • Wire nuts
  • Pliers
  • 'Dishwasher 90' (available in most local hardware stores)


1. Remove the new dishwasher from its box and carefully lay it on the floor face down.

2. Inspect the back – all the connections should be there.

3. Remove the cap from the dishwasher’s drain line. Some water may come out – do not worry, this is normal. Most dishwashers are factory tested.

4. Fasten the drain line to your dishwasher using pliers.

5. Ease the new dishwasher under your counter top.

6. Adjust the height of the dishwasher’s legs using a wrench until it is level with the countertop.

7. Secure your new dishwasher to your countertop using screws.

8. Make sure that the breaker is still shut down.

9. Re-attach the wires (same color go together). ;

10.Screw on the wire nuts, and then cover with electrical tape.

11. Put your copper wire beneath the green screw (round) and tighten down.

12. Fasten your new dishwasher’s supply line to 'dishwasher 90' (you need to buy this from a hardware store). Tighten using a wrench.

13. Switch on the water under your sink.

14.;Connect your drain line to your plumbing system. Do not forget to constrict the hose clamp.

15.;Turn on the breaker.


Countertop dishwashers for very small kitchens, apartments, and dorm rooms

If your kitchen space is limited, you can still install a countertop dishwasher. Manufacturers like Edgestar are now making ‘portable dishwashers’ that are small enough to fit in any kitchen cabinet at only a little over 18 inches high. These portable countertop dishwashers are very simple to install, too – you will never need to pay hundreds of dollars for plumbing services. Just make sure that the adapter of the brand you are buying fits all types of faucet (as in the case with Edgestar portable dishwashers). These cute and useful units heat water to an average of 185 degrees. They can typically wash regular-size plates (diameter up to with 10.5 inches).

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