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How to Replace a Dishwasher

May 11, 2024

The average life expectancy of a dishwasher is 10 years. With proper maintenance, however, they can last up to 15 years.

That means cleaning the filter at least once a week, using a dishwasher cleaner once a month, and checking the spray arms for blockages regularly.

But what if the dishwasher’s at the end of its lifespan? What’s the best way to replace it? Can you do it yourself? For the answers, be sure to keep reading. We’ll be going over everything you need to know below.

Signs It’s Time to Replace Your Dishwasher

Here are a few issues that may indicate it’s time to get a new dishwasher:

The Door Latch Doesn’t Work

dishwasher door latch doesnt workThe door latch should stay in place when you close the dishwasher door. If it doesn’t, check the racks and make sure they’re not protruding as that can prevent it from latching properly.

If the racks aren’t protruding but the latch still isn’t working, there may be an issue with the hinge. For example, it may have come loose, in which case, you can tighten it with a screwdriver.

If the latch breaks repeatedly, however, it may be time to replace the appliance altogether.

The Dishes Come Out Cold

Dishwashers rely on heat to wash and sanitize your dishes (the interior gets as hot as 140F during a cycle). If you take out the dishes after a wash cycle and the dishes are cold, chances are there’s something wrong with the heating element or electrical wires.

While it’s possible to replace the heating element, it may be more cost-effective to replace the appliance, especially if it’s an older model.

The Interior Is Rusty

The inside of your dishwasher can get rusty over time. For example, it can happen if you load rusty cutlery into the machine. High salt levels can also cause rust spots on the stainless steel interior, including the racks.

While it’s possible to fix minor rusting, you may want to consider replacing the appliance if the damage is extensive as it may affect the dishwasher’s performance.

Rust on the exterior, on the other hand, isn’t a major issue as it’s often due to a leak that can be easily fixed.

The Dishes Come Out Dirty

If the dishes are still dirty after the cycle is finished, there may be something wrong with the appliance. For example, it might be due to a failing motor, defective heating element, or broken spray arms.

Before replacing the appliance, try to troubleshoot the problem. Refer to the user manual, if necessary.

If the dishwasher still doesn’t work after troubleshooting, you may need to invest in a new dishwasher.

How to Replace a Dishwasher

Installing a new dishwasher doesn’t require any advanced electrical or plumbing skills. You will, however, need the proper equipment and tools.

Step 1: Remove the Old Dishwasher

dishwasher replacement guideStart by shutting down the power to the dishwasher. Locate the circuit breaker for the appliance and make sure it’s in the ‘off’ position.

The next step is to disconnect the water supply line. To do this, turn off the water valve underneath the sink and remove the supply line – you may need to use an adjustable wrench for this step.

Disconnect the drain hose from your old dishwasher using a screwdriver (you’ll have to loosen the screw on the clamp). Water may leak onto the kitchen floor from the hose so consider placing a shallow pan or bowl underneath the connection.

Finally, remove the screws that anchor the appliance to the bottom of the countertop. Place a piece of cardboard or cloth to protect the floor from marring and pull the old dishwasher out.

Step 2: Prepare the New Dishwasher

Take the new unit out of the box and review the instructions before proceeding. Tip the appliance onto its back and remove the front access panel.

Attach the 90-degree fitting onto the water valve and attach the new drain line from the installation kit. You may want to secure the line to the floor with tape while you’re pushing the new unit into place.

Step 3: Attach the Connections

Once the new drain hose is in (don’t reuse the old drain hose – use the new one provided in the kit), slide the dishwasher all the way so that it’s flush with the sink cabinet. Re-attach all the connections.

Make sure the dishwasher is level – adjust the feet, if necessary. Refer to the manual for details.

Finally, connect the braided stainless steel dishwasher supply line and electrical cable. When the electrical and drain connections are secure, screw the unit to the bottom of the countertop.

Step 4: Test the Dishwasher

how to replace a dishwasherTurn on the dishwasher and make sure it’s working properly. If it’s not turning on, check the electrical cables and outlets. If water isn’t filling the machine, check the water supply valve and make sure it’s in the ‘on’ position.

Replacing Dishwasher – FAQs

How long does it take to replace a dishwasher?

It can take anywhere from one to four hours to install a dishwasher. The exact time depends on various factors such as the complexity of the installation, how experienced you are with electrical and plumbing work, and whether or not you run into any unexpected issues.

How much does it cost to get a dishwasher professionally installed?

On average, you can expect to pay between $100 to $300 for professional installation.

How do you install a portable dishwasher?

Portable dishwashers are different in that they draw water from your sink rather than a water line. All you have to do is roll the unit to the sink, plug it in, and hook it up to the faucet.

Once the hose is connected to the faucet, plug the appliance into a grounded three-prong outlet and you can start your cleaning cycle.

Does a portable dishwasher use less water than a traditional dishwasher?

Contrary to popular belief, a portable dishwasher uses the same amount of water as a traditional dishwasher (between 3.5 to 4 gallons of water per cleaning cycle). Both appliances, however, use significantly less water than hand-washing (up to 27 gallons).

Is a braided flexible drain hose better than a copper line?

Copper can kink or bend if not carefully handled. Braided hoses, on the other hand, are flexible and resist kinking, and crimping.

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Ethan Clarke

Ethan Clarke is a seasoned expert in appliances and household waste systems. Referencing his extensive experience as an appliance repairman, Ethan shares his invaluable knowledge through detailed maintenance & troubleshooting manuals. Ethan’s insights help homeowners understand and maintain their appliances efficiently, ensuring longevity and optimal performance. He’s here to provide practical, easy-to-follow advice for all your appliance needs.

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