Author Topic: New dishwasher -- DIY install or pay?  (Read 33542 times)

brandino29

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 327
New dishwasher -- DIY install or pay?
« on: January 29, 2014, 01:23:11 PM »
We're buying a dishwasher -- music to my ears (we've done dishes by hand for 5 years and with baby bottles, pump parts, and both of us packing our lunches daily in tupperware containers, it's become a real pain in the ass) -- but the question is, do I try to install it myself or do I pay to have it installed? 

A dishwasher swap out seems pretty easy from the youtube videos and DIYnetwork.com, but this would be an entirely new install because we don't currently have a dishwasher so we would have to run new electric which I have no knowledge of how to do.  I'm guessing it would cost in the neighborhood of $100-150 to have someone install it?  Which the more I think about it and the potential problems I may encounter, I'm thinking it may be worth it. 

.22guy

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 132
Re: New dishwasher -- DIY install or pay?
« Reply #1 on: January 29, 2014, 01:32:19 PM »
For me personally, if the connections were already there I would do it myself in a heartbeat.  But if they weren't I would probably pay someone.  That just seems past my comfort level.

nordlead

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 146
Re: New dishwasher -- DIY install or pay?
« Reply #2 on: January 29, 2014, 01:40:59 PM »
Electric is pretty easy, but you have to follow code. If you don't think you can follow the code then pay someone to do it.

Typically a dishwasher would have to be on it's own circuit (possibly you could share it with a disposal but nothing else really) with the outlet behind the dishwasher (not under the sink). So you'd have to add a 15-20A circuit breaker to your box. Run wire from the breaker box to your kitchen and hook it up to an outlet where you are putting the dishwasher.  (your local code may vary so don't take my word for it)

The rest is super easy.

GuitarStv

  • Senior Mustachian
  • ********
  • Posts: 17664
  • Age: 39
  • Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Re: New dishwasher -- DIY install or pay?
« Reply #3 on: January 29, 2014, 01:46:41 PM »
I added a breaker and ran the wire for my dishwasher, but got a plumber to do the pipe connecting.  Our dishwasher was built in and did not require an outlet (just connect the wires you ran to the wires in the dishwasher panel.  After seeing what the plumber did, next time I'll do the plumbing as well.  Installing a dishwasher is not particularly hard.

nordlead

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 146
Re: New dishwasher -- DIY install or pay?
« Reply #4 on: January 29, 2014, 01:59:50 PM »
Even though my dishwasher is built in, I have an "adapter" cable that basically wires into the dishwasher but plugs into the wall. Think an extension cord with one end cut off. I used the existing one that was there.

This step may not be necessary, you could just not have an electrical box.

sleepyguy

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 672
  • Location: Oakville, Ontario
Re: New dishwasher -- DIY install or pay?
« Reply #5 on: January 29, 2014, 02:45:28 PM »
It's not very hard but does take a tiny bit of skill.  Just youtube it up.  Most installers will charge about $30-50.  Hopefully you have the plumbing prepped correct already.  But then again, that's not very hard as well.   Google/youtube is your friend.

Spork

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5747
    • Spork In The Eye
Re: New dishwasher -- DIY install or pay?
« Reply #6 on: January 29, 2014, 02:50:31 PM »

The only time I've had issues it was with flooring... I.e. really thick saltillo tile added right in front of the dishwasher.  If you don't have oddball flooring issues, like everyone says above: piece of cake.

crk

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 10
Re: New dishwasher -- DIY install or pay?
« Reply #7 on: January 29, 2014, 02:56:36 PM »
I did this myself without an existing connection. Really not that difficult if you have a convenient electrical outlet you can use.  For me it basically just involved adding a plastic t to the sink drain and adding a metal t to the sink's hot water line and screwing in the cables. That said, since it was the first time I had done it it took a whole afternoon and a few trips back and forth to the hardware store. If I didn't enjoy this sort of thing it probably wouldn't have been worth my time if I could have had it done for $50.

