What Type of Water Connection Does a Dishwasher Need?
It's a ripper of a day and you've just decided to buy a new dishwasher. Great choice, but here comes the bit that gets most of us worried – the installation process. Specifically, what type of water connection does a dishwasher need?
Well, take heart, because this blog post is about to give you a step-by-step guide to help you understand this task and proceed with confidence.
What About the Building Code?
Make it a point to check the building code regulations in your area before you get started on your project to install a dishwasher. Better still, hire a qualified plumber who will be familiar with the relevant building codes.
Some cities have rules around drain trap installations and others mandate the air gap fitting in the dishwasher drain hose. Keep reading for more details.
Call in the Professionals
Installing a dishwasher can indeed be a DIY job for some people. This is especially true for those who have had some experience with plumbing and electrical work.
However, in Australia it can be illegal (and potentially dangerous) to do this kind of work yourself. That’s why it’s best to hire a professional like a licensed plumber and/or electrician.
This will guarantee that the job is done safely and correctly, avoiding potential leaks, malfunctions, damage, or other hazards.
Tips on Dishwasher Water Connection
Sure, we’ve established the need for a professional for this task. However, it’s still important as a customer to know the scope of services you’re looking for.
As such, here is a brief guide on what a qualified plumber will do to connect your water supply line and dishwasher:
- The essential hardware: A professional plumber will have all the necessary hardware, such as pipe joint compound, Teflon tape, coupling nut, and mounting brackets. These are necessary for securing hose connections and making sure the dishwasher fits perfectly under the cabinet frame and next to the cabinet sides.
- What water line do you connect a dishwasher to?: Most dishwashers make use of a water supply line that needs to be connected to the water supply of the home. This is usually located beneath the kitchen sink. The water supply connection line for the dishwasher is typically a small, dedicated pipe that comes off the hot water pipes. For easy access, it’s equipped with a shutoff valve. Some portable dishwasher models might connect to a sink tap, but they essentially perform the same function.
- Connecting the water supply: When connecting your dishwasher water supply tube connection, the plumber will first need to locate the water supply line. This will be found underneath your kitchen sink. It’s typically copper or braided steel. To connect the dishwasher to this line, the technician will use a pipe joint compound or Teflon tape, and an adjustable wrench to make the water supply connection secure. Being a professional, they will turn off the water supply before starting.
- Sink or swim: Connecting your dishwasher to a sink water supply isn’t something a qualified plumber will lose sleep over. It’s often as simple as attaching a hose to a water supply valve. Then, connect it to a wire connection housing the hot water supply of your sink. A qualified plumber will follow the manufacturer’s instructions to the letter, to avoid any mishaps.
Other Factors to Consider
Now the dishwasher is connected to the water supply, the process is nearly done. But there are other important factors to consider before you’re ready to start giving your dishes a thorough wash. These issues include:
- Hot or cold? – In Australia, we typically connect our dishwashers to hot water for washing dishes. Hot water aids in breaking up food particles and oils on dishes more effectively. So, when a plumber installs your dishwasher, make sure it’s connected to the hot water supply. However, some instances require connecting the dishwasher water connection to the cold water supply line. This is often dictated by the dishwasher’s design or the model. In such cases, the dishwasher would heat the water internally.
- Level up the dishwasher – Using the dishwasher’s levelling legs, the plumber will adjust the dishwasher’s height to align perfectly with the countertop and properly slot in under the cabinet frame.
- Readying the dishwasher drain hose – The drain hose is what carries the dirty water from your dishwasher to your home’s drain system, which is usually situated under your kitchen sink. To install a dishwasher correctly, the qualified technician will guide the drain hose through an opening in the side of the sink cabinet. Then, it will be connected to a drain trap, the sink drain, or the garbage disposal.
- Heading for the air gap – In some setups, an air gap fitting is provided for the dishwasher drain hose. An air gap prevents any dirty wastewater from the sink or garbage disposal from flowing back into the dishwasher. Plumbing codes in Australia usually allow for a high loop instead of an air gap, but your licensed plumber will be familiar with the local building code.
