How to Remove a Dishwasher

Dishwasher repair
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  • 01 of 06

    Introduction and First Steps

    Dishwasher water supply valve
    Aaron Stickley

    This tutorial shows how to disconnect an old dishwasher and remove it, an essential step before you can install a new dishwasher. 

    Difficulty Level

    • Easy

    Tools and Materials You Will Need

    The first steps are easy ones–usually: 

    1. Shut off the water. Locate the shutoff valve controlling the water line to the dishwasher. Usually, this will be located under the kitchen sink and will be attached to the hot water pipe, or to a two-way shutoff valve that controls water both to the faucet and to the dishwasher.
    2. Shut off the power.  Find the electric cord that provides power to the dishwasher and unplug it. Before you proceed, be sure that you have turned off both water and power to the dishwasher.

      In rare instances, you may find that your dishwasher has been "hard-wired" into an electrical circuit, and is not plugged into an outlet at all. If this is the case, you may need to call an electrician to do the disconnection. Unless you have experience with electrical work, it may not be something you want to attempt. 
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  • 02 of 06

    Disconnect the Water Supply

    Two types of dishwasher angle stops
    Aaron Stickley

    Before you can remove the dishwasher, you will need to disconnect the two pipes that connect it to the plumbing system. The first of these is the water supply line.

    If you have a dedicated shutoff valve, the source of the connection is clear. When the dishwasher is tied into the hot water side of the sink, you will need to trace the pipe to be sure that you are disconnecting the right one. Use channel-type pliers to disconnect the dishwasher supply tube from the outlet on the shutoff valve. 

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  • 03 of 06

    Disconnect the Drain Line

    Dishwasher drain line connected to the air gap
    Aaron Stickley

    The dishwasher is also tied into the plumbing system via the drain line. Locate the rubber hose coming from the dishwasher and trace it to the end connection. It may be angled up to connect to an air gap fitting mounted to the sink or countertop. If so, loosen the clip holding it to the air gap, and detach the hose.

    • Tip: the air gap is a safety device designed to prevent waste water from siphoning back into the dishwasher and contaminating clean dishes. Good plumbing practice requires there to be an air gap, but in practice, it is sometimes omitted. If it is not present, you may notice that the drain hose has been looped up to near the top of the base cabinet under the sink and secured there. This is another way to try and prevent back siphoning, but it is not nearly as successful as an air gap. When it comes time to install a new dishwasher, you will want to install the air gap fitting. 

    If the drain hose does not run to an air gap, it will terminate at a nipple fitting on the food disposer or sink drain tailpiece. If so, detach the hose at this point. 

    Continue to 4 of 6 below.
  • 04 of 06

    Detach the Dishwasher from the Mounting Brackets

    Dishwasher brackets
    Aaron Stickley

    The dishwasher is held in place by a couple of mounting brackets screwed into the countertop above the dishwasher. Open the dishwasher door and look under the lip of the kitchen counter to find the brackets. Remove the screws holding the dishwasher in place.

    Continue to 5 of 6 below.
  • 05 of 06

    Lower The Dishwasher

    Dishwasher legs
    Aaron Stickley

    Before the dishwasher can be moved out of its location, you will need to lower it by unscrewing the legs.

    1. Start by removing the faceplate that is located on the lower part of the dishwasher face. Sometimes there are mounting screws that hold it in place; on other models, the faceplate may be in held in place with simple spring clips. 
    2. Once the faceplate is removed, you will see the legs of the dishwasher. Twisting the threaded legs clockwise will lower the body of the dishwasher. Lower it down as low as it will go to create space between the top of the dishwasher and the bottom of the countertop. 
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  • 06 of 06

    Remove The Dishwasher

    Removing a dishwasher
    Aaron Stickley

    Slide the dishwasher out of its cabinet by carefully pulling it straight out of the cabinet. You will most likely need to lift it slightly to clear the edge of the floor covering since the dishwasher usually sits directly on the subfloor.

    To avoid scratching the floor, lift slightly as you pull the dishwasher out of the cabinet. You may want to protect the flooring with a canvas drop cloth or newspapers and you extract the appliance. 

    You are now ready to install a new dishwasher.