Capsu78

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 736
  • Location: Chicagoland
Re: New dishwasher -- DIY install or pay?
« Reply #8 on: January 29, 2014, 06:28:09 PM »
Lets see: water pressure both incoming and takeaway, dedicated electrical, flooring and cabinet fit issues, unpacking and carrying the untit in without dinging up your walls...
I vote for the installer who does all this well... there are plenty of "exit ramps" that can turn a 90 minute install into a multi weekend event.  YMMV

Adam Zapple

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 474
Re: New dishwasher -- DIY install or pay?
« Reply #9 on: January 29, 2014, 07:46:15 PM »
With youtube you can do it yourself.  The plumbing aspect is not difficult.  Other replies are correct stating you should have a dedicated breaker on your electrical panel for the dishwasher.  You need to take a look at your panel and make sure there's room for another breaker.  I believe they like you to have one "open" space on your panel as well (not sure why) so that means that in reality, you need to make sure there's room for two breakers on the panel.  The installation instructions tend to have some good information for you too so take a look at them first then decide if you can handle it.  I'm not an electrician, just a capable DIYer but I would buy 12 guage romex wire (it will say 12/2 on the wrapper), a 20 amp breaker, 20 amp receptacle, pastic old work box, and some wire staples and do it myself.  It's just one wire from the receptacle to the panel.  I have done this a couple times and never had a problem.  The other reply that stated the floor height is sometimes a challenge is absolutely right.

Greg

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1449
  • Location: Olympia, WA, USA
Re: New dishwasher -- DIY install or pay?
« Reply #10 on: January 29, 2014, 07:57:45 PM »
I do things like this when I remodel, so it's a bit of a skill I already have, so I would certainly take it on.  I would suggest studying as has been suggested, and then undertaking the task yourself.  If you get stuck, you can always call in a pro.

For power you can either hard-wire it to a box or attach a "pigtail" or plug-in for an existing outlet like the one under the sink you might have for a garbage disposal.  For water supply, you can either replace your angle stop with one that has two outlets, or add a tee.  Then a plastic of braided ss covered hose to the washer.  For the drain, the dishwasher will probably come with a hose, and you replace sink drain with one that has a tee in it for this purpose. 

Drill/cut a 1-3/8" hole in the sink cabinet wall between the d/w and the sink to pass the supply, drain and power through.  Be sure to check for leaks before installing the bottom front cover on the d/w. 

Also, follow the installation instructions for the d/w and pay attention to the details like making sure to screw the front to the cabinet or countertop to prevent the appliance from tipping forward if both the upper and lower racks are loaded and out.

Capsu78

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 736
  • Location: Chicagoland
Re: New dishwasher -- DIY install or pay?
« Reply #11 on: January 29, 2014, 07:58:58 PM »
Re floor height- Had the whole replacement unit unpacked when we discovered it would not fit in the cabinet space.
Turns out we had to rip out hardwood flooring on a minutes notice , which was scary but worked out fine in the end.
« Last Edit: January 29, 2014, 08:00:53 PM by Capsu78 »

brandino29

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 327
Re: New dishwasher -- DIY install or pay?
« Reply #12 on: January 30, 2014, 06:57:58 AM »
Lets see: water pressure both incoming and takeaway, dedicated electrical, flooring and cabinet fit issues, unpacking and carrying the untit in without dinging up your walls...
I vote for the installer who does all this well... there are plenty of "exit ramps" that can turn a 90 minute install into a multi weekend event.  YMMV

This is 100% my primary concern with this job.  I've started many projects expecting them to take a couple of hours and two days later I'm at wit's end.  I've googled and youtubed but so many of those are replacing an existing dishwasher which seems easy as pie.

  I'm not an electrician, just a capable DIYer but I would buy 12 guage romex wire (it will say 12/2 on the wrapper), a 20 amp breaker, 20 amp receptacle, pastic old work box, and some wire staples and do it myself.  It's just one wire from the receptacle to the panel.  I have done this a couple times and never had a problem.

I already feel this is way over my head.

For power you can either hard-wire it to a box or attach a "pigtail" or plug-in for an existing outlet like the one under the sink you might have for a garbage disposal.  For water supply, you can either replace your angle stop with one that has two outlets, or add a tee.  Then a plastic of braided ss covered hose to the washer.  For the drain, the dishwasher will probably come with a hose, and you replace sink drain with one that has a tee in it for this purpose. 

This is something I hadn't considered.  We already do have a sink disposal and of course I planned to run the plumbing that way but I never thought about how it was wired electrically.  I guess there has to be a hardwire connection since there's a light switch to operate it.  So I should be able to just wire a dishwasher directly into that same connection? 