- Handle the hose carefully – For the drain hose, it’s about caution, not speed. The plumber will lay the hose down so as not to kink or damage it. Avoiding leaks in your new dishwasher is a priority for any professional, and proper installation of the drain hose is key in this quest.
- Preventing a backflow – A check valve is a component of the dishwasher water inlet valve. It helps to prevent a backflow of dirty water into the dishwasher from the drain system. It’s typically integrated into the water inlet valve or the drain hose, depending on the dishwasher’s model.
- Water inlet valve – The water inlet valve is a crucial part of the dishwasher. It controls the amount of water that comes into your dishwasher during a wash, and when to let the water in. These are all based on signals from the dishwasher’s control centre.
Electrifying Details About Power
Be mindful about how your dishwasher is powered. Most dishwashers in Australian homes are hard-wired into the electrical system of the house.
However, depending on the model requirements, some may be plugged directly into a wall outlet. If it’s a new dishwasher (not a replacement), it may need an extra electrical connection. A qualified electrician will remove the wire connection box to find where the power supply gets connected.
The technician will match the colour-coordinated wires and secure them with twist-on wire connectors as per the manufacturer’s instructions. Then they will attach the green wire to the green grounding screw on the frame.
Remember, getting a licensed electrician on board is crucial to this process, as a professional can install an extra powerpoint if necessary.
Testing the Dishwasher
Once the water and electrical connections are sorted, fit the new dishwasher into its place, following the manufacturer’s instructions.
Then, let your new kitchen mate run for a full cycle while you check for leaks or other issues. If there are no leaks, congratulations! You have successfully installed your dishwasher.
So, in the end, installing a dishwasher in Australia involves a hot water supply line, a drain hose, and some patience. It’s not too complicated, but you should always call a professional unless you have considerable experience with electrical and plumbing work.
Portable Dishwashers: The Game Changer
Portable dishwashers are a total game changer when it comes to washing your dishes conveniently. Unlike traditional built-in dishwashers that require a permanent water connection, portable dishwashers offer a flexible and hassle-free solution.
These compact wonders typically come with a built-in water tank that you can fill manually. This means you don’t need a dedicated water line or plumbing expertise to set them up. Just plug them into a regular electrical outlet and connect the hose to your kitchen tap, and you’re good to go.
Portable dishwashers are perfect for renters or anyone who doesn’t want to commit to a permanent installation. They provide the same cleaning power as their built-in counterparts but with added versatility. Plus, you can move them around as needed and even take them with you when you move homes.
If you’re looking for a convenient dishwashing solution without the need for a fixed water connection, a portable dishwasher might just be the answer you’ve been searching for.
Replacing an Old Dishwasher: What You Need to Know
Let’s say this isn’t a new installation but a replacement for an old dishwasher. To do this, you have to disconnect the drain hose, the water supply line, and the electrical connections from your old machine.
Don’t forget to turn off the shut-off valve before you attempt to remove any hoses. However, even this kind of upgrade should be handled by a qualified plumber.
How are you going to dispose of the old dishwasher? Do you leave it sitting in the garage? That’s another advantage of working with a qualified plumber and/or electrician. These professionals will look after the disposal of the old unit and you won’t need to worry about it.
Your Dishwasher is Ready
Ched your new dishwasher again to see if anything seems amiss, and then … drum roll please … it’s time to start washing dishes without getting your hands dirty. Then you can sit back, relax, and let your brand-new dishwasher take over in style.
So, there’s no need to fret over installing your new dishwasher. Armed with this guide, and some professional help, you’ll have it connected and running in no time, freeing yourself from the arduous task of washing dishes. What a relief that will be!
Please note: This information is provided for advice purposes only. Regulations differ from state to state, so please consult your local authorities or an industry professional before proceeding with any work. See Cyber Plumbers’ Terms & Conditions here.