How to Disconnect the Water Line and Drain on a Dishwasher

It is necessary to disconnect the electricity, the water line and the drain of a dishwasher when removing it for a replacement. Most dishwashers are hard-wired into your home, requiring turning off the circuit breaker and disconnecting the dishwasher wires from the house wires. Some dishwashers use a power cord that simply unplugs. Regardless of the method, the electricity must be disconnected before approaching the other lines. Disconnecting the water line and drain on a dishwasher is generally the same for all models and brands.

Disconnect Under Sink

Step 1

Turn off the hot water supply shut-off valve under the sink.  Most dishwashers share a valve with the kitchen faucet, although some use a separate hot water line under the sink.

Follow the dishwasher supply line from the cabinet to the shut-off valve to ensure that you cut off the correct valve. 

Step 2

Place a bucket under the shut-off valve to catch any remaining water in the line when you disconnect it from the shut-off valve.  Turn the nut connection securing the water supply line to the shut-off valve counterclockwise with a wrench.

Once the connection is loose, unthread the line completely from the shut-off valve by hand. 

Step 3

Follow the drain line from the side of the cabinet to where it connects to the kitchen drain system.  If you have a garbage disposal, the drain line connects to the side of the disposal unit.

If you do not have a disposal, the drain line connects to either a waste tee on the sink drain pipe or the air gap pipe below the sink. 

Step 4

Loosen the screw securing the clamp to the drain line with a Phillips screwdriver, if your drain line uses a hose-type clamp.  If you have compression clamps, squeeze the tabs together with a pair of pliers and slide the clamp down the drain line.

Step 5

Pull the drain line away from the sink drain system or garbage disposal.  Place the end of the line inside the bucket to catch any residual water.

Disconnect from Dishwasher

Step 1

Open the dishwasher door.  Remove the screw securing the mounting bracket to the bottom of the countertop, using a Phillips screwdriver.

If you have granite or marble counter tops, the mounting brackets secure to the cabinet frame. 

Step 2

Pull the dishwasher out of the cabinet area.  If necessary, ask a friend to assist you when pulling the dishwasher out.

It is necessary to route the disconnected lines through the side wall of the kitchen cabinets as you remove the dishwasher. 

Step 3

Disconnect the nut securing the water line to the back of the washer, using a wrench.  The line usually installs on the right rear corner of the dishwasher.

Pull the water line free of the dishwasher. 

Step 4

Remove the screws securing the bottom access plate to the front of the dishwasher, using a Phillips screwdriver.  Pull the access plate away from the dishwasher, and find where the end of the drain hose connects to the water pump under the dishwasher.

Step 5

Loosen the clamp screw securing the hose to the pump, using the Phillips screwdriver.  Pull the drain hose away from the pump.

Go behind the dishwasher and pull the drain hose completely away from the unit. 

Things You Will Need

  • Bucket
  • Wrench
  • Phillips screwdriver
  • Pliers
  • Helper (optional)

About the Author

Kenneth Crawford is a freelance writer with more than 10 years of experience. His work has appeared in both print and online publications, including "The American Chronicle." Crawford holds an associate degree in business administration from Commonwealth College.