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 Replacing a dishwasher unit

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Brewdude

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Age : 64
Location : Near the Emerald city
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PostSubject: Replacing a dishwasher unit   Tue Apr 25, 2017 8:39 pm

So my old built-in dishwasher has now gone fubar and needs to be replaced. Looking on craigslist there are a number of used units available for a reasonable cost.

First, yes I realize that buying a "reasonable cost" used unit could be more trouble than it's worth. So lets get that out of the way.

Going forward, what kind of a job is it to change out the unit? I'm no master plumber or electrician but have been known to perform some basic home maintenance tasks. Seems to me it's like hooking up hot and cold water lines and electric contacts. Should be pretty basic, no?


Cheers,

RR
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BWHutchins



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Location : New Hampshire
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PostSubject: Re: Replacing a dishwasher unit   Tue Apr 25, 2017 9:03 pm

I have replaced a couple of mine. I am not much of a plumber or electrician either. It is pretty straightforward. You should have no trouble at all. It took me a little longer only because I was not sure what I was doing and had to actually read the installation manual.

Regards,
Hutch
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Ozark Wizard

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PostSubject: Re: Replacing a dishwasher unit   Wed Apr 26, 2017 12:30 am

It should have only one water supply, and that should be either tapped off of you hot water supply for the sink, or, it might have a dedicated shut off. Both will be found in the cupboard under the kitchen sink. Be prepared with a few old towels to mop up dribbles.

The electrical is usually behind a small box cover behind the toe kick plate. If you have a proper electrical panel, shut off the breaker to the dishwasher. Test if it has power by trying to run the dishwasher. If there is any doubt, and your home old enough to have had the washer retrofitted, shut off the main breaker. Use your electric torch(flashlight) to see what you are doing. When you disconnect the wires, wrap the wires from the wall in electrical tape. Just 'cause..

Ere should be enough loose wire to allow you to pull the dishwasher forward and out once the water and power is disconnected. Be mindful to unscrew the two anti tip set screws at the top of the dishwasher fastening it to the underside of the countertop.

Total time to swap em should be about a half hour.

You'll want some Teflon tape for the threads on the water supply. It helps to turn the connection snug.

Before you get the electric back on, turn on the water and check for leaks. No leaks, then connect the power and flip on the power. Try a test cycle before you button up the unit, and check things. The front feet are adjustable, dial them in so it doesn't dance while washing. Put the toe kick on and call it done!
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Carlos
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PostSubject: Re: Replacing a dishwasher unit   Wed Apr 26, 2017 7:31 am

Used. Better search the model online and find a Howto showing the cleaning of all the screens and sump. Our main screen had a number of those sticky bar code labels stuck to it. The sump was full of a nasty mess of algae or some such crap. There was a rusty screw and broken glass. Some other unidentifiable parts. Good news is the unit works much better. Bad news is, I must have pushed some junk further along and now the motor is noisy. Best to run an empty cycle at least once a month with a cup of vinegar in a cup on the top rack to try and keep the unit clean. And peal off the bar code labels the wife fails to do on any new item.

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Psmith

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PostSubject: Re: Replacing a dishwasher unit   Wed Apr 26, 2017 9:08 am

Coming from a guy thats never had a dishwasher (they dont exist in Korea).
How about just keep the dead unit where it is and use it as a tobacco cellar.
Money you save from not replacing it spend on tobacco.
Wash your dishes by hand.
No joke...its what I would do.

Cheers!
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Ozark Wizard

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PostSubject: Re: Replacing a dishwasher unit   Wed Apr 26, 2017 9:34 am

Psmith wrote:
Coming from a guy thats never had a dishwasher (they dont exist in Korea).
How about just keep the dead unit where it is and use it as a tobacco cellar.
Money you save from not replacing it spend on tobacco.
Wash your dishes by hand.
No joke...its what I would do.

Cheers!