The floor shouldn't pose a problem but the cabinet will.  I'll have to remove an extra wide cabinet, and then either try to reuse the same materials to build a new cabinet to fit the remaining space between the dishwasher and fridge or hope that there's something close on the Lowe's/Home Depot shelf, otherwise I'll be having to pay someone to build me a custom cabinet.

Spork

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5747
    • Spork In The Eye
Re: New dishwasher -- DIY install or pay?
« Reply #13 on: January 30, 2014, 07:30:35 AM »


For power you can either hard-wire it to a box or attach a "pigtail" or plug-in for an existing outlet like the one under the sink you might have for a garbage disposal.  For water supply, you can either replace your angle stop with one that has two outlets, or add a tee.  Then a plastic of braided ss covered hose to the washer.  For the drain, the dishwasher will probably come with a hose, and you replace sink drain with one that has a tee in it for this purpose. 

This is something I hadn't considered.  We already do have a sink disposal and of course I planned to run the plumbing that way but I never thought about how it was wired electrically.  I guess there has to be a hardwire connection since there's a light switch to operate it.  So I should be able to just wire a dishwasher directly into that same connection? 


I think the "normal" case is to have a switched outlet for a disposal and a normal receptacle for the dishwasher.  I normally see them as a single receptacle that's been split -- where half is switched and half is not.

Hedge_87

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 661
  • Age: 33
  • Location: South central ks
Re: New dishwasher -- DIY install or pay?
« Reply #14 on: January 30, 2014, 08:23:35 AM »
I did this about a year ago. It's made my home a much happier place (wife really likes it). Wireing was easy for me and the plumbing was all PVC with compression fittings. The only problem I had was cutting down the cabinets. Not very hard just time consuming and we lost a lot of cabnet space.

Do I get extra points for getting a one year old dishwasher for free?

Adam Zapple

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 474
Re: New dishwasher -- DIY install or pay?
« Reply #15 on: January 30, 2014, 08:41:11 AM »
I asked someone more knowledgeable than myself and was told the dishwasher should be hardwired and have a switch.  It doesn't have to be a switch on the wall it can be in a cabinet.  That is our local code yours may differ.

jba302

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 623
Re: New dishwasher -- DIY install or pay?
« Reply #16 on: January 30, 2014, 09:00:18 AM »
Having learned to rock climb outdoors via youtube (and did 1 session of indoor climbing beforehand), been skydiving, white water rafted on class 5 on my first go, and done various other things with a "hey I bet I could do that" sense of being... electricity scares the shit out of me. Not sure how the hell you guys are comfortable with installing breakers but I'd love to learn without pooping myself. Especially since we just bought a home (closing 03/13 yay!) and I'd like to upgrade the service and put in a new box without stopping my heart prematurely.

Spork

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5747
    • Spork In The Eye
Re: New dishwasher -- DIY install or pay?
« Reply #17 on: January 30, 2014, 09:11:58 AM »
Having learned to rock climb outdoors via youtube (and did 1 session of indoor climbing beforehand), been skydiving, white water rafted on class 5 on my first go, and done various other things with a "hey I bet I could do that" sense of being... electricity scares the shit out of me. Not sure how the hell you guys are comfortable with installing breakers but I'd love to learn without pooping myself. Especially since we just bought a home (closing 03/13 yay!) and I'd like to upgrade the service and put in a new box without stopping my heart prematurely.

I used to feel that way.  It's really not as scary as it sounds though.  (I befriended an electrician 10-15 years back and he held my hand a few times.)

The area where you really need some smarts/experience is the logical layout.  Putting it all together is easy. 

Also...  you can often get a much discounted rate from an electrician if you do the grunt work yourself.  He can give you what he wants and you can crawl through the tight spaces and run the wires, etc.  Lots of electricians are willing to work with you on this.

nordlead

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 146
Re: New dishwasher -- DIY install or pay?
« Reply #18 on: January 30, 2014, 09:23:37 AM »
Having learned to rock climb outdoors via youtube (and did 1 session of indoor climbing beforehand), been skydiving, white water rafted on class 5 on my first go, and done various other things with a "hey I bet I could do that" sense of being... electricity scares the shit out of me. Not sure how the hell you guys are comfortable with installing breakers but I'd love to learn without pooping myself. Especially since we just bought a home (closing 03/13 yay!) and I'd like to upgrade the service and put in a new box without stopping my heart prematurely.

