Has your dishwasher finally given up? Don’t worry! You aren’t the only one. Last month my loyal dishwasher finally breathed its last. And I found myself with the need to disconnect it properly in time to connect the new one.
As someone who finds DIY projects daunting, this seemed like a huge challenge to me. I researched a lot to make the process easy. And I wanted to make sure that those like me could glide past this task with as much ease as possible.
So, how to disconnect a dishwasher, you may wonder? You shut off the power and water supply, remove the pipes, unscrew the bolts and pull out the dishwasher.
I have listed down the steps for doing so. If you clearly follow it all, you will be able to complete the task with immense ease.
Breaking down the steps: How to disconnect a dishwasher easily
Before delving into the steps, make sure that you empty your dishwasher completely! Disconnecting a dishwasher is quite a complex task on its own; you don’t want to add broken crockery into the mix of it all. After cleaning the equipment, follow these steps:
1. Cut the power
Whether you have a Bosch or a Whirlpool dishwasher, all of them require similar steps for the initial dismantling process. And it always begins with cutting off the power supply. Also, if your dishwasher has a separate hot water pipe, you will need to disconnect it as well.
Some dishwashers will be connected to an outlet that can be turned off via a circuit breaker, while others would require you to switch off the breaker box. But, there will be a few dishwashers that don’t turn off with a circuit breaker or a breaker box! What then?
Well, in such dishwashers, the electrical connection is through series wiring. You can detect this wiring through the presence of a black box.
Since it requires technical work, such wiring can only be safely switched off by an electrician. Unless you know your way around wires, don’t attempt this step on your own if your dishwasher has a series wiring.
2. Switch off the water supply
There can’t be any dishwashing without an adequate supply of water! And every dishwasher relies on your main water supply for this.
Before removing the dishwasher, you should close the valves of your waterline. If you don’t do so, then water will leak onto the floor, creating additional mess you don’t ideally want to deal with.
My dishwasher had a two-way valve system. And while I am deeply involved in all things dishwasher, these technical things as are not my area of expertise. So, I called a plumber to shut the supply off for me.
You can either choose to do so or simply turn off the main water supply for the time being. If you choose the latter method, make sure to tell every one of your plans! The last situation everyone wants to be in is that of being out of water when they most need it.
3. Disconnect the water pipes
Now, this is when things get a little complicated. After you have switched off the power and water supply, the dismantling will begin- starting with disconnecting the water supply.
Before you begin, you might want to grab a towel and a bucket. Place them below the water valves that you just shut off. I didn’t do this with my Frigidaire dishwasher, and water that was still in the pipe ended up trickling down and creating a puddle! Try to collect the remaining water in a bucket for easy cleaning.
Then, use a wrench to take all the water lines apart. Twist it clockwise until the pipe is loose enough to be removed manually. If you are simply sending your old dishwasher for repair, take mental notes of the location of the hoses. This will help you during the reassembling process.
4. Remove the drain line
The drain lines in the dishwasher are what connect the equipment to the overall plumbing system of your house. You will need to disconnect this connection as well when removing a dishwasher.
Let’s understand how the drain line works. There are two parts of the line, one that sits over the trap and the bottom part that is attached to the T-fitting. This part connects the line to the plumbing system. It is also connected to your sink’s drain as well as the garbage disposal unit of the dishwasher.
All you have to do is find the rubber hose that comes out of the dishwasher and trace it back to the main connection to detach it.
5. Detach from the countertop
Learning how to disconnect a dishwasher is not just about disconnecting the pipes that connect it to your house’s plumbing and power. Instead, you must also physically remove it for the process to be completed.
For this, you need to begin by detaching the dishwasher from the countertop. Unfasten the mountain brackets that are keeping the dishwasher secured in its place. Then, use a screwdriver to remove the screws present on the legs of the dishwasher. Do so by twisting it clockwise.
6. Remove all attachments
After you remove the dishwasher from the countertop, you will be able to see the backside of the equipment.
Here, there will be three connections – a drain hose, an electrical connection and a water intake hose. Think of this as the dishwasher side of the power supply, water and drainage.
Remove the three connections. Also, you will be able to see a faceplate at the bottom as well. They are either held in place by spring clips or mounting screws.
Before lifting the dishwasher up, remove these faceplates as well as twist the feet of the equipment clockwise. Then, you can safely lift it and remove it.
7. Pull out the dishwasher
Once all the connections and attachments have been removed, you can either lift your dishwasher or slide it. I would suggest you do the latter since dishwashers are quite heavy.
But how can you slide equipment that big? It’s not like it comes with wheels! Well, all that you require is a flat cardboard piece.