The man has a point....
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Richard Burley

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Location : North Coast NY
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PostSubject: Re: Replacing a dishwasher unit   Wed Apr 26, 2017 9:44 am

Ozark Wizard wrote:
Psmith wrote:
Coming from a guy thats never had a dishwasher (they dont exist in Korea).
How about just keep the dead unit where it is and use it as a tobacco cellar.
Money you save from not replacing it spend on tobacco.
Wash your dishes by hand.
No joke...its what I would do.

Cheers!

The man has a point....

Works for me. Space for tabac trumps space for pain-in-the-ass kitchen appliance.
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Brewdude

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PostSubject: Re: Replacing a dishwasher unit   Wed Apr 26, 2017 8:02 pm

Greatly appreciate all the practical advice. I'll certainly be attentive to all that now that I know about it. You've raised a number of good points.

For my way of things (hate the word "lifestyle") I need an automatic dishwasher. 'nuff said.



Cheers,

RR
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Cartaphilus

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PostSubject: Re: Replacing a dishwasher unit   Wed Apr 26, 2017 9:05 pm

Being an old appliance man I think OW and Carlos covered everything you'll need to know.
But, I'd be aware of used dishwashers, ya gotta think why would someone replace a working one. And they do have there problems, mostly because someone didn't keep them clean. Hard water/Calcium is the hardest on them and garbage getting into the pumps.
Just be aware sir and good luck. Wink
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Brewdude

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PostSubject: Re: Replacing a dishwasher unit   Wed Apr 26, 2017 9:09 pm

Cartaphilus wrote:
Being an old appliance man I think OW and Carlos covered everything you'll need to know.
But, I'd be aware of used dishwashers, ya gotta think why would someone replace a working one. And they do have there problems, mostly because someone didn't keep them clean. Hard water/Calcium is the hardest on them and garbage getting into the pumps.
Just be aware sir and good luck. Wink

Yes, I'm aware Ron. Caveat emptor. Wink



Cheers,

RR
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Ozark Wizard

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PostSubject: Re: Replacing a dishwasher unit   Wed Apr 26, 2017 9:53 pm

If you do some searching, and/or contact Habitat For Humanity, you can get one super cheap, and perhaps even new. Consider that there are a great many new 'Spec houses' being sold, with all the appliances. New home buyers see white appliances, and want them torn out and replaced with black. Or Black appliances are provided and they want stainless. Or a Whirlpool replaced with a Bosch. I knew a few designers in Portland that had storage units that were full of brand new never run just installed appliances they would put on Craig's list. A tenth of the price of getting the box too, complete with sample soaps and rinses.... Avoid used ones if you can, seals on the doors can go bad, pumps can rust if the water from the last cycle sits in them, etc....
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Brewdude

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PostSubject: Re: Replacing a dishwasher unit   Wed Apr 26, 2017 10:01 pm

Ozark Wizard wrote:
If you do some searching, and/or contact Habitat For Humanity, you can get one super cheap, and perhaps even new. Consider that there are a great many new 'Spec houses' being sold, with all the appliances. New home buyers see white appliances, and want them torn out and replaced with black. Or Black appliances are provided and they want stainless. Or a Whirlpool replaced with a Bosch. I knew a few designers in Portland that had storage units that were full of brand new never run just installed appliances they would put on Craig's list. A tenth of the price of getting the box too, complete with sample soaps and rinses.... Avoid used ones if you can, seals on the doors can go bad, pumps can rust if the water from the last cycle sits in them, etc....  


Great advice and thank you Ozzie!

Very Happy



Cheers,

RR
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idbowman

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PostSubject: Re: Replacing a dishwasher unit   Thu Apr 27, 2017 12:27 pm

What a timely post - my DW went out on my last week. We bought new (didn't really have a choice - ours is built in under a shelf and so the only viable size wasn't available second hand).