The secret, is to turn the power off, and if the power is on, don't touch it!!

I've had 1 really bad shock myself (grabbed the sides of an outlet when trying to adjust it to put a faceplate on. Basically I wasn't thinking). I gave my brother a really bad shock (I told him the outlet was off when it was on and he didn't double check. I swear it was an accident :-D ), and I've had a bunch of other minor zaps.

Basically, turn the power off, and double check that it is actually off with either a test light or a multimeter before touching anything. I personally won't work on anything electrical if I can't throw a switch upstream.

Jack

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4726
  • Location: Atlanta, GA
Re: New dishwasher -- DIY install or pay?
« Reply #19 on: January 30, 2014, 10:11:56 AM »
I did this myself without an existing connection... since it was the first time I had done it it took a whole afternoon and a few trips back and forth to the hardware store. If I didn't enjoy this sort of thing it probably wouldn't have been worth my time if I could have had it done for $50.

On the contrary; it was a cheap plumbing and electrical lesson, and the next job will go that much more smoothly for having "wasted" the time doing this one.

Lets see: water pressure both incoming and takeaway, dedicated electrical, flooring and cabinet fit issues, unpacking and carrying the untit in without dinging up your walls...
I vote for the installer who does all this well... there are plenty of "exit ramps" that can turn a 90 minute install into a multi weekend event.  YMMV

This is 100% my primary concern with this job.  I've started many projects expecting them to take a couple of hours and two days later I'm at wit's end.  I've googled and youtubed but so many of those are replacing an existing dishwasher which seems easy as pie.

And I've avoided starting many projects because I was scared that I'd get in over my head, only to think "wow, that was easy -- why didn't I just get it done sooner?" after I finally gathered the courage.

There's underpreparing, and then there's overpreparing. As long as the consequences of screwing up aren't too disastrous, the latter is worse than the former.

enigmaT120

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 389
  • Location: Falls City, OR
Re: New dishwasher -- DIY install or pay?
« Reply #20 on: January 30, 2014, 10:47:26 AM »
For my first one the plumbing and electric were pretty easy.  I paid a guy from my church to do the modifications to the wood cabinet, removing a cupboard and making the space for the washer to fit.  And making it look good -- that's where I suck.  It was cheap, and used dish washers are cheap.

Hedge_87

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 661
  • Age: 33
  • Location: South central ks
Re: New dishwasher -- DIY install or pay?
« Reply #21 on: January 30, 2014, 10:56:20 AM »
Having learned to rock climb outdoors via youtube (and did 1 session of indoor climbing beforehand), been skydiving, white water rafted on class 5 on my first go, and done various other things with a "hey I bet I could do that" sense of being... electricity scares the shit out of me. Not sure how the hell you guys are comfortable with installing breakers but I'd love to learn without pooping myself. Especially since we just bought a home (closing 03/13 yay!) and I'd like to upgrade the service and put in a new box without stopping my heart prematurely.

I used to feel that way.  It's really not as scary as it sounds though.  (I befriended an electrician 10-15 years back and he held my hand a few times.)

The area where you really need some smarts/experience is the logical layout.  Putting it all together is easy. 

Also...  you can often get a much discounted rate from an electrician if you do the grunt work yourself.  He can give you what he wants and you can crawl through the tight spaces and run the wires, etc.  Lots of electricians are willing to work with you on this.

Disagree. I worked as an electrician for a couple of years. Unless something was really going to be a PITA I would tell the homeowner just to go in another room and stay out of the way cause it would cost more for me to train them than to do it. I'm not good with PR part of the reason I got out of the business. That and crawl spaces lol.

brandino29

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 327
Re: New dishwasher -- DIY install or pay?
« Reply #22 on: January 30, 2014, 01:25:07 PM »
Having learned to rock climb outdoors via youtube (and did 1 session of indoor climbing beforehand), been skydiving, white water rafted on class 5 on my first go, and done various other things with a "hey I bet I could do that" sense of being... electricity scares the shit out of me. Not sure how the hell you guys are comfortable with installing breakers but I'd love to learn without pooping myself. Especially since we just bought a home (closing 03/13 yay!) and I'd like to upgrade the service and put in a new box without stopping my heart prematurely.

