Quick and Easy Steps to Install a Freestanding Dishwasher

How to Install a Freestanding Dishwasher

Installing a freestanding dishwasher may seem daunting, but with a bit of DIY skill, careful planning, and some work in tight spaces, it can be accomplished successfully. To help you through the process, here is a step-by-step guide:

Measure the Space

Before you begin the installation, it is crucial to measure the dimensions of the space where the dishwasher will be placed. Measure the width of the dishwasher, the width of the opening for the dishwasher, and the height of your current unit. Ensure that you have enough room to accommodate the new dishwasher by checking its width, height, and depth, which are usually available on the product’s website. If you’re unsure about the appropriate size, consult an appliance expert for guidance.

Turn Off Power and Water

Start by turning off the power at the circuit breaker. Next, shut off the water supply. Look for a shutoff valve under your sink or turn off a hose bib on the exterior of your home to stop the main water supply. Then, disconnect any hoses from your old dishwasher and attach them to your new one (don’t worry about fully installing them at this stage).

Disconnect and Move the Existing Dishwasher

Disconnect the existing dishwasher from its power source, usually a cable connected to an outlet. Use a screwdriver to disconnect it. Next, disconnect the water supply line from the old dishwasher and reconnect it to the new one using a screwdriver. If necessary, turn off the water supply at this point. Remove any remaining hoses from the old dishwasher and set them aside for use with the new appliance. If there are no hoses left attached, skip to Step 4.

Clean Up and Inspect the Drain Hose

Clean the area where the new dishwasher will be installed to ensure a clean environment. Check for any visible leaks from the fittings around the sink. Examine the drain hose for kinks or cracks that could hinder proper water drainage. It’s important to also verify how far the drain hose extends into the drainage pipe. If it’s too short, it can lead to mold or mildew buildup over time. Checking this during the installation process allows for easy repairs if needed, without having to dismantle walls or flooring.

Install the Front Recess Panel

With the dishwasher installed and plugged in, it’s time to add some finishing touches. Install the front recess panel, typically held in place by three screws at the back of the dishwasher door. Access may be limited, so use a drill or screwdriver for best results. Attach the handle at each end using two screws and one screw on top of the door frame, if applicable. Install gaskets on both sides of the door and attach handles on each side using two screws per handle set. Finally, align the dishwasher control panel with its slot alongside the interior wall surface, ensuring no wires are bent or damaged during the process.

Connect the Wiring Harness and Water Lines

Connect the dishwasher’s electrical cord to an outlet. Then, attach the water lines to the dishwasher. This step requires planning ahead, as the water line needs to be connected and secured before installation. The type of connection will depend on your dishwasher’s brand and model. Quick connectors or twist clamps are commonly used for connecting water lines. Follow the instructions provided in the owner’s manual or the parts that came with your dishwasher, such as an overflow hose. Make sure all connections are secure to prevent leaks.

Level and Install the New Dishwasher

Ensure that the dishwasher is level to ensure proper sealing of the door and correct water drainage into the tub. If the dishwasher is not level, use shims under any legs that are higher than 6 inches (15 cm). You may also need to adjust the height of your existing countertop or cabinet if necessary. Check for levelness by placing a straightedge on top of each corner and side individually. Use a carpenter’s level for more accuracy. Once the dishwasher is leveled, attach all hoses according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Finally, turn on the power at the breaker panel or fuse box nearest to the dishwasher’s location.

Mount Water Supply and Drain Lines

The dishwasher must be connected to both a water supply line and a drain line. Here’s what you need to do:

Connect the water supply line: You can either connect the dishwasher to the existing water supply pipe or run a new one if necessary. Turn off the main water supply valve before proceeding.

Connect the drain line: If you’re using an existing drain connection, remove any existing clamps and reconnect them securely. Installing a new drain connection may require mounting an additional section of PVC pipe beside the existing pipes.


When installing a freestanding dishwasher, it is important to measure the width of the space to ensure a proper fit. If you have any doubts about the installation configuration, consult a professional. In general, most dishwasher models are designed tofit into standard-sized openings, but it’s always a good idea to double-check. Remember to turn off the power and water supply before starting the installation process, and follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully. With proper planning and attention to detail, you can successfully install a freestanding dishwasher and enjoy the convenience it provides.