As far as the install, it's really not big deal. I'm arguably the least handy person I've ever met in my life I and managed it on my own in around an hour. Wiz pretty much gave the step-by-step...simply put, make sure any water or electrical supply to the unit is shut off; dismantle the existing water/electrical connections; remove old unit; move new unit into place, and connect to water/electrical sources.

I had a few other little tid bits to do - we have some added sound-reduction material to add into the cabinet (if you do, make sure you buy the right stuff - you want it to quiet the sound but not insulate too much heat), our unit was bolted into the cabinet frame for stability so I had that to deal with too.


Really not a big deal. I know it's a tired cliche, but in this case it's true: if I can do it, anyone can.
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Brewdude

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PostSubject: Update   Sat May 06, 2017 7:54 pm

Just came back from getting a relatively newer used KitchenAid dishwasher. The price was right - free! The owner was remodelling and just wanted to get rid of it. He said it worked fine, so that's all I have to go on. It looks in good shape and is a digital controlled model. The door seal seems OK.

Got it into the house with the help of a neighbour and it's now in my utility room awaiting installation. The neighbour told me that there's a "universal dishwasher installation kit" available at my local Ace Hardware so will pick that up tomorrow. Apparently it has all the fittings and such for any installation. I already see that the copper line for the hot water on it and mine are different sizes.

So tomorrow I'll remove the old unit, get the kit, and go from there. I'm not the world's greatest jack-of-all-trades and the neighbour has offered to help on the install. I'll be taking him up on this. Fingers crossed!

Ya I know, free is a 4-letter word that starts with "F"!  Wink



Cheers,

RR
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Brewdude

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PostSubject: Re: Replacing a dishwasher unit   Mon May 08, 2017 7:50 pm

Got the installation kit yesterday, but had a bunch of other stuff going on so didn't get to the removal. Did that today after work and it went OK. Now have the old unit outside for recycling.

Tomorrow I'll address the install. Should be pretty straightforward. We'll see!



Cheers,

RR
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Brewdude

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PostSubject: Update - but very loooooong.......   Tue May 09, 2017 7:50 pm

Had to go to the hardware store again to get an adapter for the water supply line. The dishwasher is a 1/2" compression fitting and the feed from under the sink is 3/8" compression, so the 3/8' x 3/8" braided line I got wouldn't work. Got a short 1/2" x 1/2" braided line and a 1/2" x 3/8" reducer. Back home and started assembling everything.

First moved the new unit close to the installation point within reach of the connection points.

Next was the water supply line. Hooked it up, checked for leaks, and all OK.

The electrical supply was next. My supply from the breaker panel had a long cord of 3' or more coming in from a hole cut in the cabinet. So no 3 prong outlet to plug into. And the until I'm installing had it's cord cut about 3' from where it was hooked up. I looked at where the cord on the unit went through a small j-box and couldn't find any way to access this in order to hook up my supply line. There must be a way but the j-box was very small and crammed in with a bunch of other components so decided to leave it be.

Decided to just strip the wires and use wire nuts for the connections. This probably isn't code, but if the wire nuts are really tight they won't be going anywhere. So that's what I did.

Now for the drain line. This was a bugger as the hose that came through the back of the cabinet wasn't all that long. And the unit I was installing had a short length of hose that required positioning the unit very close to the entrance of the cabinet. In fact so close that it barely allowed me to squeeze my arms and head in to connect them.

OK, now to push the until back in to the hole and finalise the job- but somehow it won't go all the way back. Seems to be hanging up on something leaving about 6" sticking out. Not much room L/R for wiggling it either.

Pulled it out as far as I could several times to try and see what the problem was. Spent a very frustrating time doing this again and again, only to arrive at the same impasse.

OK, so stop, take a break, think. What could be the problem?

The long electrical line shouldn't be an issue. The extra length should just coil and bend and find it's own home.

The supply line shouldn't be a problem either. It's not that long and braided so it should flex.

