How to Ground a Dishwasher
A dishwasher that short circuits can do more than injure you, it can deliver a fatal shock. That's why grounding a dishwasher properly is an important part of the installation procedure. By grounding an appliance, you give the electricity inside the unit an escape route, rather than letting it build up. Grounding connections and wires are coded green to help installers make the correct hookup.
Run a wire for the dishwasher from the main circuit breaker, if one is not currently connected. Secure the wire to the joints or studs inside the walls as you run it through the house. Use a power drill with a spade bit to cut the holes as needed and then run the wire through. Flip off the switch that controls the circuit and tape it in place to make sure it isn't turned on while you are working.
Locate the screws on the side of the lower panel on the dishwasher. Remove these with a screwdriver. Pull off the lower panel.
Look for the electrical access panel on the underside of the dishwasher. This is usually metal and is box shaped. Remove the screw holding the panel in place. Remove the panel.
Strip off the ends of the house wires with a pair of wire strippers for about half an inch. The grounding wire is bare copper and usually doesn't have a sheath.
Connect the black wire to the terminal marked "live" or "hot." Squeeze the wire around the terminal head with a pair of needlenose pliers. Tighten the terminal screw to secure the wire. Repeat the process for the white wire.
Connect the bare copper wire to the green terminal screw to ground the dishwasher. Make this connection using the same method as the white and black wires. Some dishwashers don't use a terminal screw and instead use a green grounding wire. In this case, hold the bare copper wire and green grounding wire side by side. Slip a wire nut over the top of both of the wires and twist clockwise. Wrap electrical tape around the wires and nut to secure.
Carefully press the excess wires into the electrical panel. Replace the cover and secure with the screw.
Replace the lower dishwasher panel. Secure with the screws.
- Some lower panels may have additional screws located on the top that can only be removed by opening the dishwasher door.
- Have a certified electrician run the cable from the main circuit breaker, as this work can be very dangerous and shouldn't be performed by a DIYer.
Nathan McGinty started writing in 1995. He has a Bachelor of Science in communications from the University of Texas at Austin and a Master of Arts in international journalism from City University, London. He has worked in the technology industry for more than 20 years, in positions ranging from tech support to marketing.
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