How to Replace a Dishwasher

You can replace an undercounter dishwasher by yourself.

Remove the Old Machine

A professional can do it in about an hour or so, but it will take you a little bit longer. However it is fairly simple for anyone with a little patience.

Pick your new model and bring it home from the store.

Turn off the power to the machine before unhooking anything. Don't forget to turn off the water as well.

Disconnect the hot water hose; this is located between the bottom of the dishwasher and the floor. Use pliers to loosen the fitting where the water-supply line connects to an elbow.

Disconnect the electrical feed as well. This is also under the dishwasher, above the floor. There are wire nuts and a connector box the wires will be in or attached to. Keep these for the installation of the new machine.

Disconnect the drain line from the sink drain or garbage disposal, depending on which you have. It's only held in place with a hose clamp and you do not save it as a new one will come with the replacement machine.

Loosen the screws that attach the dishwasher to the counter. You can find these with the door of the machine open.

Pull the machine out of its hole under your counter.

Install the New Machine

Attach the elbow for the supply line, while the new machine is lying on its back. Make sure the elbow is facing toward the back to reapply it to the supply line.

Thread the new discharge hose into the hole in the side of your cabinet and move the dishwasher to the opening.

Ease the machine into the hole, making sure not to kink the discharge line.

Attach the plumbing before doing anything else. That way if there is a leak you can pull the machine back out to fix it without undoing any other work.

Reconnect the wiring and re-attach the discharge line where they came off of the old unit.

Level the dishwasher with the feet on the front of the machine.

Screw the dishwasher to the under section of the counter.

Test the dishwasher before putting the front panel on to make sure it does not leak.

Things You Will Need

  • Dishwasher
  • Pliers
  • Screwdriver
  • Electrical tape
  • Teflon tape


  • It might be easier to have a second person help you remove the dishwasher by feeding the drain line through the hole in the cabinets since it can be tight.
  • Use Teflon tape on the elbow so that it does not leak. Make sure you tape all the way around with multiple layers so that no leaks get through since the elbow may not be completely tight in the spot it needs to be for the connection.


  • Do not pay to have your dishwasher delivered as that is a waste of money which could be better spent on a model with more features instead.
  • When you remove the dishwasher, the shutoff valve may have corroded and need to be replaced. If that is the case, you must turn off the water to the house first.
  • Don't push the front panel of your dishwasher with your knee or you can dent it.
  • Don't forget to use electrical tape on the wires when connecting them back to the machine.