Installing A Dishwasher In Existing Cabinets (Explained)

Installing a dishwasher requires a good understanding of where it needs to go, how the plumbing will work, and what the safety standards are.

Until you are aware of these details, you should not be installing the dishwasher.

In general, the most common situation is going to be installing a dishwasher in existing cabinets.

When installing a dishwasher in existing cabinets, start by measuring the current gap, locating the plumbing, setting up the electrical connection, and ensuring the dishwasher is level once set up.

Each step has to be handled with care.

You do not want the dishwasher to be too short or a tight fit. This can create a situation where the dishwasher damages the surrounding cabinets and/or the flooring.

This guide will show you what you have to consider when installing a dishwasher in existing cabinets.

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Tips For Installing A Dishwasher In Existing Cabinets

1. Measure The Gap

The most common mistake people make when installing a dishwasher in existing cabinets is to not measure the gap.

As you learn how to install a dishwasher where there was none, you will realize the measurements need to be accurate.

Otherwise, the appliance will be too short or stick out a lot.

The goal is to make sure the height and depth are in line with the appliance’s dimensions. To make sure this is the case, you will want to measure both the appliance and then the gap in the cabinets.

If there are slight differences, you will need to make adjustments.

This can include adding something underneath a dishwasher that is too short or looking to alter the surrounding cabinetry by cutting it.

This will depend on the situation in front of you.

For the most part, it should be a good fit as long as you are dealing with a traditional setup.

2. Find The Plumbing Access

This is one of the most important details to think about.

You will want to know how the water is going to drain from your dishwasher into the main drain.

This has to be done in a way where the water does not flow back into the appliance as soon as it is flushed out. This can happen when you have not taken the time to think about the air gap properly.

In general, you will want to have a link between the sink and the dishwasher.

This is going to ensure the wastewater drains as it needs to and does not block either the sink or the dishwasher once set up.

3. Set Up Electrical Connection (Dedicated Circuit)

You will also want to know where the dishwasher is going to be plugged in.

You might have to run an electrical line to where the dishwasher is. This depends on the existing setup and where the electrical outlet is as of right now.

You will also need to have a dedicated circuit for a dishwasher.

This is the only way to make sure it is compliant with the building code in your region. Sharing a circuit is not ideal when it comes to something as powerful as a dishwasher because it could break down or ruin the circuit.

Set up the dedicated circuit first and make sure it has been certified by an electrician.

4. Level The Dishwasher

The last step is to make sure the dishwasher is not tilting once it is in place.

This can happen even when the dishwasher is the right size.

In some cases, you are going to have to set up planks of plywood near the back of the dishwasher to make sure it does not lean backward.

This could also be the opposite where you need to set up the planks near the front so it does not lean forward.

Look at the dishwasher from different angles and make sure it is straight.

Final Thoughts

These are the most important steps when it comes to installing a dishwasher in existing cabinets.

When installing a dishwasher in existing cabinets, the first step is to measure both the appliance and the gap. Next, find the connecting point for the drain and make sure there is a dedicated electrical circuit to connect to. The last step is to make sure the dishwasher is level once installed.

This is a process that will take time and it’s okay for it to be an extensive installation project.

You have to make sure the dishwasher is connected properly as it could lead to water damage when done poorly. The same goes for the dedicated circuit.

Test everything and make sure the dishwasher is in the right place and will not budge.

Read More On Kitchens:

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  3. Can Dishwasher Drain Into Waste Line?
  4. Best Options To Fix A Warm Dishwasher
  5. How To Clean Suds From A Dishwasher
  6. Best Way To Increase Height Of A Short Dishwasher