The only thing I can think of is the drain line. It must be kinking as I push the unit in towards the back of the cabinet. The hose that comes through the back of the cabinet is that black thick walled rubber stuff (dunno the correct name for this), and isn't all that flexible.

Additionally, that hose comes through the back of the cabinet about 1/3rd of the way up from the floor. And the back wall of the unit will be pretty close to the back of the cabinet when pushed in all the way. So I'm thinking that the hose is getting kinked and not flexing preventing the unit from going in all the way.

So, what to do since there's no way to see what's going on???

The only thing I can think of right now is to get a 90 degree elbow, and cut the hose right where it comes through the wall and install the elbow pointing down. Then attach the other piece of the hose and go from there.

Also thought that I could lower the toe plate and look through with a flashlight to see what the problem was, but there wasn't anything to see there. And even that started to become another problem for various reasons!

In any case, I decided to leave it for now and regroup. Really thought I could do this myself. Not so sure now. And I can always prevail on either of my neighbours, who seem to be natural born jack-of-all-trades. May have to do that.

So close and yet so far.............!

Mad


No Cheers yet!


RR
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Brewdude

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PostSubject: Re: Replacing a dishwasher unit   Sun May 14, 2017 7:21 pm

I've been both busy and lazy about getting this issue resolved. Pulled the unit out and looked at everything again in the back. That didn't tell me anything I didn't know already so pushed it back and same result.

Decided to get a hole saw and cut an opening in the cabinet such that I can look in with a flashlight to see where the problem is before proceeding. It has to be the original stiff rubber drain hose kinking, and if it is I'll get the replacement hose and install it from the point it comes through the back wall since it's very flexible. I'll have the hole saw tomorrow and go from there.


Cheers,

RR
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Brewdude

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PostSubject: Re: Replacing a dishwasher unit   Mon May 15, 2017 7:45 pm

Got the hole saw and drilled it such that I could look in and see what the problem is. And the frustrating thing is that there's no conclusive evidence of the drain hose being problematic! It isn't kinked, and is setting right down where it needs to be. Nor is the supply line or electrical an issue as far as I can see. Very aggravating!

Looked all around the unit to see if it was hitting the cabinet sides or top, but doesn't seem to be the case. And yet it stops when pushed back just like it's hit an obstacle!

The only thing I've got is to replace the hard rubber drain line with that accordion stuff that flexes. If that doesn't work I'll have to call in a professional installer since I'm out of ideas!

Mad


No Cheers,

RR
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Carlos
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PostSubject: Re: Replacing a dishwasher unit   Mon May 15, 2017 8:54 pm

You said sides or top. What about at floor level? Any piping coming up through the floor behind this? The opening is deep enough. Right?

_________________


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Ozark Wizard

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PostSubject: Re: Replacing a dishwasher unit   Mon May 15, 2017 9:01 pm

Just out of curiosity, are your cabinets 24 inches deep? Is the dishwasher? If one or the other is different, that would be an issue..

Also, check the flooring under the dishwasher. If there are odd heights they will give you grief... Typically, the rear of the washer has wheels that roll, but the front has adjustable feet. (think hex head base with threaded rods) The front feet might be hitting substrate, though, without it going in all the way, that is unlikely...

In a perfect world, there should be standardized sizing of appliances. You might be dealing with a less than perfect scenario though.

Beware of using accordion flex drains, as they tend to collect debris easily and thus clog quickly. Also, they do not fair well with very hot water.

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Brewdude

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PostSubject: Re: Replacing a dishwasher unit   Mon May 15, 2017 9:20 pm

Carlos wrote:
You said sides or top.  What about at floor level?  Any piping coming up through the floor behind this?  The opening is deep enough.  Right?

The floor level is free and clear. And the opening is deep enough. I should easily have 4-5" more clearance to the back of the wall..

Ozark Wizard wrote:
Just out of curiosity, are your cabinets 24 inches deep? Is the dishwasher? If one or the other is different, that would be an issue..