Now that the legs of the dishwasher have come undone, you can easily put the cardboard under the unit and use it to slide the equipment toward you. This will also protect your floor from ugly scratches.
How to disconnect a dishwasher water line
While I briefly touched on each of the steps, let’s delve deeper into the steps that require more guidance. All dishwashers, be it Kenmore or Miele, can have their water line disconnected in a similar manner. So, this is universal for all.
There are two disconnections you will have to do; under the sink and from the dishwasher.
Disconnecting the water line under the sink
- Turn off the valve supply hot water. Either you will have a separate hot water line for the dishwasher, or a valve will be shared with the kitchen faucet. Track the supply line and close the required valve.
- Move the wrench counterclockwise on the nut connection to make it loose and unthread the line, starting from the valve.
- Track the drain line to identify where it connects to the drain system.
- Once you find the source, use a screwdriver to secure the clamp down the drain line and pull it away.
Disconnecting the water line from the dishwasher
- Open the door of the dishwasher. Use a screwdriver to unscrew the mounting bracket present at the bottom of the kitchen countertop.
- Remove the dishwasher from under the cabinet and disconnect the waterline present at the back of the washer via a wrench.
- Locate the point where the drain hose meets the water pump by unscrewing the bottom plates of the dishwasher.
- Loosen the screws that are holding the hose in place with the pump. Separate the drain hose from the pump and remove it completely.
How to disconnect a dishwasher drain hose?
I can’t stress this enough – always keep a bucket handy when working on the drain hose. There will always be excess water remaining in the hose, and you would want to catch it in your bucket and not have it spilt on the floor!
The drain hose is usually located in the water line near your sink and is attached either by a screw or a bolt. To disconnect it, you will have to loosen it via a wrench.
If you don’t plan on replacing the dishwasher immediately, then block the connection of the drain hose through a cap. In case you don’t do so, water will continue to leak from the exposed pipe.
There is no standard cap available for this task. So, first, see the size of the hole and get a product that works accordingly. This method is only for when the drain hose is the same as the sink pipe.
If there is a separate line for it, then the process is seemingly easier. Here, you just need to disconnect the line by pulling it out.
How to disconnect a hardwired dishwasher?
Before we dive into how to dismantle a hardwired dishwasher, let’s take a step back to understand what a hardwired dishwasher even is!
A hardwired dishwasher refers to equipment that does not have a plug. Instead, it connects directly to the power supply of the house. Therefore, there won’t be any wall socket for you to turn off to cut the power off of the dishwasher alone.
To disconnect such dishwashers, you need to remove the specific circuit breaker of the dishwasher directly from the main power line. If you have trouble detecting it, then proceed by turning off the power supply completely until the dishwasher has been removed. Calling an electrician will be a good idea.
Follow these simple steps if you are doing it on your own:
- Turn off the water supply and the drain lines.
- Switch off the electricity by removing the circuit breaker.
- Remove the access cover present at the bottom by unscrewing it.
- Find the metal junction box and remove its cover. Ensure that the power is off by using a voltage tester.
- The wire nut will be securing the black wires and white wires in place. Unscrew the nut to remove it. Also, remove the bare ground wire as well.
- Pull out the strain-relief plate, as well as the mounting screws located on the feet of the dishwasher.
- Take the dishwasher out gently.
Dismantling the Garbage Disposal unit: How to disconnect the dishwasher and drain hose from garbage disposal?
There is one aspect that I only briefly touched upon during my step-by-step section above. Removing the garbage disposal unit of the dishwasher. Now, this unit needs to be separated from both the drain hose as well as the dishwasher.
Here are the three steps via which you can achieve both!
Drain Pipe Removal
First, you need to start by removing the drain pipe. Shut off the water supply beforehand and place a bucket below the pipe to collect any residual water that may fall.
Locate the two-inch drain pipe and find its connector. Turn it counterclockwise by using a plier. Do so until it loosens up. You can then pull out the drain pipe.
Drain Hose Removal
Now is the time to remove the dishwasher hose. Usually, your garbage disposal will be connected to this one-inch hose, which in turn will be secured in place through a hose clamp.
By using a screwdriver, loosen the clamp and then proceed by separating the hose from the garbage disposal unit. Again, place either a bucket or a towel to dry off the water that drains from the hose.
Garbage Disposal Unit
Finally, you are ready to remove the garbage disposal unit of the dishwasher. In fact, this will happen on its own when it is disconnecting from the screws that are holding it in its place. Be prepared for this sudden fall by placing a box below the disposal.
To remove the screws on the mounting bracket of the dishwasher, use either a screwdriver or a hex key. Use it to unscrew the metal loops, and soon the bracket will slowly slide down the present ramp.
