If you’ve just created space for one or your old one has packed in, in this guide I’ll show you how to install a dishwasher properly. It’s a pretty easy job to do, and you don’t need any special tools or knowledge.
For this guide, I’m showing you how to install a freestanding dishwasher. If you have an integrated model, the steps are similar. However, you’ll have to fit the door yourself to match those of your kitchen cupboards. That can be a slightly trickier job and you may need professional help.
If you want to disconnect a dishwasher, instead, then just follow these instructions in reverse. I’ll assume that you’ve done that before installing the new ones.
What we used
These steps will work with any regular dishwasher: full size or slimline. You shouldn’t need any tools beyond, maybe, a screwdriver. You will need dishwasher salt and rinse aid.
The short version
- Connect the water
- Connect the waste water hose
- Connect the power
- Push the dishwasher into place
- Turn on the water supply
- Commission your dishwasher
Connect the water
First, you need to connect the cold water hose. Unlike washing machines, dishwashers typically come with an integrated hose. This will most likely need to be fed through a hole in your kitchen cupboards and connected to the cold water supply under your kitchen sink.
Look for a blue tap and a screw connector. Screw the dishwasher’s hose into this. It needs to be quite tight but use your fingers only: the rubber washer inside prevents leaks.
Connect the waste water hose
Dishwashers use a wastewater hose that’s similar to the ones provided with washing machines. Again, this will be a captive hose. Feed this through to underneath your sink. It needs to be pushed onto the hose connector underneath.
Some dishwashers use a push-fit, in which case push hard until the hose grips securely. If your hose has a metal collar for added security, you can tighten this with a cross-head screwdriver until it is tight.
Connect the power
Next, you need to plug your dishwasher into a power socket. Again, you may need to feed the power cable through to where the plug socket is: they’re often in the cupboard underneath the kitchen sink. Turn on the power. Slide your dishwasher into position by pushing it back until it sits in the gap that you’ve either created or the old dishwasher was in. Make sure that it’s flush with the front of the cupboards and that the door can open properly.
Turn on the water supply
Now, you’re ready to turn on the water. Turn the blue tap until it’s in-line with the water pipe. You should hear the rush of water as the hose is filled. Check that there are no leaks from the connection. If there are, turn off the water and tighten the hose before turning the water back on.
Commission your dishwasher
Now, you need to commission your dishwasher. You’ll need your machine’s manual to get the steps right, but you’ll need to do three things. First, you need to fill the salt dispenser with water, and then add salt until it can take no more (for future fillings, you don’t need to add water). You’ll need to set the water hardness for your area (most dishwashers come with water test strips, but you can find this information from your water supplier).
Add rinse aid
Finally, you need to fill up with rinse aid and set the right level: if your find that dishes aren’t drying properly or are coming out with water spots on them, increase the rinse aid setting to a higher level.
Integrated models have blank doors that need to be fitted with a kitchen door that matches your cupboard.
You can use a test strip or you can find this information on your water supplier’s website.