Fix-It Chick: Replace old dishwasher with new, updated model in 12 steps

Replacing an old dishwasher with a new updated model is a project most homeowners can tackle on their own.

Step 1: Measure the dishwasher opening to assure that the new washer will fit. Most dishwashers are standardized in size, but it never hurts to double check.

Step 2: If the old dishwasher was hardwired, use the circuit breaker or fuse to shut the power off to the dishwasher. Use a voltage sensor to confirm that the power is off before proceeding.

Step 3: Attach the power cord or electrical wire to the dishwasher. Expose a half inch of bare copper on each wire. Push the wires through the stress relief clamp. Hold the two white wires together and twist a wire nut onto the ends. Wrap the wire nut with electrical tape. Repeat the process with the two black wires.

Step 4: Attach the ground wire to the green screw located on the dishwasher panel. Screw the electrical cover box into place to protect the wire connections.

Step 5: Attach the water supply line to the compression fitting on the dishwasher. Depending on the style of the new washer, it may be necessary to attach an elbow to the washer first. Hand tighten the supply line to the dishwasher. Use an adjustable wrench to turn the compression nut a half turn more to assure the fitting will not leak.

Step 6: Use a hose clamp to attach the discharge hose from the dishwasher to the dishwasher arm of the sink drain or to the inlet on the side of the garbage disposer. Loop the excess discharge hose up to the bottom of the counter top and secure it in place with some pipe strap or a conduit clamp.

Step 7: Turn the power back on to the dishwasher. Open the shut off valve to allow water to flow into the supply line.

Step 8: Test the dishwasher to make sure everything is working properly and confirm there are no leaks.

Step 9: Place a level on top of the dishwasher and adjust the front feet to assure the dishwasher is level.

Step 10: Slide the dishwasher into place, being careful not to kink the supply line, discharge hose or electrical cable.

Step 11: Use two screws to attach the dishwasher mounting brackets to the underside of the counter.

Step 12: Install the kick plate at the base of the dishwasher.

— Have a home improvement question for Fix-It Chick? Email it to Linda Cottin at


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