Once the mounting tabs are at the bottom part of the ramp, the disposal is completely disconnected from the dishwasher and the sink.
Can you pull out a dishwasher without disconnecting it?
But what if you aren’t here because your old dishwasher has given up. What if you simply want to clean the area beneath and behind the dishwasher? Should you still use the steps mentioned above to disconnect the equipment?
Sorry to break this news to you, but yes, you still need to follow all the lengthy instructions. You cannot simply pull out a dishwasher without cutting off the power and water supply.
Similarly, unless you remove the various pipes and hoses, you will end up damaging the water system of the dishwasher.
And finally, a dishwasher isn’t like a fridge or a stove that is just sitting there. Instead, it is secured in its place by a series of nuts and bolts. I am sure by now you are well-versed in the process of removing the different attachments.
Without removing these attachments, you can’t pull out a dishwasher regardless of how much strength you use. And you shouldn’t do so either. There is a reason there are so many steps to the process. You need to follow them to the tee.
Don’t try to take any shortcuts. And whenever in doubt, seek help from professionals. This includes electricians and plumbers.
How to disconnect a dishwasher if you can’t unplug it?
Are you unable to unplug your dishwasher? I am afraid you will need professional help to disconnect your dishwasher then. This is because without cutting off the power supply as well as the water supply, you cannot disconnect the dishwasher.
Think of all the pipes as the tools that make the dishwasher what it is. For starters, without the electrical line, the dishwasher won’t be able to operate at all.
Similarly, if there were no drain and water pipes, how would the equipment supply water to the dirty dishes or drain the dirty water afterwards?
So, if the pipes and hoses are what make a dishwasher what it is, disconnecting it would call for unplugging it all, too, right? So, by definition, disconnecting a dishwasher is unplugging its various elements. Hence, you can’t have one without doing the other!
How to disconnect the dishwasher from the sink?
Don’t worry! I won’t be giving you yet another step-by-step guide. Why? Because when you perform the above-mentioned steps, you automatically disconnect the dishwasher from the sink! What part exactly, you may wonder? Let’s reiterate, shall we?
To disconnect the dishwasher from the sink, you need to remove the water pipe, drain pipe and hose that are attaching the sink to the dishwasher. This is the only element that connects the two things together. Without this connection, the sink is free!
How to disconnect dishwasher hose clamps?
If you learn how to disconnect hose clamps, you will find various tasks quite easy to perform. This is because dishwashers aren’t the only thing that has these hose clamps. You can find them in other plumbing too. This includes under sinks as well as in your washing machine!
Are you unsure about what they look like? Hose clamps tend to be made out of aluminium strips which secure the hose in its place by being tightened through a series of screws.
To disconnect a hose clamp, you will need the help of a flat head screwdriver. Use it to loosen the screw you can see on either side of the hose clamp.
As a pro tip, remember to place the flat end of the tool into the clamp screw slot. Once the screwdriver is in place, turn it counterclockwise slowly.
Do so until the clamp unscrews completely, i.e. the screw comes off. Then push the loosened clamp towards the centre of the hose and unscrew the opposite side as well. Then, you can remove the hose from the clamps.
Recap: How to disconnect and remove a dishwasher
Do you feel overwhelmed by the sheer amount of instructions given? If you give this guide a thorough read, you will realize that some of the aspects overlap. I have just mentioned them separately to go into further details about the steps that might be harder for some people to wrap their hands around.
Let’s recap quickly about how to disconnect a dishwasher and remove it from its place.
- Turn off the power supply from the dishwasher. Either this will require a complete power shutdown of the house or just turning off the socket of the equipment.
- Turn the water supply off by closing the valve. This includes the hot water pipe, too, if you have it connected to the dishwasher.
- Remove the drain and hose.
- Disconnect the garbage disposal by unscrewing the mounting bracket.
- Detach the dishwasher by removing all the bolts that attach it in place. This includes securing it to the kitchen top.
- Gently slide it from under the countertop.
If you wish to go into detail about any of the above-mentioned steps, you know which section to re-read!
Wrapping Up | How To Disconnect a Dishwasher?
I hope your dishwasher comes out easily. I found the process scary too, but once I broke it down into sub-tasks like the ones I mentioned, it wasn’t that hard.
The good thing is that you don’t need a lot of tools for it either. Only a wrench, screwdriver and bucket will do!
Are there any other questions you have about your dishwasher? If so, you might want to read some of my other guides as well.
I try to relay all my learnings and insights as I experience them in hopes that people like me will benefit from them. So, feel free to check them out or leave comments about what you would like to know more about.