Also, check the flooring under the dishwasher. If there are odd heights they will give you grief... Typically, the rear of the washer has wheels that roll, but the front has adjustable feet. (think hex head base with threaded rods) The front feet might be hitting substrate, though, without it going in all the way, that is unlikely...

In a perfect world, there should be standardized sizing of appliances. You might be dealing with a less than perfect scenario though.

Beware of using accordion flex drains, as they tend to collect debris easily and thus clog quickly. Also, they do not fair well with very hot water.

Yes, 24" deep. Just now measured it again. The dishwasher is 24" from the back to the front of the door. And it should stick out just right when fully back.

The floor is free of obstructions.  

Don't have wheels on the back. 4 adjustable feet which are all adjusted for level. That leaves about 1.5" from the top of the unit to the bottom of the cabinet.

The only drain replacement hoses are the accordion style.

Question Question Question


Cheers?

RR
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Ozark Wizard

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PostSubject: Re: Replacing a dishwasher unit   Mon May 15, 2017 9:36 pm

???

Very interesting............

Well, if there seems to be ample room, and sliding back is the issue, you could try the 'shoe-horn' technique. Find a sheet of something thin, flat, and can be made as big as the footprint of the washer. Place it under the washer and slide the whole mess back into the hole. If you can wiggle the stuff out, great, otherwise just leave it in there.

Without checking other options, my next guess is you need a bigger hammer lol!

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Brewdude

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PostSubject: Re: Replacing a dishwasher unit   Mon May 15, 2017 9:52 pm

Ozark Wizard wrote:
???

Very interesting............

Well, if there seems to be ample room, and sliding back is the issue, you could try the 'shoe-horn' technique. Find a sheet of something thin, flat, and can be made as big as the footprint of the washer. Place it under the washer and slide the whole mess back into the hole. If you can wiggle the stuff out, great, otherwise just leave it in there.

Without checking other options, my next guess is you need a bigger hammer lol!


Good idea. I'll get a sheet of big cardboard and try that next. Otherwise I'll have to call in the local handyman.

Both my next door neighbours are great jack-of-all-trades but they're both down with health issues.



Cheers,

RR
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Brewdude

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PostSubject: Re: Replacing a dishwasher unit   Tue May 16, 2017 7:41 pm

Well, third time's a charm they say (or is it the 30th time?).

Anyway it's now sitting pretty, right where it should've been all along. Don't ask me how either. I just pulled it out one more time to check for any obstructions, wrinkled flooring, etc. and couldn't find anything.

Didn't have a large enough sheet of cardboard to put under it for a skid plate (like Ozzie suggested) but did cut several squares of cardboard from a shipping box. I placed these under the feet, but the problem was they didn't want to stay there once I pushed the unit back.

So gave up on that routine and just tried wriggling it back, and this time it went in all the way just like it should've the first time. Still have no idea what the problem was but the good news is that it's finally in!

cheers

Turned on the breaker and the display lit up, so that's a good sign. Next thing will be to run one load and check for leaks before I finalize it. Still have to attach the little brackets to the underside of the cabinet and replace the moulding strip under the cabinets.

Question - how necessary is it really for those brackets to the underside of the cabinet? In order to install them I'll need to pull the unit out again a little way and I'm loath to do that given the previous experience. I can see that with use the vibration might cause it to want to walk out from the cabinet hole, but what's the reality?

This has been one giant PITA, make no mistake. Just now hope it runs OK like the guy I got it from said. I should probably also go on line and download the manual, but the operations are straightforward enough. So may pass on that action.


Cheers,

RR
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Ozark Wizard

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PostSubject: Re: Replacing a dishwasher unit   Wed May 17, 2017 12:07 am

The primary reason for those screws (I feel) is so that when you open the door and draw out the racks with dishes in them the washer doesn't tip forward and dump shtuff everywhere. And yah, they help keep it from walking out too..

Congratulations! cheers
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