Agreed, I had a bit of a scare a couple of years ago when I had disconnected an overhead light whose wiring ran through a joist that I was adding a sister board to.  I killed the breaker and after I put the board up and drilled the hole I started rewiring it in the junction box.  I was nervous at first but was quickly working bare handed with the exposed wires.  And then the moment I started twisting two of them back together all the lights and power in the basement went out instantaneously.  I still don't understand how it happened, or even what happened exactly, but couldn't believe I didn't fry myself in the process. 

Needless to say, I killed the main breaker and put on a headlamp to finish it off...and I decided maybe next time I'd have someone else do it.

Spork

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5747
    • Spork In The Eye
Re: New dishwasher -- DIY install or pay?
« Reply #23 on: January 30, 2014, 01:28:50 PM »

Also...  you can often get a much discounted rate from an electrician if you do the grunt work yourself.  He can give you what he wants and you can crawl through the tight spaces and run the wires, etc.  Lots of electricians are willing to work with you on this.

Disagree. I worked as an electrician for a couple of years. Unless something was really going to be a PITA I would tell the homeowner just to go in another room and stay out of the way cause it would cost more for me to train them than to do it. I'm not good with PR part of the reason I got out of the business. That and crawl spaces lol.

so: mileage may vary.   I've been able to negotiate discounts by digging trenches, pulling wires, crawling through attics, digging post holes for power poles, etc.  Worth a shot to ask, they can only say "no."

Edit to add: I've also occasionally been able to pay in non-standard means.  More than once I paid by filling the electrician's pickup truck with a load of cut/split wood.  (It didn't hurt that I knew the electrician... but again: it doesn't hurt to ask.)
« Last Edit: January 30, 2014, 01:41:35 PM by Spork »

Hedge_87

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 661
  • Age: 33
  • Location: South central ks
Re: New dishwasher -- DIY install or pay?
« Reply #24 on: January 30, 2014, 03:01:26 PM »
The digging the trench part falls under the PITA portion where I would gladly let the customer do. Saved me either an hour or two of back breaking labor or going to rent a trencher and then having to return it. Also I never minded the barter system either. I once received a whole semi truck load of gravel for my driveway for an easy 6 hour wiring job (the IRS doesn't get their hands on my $$ that way). I'm not saying I would never take any help. I guess it was situational for me though.

PantsOnFire

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 141
  • Location: PA
Re: New dishwasher -- DIY install or pay?
« Reply #25 on: February 07, 2014, 11:50:18 AM »
I don't know if it's already been mentioned, but a lot of sink disposals already have a stub out for the dishwasher drain line.  Usually you have to remove a plastic knockout (it's there from the factory so the water doesn't drain out all over the floor if you don't have a dishwasher hooked up) but after that you just slip the DW drain hose on there and tighten the hose clamp. 

Milspecstache

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 530
Re: New dishwasher -- DIY install or pay?
« Reply #26 on: February 07, 2014, 09:29:50 PM »
I really hate garbage disposal units.  Inevitably someone in my family will jam potatoes or carrots or a spoon or something into it that will require me to clean it out barehanded.  Yes I turn it off but it still makes me nervous.  Even worse is renting our a place with one as then you have to pay a plumber if you can't get there.  Or debate with the tenant that it was their mess which caused it.

My vote is go simple and put a strainer in the sink drain.  When full, dump it in the garbage can.

You are probably on city sewage but garbage disposals are really hard on septic systems as they encourage people to send non-degradeable (or hard to degrade) wastes to the septic tank.

5inatrailer

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 58
Re: New dishwasher -- DIY install or pay?
« Reply #27 on: February 10, 2014, 01:35:46 PM »
To the OP, it's really not that hard if you get a good idea of what you are in for beforehand, and you have a general understanding of basic home repair.

Running a new circuit is always easier as there are no pigtails, or 3 ways or anything to screw up.  Of course, that depends on where you electrical panel is.  There was a time that even opening the panel would intimidate me:)

I replaced my DW last week in 1 hour.  Consider the learning you will have: running a new circuit, tying in a water line, tying in a drain line, possibly re-modelling an existing floor cabinet...

It's not rocket science, and you seem like a person who is analytical which is a good thing as there will inevitably be some curveballs along the way (see flooring comment above:)

Good luck, let us know how it goes.