How to remove a dishwasher in 8 simple steps.


By Nina Kulenkampff

Are you remodeling your kitchen? Does your dishwasher need maintenance or repairs? Regardless of why you need to remove your dishwasher, don't be daunted by how to do it.

In this guide, we'll walk you through the steps of disconnecting and pulling out your dishwasher. And if you decide not to take on the project yourself, you can find a professional near you who will get the job done quickly.

What you’ll need.

Here's a list of tools you may need to remove your dishwasher:

  • Old towel
  • Bucket
  • Crescent wrench (adjustable wrench)
  • Piece of cardboard (bigger than the bottom of the dishwasher)
  • Pliers
  • Screwdriver
  • Small container (for screws, mount brackets, etc.)
  • Voltage/current detector pen

Step 1: Turn off the water and power supply.

Don't underestimate the importance of this step. To safely remove the dishwasher, start with the power supply and then move on to the water supply. Find the power source of your dishwasher at the circuit breaker and switch it off.

Next, find and shut off the water supply valve connected to the dishwasher. Do not skip this step.

Step 2: Disconnect the water supply.

Look under your kitchen sink or garbage disposal. You should see a water supply line connected to your dishwasher. Use the wrench to loosen and then remove the water supply line. Keep the bucket and towel at hand in case any residual water spills out during this step.

Step 3: Disconnect the drain hose.

As with the step before, you'll want to keep the bucket and towel at hand. Using your pliers, gently loosen the clamp connecting the drain hose to the machine. Disconnect the drain line from the dishwasher. Catch any residual water in the bucket.

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Step 4: Remove the kick plate.

Most dishwashers have a kick plate at the bottom front of the machine. This plate covers the internal components of the dishwasher. Remove the screws holding the kick plate in place using the screwdriver, and gently pull the plate free. Set the screws aside in the container so you don't lose them.

Step 5: Unfasten the dishwasher from the countertop.

Unless you have a freestanding dishwasher, you will need to separate the machine from the countertop. Use the screwdriver to loosen and remove any screws or mounting brackets that are keeping the dishwasher fastened to the countertop.

This step may be a two-person job if your dishwasher isn't supported underneath. Have the other person support the machine from the bottom to avoid damaging the dishwasher and countertop.

Step 6: Unfasten the dishwasher from the cabinet.

This step only applies if your dishwasher is fastened to the cabinet that houses it. Open the dishwasher door. Using the screwdriver, loosen and remove any screws that keep the dishwasher fastened to the cabinet. Once that's done, carefully close the door of the dishwasher.

Step 7: Disconnect the power connections and wires.

Before getting started with this step, double-check whether you've completed step 1. If you have a voltage or current detector pen, now is the time to use it.

Once you're confident that the power supply has been switched off, find the machine's electrical junction box. Open it by removing the screws that keep it shut.

Next, disconnect the electrical wires. You should find a white, a black and a copper wire inside the box. Unscrew the wire nuts of the white and black cables. Also, unscrew and disconnect the copper wire from the electrical box. 

Tip: If you plan on reinstalling the dishwasher, it's worth replacing the wire nuts and/or labeling the wires as you disconnect them. That way, you won't get confused when rewiring these connections.

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Step 8: Slide the dishwasher out.

Before you pull the dishwasher out of its housing, place the piece of cardboard in front of and underneath the machine. Make this easier by raising the level of the dishwasher one leveling screw at a time. Start in the front legs and then the back.

Once the machine is on the cardboard and you're sure all water and power connections have been disconnected (as well as all the screws and mount brackets), slide the dishwasher toward you to finish removing it. 

Hire a professional to disconnect and remove your dishwasher.

DIY-ing this project isn't for everyone. If you're not 100% confident you can remove your dishwasher safely (and without causing damage), hire a pro instead. Start the search for an appliance repair technician or licensed plumber by downloading the Thumbtack app

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